One Great City!

by Lowetide

Remember yesterday, when I said “Oilers fans don’t hate Winnipeg, but they will by the end of the season”? Last night’s game was a rock solid first serving by the Jets, with an aggressive, physical and skilled team from Portage and Main at least a step ahead of the home team all night long.

Edmonton’s defense lost William Lagesson early, and that made things more difficult. Edmonton’s decisions (“Hi, I’m Kyle Turris, allow me to show you to the slot, where goals are scored. I’ll get you that puck here shortly”) and executing (Dear Mr. Kahun, you are going the wrong way!) cost them the game. NHL hockey is hard. There’s another game tomorrow.


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 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: 9-8-0, 18 points; goal differential +2

Oilers in the top three of McDavid seasons here, one point behind the 2016-17 team. The club is looking for answers and may have found a few (more later), and they worked damn hard to get back in the contest before losing on another mistake.


  • 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 0-1-0)
  • 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: 4-2-0, 8 points in 6 games

Edmonton remains just a hair in front of my projections, that’s a good thing. If you’re mad about last night’s game, maybe re-watch it. There’s miles of skill there, the Oilers could have won it last night. They do need a better goalie, but that’s an off-season thing. Edmonton needs stronger defense and they certainly need a reset on the top two pairs. If I’m reading the tea leaves correctly, you should prepare for the return of Caleb Jones and Ethan Bear in the coming days. My top recommendation would be moving Barrie down the depth chart.


  • Nuge-McDavid-Puljujarvi played 13:42, going 13-7 shots, 1-1 goals, 4-2 HDSC, 21-12 Corsi five on five. The trio got 19 shots overall, Nuge two goals, McDavid two assists, Puljujarvi with a flat out gorgeous assist on Nuge’s late tying goal. This line has some real explosiveness, but has been slow to convert its potential into goals.
  • Kahun-Draisaitl-Yamamoto played 8:04, going 6-2 shots, 0-1 goals, 0-1 HDSC but 9-4 Corsi five on five. Kahun’s mistake on the winning goal (crossing outside the zone with everyone going north and then re-entering the zone under pressure) could be enough to get him a trip to another line, although that seems drastic. Draisaitl had a lot of try but was checked into submission (including a rocking hit by Neal Pionk), one of the less impressive games we’ve seen from the big man. Damn near got his pocket picked late in the game by Kyle Connor, reflecting his slower pace on the evening. Kailer Yamamoto scored a nice goal on a tip, it was his first in some time. He has played 70 NHL games in his career now, coming in at 17-23-40. Yamamoto failed to get the puck out mere seconds before Scheifele scored his first period PP goal.
  • Ennis-Khaira-Archibald played 6:57. 4-2 shots, no goals, 1-1 HDSC and 5-5 Corsi five on five. This line sparked the turnaround with a fantastic shift in the middle of the game. Ennis picked up an assist on the second Chiasson goal, Khaira played aggressively but was on the ice for the Connor goal. Archibald was a active physically and had a couple good looks.
  • Turris-Shore-Chiasson had an interesting evening, playing 5:28, going 2-5 shots, 1-2 goals, 1-1 HDSC and 3-10 Corsi five on five. Shore’s pass to Chiasson on his first goal was quality, and Chiasson scored twice on a pretty wild night for the fourth line. If I live to be 100, Turris movements on the Ehlers goal will never make sense.
  • Draisaitl-McDavid-Yamamoto played 4:49 together later in the game, 6-0 shots, 1-0 goals, 1-0 HDSC and 8-0 Corsi five on five. This line held sway for about five minutes while there was complete chaos everywhere. A sign of things to come? I did see a Nuge -Puljujarvi-Ennis trio in there somewhere for a spin or two as well.


  • Nurse-Barrie played 21:55 together, an enormous total. 14-9 shots, 2-1 goals, 5-2 HDSC and 23-18 Corsi five on five. Nurse had an assist, Barrie had two, great totals but they were forced to play too much. Nurse overplayed Scheiffele on the Appleton goal and Barrie brings chaos to the top pair. I miss Ethan Bear on this pairing but suspect the coach may keep Nurse-Barrie together.
  • Larsson-Bouchard played 9:55, going 10-5 shots, 0-1 goals, 3-2 HDSC and 19-6 Corsi five on five. Bouchard’s passing was terrific and his shot was booming all over the yard. Larsson was 0-2 goals overall, Ehlers and Wheeler markers on his watch and some wobble on the Ehlers goal (Wheeler tally was on Kahun). Obviously young Lagesson’s injury made this paring necessary. Bouchard was not effective on blocking out Wheeler on the GWG.
  • Koekkoek-Bouchard played 8:31, 6-3 shots, no goals, 0-1 HDSC, 8-6 Corsi five on five. Bouchard had eight shots on goal. Koekkoek gave up possession to Ehlers easily on the Connor goal, lots of staring from his teammates but he has to feel that pressure and make a quicker play. Koekkoek was also slow to react to clear danger on the Appleton goal.
  • Mike Smith stopped seven of 11 shots, .636 save percentage. Now .935 for the year. He had no chance on the Scheifele power-play goal, the Kyle Connor snipe was by him before he had a chance to react, Appleton was allowed to get into prime scoring position so that’s a shot you can’t blame the goalie on (although goalies do stop shots from there). Ehlers was from a little farther out, you’d like your goalie to stop that one but it was a nice shot. You’d also like Turris to be more than an impersonation of a waiter seating diners on that play.
  • Mikko Koskinen stops 11 of 13, .846 and is now .894 for the year. No fault on either goal against, both fine tip jobs.


Winnipeg had a strong game and the Oilers were down a defenseman early in this one. Edmonton had the clear edge in possession, Jets had the better goalie. Luck, in my opinion, favoured the road team. You’d like Smith to stop one of those shots, but each was its own hornet’s nest. Sometimes you have to give the other man his due, and cut down on your own mistakes. Jones and Bear should be in the lineup Wednesday and Haas should replace Turris for a couple of weeks.


