2020-21 Game 19: Oilers at Flames

by Lowetide

This is blog post 10,846 for Lowetide, with 968,478 comments as I write this article Thursday evening. There are 68,163 subscribers but I think many are duplicates or have left after discovering I’m a stubborn kind of fellow. Still, pretty good. Learned a lot from you.

Many of the comments and posts have been about the Calgary Flames. Remember the 80s and the rivalry? Then we spent about 20 years lamenting the rivalry’s death. Now that it has returned, everyone wants a piece of Tkachuk. The world is in flames, but the Flames are a bunch of rogue hockey players not yet tamed in the wild, wild west. The Oilers? The thinking man’s team. Same as it ever was.

What would the thinking man’s team do tonight? Stay with the gameplan, don’t get involved in Matt Tkachuk’s crap.

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 19 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015-16: 6-12-1, 13 points; goal differential -12
  • Oilers in 2016-17: 10-8-1, 21 points; goal differential +2
  • Oilers in 2017-18: 7-10-2, 16 points; goal differential -10
  • Oilers in 2018-19: 9-9-1, 19 points; goal differential -6
  • Oilers in 2019-20: 12-5-2, 26 points; goal differential +12
  • Oilers in 2020-21: 10-8-0, 20 points; goal differential +3

A win tonight keeps this year’s team near the top of the McDavid winters, and I think this is a playoff pace. The goal differential is over zero now, partly because the team’s five on five scoring (40-41, -1) has settled in after a poor start. Suppression of dangerous shots and goals is a priority with this coach. If he can corral it, get good goaltending, this team could go places.

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 1-1-0)
  • 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: 5-2-0, 10 points in 7 games

I have tonight as a loss for the Oilers, even when the club plays well in Calgary they lose concentration easily. One crazy play by Tkachuk, admittedly irritating, and half the team is chasing crazy. Oilers lost a 6-4 decision to the Flames earlier this month, they had some good moments but also had sorties I would prefer not to see again. As an example, McDavid driving down the right side, getting clearance on Mark Giordano, and, well, you know the rest. I don’t enjoy seeing anything resembling that play, to tell the truth.

MARK MESSIER VERSUS THE CALGARY FLAMES

  • Messier was suspended 10 games by NHL for cracking Jamie Macoun’s cheekbone in a fight during Edmonton’s Dec. 26, 1984, game at Calgary. Messier was retaliating for having been boarded by Macoun earlier in the game, but the NHL ruled that he had instigated the fight. 
  • Here are some great moments by Messier, early involving the Calgary.

The Oilers were masters at getting teams to abandon the game plan back in the day, Messier was the devil against the Flames. The Oilers could use a little of Messier’s swagger (within reason, No. 11 would be in jail if he did this stuff now), but mostly they should stick to the game plan and ignore Tkachuk. This entire “what are you going to do when they run your guy?” stuff should be answered “score four goals on the power play and then wait to hear the Calgary coach yelling at the dumbass.”

I hope the Oilers stay within their game tonight until the result is secure. That’s the key.

OILERS 2020-21 ROSTER

This is five on five per 60 scoring (forwards), five on five shot differential (defense) and five on five save percentage (goalies).

Regulars (100+ minutes) over 2.00-60: Draisaitl, McDavid, Ennis. Maybe the most encouraging thing here is that both young first-round picks from the middle of the decade (JP, KY) are close to 2.00-60 and could get there soon.

Defensively, (98+ minutes) over 50 percent shot differential: Jones, Bear, Nurse. Bouchard very close. I believe that’s your future on defense. Doesn’t make it true.

One final thing. Stuart Skinner isn’t an NHL goalie but he shot .903 even strength in his debut. He’s back in the minors now seeing tons of shots and I wonder if he is going to play in front of a capable AHL team during his entry deal.

OILERS SCORING YEAR OVER YEAR

  • FIVE ON FIVE AFTER 18 GAMES: 32-28 (+4, 2019-20); 40-41 (-1, 2020-21).
  • EVEN STRENGTH AFTER 18 GAMES: 37-32 (+5, 2019-20): 45-44 (+1, 2020-21).
  • POWER PLAY AFTER 18 GAMES: 14-4 (+10, 2019-20); 16-2 (+14, 2020-21).
  • PENALTY KILL AFTER 18 GAMES: 0-9 (-9, 2019-20); 2-14 (-12, 2020-21).
  • OVERALL: 51-45 (+6, 2019-20); 63-60 (+3, 2020-21).

The one problem in comparing year over year is this Oilers team isn’t playing in the same league. Is the Canadian division easier than last year’s schedule?

This year’s model has a great power-play differential (+14) and could use an uptick in five on five and PK performance. I think the coach has run out of patience with Kyle Turris, also wonder if the bloom is a little off the rose on Slater Koekkoek.

