2020-21 Game 17: Jets at Oilers

by Lowetide

Saturday night landed like a dream for the Oilers, with the Jets losing to Ottawa and the Flames bested by the Canucks. In this division true relief will arrive as sweet death for three teams at the end of the regular schedule. For the four surviving teams, Montreal, Toronto, and two prairie teams, getting there will be akin to Navy Seal training. First 16 games a challenge? You ain’t seen nothing yet.

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 17 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015-16: 6-11-0, 12 points; goal differential -10
  • Oilers in 2016-17: 9-7-1, 19 points; goal differential +1
  • Oilers in 2017-18: 6-9-2, 14 points; goal differential -13
  • Oilers in 2018-19: 8-8-1, 17 points; goal differential -8
  • Oilers in 2019-20: 10-5-2, 22 points; goal differential +4
  • Oilers in 2020-21: 9-7-0, 18 points; goal differential +3

A win tonight and this year’s model will pass the 2016-17 playoff team and land two points in arrears of the 2019-20 group. The season so far is two movements: the 3-6-0 funeral dirge and the Beach Boys harmonies of the 6-1-0 run we’ve seen most recently. What will the third stanza bring us?

WHAT TO EXPECT IN 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 3-1-0)
  • 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: 4-1-0, 8 points in 5 games

I have the week going 2-2-0 but the Oilers can do themselves an enormous favour by sweeping one or both teams. The club is on a winning streak now and should ride that nag till it drops dead. Oilers fans don’t hate Winnipeg, but they will by the end of the season.

OILERS ROSTERS AFTER 16, 2019-20

This is one year ago, 16 games in the books. Edmonton’s top line (23 goals) dwarfed the second line (2), but the third line contained James Neal the goal total (12) was high. No goals from the No. 4 line, two from the taxi squad, six goals from the defense and 45 goals all-in, 40 against, +5 goal differential.

OILERS ROSTER AFTER 16 GAMES, 2020-21

This year’s No. 1 line has 17 goals, trailing last year’s big line (23) by some margin. The second line (14 goals) hammer’s last year’s (2) shuffle-matic. The third line this year (6) has just started making things rhyme, last year’s (12) club had all those early Neal power-play counters. Fourth line this year (2) and taxi squad (3) beats the two goals from that group last season. Defense this year (13) beat last year’s (6) number by some margin. The 2019-20 Oilers: 45 goals after 16 games. This year’s team: 55 goals, with 52 goals against and a differential of +3.

The teams are playing different games, 2019-20 club was involved in 3-2 games and this year’s model is getting into four goal games for the winning team more often. Individual goals have less value and there’s a slight 80’s feel to the proceedings. As always, the goalie is central to success.

OUT OF THE BLUE

Lots of upset online this weekend in regard to Caleb Jones being on the outside of the starting lineup for two weeks now. He’ll get his chance, but there can be no denying that William Lagesson is eating his lunch at this time. It could be short term, Lagesson’s possession numbers aren’t close to the Jones January stat set, but in five on five goal differential the Swedish rookie is having a fine run:

  1. William Lagesson 4-1 (80 percent)
  2. Ethan Bear 10-6 (62.5 percent)
  3. Darnell Nurse 20-16 (55.56 percent)
  4. Adam Larsson 10-11 (47.62 percent)
  5. Caleb Jones 5-6 (45.45 percent)
  6. Tyson Barrie 11-15 (42.31 percent)
  7. Evan Bouchard 2-3 (40 percent)
  8. Slater Koekkoek 4-10 (28.57 percent)
  9. Kris Russell 1-5 (16.67 percent)

This is what real depth looks like, a rarity on the blue line for the Oilers. I think Bear will eventually climb to the top of the RH depth chart again, although Tyson Barrie is 10-8 with Darnell Nurse so far this year.

Anyway, Jones will get his chance but good things have been happening at five and five and on the penalty kill with Lagesson. I identified his even strength on ice goal differential as a positive in his rookie AHL season and that continues to be a strong point in his game. You can call it luck, but when it follows a guy over several years it becomes a bullet point on a resume.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260, we’ll hit the ground running with a great group of guests who are taking time out of their holiday Monday to join us. At 10:20, our tennis expect John Horn will talk about a tough weekend for Canadians at the Australian Open and Nadal’s chances of winning, plus Serena’s path to the championship on the women’s side. At 10:40, we’ll chat with Sean Fleming, former Canadian National Staff Coach, 2 U 17 World Cups, and FC Edmonton coach about his new role as technical director for the EIYSA Stars. At 11, Jason Gregor previews the Oilers-Jets game tonight! 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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Bulging Twine

The Jets feast on Turris

In the 3 games they have scored 9 goals against him!!