A busy morning on the Lowdown, as we all get back to work. At 10, on TSN1260, we hit the ground running. At 10:20, Murat Ates from The Athletic tells us what he saw last night and explains the Jets impressive desperation intensity last night. At 11, George Richards from Florida Hockey Now offers insight into a grand start by the Panthers. At 11:25, Vivek Jacob from CBC Toronto will talk about a Raptors team that is building some momentum after a slow start. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!


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Some of you who are draft nerds like myself are likely aware, but Shane Doan’s boy, Josh, is getting noticed while playing with the USHL Chicago, who are a powerhouse in that league. His calling card had been his skating and tenacity, but over the past year he’s grown 2-3 inches and added 15-20 lbs.

He is now getting noticed for his strength and net front presence (go figure). He has 17 goals in 20 games.

He was draft eligible in 2020 and was passed over. I ranked 52t players and he didn’t even register. I certainly would have considered him over Engaras or Lindewall. He is slated to attend ASU next year.

I expect him to land anywhere from the 4th to 6th round, butI am calling it right now. I expect him to be a NHL player in 3-4 years. Depending on who is available, I would definitely use a 4th rounder on him.




So Lagesson “jammed his wrist” – he was getting tests today so, when Tip spoke, no word on the extent but I’m anticipating it won’t be a lengthy absence (but could definitely be wrong). I will assume that he’s out tomorrow and I’m hopeful for:



I don’t think we’ll see Nygard where I have him and I think Tip will probably play Russell over Jones for another PK guy.

Minister D-



“A darker grey is breaking through a lighter one”

What a tune.


Oldey-timey hockey fans!

A friend has written a book, and has started a monthly newsletter called “Puck Possession” about oldey-timey hockey to promote it. If you are interested, sign up using the link below. The first issue looks at “Bad Joe” Hall’s colourful career before he died of the Spanish flu in 1919


– Neat: I signed up! It is remarkable looking back at photos from the Spanish Flu: It’s remarkable how similar it was to today, and how this history was (at least it was for me) forgotten. The photos although black and white are the same as today, its eerie:


‘- Just a fyi: tell your buddy (who lives near me to boot!), that there is no link to the article: this is what I got when I signed up:

Email Campaign Archivefrom Tim Falconer


To clarify, you are correct that the first newsletter hasn’t come out yet, but will be distributed soon.


After years of reading Ricki’s misspelled, “puck pocession,” reading it spelled correctly makes my brain do a double-take.

Harpers Hair

Things are unraveling in Arizona.

The Coyotes are going after the Athletic over Katie Strang’s column in the Athletic this morning.

Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) Tweeted:
The @ArizonaCoyotes release a statement on @KatieJStrang’s piece today, claiming that The Athletic has “for several months, has condoned a harassment campaign against Mr. Alex Meruelo, the Arizona Coyotes, the Meruelo Group and dozens of current employees and former employees.”

Harpers Hair

Just heard a radio hit with Elliotte Friedman.

He says, if there is ever a chance the NHL grants a second franchise to the GTA….this is it.


What utter bullshit.

As an Albertan citizen, I want to see the Nordiques back playing in the fancy new stadium my province’s tax dollars built aeons before a franchise lands in Hamilton.

Harpers Hair

Don’t think it will be Hamilton…nor Quebec City.

A second Toronto franchise would provide a massive financial boost to the league through an enormous expansion fee and HRR.


Wasn’t Hamilton supposed to be the location for the next GTA franchise? Or has that since died down with the decline of RIM?

Harpers Hair

That was a long time ago and that arena is well past its Best Before Date.

Something more central in Toronto would likely work much better.

The last time this came up, there was a group proposing a new arena in Vaughn.


The franchise has been a tire fire for some time now……


– Canada could totally support a Nordiques franchise, as well as a “North Toronto” and + a Hamilton franchise (although Copps would need a massive upgrade).

– Imagine a 10-team Canada divison: that would be deadly (I know it won’t happen)

Harpers Hair

Quebec City has always been a dodgy proposition because there is very little corporate support in the city.

No doubt they would have great fan support.

Rich M

Yup, this is what bully’s do. Meruelo is a piece of garbage.

Harpers Hair

Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) Tweeted:
Of course, their previous statement that ran with the story is much more relevant. Refusing to work with an exceptional journalist like @KatieJStrang and then trying to criticize her reporting is bush league.


Is everyone okay with Chayka leaving now?

Have to wonder if he is one of Strang’s sources though.


– Nuge-Pool-Ennis: I see what you did there LT! I liked that format. Old school.

-Maybe I can bring back my “nice post LT”. I used to start all my posts that way untill someone slammed me for that. I like tradition!


Please don’t.


– Actually it was “Great Post LT!” I used to love starting my preamble with this, thanks for the plug: I will again. LT also used to often use the line : “This is so-and-so” to start his posts, I like that too, it was comforting


I preferred CLR, too. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


As much as I rag on the Canucks and Podkolzin due to the immaturity of a select few (one) on this forum, this looks awful and I hope he’s not too seriously hurt:


From what I have seen.

The immaturity isn’t limited to just one.



Got kids?

“It all started when he punched me back!”

Harpers Hair

You rag on them because you’re such a homer.

Podkholzin has a minor concussion and is only expected to be out a week.

He has been on fire lately.


Minor concussion? He was almost carried down the hallway
Thats a pretty bad concussion

Harpers Hair

Just passing along what I read.


I hope they rest him for a couple of weeks
it’s just so easy to get another one


Does anyone know what injury Samorukov is dealing with? That’s 3 straight games (and 4 out of 5) he hasn’t played in.

Broberg -1 with 1 hit and not short in 15 minutes in a 3-2 loss. Oilers fans are going to need to be patient with this prospect. As projected on draft day, he’s going to need some time.