It’s a big game tonight. I’m not convinced the Oilers can stay focused for 60 minutes. We’ll find out tonight.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260, we’ll kickstart the weekend with a fun show. My first guest will be Steve Lansky from Inside the Truck podcast. Steve saw the BOA up close and personal during the 1980’s, he’ll reminisce and predict tonight’s score. Matthew Iwaynk will pop in at 11 to talk about the Oilers chances of making the playoffs and the Blue Jays chances this season (he may bring up the Yankees). We’re also searching for a Flames guest, stay tuned for details. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. It’s Friday with good weather on the way this weekend! Music!

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Bulging Twine

That is a lot of blog posts LT! Amazing. When was the first post? Do you have it available? Would enjoy reading it.

Foege Foegele Torpe

https://lowetide.ca/2021/02/19/2020-21-game-19-oilers-at-flames/#comment-981830
Great game tonight by Kris Russell,
He was just solid every where

Munny

With 8 wins in their past ten games the Oilers are officially the hottest team in the NHL.

Stick that in your Hair and smoke it.

jp

And did you see who’s the coldest?

The Hair is definitely smoking…

Pouzar

Wow that performance from the bottom 6 warms the heart. Special mention to that 4th line who had it goin the right way all night.

No way Turris makes it back in barring injury.

And and Major props to, *gulp*, Kris Russell. Played a heckuva game tonight.

Munny

Kowboy deserves a game buckle tonight.

Foege Foegele Torpe

He deserves to take that buckle & beat me with it.
I am most deserving

Munny

Pouzar ranked him below Kookoo. He’s not without guilt, lol. Even if he didn’t, he’s Pouzar, he’s not without guilt by definition.

Awesome of you both to own your words. That’s rare these days..

razor

Am I the only one over here enjoying the Lames and Nucks floundering this year, while watching the Oilers starting to look like a competent playoff team? Big smile, ear to ear

treevojo

Is that you Harper?

Foege Foegele Torpe

Lol,
This made me laugh

Bank Shot

Best part is Draisaitl and McDavid were at 20 and 21 minutes.
Nurse played 30. hah.

Bouchard and KooKoo only got about 8. Wonder if someone comes in for them tomorrow that can take some minutes off the top four?

Flames top forward trio had more than 23 minutes each and old man Giordano ate 24.

Usually you would think the Oilers would be the more tired team going into the second night of a b2b but tomorrow it should be the Flames. Hopefully the Oilers can capitalize.

Last edited 8 months ago by Bank Shot
OriginalPouzar

If they were healthy, i would anticipate Bear replacing Bouch and Lagesson replacing Koekkoek.

Don’t see Jones in the lineup tomorrow.

JJS

McD certainly looked off

Krusty had a good game which is often hard for me to admit

Ennis may have been our best forward. Noticeable all game.

Hopefully that was our B game. Now on to tomorrow!

kgo

Why is Mark Spector so in love with low scoring games? Is he a closet soccer fan?

wolf8888

a closet something

maudite

Likely because that means the other team didn’t “run our show”

I hope more players start laughing him off like Nurse did after previous game.

Last edited 8 months ago by maudite
Munny

Paraphrasing Rob Brown:

The Oilers normally win only when McDavid and Draisaitl outscore everyone’s mistakes. But they made so few mistakes tonight they didn’t need their stars.

Last edited 8 months ago by Munny
kgo

It’s hard to believe Bennet played less than 7 mins when the Flames were without Monahan….

Munny

On for both goals against.

Looks like he played something like 15 seconds early in the 3rd and never saw the ice again.

Last edited 8 months ago by Munny
BornInAGretzkyJersey

He was out late as the extra attacker, if I saw correctly.

Munny

NST has Lindholm, Gaudreau, Tkachuk and Backlund on then.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Right you are, just re-watched the final two minutes.

flyfish1168

bennett must be pisssssssed. 6:30 playing time. He can’t get out of Calgary fast enough.

striker

Why do I feel like I just watched a Tippett era Coyotes game?

Interesting gear.

JOFA

Smith with another solid game😊

Munny

Didn’t have to stop too many quality looks either. Nice change.

Sierra

Exactly

striatic

The ice quality looked abysmal. Difficult to do anything pretty when players are falling down all over the place and the puck is bouncing everywhere.

Sierra

Solid win. Well done.

DevilsLettuce

So Mike Smith is better then any goalie in Vancouver, that’s what my selected stats are telling me.

fistycuff

My stats say it should be between Smith and Matthews for the Hart…

fistycuff

Joking aside, Smith had another real solid game.

fishman

Thought the bottom 6 played well. Solid contribution.

flyfish1168

I try not to have my Oiler glasses on but the refs missed a few interferences and clinches on Connor.

wolf8888

A Few Few, to my eye.

tavvey tune

Yes!!! The only disappointment was there wasn’t 18,000 Calgarians in the building.

Sierra

No way in normal times there would have been 18K Flames fan in attendance.

Younger Oil

Tkachuk trying twice for a between the legs highlight reel goal when just buckling down and driving to the net would have likely gotten a better result. Loses by one. You love to see it.

kgo

His second attempt might have buried if Barrie didn’t thwart it with his stick. Smith was very low on that attempt.

