Neither Rhyme nor Reason

by Lowetide

I’ve read enough about baseball and hockey to know that many coaches and managers are drinking men. Watching last night’s game as a fan or observer, one can understand why a person would resort to the drink after those 60 minutes. You work your tail off all night and the overwhelming force in the game was blind damned luck. Not your impact generational centers (although they were heard from) and not a spectacular individual play. How do you game plan sheer luck? Incredible.

The two key Oilers goals were scored at the same end, pucks hitting skates and bouncing gleefully in the Oilers favor. “Old man yells at cloud” has many applications in the real world, and over 100 seasons of this crazy league there’s been a few hundred old men yelling while pouring a wee dram. Or ten.

THE ATHLETIC!

I’m proud to be writing for The Athletic, and pleased to be part of a great team with Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis. Here is our recent work.

OILERS IN MONTH NO. 1

  • Oilers in October 2015: 1-4-0, goal differential -5
  • Oilers in October 2016: 4-1-0, goal differential +4
  • Oilers in October 2017: 1-4-0, goal differential -8
  • Oilers in October 2018: 3-2-0, goal differential -3
  • Oilers in October 2019: 5-0-0, goal differential +8
  • Oilers in Month 1 2021: 2-3-0, goal differential -4

The win last night changes the look of the Oilers in January. Just a win, but falling to 1-4-0 is not an attractive beginning for a team with its sights on the playoffs. A 2-3-0 start keeps the team within reach of the rest of the division. More important coach Dave Tippett has created a successful formula (skate like it’s your last shift, take your man out of the play physically, give up real estate grudgingly) that can be repeated.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM MONTH NO. 1

  • At home to: Vancouver, Vancouver (Expected: 1-1-0) (Actual 1-1-0)
  • At home to: Montreal, Montreal (Expected: 1-1-0)(Actual 0-2-0)
  • On the road to: Toronto, Toronto, Winnipeg, Winnipeg (Expected 1-2-1) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • At home to: Toronto, Toronto, Ottawa (Expected 2-1-0)
  • Overall expected result: 5-5-1, 11 points in 11 games
  • Current results: 2-3-0, 4 points after five games

The win last night sets up the road trip nicely. A second win in Toronto is a big ask, but grabbing one more win should be expected, maybe an OT loss or (gasp) three road wins. The big question for you today: Can this team win two games in a row against the team predicted to win the division? It’s possible. I don’t believe it’s likely. Toronto has great talent and are well coached. Jack Campbell may pose more of a challenge than Frederik Andersen.

LINES LAST NIGHT

  • Nuge-McDavid-Kassian played 12:49 together, 4-7 shots, 0-1 goals, 6-9 HDSC. It looks dire, but the McDavid line played straight up against the Matthews line and Reilly-Brodie pairing. In 12:04 against the Mattews trio, shots (4-6) and HDSC (1-1) were fairly even. The goal against (Matthews) was a lapse by Kassian, who rang iron later on a gorgeous pass from the captain. Lots of hammering re: Nuge after the game, he had a takeaway, was in good position and had one good look five on five. He also made a key play on the power-play goal, garnering an assist. McDavid had three HDSC’s (two at five on five) but the puck was jumping on everyone.
  • Kahun-Draisaitl-Yamamoto played 9:40, 4-1 shots, 1-0 goals, 2-1 HDSC and 8-4 Corsi for five on five. Line scored the early goal, it was lucky but involved a lot of hard work. Kahun could have had an assist on that goal, drew a penalty and had a high-danger chance. Draisaitl scored the winner (power play), plus two high-danger scoring chances. Yamamoto scored the first goal, four blocks, and two high danger chances of his own. A valuable player.
  • Archibald-Shore-Chiasson played 6:42, 3-0 shots, no goals, 1-0 HDSC and 6-4 Corsi for five on five. Archibald scored an empty net goal about five minutes after I announced to no one specifically that he would never score again. Shore is stealing Turris’ job, man he looks good. Chiasson is losing his PP job (Puljujarvi got an assist on the Draisaitl goal) but I thought he forechecked effectively on this line. This group went up against the Tavares line for over five minutes, shots 1-1 and no goals. Shore. Stealing jobs.
  • Nygard-Turris-Puljujarvi played 6:40, 3-1 shots, no goals, 0-1 HDSC and 3-2 Corsi for five on five. Nygard had a quiet night but he did it in a hurry. Turris won seven of 10 faceoffs but isn’t impacting the game. Puljujarvi is the opposite, he got an assist and sent Mitch Marner flying. I’m really liking JP, but he’s not going to be a star with Turris as his center. Saw 34 seconds with the captain and he is getting power-play time. Could that change when Neal returns? We wait.