Friesen (Winnipeg Sun): Nik Ehlers was saying this should be a fun series… I don’t know if this is what you’d call fun, but is this a case of the 1980s all over again?

Maurice (Winnipeg Jets): That’s a perfect example of why coach-years and dog-years are the same — the lives lost on the bench tonight between Dave Tippett and myself…

It was not a particularly well-played game, I think we can all agree on that… Except… the skill level in some parts of that were so-o extreme…

If you had fans in the buidling, that was a rollercoaster for everybody, for both teams, lots to talk about for today, tomorrow and the next game and you may find an absolute grinder for the next one, might be hard to get a shot off, but boy we gave up an awful lot.

So we will feel like we gave up way too much, but there is a section from Edmonton that they take from you, that they generate, that is just so good… Kyle Connor is probably an example on our team of guys that can do it going the other way, high high end skill there that even if you’re in the right spot they’re going to make the play.

Aside from that, there was still a big chunk of the game that was loose and ugly and really fun to watch… unless you would like to live a long life as a coach.

Last edited 5 months ago by Munny

Classic Maurice….thanks for sharing that.


Per Gazzola:

Long chat between Dave Tippett and Kyle Turris at the end of practice. Meanwhile, Evan Bouchard working with Jim Playfair on picking up pucks off the wall on the left side.


Hopefully the long chat was about how to best structure one’s retirement investments…

Last edited 5 months ago by Munny

– If he needs a money manager who deals with a few hockey players : I know a guy…

Scungilli Slushy

For me

Nygard CMD JP
Nuge Drai Yama
Kahun Haas Kassian
Ennis Khaira Archie

Nurse Bear
Jones Larsson
Lagesson Bouchard

Is the best line up talent and balance wise. While Barrie is doing better, I’m not always a fan of players with his style.

He wants to drive offensive play. That’s great if you don’t already have the two best forwards in the league.

I found yesterday towards the end game he was pressing and I felt he was taking chances I’d rather have him try to set Connor or Leon up for.

Same with the PP. I don’t want to see him taking a piece what the already great PP was doing. I would like if he increased the play making but I’m thinking I don’t see that necessarily.

I prefer Bouch’s style. It seems to integrate into the forwards games better. And getting him wired into the offense now.

I’d trade Barrie, with 3 of the lefties being able to play RD if injuries dictated. I certainly hope they don’t sign him further.


Works for me.


I don’t even want to think of the possibility that Draisaitl might not be available for the next game.


Wilkins inferred that it was a maintenance thing for the guys who played a ton of minutes last night.


He inferred or implied? I’m guessing the second.

Also, this was the first game in 4 nights. They’re not sitting out because they’re tired.

Harpers Hair

Considering Wilkins is an outsider, both may be true at the same time.


Correcting a poster on inferred vs. implied.


Clearly not.



I’m not correcting, I’m stating that I do not know. Hence “the guessing” on my part. I raised the issue because the difference has a material effect on the statement made. There is a difference between an inference and an implication.

My hope was the original poster would clarify further, perhaps with the verbatim. Instead, I have you…

Last edited 5 months ago by Munny

Kind of like attempting to clarify an inaccurate use of fractions?

Munny and I are hyper-literary types.

I welcome the clarification request.


And this is why Holland needs to sign Nuge😊


Spector running Bouchard out of town, to nobody’s surprise.


I must have missed that.

Material Elvis

He’s taking a break from running Puljujarvi out of town. Gotta mix it up.


Stauffer always poking Spector gets old. Now we need Stauffer adding how tough he was as a kid; or challenging Laraque for the 100th time. I would love to see a new host on Oilers Now.


Next year there are a TON of goalies available in the free agent market.

Obviously not all will become available but I cannot recall a deeper pool of talent at one time.

The upcoming offseason is the time to make a play for an upgrade in net. Not only will there be more available cap, but there will be more supply so that should help keep prices reasonable.

  • 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

Pickard was on waivers earlier this season


Ullmark and Driedger might test the market, both seem like they could be good low-cost, high-value options.


Ullmark was a trade target of mine this past off-season.


This. ☝️

Scungilli Slushy

I’m not a fan of Neal playing with Connor. Unless he’s going to be a beast in the corners and be right on time going to the net when a set up is coming, and also causing havoc screening to create a distraction, he’ll just be another anchor not doing much that Connor needs.

What Connor needs is a LW that is a problem for the other team to draw coverage and attention away from Connor.

To me this is why JP works. He’s an odd duck of a player (unpredictable) and is a horse that closes on players in a way they don’t expect.

If he could finish the world would be his oyster. Also, it took 2 Finns to settle Gretzky’s line. Maybe a Finn LW is the answer.

But for now I would try a pretend Finn in Nygard. His mission would be skate hard and disrupt everything, and keep your stick on the ice for when the unexpected set ups come.

I don’t think any other winger can do enough more than Nuge has or Neal would. Speed is a worry for the defenders.

Maybe Ennis when healthy because he can move and is sneaky. But then you have to disrupt his current line that you need doing something.

Given the options I’m less worried about finding more production on Connor’s LW, more about finding someone that helps draw focus on themselves and gives Connor air, he doesn’t need much to make people pay. Connor will up the production himself.

Last edited 5 months ago by Scungilli Slushy

Crazy game last night. The jets got more than their share of puck luck. Every tip seemed to find the back of the net. I think the goalies did alright considering the circumstances of each GA.

Some bad defending, but that’s going to happen with this D lineup. I was hoping Barrie was going to look something like Roman Hamrlik, but instead he’s looking more like Justin Schultz light. A disappointing addition in the offseason for a team that needed more responsibility from the back end.

Maybe Hamrlik is available. Barrie for Hamrlilk – one for one.

Bear returning will help a lot. It’s been a while now.