Bulging Twine

The next nearest is 4
pfff

Bulging Twine

*for FW’s that is

Harpers Hair

Anyone still think Kahun is a top 6 forward?

Didn’t I tell you…yes I did.

Bank Shot

You’re mostly wrong about everything all the time.

Pescador

Yes on this team he is.
Just like how Quinn Hughes is a #1 D man.
On the Canucks

hunter1909

Death March™ Update:

Death March Fun Game:

“Name the Winner”

The Winner of the previous regular season Death March predicted the closest to .5845 points average during the 2019-20 Season. Who was it?

Last edited 15 days ago by hunter1909
Right Left

The two non-called penalties on the same shift as the last goal would have changed things considerably. Turris was interfered with, all the way from the red line to the blue line by Scheifele and Jesse almost had his helmet ripped off by 24 of Winnipeg who raked him up the face under the shield with his stick. It’s funny how non-calls always seem to effect the space time continuum leading to a worse future timeline than might have been. Yeah of course all the defensive breakdowns didn’t help but even a whistle on that shift…

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Can any of our resident francophones please, PLEASE, translate the first question asked en français of Chiasson? His reaction was unmistakable. Could not hide his disdain. A summary of his answer would be a treat as well, but his body language spoke volumes.

Dac189

I’m very rusty but I’ll give it a shot

Q
its difficult to win a game when you give up 6 goals. Is it frustrating to not be able to win when you score 5 goals. Usually with 5 goals you should win.
A
They scored 6 and we scored 5, I don’t know what to tell you. Yes, It’s frustrating but we made mistakes and… (Quiet)
Q
Going into the 3rd you were probably expecting to come out with a win tonight.
A
I am happy with my performance tonight

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Mercy buckets!

So he was frustrated after having been asked similar questions in English. Makes sense.

Last edited 15 days ago by BornInAGretzkyJersey
BornInAGretzkyJersey

Video was posted. Start at 4:53 if the link doesn’t skip ahead automatically.

https://youtu.be/hYbpkrXs8X0?t=293

Bling

Evan Bouchard with 8 shots. 97 line with 19 shots.

Winnipeg had 24 shots all game.

Sierra

Score effect?

Bling

I think a lot of problems are going to sort themselves out. The third line looks real solid.

EV defence and fourth line will be improved when Haas and Bear are ready.

Kahun had a bad game but I would stick with him.

I would not break up the 97 line. They were dominant. If they start getting some puck luck watch out.

hags9k

And somebody needs to take Pionk out behind the barn.

SK Oiler Fan

Yep. It’s fine to play hard, but not that wreckless around the studs. Need the original Kassian to schedule an appointment with him

wolf8888

Methinks Khaira could sort him out next game. Although, amazingly enough, we need him on the ice.

Sierra

Kahun’s terrible turnover at his blueline cost his team. He deserved to sit after that and I question whether he plays next game.

OriginalPouzar

He very well could have Wed night off – replaced by Nygard (or Neal).

I would think Turris gets the night off – replaced by Haas.

I can already feel the rage when Lagesson is replaced by Russell in the name of the PK, and not Jones (although Jones and Bear replacing Lagesson and Koekkoek could e something if they are comfortable with Bouch on the left side).

hags9k

Captain obvious but we need to either play stingier or get better goaltending. Probably both. Opportunity missed, burning daylight and all that jazz.

Bling

Sometimes you play well and you lose. Excellent effort. Transition game, offensive zone game are really coming along.

Turris played 6:53 today and I think that’s it for him. You really can’t trust him in any situation. Has he won a puck battle all season?

Games like today are why I think dressing 7D is a good idea.

Munny

We’re hating on the Canucks slightly less than the Flames for the late game, right?

Sierra

Beauty pass by Drai to Nuge, but other than that and some unnecessary turnovers Drai was invisible

leadfarmer

Well that was an entertaining game
but they need a lot of work defensively
other than short side goal Smith gave up there’s not much to fault the goalie on

who

Yeah, and even that goal was a good scoring chance. I can’t blame the goalies for this one.
Frustrating to outplay a team that badly and lose.
Too many bad decisions by Edmonton and uncontested looks for Winnipeg in Edmontons zone.

