2020-21 Game 14: Oilers at Senators

by Lowetide

The Edmonton Oilers play in Ottawa against the Senators tonight and tomorrow night. Whenever I think of the Sens, to this day, I think of Mel Bridgman, a computer and the expansion draft. Do you know the story? I’ll tell you someday.

The one thing Ottawa has been very good at during the NHL franchise’s history is the entry draft. Some of the best players over the last 28 years were originally drafted by the Senators.

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 AFTER 14 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015-16: 5-9-0, 10 points; goal differential -6
  • Oilers in 2016-17: 9-4-1, 19 points; goal differential +7
  • Oilers in 2017-18: 5-8-1, 11 points; goal differential -12
  • Oilers in 2018-19: 8-5-1, 17 points; goal differential +1
  • Oilers in 2019-20: 9-4-1, 19 points, goal differential +7
  • Oilers in 2020-21: 6-7-0, 12 points, goal differential -2

The Oilers are a week’s worth of winning away from threatening the 2018-19 season, but that could last for weeks. I don’t get the feeling we are dealing with the 1987 Oilers here, so there’s going to be a lot of one step forward, one step back weeks over the year. Trick is to stay away from a long slide.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM FEBRUARY

  • At home to: Ottawa (Expected: 1-0-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • On the road to: Calgary, Ottawa, Ottawa, Montreal (Expected: 2-1-1) (Actual 0-1-0)
  • At home to: Winnipeg, Winnipeg (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Calgary (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Calgary (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Vancouver, Vancouver (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Toronto (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 7-4-1, 15 points in 12 games
  • Current results: 1-1-0, 2 points in 2 games

If the Oilers were a team we could count on, I’d skip past the Senators games and ask if the club could go 3-1-0 this week. Best not to tempt the Gods. Ottawa is across the board poor so far this year but they did win last week. The Oilers should win this game.

OILERS ROSTER

This is five on five scoring (forwards), Corsi five on five (defense) and overall save percentage (goaltenders). Average or above average are McDavid, Draisaitl, Yamamoto, Nurse and the injured Ethan Bear. I think we’ll see some shuffling tonight.

OTTAWA SENATORS ROSTER

Average or above Senators: Tkachuk, Norris, White, Stutzle, Watson, Chabot, Reilly. I don’t think that’s all true but we’re dealing with one number here and the Sens have seven. This Stutzle fellow is emerging in real time (3-2-5 in four games).

TRADING FOR A GOALIE

I think they’ll give Mike Smith several starts in February and give Mikko Koskinen plenty of time to settle in (he hasn’t done it yet). After that, the club will probably make a few calls to teams that are falling out of the race as we get closer to the deadline. Holland increases the pool of talent by including the ancients. Based on five on five save percentage, here are the 10 best names.

  1. Antti Raanta (ARI) .980
  2. Marc-Andre Fleury (VEG) .952
  3. Chris Driedger (FLA) .952
  4. Petr Mrazek (CAR) .946
  5. Thomas Greiss (DET) .939
  6. Cal Peterson (LAK) .939
  7. Linus Ullmark (BUF) .919
  8. Joonas Korpisalo (CBJ) .914
  9. Scott Wedgewood (NJD) .913
  10. Darcy Kuemper (ARI) .909

SENATORS AT THE DRAFT

The first draft pick in Sens history was Alexei Yashin in 1992. He was a fine player for 850 NHL games. The following year, the team blew it with the No. 1 overall pick (Alaxandre Daigle) but hit a home run late (No. 227 overall) with Pavol Demitra. In 1994, they picked a solid NHL center in Radek Bonk No. 3 overall and the face of the franchise (Daniel Alfredsson) at No. 133 overall. The first five years set them up, and once the team drafted Marian Hossa in 1997 the team was formidable for a decade plus.

One of the cool features of the Senators drafting is that every few years the club gets four or five very useful players. That’s a cluster. Here, let me show you:

  • 2001: Jason Spezza (1134 NHL games); Brooks Laich (776); Tim Gleason (727); Christoph Schubert (315); Ray Emery (287).
  • 2008: Erik Karlsson (746); Zack Smith (662); Mark Borowicki (383); Derek Grant (274); Patrick Wiercioch (268).
  • 2009: Jakob Silfverberg (571); Mike Hoffman (504); Robin Lehner (306); Jared Cowen (249); Chris Wideman (181).
  • 2011: Mika Zibanejad (558); Jean-Gabriel Pageau (445); Ryan Dzingel (341); Stefan Noesen (203); Fredrik Claesson (155); Shane Prince (128).