I am delighted with the offensive effort. Relentless push. Never giving up. Every guy believing they can make something happen on every shift. This team has strength and character that we haven’t had for 15 years.


Reid Wilkins talking to Bob right now, mentions there could be some roster shake-ups coming if the practice lines are anything to go by.

“As we know from watching practice, the guys on the top two lines usually wear white jerseys. Well, today, Kyle Turris is in a white jersey and I’m going to assume that’s to fill in for Leon Draisaitl. But, Tyler Ennis is in a white jersey while Dominik Kahun is in the grey jersey of a bottom six player. So that could be an indication obviously that after Kahun having a tough game yesterday and Ennis making some good plays that there could be a swap there for the game tomorrow.”


Well, hard to argue with Kahun being demoted. But if Tyler Ennis is the answer, they seem to be asking the wrong questions…


I have time for Tyler Ennis with top 6 minutes but, currently, I think he’s more important on that third line with Khaira and Archie. Having that line be able to, not only chip in, but to create momentum, sustain momentum, deplete the opposition of energy, get offensive zone faceoffs, etc. is material and Ennis is a major part of that line being able to do just that.

If they want to shift Kahun down (or out) for a game, I’d be in favor of Nygard getting a shot with skill.


Tyler Ennis, the career .5 p/g player??? Who has scored well with both Draisaitl and McDavid?


The top six and bottom six where different coloured jerseys? That is taking an archaic concept and turning it into a religion. What a terrible, terrible, idea.

Top six and bottom six are meaningless terms, unless you want your different lines to play differently. But that’s a dumb thing to want. The top six shouldn’t cheat for offense, and the bottom six can’t just dump the puck in from centre and play defense.

Fuge Udvar

I agree with you. But I’ve heard former players talk about how they have to adjust their style when moving from top 6 to bottom 6. Louie talked about on the broadcast awhile ago. He chalked it up to getting limited minutes, weaker linemates and getting tougher zone starts.


Mike Smith in the “starters’ net” at practice.

Turris subbing in for Leon at practice today is a good thing (assuming its just maintenance for Drai) as it likely means Turris is not playing tomorrow.


If Leon was injured they’d have Nuge practicing at 2C, no?

Fuge Udvar

Not if Leon is just having a maintenance day. Throw Turris in as place holder for practice and let Nuge practice with the line he will play on.

Please please please let this be the case…


That’s what I was getting at… we’ll see. Fingers crossed.


LT, I’m curious about this statement: “Last night’s game was a rock solid first serving by the Jets, with an aggressive, physical and skilled team from Portage and Main at least a step ahead of the home team all night long.”

Is that what others saw? Watching the game, I thought the Oilers were better all night. Didn’t get a save when they made mistakes, but strong 5v5. NST seems to support this 5v5 and all game states.

I thought the story of the game was mistakes that ended up in the net, and bounces that went the Jets way. No different than when the Oilers took 4 points from Ottawa in the last two games, when they likely deserved 1.


Absolutely, very aggressive. Though I actually thought the breakout up the middle was a little more apparent for significant portions of last game, and the Oilers forecheck on 3/4 lines was effective. Part of the breakout was Bouchard seeing more ice, he can move the puck for sure. He does need to work on tying up his man in front, mind you. Draisatl has had a rough go the last few games, teams are being very aggressive despite his size. .


One of the most lopsided 5v5 efforts I’ve seen Oilers play in recent memory.
Certainly against the Jest.


Lagesson “jammed his wrist” last night, per Bob on OilersNow.

Harpers Hair

Reid Wilkins (@ReidWilkins) Tweeted:
Don’t see Draisaitl, Lagesson, Barrie on the ice for practice today. Looks like Turris filling in for Leon. Ennis to top six, Kahun to bottom six.


That Pionk hit on Drai was the hardest hit I’ve ever seen Leon absorb in his NHL career…I won’t be surprised if he misses a week or two with concussion symptoms. Ugh.

Material Elvis

Harder than when Trouba rocked him with an open ice hit a few years ago?


Ya quite a bit harder….the Trouba hit wasn’t insignificant, but it was an angled blow, rotation…angular momentum etc…..whereas Pionk delivered all of his inertia directly into Drai’s centre of mass…draw a vector diagram and you’ll see what I mean….and remember in the kinetic energy formula, it’s half mass times velocity squared.

Material Elvis

Maybe I can subcontract the math out to Ricki.

Last edited 5 months ago by Munny

Bear absolutely needs to go back with Nurse when he’s cleared to play again. The Oilers NEED a legit 1st pairing and Nurse-Bear gives them that, while Nurse-Barrie does not. Here are Nurse’s 5v5 metrics with Bear / Barrie this season. Keep in mind a significant portion of the “Barrie” numbers came against the Senators.

Bear: 145:30
Barrie: 144:01

Bear: 54.94 (139-114)
Barrie: 49.16 (146-151)

Bear: 55.33 (109-88)
Barrie: 49.57 (115-117)

Bear: 54.27 (89-75)
Barrie: 49.19 (91-94)

Bear: 64.29 (9-5)
Barrie: 57.14 (12-9)

Bear: 61.93 (8.95-5.50)
Barrie: 45.28 (5.52-6.67)

Bear: 61.90 (78-48)
Barrie: 53.17 (67-59)

Bear: 65.15 (43-23)
Barrie: 43.48 (20-26)

OTF Starts
Bear: 71
Barrie: 89

Off Zone Faceoff%
Bear: 48.45 (47-62-50)
Barrie: 57.78 (52-48-38)

So despite getting inferior opponents, fewer D-zone starts and more OTF starts, the Nurse-Barrie pairing posts inferior “against” and “share” numbers in every single category listed by NST.

There’s no question in my mind as to where Bear slots in when he’s healthy. The question of where to play Barrie is up for debate, but it’s not with Darnell Nurse.