Munny

Perfect boring road effort

Okay some wobbles, mostly in the last 7-8 minutes of the 1st. But pretty damn professional all-in-all.

Smart, patient, hard-working, focused, stalwart hockey.

Last edited 8 months ago by Munny
Material Elvis

You have to win a few games this way. Not pretty but who cares.

Munny

You have to be able to do this to survive the playoffs too.

Last edited 8 months ago by Munny
Sierra

The goal has to be to win, not to be pretty.

Ice Sage

The team is actually closing out games! That’s Tippet hockey and I don’t mind.

LMHF#1

Good thing there are no pictures in the standings.

Ugly, UGLY win. Two iffy games in a row.

They need to put in some work.

tcho

Natural Stat Trick isn’t perfect, but gives the Oilers the edge in this one. 1.64 xGF to 1.26 for the Shames.

LMHF#1

The Flames were horrid. Couldn’t take advantage of anything.

The Oilers should have been at least 3 ahead for most of the game. Way too many puck losses on clears and just after zone entry.

OriginalPouzar

Not the most exciting third period but they really did lock that down.

Flames NEEDED that game – a nail can go in their coffin tomorrow night.

Sierra

Great seeing the Oilers lock it down

who

Jesus.
That was one boring game.

wolf8888

Thankfully we get the payoff after having to watch it. Imagine watching that all night and not getting the 2 points?

who

Yeah I guess.
Maybe I’m not a true Oilers fan, but I watch the games to be entertained. And there was very little entertainment value in that game.

OriginalPouzar

To each their own but I was entertained for the entire game. Sure, wasn’t the most exciting game but it was a hard-fought game against the team’s biggest rival with important standings implications and was never more than a one-goal game save 45 seconds. I was thoroughly entertained.

Munny

Do playoff runs have entertainment value?

OmJo

Did somebody on the Oilers sleep with all of the refs wives or what?

DevilsLettuce

It’s a was on a night when McDavid looked the refs in the eyes and pointed up.

Foege Foegele Torpe

Yes, I’m not on the payroll per say
But I did the deed the lonely wives of the anti-Oiler NHL reffing club

Material Elvis

Solid defensive game. The team is playing pretty well now.

Tarkus

Whew.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Nice road win by the good guys.

Last edited 8 months ago by BornInAGretzkyJersey
OriginalPouzar

3 and half years between wins where 97/29 are pointless and, now, two in a week.

Material Elvis

Barrie made a good play to get a piece of Tkachuk’s between the legs shot.

treevojo

Nice defensive stick by Barrie

Shane

Nuge-Drai-Yam sighting!

Younger Oil

Oh my God, Tippett finally did it

oilsnc79

I don’t like this trying to defend 1 goal lead, don’t like it at all.

Munny

there’s an empty net coming up shortly

kgo

Would you prefer they not try to defend? It’s called game mgmt…taking care of the puck etc…

tavvey tune

Connor doesn’t look right.

OriginalPouzar

He’s been quite poor tonight (by his standards)

Munny

Khaira still making sure he’s back and involved

MushedPeas

brutal calls and non-calls. at what point do Oil star vets – best players in the whole damn game – earn their ‘vet freebies’ from this bush league?

Last edited 8 months ago by MushedPeas
Material Elvis

Great chance for Archie on the pk after he botched a clearing attempt.

DevilsLettuce

Messier elbows are disgusted.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Gordie’s elbows are rolling.

OriginalPouzar

Big block by Koekkoek on the PK – block and a clear.

flyfish1168

the amount of $hit Connor has taken tonight and they call Chaser hit an elbow.

Sierra

Soft call for sure.

Munny

We were playing perfect boring road hockey and Chiasser effs it up

BornInAGretzkyJersey

If that’s elbowing, I’m waiting for an assholing penalty. Because these refs don’t know their elbows…

Munny

He was leading with the elbow, missed and hit him in the face with the side of his mitt. I’m not surprised it was called Elbowing from that angle because it looked like it. If he doesn’t have them high though, no penalty would’ve been called. There was no need for it.

fistycuff

Between the announcers and the refs I’m ready to shut this shit off….

OriginalPouzar

Rittich has made two massive saves – on Archie and now Drai.

Smith is going to have to match at some point I believe.

Munny

Great DZone play by Yams behind the net leads to a look Drai will want back

Material Elvis

Really nice defensive work. That line appears to be focused on the Dzone tonight.

Material Elvis

Damn. Great chance for Draisaitl saved.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Leon doesn’t miss from there often.

Last edited 8 months ago by BornInAGretzkyJersey
OriginalPouzar

Moments later, Marody springs Cracknell for a clear breakaway and its 5-1 Condors.

JOFA

Sherman will score😊

OriginalPouzar

McLeod tips a Deharnais shot to give the Condors’ the 4-1 lead.