The 2015 draft is headed this way, and I’d bet money 2018 and 2020 land in this range, too. It’s a big advantage for an NHL team to deliver more than two draft picks a year. Imagine the 2015 draft (McDavid, Jones, Bear, Marino) happening three times in a four-year span. Assuming you’re getting a good player in the first round (Oilers will never ever draft another McDavid) that’s a massive help to the NHL team within two or three seasons.

PHILIP BROBERG

Encouraging news from across the pond, as young Broberg appears healthy again. Here are his splits:

  • First 8 games, 1-4-5, 18 shots, 6-3 on ice even strength goal differential.
  • Next 25 games: 2-4-6, 35 shots, 12-19 on ice even strength goal differential.
  • Total: 33 games, 3-8-11, 53 shots, 18-22 on ice even strength goal differential.

He is 1-0-1, +3 in his last two games. I remain a believer in Broberg, this late spike (imo) indicates he is back to full health. Just as Dylan Holloway’s final 10 games at Wisconsin (nine points) were a harbinger of things to come, so to I believe Broberg finishing strong would be a true indicator of his current abilities.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

It was a weird weekend in sports and that’s my wheelhouse. At 10 this morning we discuss the Super Bowl, Oilers in Calgary and the NHL’s true gift: Making it up as they go along. We’ll be joined by Chris Meaney from FTN to talk Super Bowl and what’s beyond. Jason Gregor from TSN 1260 will handle Oilers talk and what in hell did the refs decide in Columbus? 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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hunter1909

Hunter1909’s World famous Death March™ Major Announcement!

You have until puck drop next game, no more games to think time to act.

Then the book closes.

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You can register and vote here:

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Hurry! Regular Season Deadline is Approaching!

OriginalPouzar

So many lineup questions for tonight coming off a win.

Who starts in net? I lean towards Mikko.

Will Jones draw in over Rusty who got banged up during the game? In addition to most thinking Jones should be playing ahead of him, there could be load management. Tip cares a lot about the PK though.

Assuming Kass can’t play, I assume that means Chiasson is in – could be Nygard but they probably want the bigger body.

Also, Neal got banged up last night too – perhaps Nygard and Chiasson for Neal and Kass. Actually, can’t do that as they don’t have room to bring Nygard on to the active roster unless they assign someone and Bouchard can’t come out.

hunter1909

Oilers could really use a veteran, Jagr type player to help teach some of them what winning is about.

quade

a throw back

BornInAGretzkyJersey

I’m still pissed we never got a chance to see 68 here with 83.

Bulging Twine

Nuge under 20 minutes. That’s positive.

Draisattl still over 23
McDavid 21:48

OriginalPouzar

Given the game was tight throughout and came down to the last minute (and they were down a forward all game), those TOI numbers are reasonable to me. Tip/Gully seemed to do a good job of rolling the 3.66 lines for the most part.

Bulging Twine

Yeah, better. I don’t mind the McDavid time. Drai still a little high. I think this year especially, you don’t want to run down your players. It will be harder than other years to recover if you get worn out with the condensed schedule. But Tippett doesn’t have a 3C that he trusts with more ice time.

Bulging Twine

Just noticed that Khaira got 14:34. That’s quit a bit for him. I guess he was the 3C today. Turris got 10:05

Numenius

Yes, really nice to see Khaira playing better and therefore playing more.

Bulging Twine

Really great to see JP coming around. What a win for all of us, the player, the organization, his teammates, the coach, the GM, the fans.

Watching him you see even more raw potential there. I’ll just be happy with what we have this year and the growth that he has shown. Can’t help but think though what he could be in a few more years, with some added ‘man strength’, maturity, confidence and less worrying about what others think…it could be good.

I would get him playing road hockey and small area hockey. Like two nets inside the blue line. Working on his hands and puck control in tight areas. He may learn to shield the puck with his back like Draisattl or his butt like Jagr. Or quickness of hands like some others.

hunter1909

The effect of JP playing on a line with McDavid is going to be like a young Herbie Hancock joining the Miles Davis band.

maudite

40 seconds left, down by 1 – pitlick on ice trying to tie it up for Arizona.

it’s cool he’s carving out a useful bottom 6 career.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

I felt they gave up on him too soon. I always liked his style, too bad he couldn’t stay healthy here.