Elgin R

Right you are about the numbers. Do Tippet / Playfair have any regard for advanced metrics? We shall see – and hope we see a Nurse-Bear pairing.


The Oilers have no cap space and have banked zero cap space this season due to using LTIR reserves.

Any trade will require essentially equal cap out for the cap coming in.

A $4M goalie will require $4M out, essentially – yes, sure, Barrie could be moved but or Larsson but their values as pending UFAs is up to question and, of course, that leaves the right side extremely vulnerable to injury issue.

Add the quarantine issue to the zero cap space issues and I simply do not see material trades happening with this team this year.


I had a conversation this summer with a friend who was asking if I wished the Oilers had signed Markstrom.
my response was that Koskinen is an average (if beige) goalie and I’d rather them sign Barrie, Turris/ Kahun short term with that money (especially because it’s the later years of Markstrom that I’d worry about)

now though, that’s in the air.

serious question. Better to have Markstrom?

barrie has provided excellent injury coverage for Bear and has looked good on the PP. Kahun is definitely an NHL player. And we can all agree Turris is worse than replacement.

but Markstrom makes 2-3 extra saves last night. Almost guaranteed.


Hard to say, because you’re right, years 5 & 6 of that Markstrom contract are a tough pill to swallow. I would say that the Oilers would be absolutely better this year with Markstrom but without Barrie and Turris & Kahun. I said during the game against Calgary where we dominated the 1st period and came out up 2-1 that we’re up 4-0 after that period and it’s game over if the teams swapped goalies.

Last edited 5 months ago by Durag

I’m glad we dodged and feel goaler options abound in the off season.


If the oilers play that game ten times, they will win eight. We just caught one of the two where the bounces go to the jets, and the goalers can’t buy a save.

theyd win more than 8/10 with Lags healthy for the whole game. Let alone with Bear/Haas back. Let alone with Jones in for Koekkoek. Let alone 20 more games of experience when the young defenders have a few more games under their belts.

I am encouraged, if anything. The team is taking big steps.

Watching that loss didn’t leave a bitter taste in my mouth like some of the others. some young players made some young player mistakes, but I have a lot more time to watch KY, Bouch, Lags, Jones make mistakes than I do to watch Rusty/Larsson/Neal make mistakes.

Harpers Hair
Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR

I know there is a theory that team defence is the problem more than goaltending, and I might not even disagree with that. But if we had a goalie capable of stealing a game every now and then, wouldn’t we win more? Currently, we try to play well enough at defending that the goalie doesn’t get a chance to blow it for us. The season is going by here, and points are being lost. In my opinion, if they don’t add somebody in net they’re basically conceding that it’s ok to let another year go by. But why wait until the offseason to address this? This year is just as important as next year. This division’s playoff race is gonna get away on us if they wait too long!!


Maybe our goalies are stealing games for teams with better Dzone coverage and less turnovers.


I am having difficulty believing the stats sheets coming out of NHL games right now. We all know the shooting stats for the Habs game last week were completely out-to-lunch, as was reported during the broadcast. They were never fixed either.

Last night, we have the Oilers at 1 giveaway (Nurse) and 4 takeaways. That’s it. Is that the game you watched? Because I know it’s not the game I watched. Also the Corsi stats the broadcast put up at the end of two periods conflicted with the stats NST was getting from the NHL.

I’m becoming increasingly concerned that Covid has negatively affected the trustworthiness of game data.

Last edited 5 months ago by Munny

Why Covid?

Home stats have long been known to be biased. Hits come to mind.

This is an area the NHL could improve, by deferring to a qualified, regulated and independent third party. Ideally, one that is open-source so they could be publicly audited.


Because this involves road teams too as I show above, and because Covid could have disrupted the stats personnel fielded by teams. And Covid happens to be the most significant change season-over-season.

Also you’re talking about bias. I’m talking about missed counts and undercounting.

Last edited 5 months ago by Munny

All fair points. Makes sense.

It’s likely time to get a third party involved and standardize reporting of statistics.


The problem with a 3rd party is that there will be a desire to monetize their efforts.

And Bettman runs his office like he’s a Ukrainian farmer. Rumour has it they use the same coffee grinds for a week…

Joking aside, I can see the League effing up stats for the general public by thoughtlessly contracting them out. And you know the side the media take… the public should only have what we give them.

Last edited 5 months ago by Munny

I believe you are correct. I read something in a similar vein on twitter. They either don’t have as many people tracking the game as usual, or different people. There has been some sort of change there.

the NHL’s shot tracking data was off early last season too. I believe it was rectified after a month or two.


That’s right, I forgot about that. Good memory, sir.

I’m not on Twitter so thanks too for letting me know there are concerns out there. Sometimes a person wonders if it’s just in their head, like all their other problems…

Last edited 5 months ago by Munny

The neutral zone is a major area of focus for me; specifically the puck transport of the first two lines. if you’re talking about a full reset from behind the net, many teams employ a neutral zone trap but against 97 and 29 teams are now using a trap + 1. Someone will shadow 97/29 as they go back to get the puck which I’ve not seen used against any other current NHLers.

I had the stupid Jets feed again last night (haven’t seen a single Oiler feed out here in Halifax due to blackouts) so I’m not sure if Louie highlighted these plays but there were two instances where 97/29 were blantantly interefered with coming through the neutral zone without the puck. There was no replay so I didn’t get a great look at either. In the first the puck was coming up the right side and McDavid was basically bodychecked on the opposite side by the player benches. Nurse jumped up and it was a 3-on-2 ayway. In the other, Leon tried to take the middle lane and some Jet just slowly skated in his way and it looked like Leon fed him some lumber.

Both were blatant interference and should be called but they do show two counter moves.

Part 1 is someone else has to be the puck carrier. Generally 93/13 or 25 have been most successful and sometimes 22. Kahun and Yamo really struggle with puck transport which I’ll get to in a moment.