PAIRINGS AND GOAL

  • Nurse-Bear played 15:58, going 5-7 shots, 0-1 goals, 1-0 HDSC and 8-12 Corsi five on five. The goal was a turnover, Bear was a little tentative but that wasn’t a good goal against for the goaltender. Bear was also a little tentative passing early but settled in and then made some nifty outlets. Nurse had an assist, took and drew a penalty. This pairing played well.
  • Russell-Barrie played 14:16, going 6-4 shots, no goals, 4-0 HDSC and 11-10 Corsi for five on five. Played 7:28 against the Tavares line (1-1 shots) and did a fine job. Played most often with the Draisaitl line. Russell was effective in his own zone, moving the puck out of danger. Barrie is getting comfortable now, moving the puck, passing well, getting looks. He’s settling in.
  • Koekkoek-Larsson played 14:10, going 7-4 shots, 1-0 goals, 1-4 HDSC and 9-14 Corsi for five on five. Struggled against the Matthews line (2-0 HDSC in six minutes for Toronto), bent but did not break. Effective against other lines. I think we’ll see this pairing many times this year unless they trade Larsson. This pairing blocked a lot of shots.
  • Mikko Koskinen stopped 25 of 26, .962 and that includes seven HDSC’s, three at even strength. For the season, he has a .906 save percentage on 171 shots. His season started January 13. It is January 21. Five games. 171 shots. I think some people need to reassess their evaluation of this player.

LINES FIVE ON FIVE

  • Nuge-McDavid-Kassian: 46:13, 27-28 shots, 1-3 goals, 55.73 expected goals
  • Kahun-Draisaitl-Yamamoto: 50:43, 31-30 shots, 3-1 goals, 51.33 expected goals

I think the Oilers have the top two lines surrounded, although Jesse on RW with 97 is something we can talk about this year. CMD-JP have played 7 minutes together five on five, expected goals 51.91 percent. All numbers Natural Stat Trick.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260, we’ll talk about the win last night and the role luck plays in any game. Frank Seravalli from TSN will pop in and discuss the first week in the NHL, the Canadian division and what Ovie and his teammates were doing .We’ll also talk NFL weekend and preview Friday’s Oiler game in Toronto. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

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London Jon

I’m no numbers guy, but this seems to be quite a bad start for a goalie:

Zero Wins, Three Losses
Save % = .866
GAA = 5.47

At least the Canucks No. 1 is off to a much better start. Oh shoot, wait…silly me, I forgot they traded Markstom so I was looking at him rather than Hotlby.

Oh dear.

I wonder what the Canucks would give us for Grosenick or Mike Smith if they want an upgrade?

Munny

After a game like that the question is, how is Travis Green going to find Raggedy more ice time?

And what can all of us do to help?

#Dynasties

London Jon

I used to feel absolutely nothing about the Canucks but now I really hate them!

I guess good to have two big rivalries now – even if one is based on decades of hate and Battles of Alberta and the other is just based on a few years of being trolled

Kert

I don’t dislike the Canucks, I dislike their some of their fans. The Canucks used to be more unlikable with Bertuzzi, Cooke, Ruutu, Kesler, etc. But now they just have a decent team with some potential if they can shed the salary bloat and avoid more bad contracts. The skill is there, they are an entertaining enough opponent.

Kinger_Oil.redux

– I apprecaite the challenge that is set out here with respect to chaging ones opnion on Koski, based on his results (proxy for team results: he’s not better or worse thant the tema in front of him so far: hasn’t won or lost games the team didn’t deserve). Hopefully he’s got a steal or two in him as well (with a few stinkers to come as well)

– I’m kind of worried though for Koski and this team. They need to find and play a back-up. Koski is the only goalie that has played 5 games out of 5. Even the Leafs, Freddie has had a game off. Who are they going to get to play games? Surely they aren’t going to run Koski into the ground like they did two years ago.

– They have five more games in the next 10 nights, and every other night schedule. I suppose they could play him for all those games, After those 5 games, a week Saturday game vs Leafs, they play Sunday vs Senators.

– Surely the plan can’t be Koski for all 6 of these games. Ideally a goalie plays one game this next week, and the 2nd of the B2Bs.

‘- It;s certianly not optimal that the current back-up this Troy guy, has 2 starts total a few years back as his resume. It’s the worst 1-2 tandemn in the NHL by a country mile: we don’t have another goalie available that has NHL experience.

– The one silver lining though is that I’m sure they will find someone, and unless they want to trade high prospects and picks (please don’t do this), they surely aren’t going to get a goalie that will usurp Koski’s standing as the starting goalie that he is

– Last year’s use of Smith hurt the team: he played too many games, and realative to Koski, let in too many goals.

– Any thoughts on how this is going to play out?

OilClog

Forsberg, waivers next Wednesday. Or Bromart Raggedy’s uncle is no longer allowed to drive vans.

hunter1909

Hunter’s 1909’s 2020-21 Death March™ is back for another season

Register and vote here:

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Munny

And the Kings ice it with an empty netter.