Munny

I was critical of Smith originally, but after seeing it on replay, it wasn’t as bad a goal as I first thought. You’d want the save there, but you’re not going to get it every time.

Sierra

Yup.

I don’t understand the goalie blaming tonight when there were so many Dzone turnover and poor coverage.

theDjdj

Ain’t gonna go well when you score 5 and still lose. Team had some breakdowns for sure but at least 2 goals the goalie tandem would like back. Ordinarily I’d shake it off as a wild night but the problem is you develop a past.

See what Ari want for their keeper.

Sierra

And that “past” is shitty Dzone coverage and turnovers.

Ice Sage

Looks like the goalering Gods have stopped their favour

Munny

They usually do when all you offer is shit D in your own end.

Sierra

Exactly.

Gerta Rauss

Fun game

The wrong team won but that was entertaining

Last edited 15 days ago by Gerta Rauss
Pescador

That’s okay, didn’t need those points anyway.
Good God that was painful

OriginalPouzar

I’m shocked that Jesse isn’t out there.

Bling

Agree with you. He was excellent. Very unlucky to not have scored one or two.

fishman

Too bad Willy got hurt.. His size helps when playing big teams like Jets.

Munny

DON’T LET POUZAR WIN ANY MONEY!!!

Sierra

Oh Barrie, you needed to shoot that quicker.

SK Oiler Fan

I like Bouchard’s timing better than Barrie’s. Knows when to get rid of it quick and when to wait a tick and change the angle slightly for the open lane.
Time to try bouch on pp1

fishman

So any idea what the crop of FA goalies looks like this off season? Holland absolutely needs to find a strong tender.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

If you’re into average or better goalies, the pickings are… slim.

  • Tukka Rask
  • Frederik Andersen
  • Pekka Rinne
  • Jordan Binnington
  • Devan Dubnyk
  • Antti Raanta
  • James Reimer
  • Philip Grubauer
  • Petr Mrazek
  • Jonathan Bernier
  • David Rittich
  • Carter Hutton
  • Anders Nilsson
  • Linus Ullmark
  • Jaroslav Halak
  • Ilya Sorokin
  • Brian Elliot
  • Mike Smith
  • Laurent Brossoit
  • Juuse Saros
  • Curtis McElhinney
  • Thatcher Demko
  • Igor Shesterkin
  • Ilya Samsonov
  • Chris Driedger
  • Adin Hill
  • Calvin Pickard

Now, clearly not all of these guys will hit the open market. But if there was ever an off season to go hunting for a big name goalie in free agency…

Last edited 15 days ago by BornInAGretzkyJersey
Crazy Pedestrian

Might need to put McD and Drai back together for a bit. They’re losing their mojo

OriginalPouzar

McDavid was far from thundering on that rush Jack…

Sierra

Another unnecessary Dzone turnover.

Last edited 15 days ago by Sierra
LMHF#1

97’s making a bunch of weird plays tonight where he gets to the middle but then tries a soft pass. It isn’t working.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Saw that too. Yamamoto wasn’t in a position to score.

Sometimes Connor just needs to shoot first, ask questions later.

Last edited 15 days ago by BornInAGretzkyJersey
LMHF#1

Another one there. He’s seeing something but it doesn’t seem to be working.

Sierra

Like that?

Munny

Someone should ask Turris to accomplish at least one useful thing a shift.

Because I’m not seeing any useful thing.

fistycuff

He does one useful thing for the opposing team at least once per game.

fishman

Kahun doesn’t seem well equipped for the heavy hockey the Jets play. His weak defensive play has hurt his team tonight.

fistycuff

Both him and Turris can’t play against the big Jet forwards.

Sierra

Yamo with the blind behind the back pass to no one. Easy turnover.

Followed by a weak ass play by Leon to turn it over at his own slot. Leon has been invisible tonight.

way too many easy turnovers. Unforced errors.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Wholeheartedly agree.

Gotta make ’em work for their chances.

fistycuff

Haven’t seen Drai do this in a while. He’s having one of those games where he looks slow and reacts slow. He has mostly been amazing to watch all season but has slowed down the last few games….

godot10

Two hobbits on his wing against a big team. It doesn’t work. Hasn’t really worked all year.

Sierra

Isn’t Drai in the top 5 in the league for EV Points? Not sure how that fits with your ongoing “hobbits” theme.