Victoria Oil

My two cents on the game:
– entertaining, fast paced contest
– Draisaitl was a beast
– Ottawa’s goaltending has gone from Red-light Racicot to Carey Price in a week

Scungilli Slushy

Kassian is in another mental walkabout.

I do believe he will get his head together again (I am nit suggesting recovery issues) but it might take another big shock, IE not on Oilers.

As he is, JK can do his job, and as Burke said, he remains a tradeable player. Some GM will think his team is losing because they lack truculence.

Kassian has value, but he’s a machine that needs hard reboots to work properly.

Some people have natural born in ass horseshoes.

See: Tom Brady.

Scungilli Slushy

And Mr Staples please don’t let me see this repeated in CoH without a props.

Scungilli Slushy

I am not referring to comments from Mr Staples earlier today

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Has that happened to you before?

Scungilli Slushy

All of us when a really cogent point is made.

I am not saying I know anything more than the rest of us, but when I make a comment here that gets little response and I see nowhere else, and then it ends up showing up in MSM, I wonder.

Certainly people can have the same thought about such a basic thing as sports, but I have seen it happen with my comments over years. And others.

With someone like LT or Woodguy etc or someone with a platform or some media exposure, props are given. Have to be.

But I am certain there are a lot of eyes on this comment section, because of LT’s immense effort and dedication to creating this very unique space, and finding his unique radio show, that lead to some to trove here for ideas.

No worries looking for material in an era when pros are given little time to do anything, I just see it as lifting ideas is, lifting ideas, regardless of the source.

Anonymity makes it easier, to take it from me or you or us, Joe/Jane Blow. But our anonymous personas are real on the internet as it is. We are people thinking up things that people in whatever media take without acknowledging it. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think so.

I have called this out before years ago here in comments, but felt it was not received well, and to be in a community we all have to move toward the middle. So I left it alone until now.

I guess I just feel a need to express it again. Phew!

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Interesting.

With the rise in prominence of social media sites it’s inexcusable to not attribute a source/quote to whatever handle and site it comes from initially.

The six o’clock news even attributes usernames/handles to Tweets when it suits their purpose.

OriginalPouzar

David Staples routinely cites his sources.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

I neither said nor inferred he didn’t. 🙂

OriginalPouzar

You sure didn’t but that was the implication of the OP.

Harpers Hair

Original Pouzar seldom does.

Pescador

Staples is definitely guilty of stealing a couple of my boner jokes

OriginalPouzar

Can’t agree that Kassian has trade value.

The value of his contract was highly debated at the time it was signed. I would posit that the majority of Oiler fans were against the contract but a sizeable minority thought he was “worth it”. There may have a been a few GMs that provided enough value in “skilled crazy” to take it.

That was apx a year ago when Kass had only come off his heater for about a month and prior to him being non-existent in the play-in and for the majority of this season and prior to a massive market re-set.

I think he clears waivers.

Scungilli Slushy

Kassian isn’t a great player at his contract. But never forget to factor in the NHL. A player with plus size, that can skate well, has an NHL skill level and is considered a major pugilist, still has a value. And even a stats guy would see top sixish scoring.

If a GM can’t sell that he’s not thinking about his own team, he’s thinking about ‘fair’ or something, or isn’t a good horse trader. Kass is a horse, don’t look in his mouth.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

He’s missing so many teeth, it’s tough not to (when he smiles).

OriginalPouzar

That value is great diminished by an anchor contract.

fishman

You really think Kass with that contract is tradeable in cap world? Likely would have to take a bad contract back. He certainly can be valuable when he plays HIS game. Going to need that against Habs and Jets.

Bling

Can you build a deal around Kassian for Virtanen?

Jake has boots and his value is down despite three consecutive years of increasing offensive production (excluding this one). Ryan Donato went for a third round draft pick, so Virtanen’s value may not be so high.

EDIT: Forgot that Bennett is on the market. That’s the natural fit for a trade.

Last edited 7 months ago by Bling
OriginalPouzar

Kass’ contract would make that a giant no-go for the Canucks (and probably every other team in the league without an equally non-value contract going back).

3 more years.

JimmyV1965

Connolly trade makes sense. Very close cap hits. Kassian has an extra year.

wolf8888

Burke was saying it’s a no go. Calgary believes they have a superior player. He has looked good at times but…..Would you make that trade if you are Calgary?