Munny

Kings score late in the 3rd to tie it up.

HH’s Pro-line tickets just spontaneously combusted in his hands.

…Fortunately the tears should put out the fire.

Last edited 1 month ago by Munny
Munny

Apologies, I was going to post an update about the Kings having tied it up in the second and they scored while i was typing. I missed editing out the “tie it up” bit. That was of course the go-ahead goal.

Munny

7-3 final. Raggedy was a nonentity.

Petterson is now five games pointless.

And the Nucks have to face Habs again on Saturday.

Munny

Raggedy is going to have to take a shift on this 5 minute powerplay. Not to mention Juolevi.

Munny

That’s blind side, I’d toss Myers.

Last edited 1 month ago by Munny
Munny

They only announced the 5 minute major on TSN2, but turns out they did give Myers a game for the blindside hit to Armia’s chin.

leadfarmer

Quinn Hughes is at ppg
but more impressively he is minus more than 1 ppg
wheres Ricki

pts2pndr

Are we talking about the same D that HH says is a true number one D man. Maybe he’s not so good at the D part yet. HH needs to spend more time getting the Dys in order.

OriginalPouzar

Is 4.64 GA/60 not good? What about when GF/60 is 1.99?

This was before tonight where, so far, we are looking at 0GF/1GA in apx 9 minutes of ice.

jtblack

SHOTS after 2.

MTL – 30
VAN – 10

ok then

Munny

That was a thoroughly enjoyable 2nd period.

jtblack

Where’s HH?

Lets see Van didnt sign
TOFFOLI
MARKSTROM
TANEV

oh oh

Munny

I believe the phrase is actually, “Oh my.”

OilClog

Good grief

Todd Macallan

Oh brother.

Munny

I’ve never seen HH post either of those. But “oh my” he likes to use a lot.

jp

I’ve definitely seen good grief as well.

Munny

Oh shit you’re probably right. I tend not to read his or OP’s posts when they’re well into an argument. I see the “oh mys” because that’s usually in HH’s incendiary lead posts.

I will give OC a plussy plus to make up for my error. Thanks, JP.

Last edited 1 month ago by Munny
jp

Haha, only mentioned it because I’ve gotten my fair share, wasn’t trying to right a wrong.

Munny

Habs again, Do they pull Demko here?

Munny

Nine seconds between goals there…

Munny

Dave Poulin is no Ray Ferraro but I don’t mind his colour.

OriginalPouzar

So, if Neal is ready to go tomorrow, I think we see:

Nuge/McDavid/Kass
Kahun/Drai/Kailer
Ennis/Turris/Jesse
Neal/Shore/Archie

PP1

Neal (Jesse to finish shifts), McDavid, Nuge, Drai, Barrie

Nygard assigned to taxi squad despite playing well last game (only choice except for Shore – no one on waivers today).

Wells (or Rodrigue) assigned to AHL from the taxi squad to make room for Nygard.

Munny

Neither goalie might survive this game.

How many shorties will the Habs score this year?

OilClog

In just a 1:36 of ice time, Bromart Raggadini has been on the ice for a goal against.

#calder.

Munny

Dude.

Bromart is like my favourite store.

OriginalPouzar

Brogan Rafferty updated:

46 seconds of ice time

1GA

Todd Macallan

These updates align with my interests.

OriginalPouzar

Side note, Demko came in to the game with a 4.65/.883 and was looking to close the gap and catch up to Holtby’s 3.58/.892 but, after the first period, Demko’s numbers are heading the opposite direction

Harpers Hair

In other news…Bo Horvat leads the league in goals scored with 5.

Brock Boeser is second.

Todd Macallan

He’s actually tied for the lead with Tyler Toffoli. Now that guy is a stud, what loser franchise would ever let him get away for nothing?

tsunami

now imagine for a second if that team was the Oilers ? We would never hear the end of it lol…

OriginalPouzar

Yet the team is a period away from falling in to last place in the division via points percentage and are currently -7 in goal differential……

OriginalPouzar

Correction, goal differential of -9.

flyfish1168

Sounds like a bust

N64

Small sample size. he can give up lots more given the chance.

Reja

Hopefully Oilers are watching the Bruins Flyers game showing them you don’t need a crowd to get reffed up. If Neal plays tomorrow he will score.

OriginalPouzar

Holloway added a 2nd assist and finished with a team hight 4 shots on net in a 4-1 win.

OriginalPouzar

Over 21 minutes of ice and 24-5 on faceoffs….

wolf8888

Nice! Oilers could certainly use that kind of face off percentage. Any idea what his seaon numbers are OP?

OriginalPouzar

I think that takes him to 2G/5A in 7 games.

wolf8888

Thanks OP. I was actually wondering about his face off percentage for the season.

OriginalPouzar

That I don’t know off the top of my head – would need to go through old box scores I think – can get to that on the weekend perhas.