Crazy Pedestrian

I wonder if this is what it felt like being an Ottawa fan for most of the season. Outshoot/outwork the opposition and get toasted by bad goaltending and defensive breakdowns

Sierra

Bad goaltending?

fistycuff

The utter carelessness by both teams in their own ends is mind boggling…what is Drai doing? Crazy.

Pescador

Kahun dropped from 29’s line
Ennis replaces him
Draisaitl tries to show up Kahun with a worse turnover

godot10

A different hobbit isn’t going to help against a big powerful team like the Jets.

Munny

If people can’t see how Ennis nearly caused that Draisaitl turnover in his own slot, I don’t know what’s wrong with them…

And let’s not forget Yamamoto’s role in Draisaitl’s carelessness. I believe OP has a word for it — Egregious.

Last edited 15 days ago by Munny
Pouzar

I’ve seen enough of Barrie on the top pair.

Pescador

I’m ready for him to be on the top of the 3rd pair

OriginalPouzar

He’s got materially positive possession numbers tonight and 3/2 in goals….

Pouzar

WTF Drai?

Munny

Sometimes he’s way too nonchalant for words…

Crazy Pedestrian

This HAS to be one of those games the oilers are destined to lose even if they score 10 goals. It just feels like the oilers are being cheated

Sierra

Cheated? Hardly with their Dzone coverage and unforced turnovers.

Fuhr and Lowething in Vegreville

If this team could actually get some consistent goalering we might be into something.

If this game doesn’t prompt Holland to make some kind of material move to bolster the net, I’m not sure if anything will.

David

I’d say the fact that he went hard after Markstrom showed he knows this.

Sierra

Is goaltending really the issue, or it is turnovers and Dzone coverage?

Bank Shot

It’s both, but a good goalie can mask a lot of problems.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

To be fair, he went after Markstrom and bowed out when the price got too high.

Unlike Pistol Pete who never met a price too steep for a player he’d targeted.

Next year is an unusually strong year for FA goalies.

Bling

Plays like that Bouchard one are why Lagesson curries favour with Tippett. No way Wild Bill gives Wheeler that much room.

Kahun got yanked after that give away. Ennis took his place. Deservedly so.

OriginalPouzar

Pretty easy right now for next game:

Nygard replaces Kahun
Haas replaces Turris

leadfarmer

What happened to tying up sticks and knocking guys over

Sierra

Ya, that was pretty weak by Bouchard, inexcusable really. But the real phack up was Kahun. There was zero reason for the puck to end up back in the Dzone.

Pescador

I will happily settle for just the stick

Last edited 15 days ago by Pescador
leadfarmer

Kahun has been wanting to keep Turris company

Pescador

I will never understand for the life of me why NHL defensemen are not coached to
TIE
UP
THE
FUCKING
STICK????????
GAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaa!!!!

LMHF#1

There was a (very dumb) school of thought among high level coaches in Bantam and Midget that this was somehow a bad idea. That’s where it starts and then gets baked in. Sheer idiocy.

SK Oiler Fan

It actually takes no skill at all seeing as Struds could do it.

Pouzar

+100000000000000

SK Oiler Fan

Jesus tie up a damn stick in front already. There’s guys actually backing away from the opposition in the prime scoring area

Last edited 15 days ago by SK Oiler Fan
fistycuff

Turris teaching them.

Sierra

Give it a rest already

delooper

In previous years, in this situation, we’d be asking too much of the young players and our defense would collapse. This year there appears to be enough gas in the tank, even after all the injuries. I like this game.

Sierra

WTF Kahun.
Brutal, brutal turnover.

Last edited 15 days ago by Sierra
David

Disgusting really. I’m glad he got benched afterward.

OriginalPouzar

Bouchard backing away like Turris was on the Perreault goal….

BornInAGretzkyJersey

FFS Kahun.

Material Elvis

Fucksakes. That’s on Kahun. Gotta make that play on the boards.

Pouzar

Yup. Puck Mgt is a thing. And course those fluky pricks get another tip in goal.

Tarkus

Jets goalie should change his name to Connor Hankook with all the rubber he’s seeing.

Sorry, jinxed it.

Last edited 15 days ago by Tarkus
BornInAGretzkyJersey

Calling it right now.

CMD with the GWG to tie 87 to 500 career points.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

This is why I don’t normally do predictions.

I feel shame.