Bulging Twine

When did Burke say that? I heard him Saturday say that about a Bennett for Virtanen swap. Did he say that about Kassian – Bennett as well?

wolf8888

I was referring to Bling’s comment about Bennet/Virtanen

Bulging Twine

oh i see, thanks

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Some noteworthy comparable contracts to ZK:

  • Antoine Roussel
  • Marcus Foligno
  • Paul Byron
  • Zack Smith
  • Leo Komarov
  • Michael Grabner
  • Joonas Donskoi
  • Jamie McGinn
  • Cal Clutterbuck
hunter1909

I love Kassian tonight:

1 – Kassian fought and beat the Ottawa player up almost-like.

2 – Kassian left the game, and with the way he plays that turned out to galvanise the rest of the team.

Kassian is like a cruise missile – you get what you pay for when he’s out taking penalties. (make sure the Penalty Kill is working lol)

Last edited 7 months ago by hunter1909
Pouzar
BornInAGretzkyJersey

No poker face whatsoever.

Love it.

Last edited 7 months ago by BornInAGretzkyJersey
N64

But that is his poker face. You can’t tell what he’s holding.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Well played.

The ultimate fake out.

His hand was actually shit, he really just saw the pizza delivery guy at the door.

flyfish1168

Love JP to find success here with the Oilers.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Tippett calling pEnnis “Enzo.”

Nice.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

So if Kassian is hurt and Chiasson draws in next game, does Neal stay in the lineup?

Think I’d rather see Ennis stay in and Nygard replace Neal.

Pouzar

Ennis has to be in.

fishman

So wonder who draws in for Kass tomorrow?

Pouzar

Chiasson. Coach T wishes he had 2 of him.

Bling

William Lagesson has been real solid. He had a nice sequence in the third, stripping a Sens player of the puck, using his body to protect the disc, and then sending a 10 foot break-out pass to the winger.

That is beautiful stuff.

OriginalPouzar

That is what Willie does!

DevilsLettuce

Lags is getting real thick back there with all the lunches he’s obtained

Bulging Twine

Yes, he does a lot of ‘little’ things like that. Subtle little things like body positioning that make a difference.

Reja

Have no fear Mike Smith is here.

Bling

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: how many mirrors did you break, ladders did you walk under, and black cats did you pass to be this snake-bitten?

Decidedly Skeptical Fan

Trying to send the coach a message … put me back on the fucking line I belong on or let me play 3C.

Scungilli Slushy

Tippet: you are not and have never been a goal scorer, even if you are a great player. Connor needs a finisher. CC Ken Holland.

hunter1909

If I run the Oilers I offer RHN a 40 million 8 year contract and if he balks I’d be forced to trade him. Which is a shame because he’s now looking like a man sized hockey player who is going to play at a high level for a 20 year career.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

$5M a year?

Thank Christ you aren’t in charge.

Bling

I think 6.5 is the right number.

What I love about Nuge is that even though the breaks aren’t going his way, he has still been dependable in other areas. Creating chances for himself and his linemates. Wins pucks in the corners. Good defensively and on the PK. Has that positional flexibility.

ArmchairGM

That’s what I like about him too – as opposed to, say, Taylor Hall. BUT, doing all those things isn’t worth $6.5M on a long term contract if you can’t put up 50 points in a single season too.

N64

Bettman .500, baby
Also real .500 7-7

Record against non-Sens 4-7
Lots of room to improve.

Still in the peloton for 3rd and 4th.

tileguy

I’ll give Smitty full credit for the win tonight, big saves and moved the puck efficiently, Dmen like that.

McSorley33

Agreed.

His puck moving on a few occasions just nullified any Sens forecheck.

Even just simple things like stopping pucks behind the net.

Have to think the D like him back there.

fishman

Well he did shut out the Senators!

flyfish1168

Adam owes him supper

Bulging Twine

There are some guys that hit you and it doesn’t hurt, then there are guys like Archibald. Seems to hit hard. Guys get hurt when he hits. Like a mini-Torres.

Tarkus

But without the head-hunting.

Bulging Twine

haha, right

wolf8888

Vey good, calm game by Smith and looked very good handling the puck. Kudos to him for his first game

jp

Wasn’t able to watch (listened to the last 10 on the radio feed), but great to see a win.

Mike Smith, top goalie in Canada? 😉

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Undefeated!

Sporting a .964 sv% for his trouble.

jp

Yup that’s what i was going for.

Seems .964 leads the league currently, not just Canada, haha.

Bulging Twine

Smith was sharp. That’s encouraging.

Gerta Rauss

Solid 2 points tonight

hunter1909

The team is 10X more organised with Smith in goal, and I’m not just saying that either

Ice Sage

Good win, fought back against a much-improved Sens team at home.
We should briefly apologize to Mike Smith – maybe he IS the answer?