Reja

Friedman just got lessoned by Marchand.

OriginalPouzar

The moment we’ve all been waiting for – Brogran Rafferty called up to the NHL with Hamonic going on IR!

The Calder race has been decided!

Harpers Hair

No.

I’ve heard Evan Bouchard is a lock for the Calder.

I was told he is absolutely NHL ready…over and over and over and over……

BTW your Breaking News is so two hours ago.

Last edited 1 month ago by Harpers Hair
OriginalPouzar

Never ever mentioned anything about Bouchard and the Calder.

I do believe he is NHL ready and will get his opportunity this season.

NHL level depth is a thing

Reja

Surprised it took 5 games for Harmonic to go on IR. He was playing way to many minutes and too far up the ladder.

OriginalPouzar

I wonder if not skating in any sort of NHL practice from March until January and then missing training camp and getting 2-3 on-ice sessions have anything to do with it.

I mean, I was told he was certainly in great shape.

If only people knew that being in great shape does not equate to being in NHL game shape.

Reja

I can see a few teams in our division targeting Hughes and Pettersson a stiff wind in Medicine Hat could blow either one over.

Munny

A stiff wind in the Hat could blow Zdeno Chara over.

OriginalPouzar

Is Ostap Safin is ok his way to the US – I guess he does still play hockey……

wolf8888

?

OriginalPouzar

He’s on his way from the Czech Reuplic to the States – presumably to head for Condors’ camp.

I found it extremely interesting/odd that a native European, of all Oiler prospects, living in Europe, was not loaned to a European team over the last few months.

wolf8888

He doesn’t seem to get much love. I wonder if management has soured on him?

OriginalPouzar

Well, injuries really soured the end of his promising Q career – not many non-goalie prospects spend a full year in the ECHL and “make it” but here is hoping he can get on track with a bounce-back season in the AHL.

jp

And not even a notable season in the ECHL.

It’s unfortunate, but he’s really done nothing since draft day to suggest he might be an NHL forward. You never know though, and he does have some tools.

I also found it odd he didn’t find somewhere to play back home during the break. Could be some nagging injuries I guess..

jzed

Is Poolparty living with Tikkanen? Where is Tikkanen? Hire him, Poolparty needs an abrasive mentor.

Harpers Hair

Reports tonight that the Tokyo Olympics will be cancelled.

This will give the NHL some extra runway should the season be interrupted by any outbreaks since the NBC deadline will no longer exist.

OriginalPouzar

Damn – not surprising but disappointing – I love the Olympics.

It technically gives the NHL some extra runway but they’ll be remiss to extend if they don’t absolutely need to – the key being to ensure they can get back to a regular schedule for 2021/22.

They won’t want to push out current important off-season dates.

Maybe a week extension but I can’t see any longer.

Munny

IOC and Japs are denying the reports.

I think holding them would be shameful in light of what the Average Joe and Jill have gone through this past year but apparently the broke Japanese government doesn’t want to see the $25 billion investment of their citizens’ money swirl down the drain. Y’know. Unlike all the other billions.

Munny

I knew eventually they would consult Dick Pound.

teamblue

IOC president refuted those reports.

Munny

Yeah but the Japs have been refusing to hold them without fans in the stands and the IOC refuses to have them with fans in the stands. And having said that, the US Olympic Committee holds a critical vote. If they ain’t goin, there’s no Olympics.

This likely won’t end with an Olympics, thank Gord.

OriginalPouzar

Wisconsin is playing an early game today – haven’t been watching but Holloway has 2 of the team’s 12 shots half way through the second and an assist on the PPG (believe it was a 5 on 3) – racking up the assists recently.

Klam

Dave Tippett has created a successful formula (skate like it’s your last shift, take your man out of the play physically, give up real estate grudgingly) that can be repeated.

If that is the identity of the Oilers moving forward. I will enjoy watching this team this year. Previous games they were lacking any identity. I liked how they played last game even if it did come down to a couple lucky bounces.

Harpers Hair

Arizona Coyotes Redux.

Terrible hockey to watch.

Cassandra

I could not disagree with this more. They played terribly last night. It was a disgrace to the game. They couldn’t pass, they couldn’t stickhandle, and they didn’t defend hard, they just tried to kill the game. And they succeeded. That game died an ugly, slow, death.

Only a hopeless fan who cares only about winning, bereft of soul, could have enjoyed that game.

OilClog

Don’t mind these two, they bump uglies.

Rugbypig

Fabulous comment!!!
Bravo!

Harpers Hair

I know Christmas morning has long since passed but you all will be giddy as schoolboys when you hear the news.

The long awaited season debut of the man, the legend, the idol of millions, BROGAN RAFFERTY!!!! is happening tonight.

OilClog

Who?

Reja

Have another one for your man crush.

Darth Tu

LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNGGGG HAVE I WAITED.