Part 2 is that 97/29 need to try and get up to speed and go high around their checker. If they accidently on-purpose feed them some shaft that’s more to the good. The refs treat these obviously intential interferences as accidents so make sure you get the upper hand in every accident. “Oh shoot I was just skating and this guy moved into my lane!”.

Back to my early point, McDavid is the greatest puck transporter in history. Draisaitl is top-5 in the current game. As long as the opposition is playing this form of “trap + 1”, Draisaitl is the one that needs the help. 13/93 are the next best puck transporters so at the very leat one of them needs to play with 29. I’d also consider getting Nurse behind him as much as possible because you can see it’s wearing 29 down and he’s not adjusting well.

21 and 56 just don’t skate well enough to play this role. Kahun’s turnover was exactly this situation. He was back low (where Leon would normally be) to get the outlet from Larsson and you could see him looking for Leon who was stopped in traffic. Kahun exposed the puck to the forehand side and once he realized Leon wasn’t available he was stuck. They need to find a second puck transporter for that line.


Nice analysis and jives with my game impressions.


You’ve brought up the trap+1 before and I’m absolutely convinced you’re right in both acknowledgement and solution. We have the horses for courses, need to turn their strategy into a weakness.

The last part about Kahun being exposed is exactly why there would be better balance by flipping him with Nuge on the top two lines. Both lines get two transporters to play to the strengths of the good guys, and expose the soft under belly of the bad guys.


Agreed. Due to shortage of puck transporters up front, could 29’s transporter be Nurse? While Nurse is better at getting the puck deep with possession than he is at creating a rush chance, that might work well with a possession and cycle line like Drai’s. It wouldn’t be an impossible task for the coaches to have Nurse’s pair out there with 29’s line.


Is anyone able to advise how Bouchard did on the left last night versus the right? To be honest, there was so much going on in the game last night that I’m not able to make that analysis.

Super small sample but did we see reduced effectiveness when he was on the left?

I think he was on the left side when he was unable to tie up Wheeler but I don’t think that was a function of him being on the left side – just a function of, well, not great recognition/execution – he is a rookie.


Bouchard was thinking “I am the left D, is anybody behind me” when he didn’t tie up Wheeler, on the right side of the crease. If he was the right D, I don’t think he would have made the mistake.

i.e. it was a mistake of being thrust into the left D because of an injury, without much practice time.


Like Godot says, putting him on the left is really setting him up to fail. Everything that is instinctive to him will be slightly different, slightly off, which is not what you want for a rookie D.
We have a leftorium so let’s use it! (notwithstanding in game injuries of course).


I have generally agreed that moving d-men to their off-side sets the player up for failure, reduced effectiveness at the very least.

If not rightie is moving over, are you sitting on of the four rightie and, if so, which one?

I don’t think that 7D/11F is a reasonable option as they are starting 4 in 6 and Dri was given a maintenance day and McDavid and Nuge were told to leave practice early prior to battle drills for energy levels.


I actually think Bouchard will be fine on the left side. Yesterday, I think he was “thinking” rather than just reacting, since he hasn’t gotten enough reps, and the switch happened in-game. He wasn’t certain of the spatial positoning of all the Jets.


Such “interesting” coaching decisions last night late in the game vis-a-vis line deployment. I get changing things up for shifts late in the game when they need a goal and don’t have much going (shifts with McDavid/Drai together), etc.

With that said, last night, while they needed a goal, they didn’t have “nothing going”, they were fire offensively all night long. Why did Tip go away from Nuge/McDavid/Puljujarvi who had 19 shots? Why did Puljujarvi not have a shift down the stretch when he was creating all night? I get Chiasson, he had two goals and was around the net, but Jesse should have been out there late (maybe in place of Kailer).

Odd stuff.

I will not be surprised when Russell shifts in for Lagesson, not Jones – definitely if Bear still can’t go (in the name of the PK). If Lagesson is out, I hope to see:




From the post-game interview, when Gregor asked about the benching of Kahun and Turris, Tippett’s response was basically don’t read too much into it.

Now this is before he’s watched video, excludes Holland’s opinion, and they’re always trying to get the shelved players into games to keep them fresh, but it doesn’t sound like Kahun is coming out. And I won’t be surprised if Turris isn’t either.


I picked up on that as well.

I’d hope it signals a shake up with the lines though. Gotta compel some urgency somehow. Not that I think one poor game should see Kahun benched, Turris is another issue, but perhaps realigned to get a fresh look. Tough to say what’s better, fourth line or first (I’d leave the third line together) but at a glance perhaps Kahun could offer more riding shotgun with 97-13 than on the bottom line with limited ice. Carrot, then stick.

cowboy bill

The funny thing about Turris is , in interviews he still insists he’s a scorer . Then he marvels about how Leon has really picked up his defensive game . But he can’t see for himself that he needs to play a more defensive game also .

Another funny thing is that the Jets like playing the Oilers because they think it’s tough being a goaltender in Edmonton . They know they will get their chances and the Oil will get even more chances . But the Jets have better goaltending . So they win 6-5 with an empty net to shoot at in the final two minutes .

The sad thing is the Flames have better goaltending too .


I liked Bouchard on the left side with Larsson. It’s a good match even with him playing on his off side. Nuge’s 5×5 numbers says he needs a change. Reunite 93-29-56 and either take Kahun for a brief spin with 97 or drop Neal in there. JP and McD is what makes that line work at the moment. The left side is negotiable. The problem is that Tippett likely keeps throwing out an AHL bottom 6 centre in Turris, and likely takes Ennis off the line that has saved the team’s ass the past 4 games.


Rotate Nygard, Kahun/Neal, Kass, and Chiasson in with Haas.


Love this. McD and JP need a goal scorer, so put Neal there on the left side. Put Nuge back with Drai and Yamamoto and reunite the best line in the NHL. Let Kahun sit for a few games or put him on the 4th line. Keep the Khaira, Merry, Pippin line together. Rotate others in to the 4th line according to performance. Give Turris a break.