Gerta Rauss

OK, but make it brief

Ice Sage

OK, over now – start the ragging again – the plug couldn’t even stop his own D’s shot!

hunter1909

Please remember where you first heard this:

JP is showing flashes of Gordie Howe out there. A big, rangy body that’s difficult as hell for the opposition to check, and after making a great play JP went out of his way to body check a Senator player against the end boards. Beautiful stuff JP is starting to show everyone.

Players bounce off of JP. It’s amazing what potential this kid has got.

Paulie

What’s beyond man-strength? #13 seems to have it.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

I also noticed how JP finished his check on Zaitsev after making a plus play on the net. He’s got his mojo flowing which bodes well for the team.

Scungilli Slushy

He is listed on the Oilers site at 201.

Just wait.

He’s got 10 lbs in him no problem at his age.

Bling

How about that fake curl play behind the net followed by a short side pass to Nuge on the first period PP? Nuge should’ve one-timed that one.

13 is feeling it for sure.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

I believe Nuge tried for top corner but there just wasn’t much space left and he sent it high and wide.

Bling

Nuge will go on tear soon. Those pucks are going to start going in for him.

Paulie

Felt comfortable with Smith back there tonight

flyfish1168

Is the line back together?

OriginalPouzar

I give the team full credit for that win tonight – a hard fought win.

The first period was a bit loose and uneven but they really didn’t give up too much.

They were up against a hot goalie and down by one but came in waves through the entire 2nd and 3rd periods and were able to bang a couple past him.

Full credit to Mike Smith as well who had a very solid game and I remind us all of the massive breakaway save in the 2nd period!

leadfarmer

Well not an easy win but they grinded it out

Sierra

Sweet

Gerta Rauss

Archie puts this thing to bed

Woot!!!

McD will get an assist

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Josh “Empty Net” Archibald.

LMHF#1

Russell and Larsson with 2 to go…ughhhhhh

SK Oiler Fan

Gotta go with the vets ya know

OriginalPouzar

McDavid gets his point on an empty net PP assist – nice finish from distance by Archie.

Sierra

I agree, nice finish from a distance.

smart, safe play by McDavid.

Paulie

#13 another strong game. Gets to the net fast like Maroon used to. Playing a hard physical game by finishing his checks

DevilsLettuce

He’s a puppy realizing he’s a moose.

MushedPeas

Ha. Brilliant.

SK Oiler Fan

Old vet move by Smith here. Liked his battle tonight. He’s going to be tired after this one. Lots of swimming

fishman

He looked really good. That is huge for Oilers..

fishman

Connor needs a point!

fishman

There it is!

Gerta Rauss

JP had the insurance goal on his stick but Murray made the save…damnit

OriginalPouzar

Damn, Jesse got good wood on that one-time – nice shoulder save by Murray – needed that insurance goal.

Bling

Good shot off and then absolutely rocked the Sens D-men following up on the puck.

SK Oiler Fan

Barrie doesn’t need to be in the ice again. Just too high risk

fishman

Is the ice bad? Seems like both teams having trouble handling puck.

OriginalPouzar

Comedy of errors on that shift – Dadanov then Drai….

Pouzar

Turris is useless.

wolf8888

excellent checking and smart pass there by PJ

fishman

Yea he has been a treat to watch last few games. Confidence is growing.

Pouzar

Fonzie has Laine line stapled to bench to start 3rd. Here we go…

Ice Sage

He lasted longer than I thought!

Scungilli Slushy

Russell is not ok enough

OriginalPouzar

Leafs with 2 goals in 11 seconds to take a 3-1 lead……

leadfarmer

Holtby is just a gift that keeps on giving

Pouzar

That’s too bad.

OriginalPouzar

In the defence of the “stars”, Pettersson, Miller, Hughes not on the ice for any of the goals against. Horvat for one. Edler for all 3, Myers for 2.

Ice Sage

but but Quinn Hughes got a point

Dac189

He’s having a great season points wise

OriginalPouzar

Both the Canucks and Huges -9 at 5 on 5 this season.

Dac189

Not all his fault he’s playing on a bad team and his GM let their best player walk because Demko played 4 good games. Plus he’s only 21

flyfish1168

hughes -12 after tonight. career -22

OriginalPouzar

There must be some ENG and/or SHG in there – my stat was 5 on 5.

OriginalPouzar

I would sure take an insurance goal.