Rich M

Who dat?

tsunami

Never heard of her

ArmchairGM

Early days, but some interesting stats on Puljujarvi at 5v5:

11.08 Shots/60 (2nd on team to McDavid’s 11.72)
1.16 ixG/60 (2nd to McDavid 1.34)
13.54 iCF/60 (3rd to McDavid 14.06 and Nuge 13.83)
12.31 iFF/60 (2nd to McDavid 12.50)
9.85 iSCF/60 (3rd to Kahun 11.09 and McDavid 10.94)
4.92 HDCF/60 (2nd to McDavid 7.81!)
3.69 takaways/60 (2nd to Shore 7.33!)

He doesn’t look settled in yet, he hasn’t built obvious chemistry yet to my eye. But boy, get this man some skilled linemates and the points will follow close behind. He’s creating chances and causing havoc out there, if he can sustain this pace he’ll be a valuable player on this team for a decade.

Bling

Impressive numbers. JP looks great on zone entries as well.

Darth Tu

These numbers look amazing. I have to say I see him growing with each game.

Where did you pull these numbers from btw?

ArmchairGM

naturalstattrick.com

jp

Early days, but some interesting stats on Puljujarvi at 5v5:

A few weeks back I was planning to post almost these exact stats for Puljujarvi from 2017-18 (his only full and healthy season in the league) but I never got around to it.

He performed remarkably well even at age 19 by these metrics.

I think we all remember his injury/confidence plagued last season and forget he was actually a pretty decent player even in his last NHL stint.

OriginalPouzar

Looks like a rare quiet game for Blumel who was -1 with 1 shot on net in a 4-3 win (17 minutes of ice).

Krill Maksimov back up to the KHL and, get this, 3 shots on goal in 14 minutes of ice including the game winning goal on the power play (a quick release snipe):

https://twitter.com/hccska/status/1352307465338163206

No surprise, Pasquale started for Yaroslav

To follow up on this, Broberg back up the lineup today after being eased in for 3 games. I’m sure SP can provide better intel but, from the stats, a great day. No points but plus 2 with 3 shots on goal and 2 hits in 16 minutes of ice in the 4-2 win.

The plus 2 is really nice to see as he hadn’t been a plus player in a game in almost 2 months I believe (was even or a minus for a really long stretch of game).

Here is hoping he has a great end of the season and is fully confident when he heads to Bakersfield to finish the season.

Harpers Hair

Corey Sznajder (@ShutdownLine) Tweeted:
I’m releasing the sheets from the Oilers/Leafs & Canucks/Habs games last night as a free sample. If you want to dig into the nerdy stats that I’m going to be tracking this year. 
https://t.co/zobrChwa5W

https://twitter.com/ShutdownLine/status/1352351998713208834?s=20

Harpers Hair

Canucks loan three players to the Manitoba Moose in order to shorten quarantine for recalled players.

https://www.sportsnet.ca/nhl/article/canucks-reach-loan-agreement-manitoba-moose-three-ahl-players/

Lordy Lordy Lorde

Very exciting stuff, thanks.

OriginalPouzar

I would love if the Oilers were able to do this – with actual prospects that could potentially be recalled

OriginalPouzar

Looks like a rare quiet game for Blumel who was -1 with 1 shot on net in a 4-3 win (17 minutes of ice).

Krill Maksimov back up to the KHL and, get this, 3 shots on goal in 14 minutes of ice including the game winning goal on the power play (a quick release snipe):

https://twitter.com/hccska/status/1352307465338163206

No surprise, Pasquale started for Yaroslav

Harpers Hair

As expected, Bowen Byram now put of quarantine and will make his NHL debut tonight.

OriginalPouzar

Should be fun to see how he does – he played a much more physical game at the tournament than I expected from him – of course, a big size and strength difference with NHL players so it will be interesting to see if he brings that game to the pros.

Speaking of rookie d-men, its interesting to see that Lehtonen has only played two games and, in his second game, he played about 5 minutes at 5 on 5 and 8 overall.

I was assured that he was going to be a huge impact d-man this season give KHL success – i wasn’t apprised that we would be a healthy scratch and, essentially, a sheltered 7D when inserted.

Harpers Hair

Squirrel!!!! (Bouchard)

Harpers Hair

If you were an intelligent coach how you break in a defenseman who had a truncated training camp, no exhibition games that had never played on North American ice before?

Last edited 1 month ago by Harpers Hair
OriginalPouzar

I surely wouldn’t be projecting him as a difference-maker acquisition in the weeks leading up…….

Harpers Hair

You wouldn’t call any player on another team a difference maker if it interfered with your Bouchard narrative.

jp

Ahhh, the classic counter-narrative. Well played HH.

OriginalPouzar

We talked a little bit yesterday about community members admitting they were wrong with an opinion (or, really, refusal to do so).