Last edited 5 months ago by Numenius

It stopped being about Kyle Turris the player a few weeks ago.

Dave Tippett continues to *intentionally* dress and play Kyle Turris.

This is part of the what makes this franchise so special. From Nikitin to Ference to Manning to Turris.

Say what you want about him, but Kyle’s game has been wickedly consistent all season.

Caleb Jones sat. Bouchard’s agent left a bribe to finally get his guy in.
Numerous other forwards in and out of the lineup.

Not Kyle, though.

Nearly a 1/3 of the season is gone.

Last edited 5 months ago by McSorley33

Maybe the Oilers need to look at who scouted Turris and review that individuals body of work. It does not bode well for the pro scouts

Eh Team

Turris was a bad fit from the get go. Woodguy’s series on possible solutions to the 3C slot was bang on. You have a team that has an issue with preventing goals, and the solution at 3C is a player with a long long history of being inept defensively as the answer for 3C?

The outcome is exactly as expected.

And Jones sitting for Koekkoek and/or Russell. That’s just awful player evaluation.

That said, the Oilers outplayed the Jets pretty much the whole game. If Smith makes an actual save or two, it’s a 5-2 win. Goaltending is pretty much as expected also. Good games sprinkled in with absolute howlers.


Actually the issue in the bottom 6 coming into the season, was lack of scoring.

Eh Team

Yes, but the issue with Drai and McD’s lines was giving up goals. So what was needed was some two way forwards- like Kahun and Ennis (Kahun on the game winning goal was brutal, though). So Ennis and Kahun as 3rd liners is great, with a responsible centre.

I’d be inclined to move RNH back to Drai and try Nygard with McD. Nygard can keep up with McD and JP, Neal and Chiasson can’t.

Then go some combination of Ennis, Kahun, Chiasson, Archibald, Neal with Haas and Khaira. There are enough workable forwards so that the bottom two lines aren’t a tire fire.


Well the legitimate-as-I-saw-it hope was that the addition of Turris might spark a bottom six outscoring line, whatever they gave up. Nope! Just another washed up vet guaranteed ice while holding back the team.


“Turris was a bad fit from the get go. Woodguy’s series on possible solutions to the 3C slot was bang on. You have a team that has an issue with preventing goals, and the solution at 3C is a player with a long long history of being inept defensively as the answer for 3C?

The outcome is exactly as expected.”



Yep, new regime but the pro scouting department seems off to a rocky start.


I’m not ready to bury Kahun after 1 bad turnover. I think Yamamoto was guilty of more turnovers in last nights game. His just didn’t happen in the last 10 minutes of a tie game!
I haven’t been as worked up about the top two lines as most people here, but I do think it’s time to flip the left wingers. Draisaitls line has gone a bit stale, and I’m really not sure how much McDavid will miss Nuge anyway. JP seems to be the more dynamic winger right now, and I think he has the defensive chops to be the conscience on Mcdavids line.
Keep Khaira, Archibald and Ennis together as long as they continue to play well.
If I had to cobble together a 4th line right now it would be Nygard, Haas and Chiasson. I think the Oilers will give Turris half a season, but man, he’s been bad. He’s starting to make a few offensive plays, but he is totally disengaged in his own zone, and I have yet to see him win a 50/50 puck battle. Anywhere.
The defense is going to be jumbled all year, but if 4 of your top 4 dman shoot right, I guess you gotta play them all. Let the 4 remaining leftys fight for the single opening until one of the righties regresses. Or is traded.
I would caution posters about expecting too much from Bouchard right away. Love his play with the puck, although he did have a couple passes picked off last night. But he remains a soft defender, as seen on the game winner.


I agree Yamamoto had a bad game last night, and that happens. He has too many good games to be concerned though


Yamamoto can’t handle heavy teams like the Jets. He ends up on his ass every time there is a scrum in the corner or along the boards.


I wouldn’t bury Kahun either. However, if we are speaking descriptively, the coach did bury him.

The question is how deep is he buried? I think pretty deep, he was on the way before that turnover, with the coach limiting his ice time.


Agreed on Bouchard. Some of his passes are dangerous and nonchalant. He has been soft defensively as well.

The lack of scoring depth will keep Kahun in the line-up, but his turnovers were terrible. That entire line wasn’t good last night, but the turnovers (Yamo too) were killers.

Last edited 5 months ago by Sierra

Draisaitl’s line has been stale all year. Hobbits running around working hard, but no production.


Drai is #6 in league EV Points.


That is Leon without help. If he had Nuge, he would be 1st, 25% ahead of everyone else.


Yes, Bouchard with more than a couple soft plays last night. He needed to take a hit to play the puck on the GWG, but instead stepped aside and let them have the puck.

There is so much skill there. So much to like. I hope he finds more of an edge as I worry he might get tossed into the Ninimaa/Poti/Gilbert/Petry bucket by the fans.


Why did they agree to this year’s system including so much need to use waivers? It’s getting ridiculous.

It’s not as bad as the stupid 50 contract limit that hurts everyone involved, but it’s still pretty bad. Especially when you can’t just hop on a plane and play for another team the next night.


In case you didn’t notice “COVID” is the answer.


Can anyone who has watched the Bakersfield games give a quick report on McLeod? Is he suspect defensively or what is the issue with him? He is an elite skater and that would be a wonderful addition to the third or fourth line as long as he is solid in his own end. The offence isn’t as important as just keeping the other team off the scoresheet. It just seems like the bottom six could use an injection of speed.

Elgin R



I agree with most of what you said. Unfortunately, you still need to move the needle offensively to beat the opposition line you are up against. you can’t defend forever and provide no offence to win the battle.


You definitely want to spend the highest percentage of your shift in the other team’s end. Speed generally helps get you there but there has to be some hockey IQ as well. I was just curious where his game is at to be considered worse than Turris. It is strange that Tippet is so reluctant to inject Nygaard back in the lineup as well.