I will admit that, at this point, i was wrong regarding the Koekkoek signing. I was never fully “against it” but just didn’t think it was necessary given some solid depth at LD and my belief that Lagesson “was ready” and could be just as good, if not better, than Koekkoek.

Now I still think that, given a stretch of games, the game will slow down for WIllie and he will prove ready to be a legit 3LD, however, Koekkoek is simply on another level. Koekkoke is proving that his uptick in play in the 2nd half of last season and the playoffs was not a one-off and he is a legit NHL every day d-man. He’s likely best suited on the 3rd pairing but has some ability to play up the lineup and, if needed, his off-side.

I can see Kokkoek/Larsson being a solid to very good shut down pairing going forward – I think Koekkoek’s game helped Larsson be the 2017 beast Larsson that we saw last night.

At this point, the Koekkoek signing may be Holland’s best of the off-season (lets hope not and that Turris gets going and Kahun parlays last night’s great performance in to more).

Yeti

But would you trade Koekkoek for Lehtonen?

ArmchairGM

Koekkoek’s woodmoney’s from previous years showed a legit 2nd pairing guy. Just about everyone watching the league thought he was a 7th defenseman at best. Turns out… well, it’s too early to say how it’s going to turn out, but he’s repeating his performance again this year. He looks legit.

Fuge Udvar

Kassian needs to stop just differing every single play to McDavid. I wonder if him looking disengaged is him being tentative and unsure. He just will not attempt to make a play that isn’t through McDavid.

I think this is why some players click with McDavid and some don’t. Just because they are on the ice with the best player in the world doesn’t mean they can stop making plays entirely.

Everybody is expecting the play to go through McDavid and it does. Every single time. It makes defending him a lot easier. His linemates need to make some plays without going through McDavid to sow at least a little bit of doubt to where the puck is going.

To get McDavid some space out there they need to force the defenders to have to defend against somebody else.

OriginalPouzar

I found the Kahun was overly deferring to Drai in the first couple of games but, since then, has started to find his own game. I would like to see the puck on his stick a little more (as he is quite skilled) but he is becoming dogged on the forecheck.

If he can turn out to be a poor-man’s Yamamoto in that regard and then we add Holloway’s motor…….

OriginalPouzar

When Neal returns (potentially tomorrow), it almost has to be Nygard that comes out of the lineup as someone will need to go to the taxi squad and, unless they want to waive someone like Lagesson or Chiasson, its got to be Nygard (Shore is playing too well).

I anticipate one of the goalies, Rodrigue or Wells will be removed from the taxi squad to make room for Nygard.

It will be very interesting to see who gets re-assigned to the taxi squad when Haas is activated if no one else is hurt….. it may be Haas himself – unlikely to be claimed on waivers given he’s still establishing himself, missed all of camp, etc.

McNuge93

Is there a site where we can see the rosters and taxi squads for the Canadian teams?

Harpers Hair

Cap Friendly has it all.

OriginalPouzar

Luck was in play but they earned the puck luck on that first goal – tenacious forecheck by Kahun, supported by Yama and Drai creating chaos in front of the net.

That luck bounce off a poor clear attempt by a Leaf d-man in chaos was earned.

Woogie63

MacT asked …

Is there a huge difference between Jesse’s center’s output when he had Strome and when he has Turris?

Dee Dee

Lady Luck is a fickle mistress, but last night she smiled for the Oilers. These things tend to even out over time, they’ve been on the receiving end of events like this all to often.

Turn arounds don’t happen instantaneously, you have to go from suck to suck less, to a little bit good before you start to play great.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dee Dee
OriginalPouzar

Looking very much like Neal may play tomorrow – taking reps as 4LW with Shore and Archie whole Ennis is skating with Turris and JP.

Love it. Not ideal losing Nygard’s speed but Ennis needs to get some games in for me.

Matthews not at practice today – “not feeling great” after the game last night.

Elgin R

Is Matthews worried that JP took his number?

Chiasson has not done a lot this season so no loss there. Hoping Neal helps stabilize the PP. Shore is looking good – is he better than Hass?

No matter who is in. The bottom six need to saw it off like last night. Oilers will win a lot of games if they only have to be +1 special teams and top six combined.

Fuge Udvar

I’m happy to see JP playing with Ennis. If Turris can’t find his game I’d love to see Shore with those two.

Reja

Right on I hope Neal’s is in he’ll give our power play a jolt it needs. When Neal is healthy and fresh he’s still a effective player he can be nasty dirty and get away with it. I wish Nurse, Kass and J.J could learn to play that way without getting a penalty. Not talked about anymore but I also miss Bennings big clean open ice hits.

Boil-in-the-Oil

Hope the “not feeling great” isn’t the result of covid. He could/may have infected a bunch of players, from either team. I think I read he wasn’t feeling well before the game as well. A wee bit scary.

OriginalPouzar

I don’t think it was a Covid-illness type thing – I think it was not feeling well re: injury as they said he’d be assessed tomorrow as far as ability to play.

Harpers Hair

Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) Tweeted:
Capitals coach Peter Laviolette says four COVID-19 protocol players — Alex Ovechkin, Ilya Samsonov, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov — are in quarantine and he believes they’ll miss the next four games.

https://twitter.com/SWhyno/status/1352318551118508034?s=20

OriginalPouzar

As they should.

Munny

I thought getting Z-Man would help that roster’s commitment level…

who

Question for LT. Or the site designer.
Why am I getting an email notifying me of every new comment?
AND HOW DO I MAKE IT STOP?
Thanks in advance.

Ryan

Send 1 8itc0in to 4a352fk234234gooilers32fd343 and I will make it stop.

who

I have no idea what this means.

Ryan

I presume that you must be following other users, if so then it sends you emails. Try unsubscribing from any users you follow.

There’s also a subscribe button (located under article rating to left) that you may have clicked on. Try that and let me know if it works.

Last edited 1 month ago by Ryan
who

Not following any users, at least not intentionally.
Will try the subscribe button. Thanks.

BONE207

Darrell hit Hymen & transported the puck well. Poolparty hit Matthews & looked good with some puck time. Kassian looked ok with the puck but doesn’t hit. Connor & Leon are throwing hits & benefitting. The team might see that a little physicality goes a long way.

Elgin R

JP laid a big hit on Marner. All Nostrils did was cross check JP after the whistel!

Klima's_Bucket

I’ll assume the player that you call Nostrils, is the same one that I call Pigman.

Rondo

Is there something wrong with the puck, seems to be jumping around more than usual. JP reminds me of Darnell Nurse some great tools but lacking high hockey IQ

dustrock

I thought the ice at Rogers looked poor even in Game 1 and commented I thought Rogers ice in January with an empty arena would be pristine.

But maybe it’s the pucks, you could be right.

Darth Tu

There was some chat mid game last night about the pucks no longer being the tracker pucks. I think some players had complained about how they were bouncing. So now they go back to the old style and they seem to be bouncing even more….

OriginalPouzar

Wait, you mean Larsson isn’t so bad that he shot-passed the puck at Turris’ head?

Side Note: Larsson made a couple really nice passes last night – great game from Larsson.

SoCaloil

Very disappointed in Kassian’s effort last night

The lost puck battle on the GA was a ghastly effort.
I know he has a newborn and his head is probably with his family but there’s hockey to be played.

I also wonder if he’s afraid of throwing a hard hit that will land him in the principals office.

dustrock

I’d be inclined to give some mercy towards Kassian if he hasn’t been generally poor since he signed the extension.

He is on the roster and the top line because he is supposed to bring some skill with controlled chaos that might spill over into violence.

This is not a situation like say Burrows with the Sedins where he has enough skill where he doesn’t have to agitate every game.

SoCaloil

Maybe having two daughters softened his heart!

Klima's_Bucket

The court case from his days in Montreal is in the courts right now as well, that also may be occupying his head space.

Reja

That’ll do it hard to concentrate when being in front of the courts. With him being clean it should help is cause but I imagine there will be a nice tidy sum going in the out box.

Klima's_Bucket

Kassian had a hot start but had 3 secondary assists in 10 games leading up to his extension. I don’t know why they felt the need to sign him when they did. Especially to the length and AAV that they did.

OriginalPouzar

I was shocked that Kassian saw the ice after that weak defensive zone boards effort that led to the tying goal (not that Mikko was any better on that play) – as it was on the heels of his earlier gaffe at the offensive blue line leading to the puck going the other way and, ultimately, a PK.

Given he was talked to by the coach earlier in the day and was having an “OK” but not great game plus two MAJOR mistakes, I thought he wouldn’t see the ice again until Winnipeg.

He did seem to have a bit more “urgency” in his game after the gaffe but did give the puck away again – behind the Leaf net so not a massive error but the Oil were killing the clock at that point and he could have taken more time off.

Redbird62

That goal is more on Koskinen than and Kassian however, I am more inclined to say great goal by Matthews. Yes it was a bad angle shot. But credit where credit is due. Matthews is one of the best puck thiefs in the NHL averaging around 3 per 60 minutes. Add to that he is one of the best shooters too so he only needs a couple of inches a lot of times. Matthews looks out into the slot the whole time he’s coming out of the corner to have Koskinen thinking pass right up until he shoots. I doubt any other Leaf steals the puck from Kassian in that situation, nor does any other Leaf likely squeeze that puck through. Both Kassian and Koskinen would be unhappy with their plays, but it wasn’t laziness or brain cramps. They just got bettered by one of the best in the league at what he does.

OriginalPouzar

I can’t agree. Well, I can agree that Koskinen is also highly culpable but I can’t agree with the assessment of Kassian’s play.