He’s busy in the A developing offense in the hope that he can succeed above the 4th line when he breaks into the Bigs.

Last edited 5 months ago by Munny

I’ve watched bits and pieces of the four Condors’ games (a couple of the games in full) and, to my eye, McLeod has been good, not great. He’s had a revolving door of linemates. He hasn’t been bad defensively but he hasn’t been great offensively. I am hoping/expecting that he will impact that play materially on a shift after shift basis and its not happening.

He’s not an NHL player right now. He needs this AHL development time.


Thanks for the info.


Simple line up changes for the next game.

Haas for Turris – much better defender

Neal for Kahun- 29 is a passer 18 is a scorer. Drisaital plays at a speed Neal can play.

Bear for Koekkoek – much better player

Jones for Lagesson – equal players but 84 might be hurt.


Lol, your posting while I’m listening to you on the radio?
Does your boss know about this?
Is there a Ghost poster that we should know about?


This teams needs to be much better in their own end and they need to reduce the turnovers, especially in their own end. It’s not even debatable, yet some (many?) want to blame the goaltending.


Is it fair to blame the goaltenders for deflected shots? I give them a pass.


How is a guy left alone in front of the net with the game on the line?


Rookie d-man covering aging (but still effective) power forward.


I think these are not mutually exclusive items.

Can’t both be true?


They are not.
And they can.


If we ever get healthy I wonder what the lineup will be. Clearly Turris should never be a center ever again, but Haas is on avocado duty so weve been stuck with Turris. But Turris played just under 7 min yesterday so I think the coach is slowly putting him out to pasture

Elgin R

Need to take Turris behind the barn.


I’d prefer he be loaded onto a Roberge truck. They’ll take him to where he needs to go.


we need to see someone step up and be physical on Pionk.
Shame Kassian cannot step in there


That’s supposed to be Khaira’s job, but I guess he’s Wonder Boy again


I was thinking the same but they were never out there at the same time


Khaira was credited with 8 hits last night – he is indeed playing a very physical game at this point.

I do hope that he is able to get some bangs in on Pionk tomorrow night.

Eberle Hills Cop

I am very surprised that this wasn’t THE main topic of conversation today. The run Pionk took at McDavid was, in my mind, to hurt him. Thank God he is an alien with eyes that see all. The first thing I said to my wife was, well that was stupid. You just woke up the beast. I had no doubt at that point the Oilers would come back. An angry McDavid is Hulk-level dangerous. I’m just sad we didn’t get at least a point.

The hit on Drai was hard and mostly clean, but his hands were up high in my memory of the play (I have to go back to watch it). Full disclosure, I love physical hockey. If I were a Jets guy, I would love Pionk’s play. But I cannot see the Oilers forgetting that. I’m not advocating a Bertuzzi level response, but you just can’t let that shit go. Dump that puck deep all night, make Pionk turn and finish your check. Repeat. I hope Drai is just nursing bruises today and not worse.


When Kass comes back I’d try Nuge as 3c, worked for the playoff team. With PP and PK Nuge easily would have ~18 per game so no wasted time and that’s a high end 3 ala Pitt in 08-09 with Cros, Malkin, Staal. Kass on 1 line isn’t great but beggars can’t be choosers and that 3/4 (Turris) line cannot continue to be a black hole. I think the delta of Nuge to Kass and Turris to Nuge is worth it.


Definitely food for thought.


Who is going to play 2C in that scenario as Nuge being moved away from McDavid seems to require Drai playing with McDavid.


If Turris was bad on Ehlers goal, what was he on Perreault’s goal?


So far,
Neal, Chaisson, JJ and now Shore have all been placed on waivers.
Turris has been a tire fire all season and has barely missed a regular shift.
What more will it take for Tippett to give him a day off


Haas being healthy should get Turris put on waivers.


Barely missed a regular shift?

His ice has been cut HUGE over the last few weeks. He has been moved off the PK completely and is playing 5-7 minutes per game in recent games.

He hasn’t had a day off because the coach hasn’t had two bottom 6 center options at one time without Turris. When Haas was healthy, for two games, everyone was done with Khaira. Now that Khaira is a legit bottom 6 center option, Haas hasn’t been available.

Turris’ leash has been cut shorter and shorter by the week this season and I’m confident that, if Haas is available tomorrow night, Turris will no be a center in the Oilers lineup and likely not in the Oilers lineup.


Assuming the Oilers can “stay in the battle” ™ Louie Debrusk and be in the playoff picture,

What targets are there for a 3C or top six wing to shift Nuge down to 3C at the trade deadline?

What targets are there for a goaltender at the trade deadline?


Darcy Keumper.
I’m comfortable with JJ & Haas with our current winger depth & don’t want to part with any high picks or prospects unless it’s for a Goalie

Last edited 5 months ago by Pescador

I think Raanta is the guy who will be available from ARI. He’s seemingly more fragile and is UFA at season’s end. Kuemper has another year to run.

Last edited 5 months ago by Munny

Trade deadline is far too late to trade. Would the goaltender even play a game with the lengthy quarantine required. (No Canadian team is going to trade the Oilers a goaltender).

Ditto, because of quarantine, the time to trade Barrie for help is as soon as Bear is up and running.


A few bounces go differently and we’re raving about the game. I’m not worried. I saw mistakes, but overall I saw Winnipeg getting outplayed (not simply due to score effects).


The Oilers certainly had the edge in play and for stretches dominated. Goaltending remains below par so that is a worry. The defence should improve with some lineup changes on defence and forward.

Where to play Barrie is a problem for me. If there is a team desperate for an offensive right handed dman, and that has a quality goalie they will part with, I would talking seriously with them. The points he is putting up might be enough to entice some GM.

Last edited 5 months ago by Bryan