Sure, Matthews is a great “puck thief” – at the same time, if Kassian is hard on that puck and goes in to the “battle” with full effort, Matthews is not able to perform such thievery. With 13 minutes left in the game, defending a 1-0 lead with the reason the team is winning is due to defensive commitment and responsibility, Kassian should be 100% on that puck and he simply wasn’t.

Cassandra

What an awful hockey game. If that is what winning looks like I’d rather not be a fan.

That wasn’t good defense, or strong effort, it was terrible hockey. One team was sloppy, the other team doesn’t even try and score unless it is on the PP or McDavid has the puck.

giddy

I hate to say it but I do agree.

The only upside to last night’s game is finally experiencing what so many other awful teams out there have experienced when playing the Oil: the better team played down to their worse opponent’s level and got beat in the game of bad hockey.

dustrock

I wonder if we’re going to see a bunch of this kind of result this year. I think for the play-in/playoffs there was some excitement because hockey was back, we were dealing with the pandemic, anything was better than nothing.

Now that it’s the regular season grind, doing baseball like mini-series, with different divisions and empty arenas, I wonder if the players are thinking “well, let’s get through this season without getting hurt and move on”. Wouldn’t blame them.

Reja

That’s why Holland went deep Dave needs to rotate players in and out especially with back to backs with the same team give the opposition a different look. Kass, J.J and Chase if you don’t want to hit your watching for a game or two.

JimmyV1965

I agree. That was a terrible game. Maybe we’ll get lucky and the Canadian division is much worse than we thought. We’ve got that going for ourselves. The Leafs looked awful against the Habs as well. Listened to Habs and Nucks game on the radio last night, from the Vancouver feed, and it sounded like the Nucks were very very lucky to win that game.

Darth Tu

I watched the Montreal game rather than the St Louis snooze. I wouldn’t say Vancouver in so much that the Habs decided to keep taking penalties against a side with a more than adequate PP. Still, I have to say I’m VERY impressed with Montreal. Early days but they look head and shoulders above the rest of the division. I guess they still have Calgary to play and they seem to be doing well results wise (I haven’t seen a Flames game yet).

That Suzuki kid has golden hands. Toffoli is a beast as well, bizarre that Vancouver moved on from him.

What’s up with Elias though? He’s not looking like his old self at all.

Elgin R

Tough game to watch as an Oiler fan – high anxiety during the second period. Lots of effort from most of the Oiler players and that is all you can ask. Win or lose, but play hard every shift.

Pretendergast

I think it’s just par for the course this year. After the Oil game I watched San Jose v St..Louise and it was even more snore inducing. Nobody was interested in attacking. OT they did loops for 5 minutes. I watched Brayden Schenn turn back 4 consecutive times with the puck on his stick in the o-zone, leave the zone, and reset. Never actually got a shot off. The Sharks won on the 5th shooter in the shootout. The winning goal was the first goal in said shootout. The quality of hockey compared to the bubble has sharply decreased. The pace is slower.

Here’s hoping it ramps up in the coming weeks.

Harpers Hair

And yet the Habs-Canucks game was a high octane score fest.

I think Tippet had finally had enough of the Oilers poor defensive play and told his team to go out and choke the life out of the game.

Very curious to see if they can do it twice.

Darth Tu

It was pure RickiTheBear hockey. CLEAR THE HOMEPLATE AREA! Score your Ultra phase 1 open shots (I forget what he calls them, something open?).

Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR

They don’t ask how you won, just how many you won. At this point I don’t think this fan base is in a position to turn it’s nose up at a road victory over the Leafs because they didn’t earn style points.

Darth Tu

Very true. At the end of the year I doubt any of us will remember anything about this other than – hurrah we beat the Leafs.

OriginalPouzar

That was an ugly game for sure. The argument can be made that it was “bad hockey” as opposed to “committed hockey” – although that is debatable.

Would I prefer to watch a game similar to game 2 of the season with a supernova McDavid? Absolutely. At the same time I loved every second of last night’s game and will take it every night if it leads to Stanley.

Bling

LT, liked your Yamamoto article.

Agree completely. The numbers are tremendous. I am in awe of how many of those points come off of nothing plays where he wins a 20-80 or 40-60 puck.

Interesting that his shot rates are continuing to rise.

The one-timer is a new wrinkle that I don’t recall seeing last season.

Cool player.

Elgin R

Kailer Yamamoto sits 6th in pts/g from his draft class (minimum 50 games). Not bad for 22nd pick. Watching him fight for pucks makes me wonder why other players are not working that hard (and smart). Kahun is getting there. Great player.

OriginalPouzar

Great stuff.

He’d probably be even higher if we discard his first two seasons when he was forced to play NHL games as a teenager and had, what, a handful of points in 25 games or so?

Of course, that’s not quite honest unless we do that to all the other players (although most of them probably weren’t forced to play games as teenagers except for the elites, Pettersson, etc.).