These are the Good Times

by Lowetide

Connor McDavid had one of those games last night, where one runs out of adjectives by sundown. His second goal of the night, the unassisted one, will be running all around my brain for a long time. Never looked, did not telegraph, just sent the shot on net where it found top dead center. Did he use The Force? Is this fair? What’s next?

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 20 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015-16: 7-12-1, 15 points; goal differential -8
  • Oilers in 2016-17: 11-8-1, 23 points; goal differential +7
  • Oilers in 2017-18: 7-11-2, 16 points; goal differential -13
  • Oilers in 2018-19: 9-10-1, 19 points; goal differential -9
  • Oilers in 2019-20: 12-6-2, 26 points; goal differential +9
  • Oilers in 2020-21: 12-8-0, 24 points; goal differential +10

This year’s team ranks No. 2 among the McDavid winters, slightly ahead of 2016-17 and just behind 2019-20. Good company. Getting 12 wins in the first 20 games is a tidy piece of business, as I believe a 30-win season should get a team into the playoffs. Also, remember yesterday when I said the goal differential wasn’t a match for the record? Well, that was fixed last night at Rogers Place.

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 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 1-0-0)
  • At home to: Calgary (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • 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: 7-2-0, 14 points in 9 games

It’s difficult to believe this is the same team that began 3-6-0 at the start of the year. If you look (as we are about to) at the current roster and who is playing where, there have been significant tweaks on this roster (and more to come, with a couple of injuries last night). Dave Tippett has everyone pulling on the rope and believing in the little things. Did you see Leon freight train on the back check last night? McDavid turning over pucks? I will tell you that the Oilers of a year ago would have turned that 5-1 lead into 5-3 by the early stages of the third period. The roster is maturing.

LINES, LAST NIGHT

  • Ennis-Khaira-Archibald played 7:25, going 2-5 shots, no goals, 0-2 HDSC and 3-10 Corsi five on five. Ennis had two shots and four hits, Khaira picked up an assist on McDavid’s third goal in a row. Khaira got a nice feed and ripped a shot just before Milan Lucic bowled a spare and sent shooter and checker into the boards. Archibald scored a lovely goal on a pass from Kahun via Draisaitl after Yamamoto was injured. Archibald is a funky player and you have to really drill down on what he does, but he’s a valuable player.
  • Neal-Haas-Chiasson played 7:07, 2-4 shots, no goals, 2-2 HDSC and 4-8 Corsi five on five. Neal had a power-play assist (Nuge goal), a 10-bell chance at even strength and had the puck going in a good direction. Haas had one HDSC, drew a penalty and hit everything that moved. I find him to be a fun and unique player. He is also effective on the PK, with his anticipation a key asset. Chiasson’s sticks stopped offing themselves long enough to finally cash a goal-mouth chance on the power play, and was a physical presence on every shift.
  • Kahun-Draisaitl-Yamamoto played 6:55, going 4-7, no goals, 2-6 HDSC and 7-8 Corsi Five on Five. Kahun continues to be useful, grabbing an assist on Archibald with a strong pass. His patented ‘go behind the net without shooting, then stop and go back to try and score’ move need not be patented. Draisaitl had two assists, shoveled coal all night on the double to make sure no Flames’ player got a clean look. Yamamaoto was hammered into the boards by Buddy Robinson and did not return. An injury to Yamamoto, should it be a long-term issue, could have a major impact on the roster.
  • Nuge-McDavid-Puljujarvi played 5:58, 3-2 shots and 2-0 goals, 2-2 HDSC and 8-5 Corsi five on five. Nuge had a big night scoring twice and adding an assist. McDavid was 3-2-5 on a night where he proved that he’s the thinking man’s superstar. I’ll never get over that no-look goal. JP played an effective forechecking game, had a couple of looks and now has a dog. That’s a good day.

PAIRINGS AND GOALIE

  • Darnell Nurse played 33:38, had a couple of assists and played extensively with usual partner Tyson Barrie (10:49, 1-0 goals) and Adam Larsson (7:37, going 0-7 shots). Nurse was vital to the first Nuge goal (tying up the defender without taking a penalty) and picked up an assist from a nice pass on the second Nuge tally. Calm feet, improved passing, outstanding mobility, mean streak, tireless. If this is peak Nurse, that’s an extremely valuable player.
  • Russell-Larsson played 7:49, going 4-7 shots, 2-0 goals, 4-5 HDSC and 6-10 shots. This pairing has been rock solid together. It isn’t a duo you think would work but we are here. Larsson hit 10 people and went swimming on the Calgary PP goal. He was ‘eternal damnation’ brought to life for Calgary forwards, Matt Tkachuk went through the Larsson sawmill several times and was not the better for it. Russell got an assist on McDavid’s third goal.
  • Koekkoek-Bouchard played 13 seconds before Koekkoeke was injury.
  • Bouchard-Russell went 3-6 Corsi five on five in 9:07, 3-6 shots, no goals, 0-4 HDSC and 4-11 Corsi five on five. Russell’s performances this weekend will get zero credit from a certain segment of the Oilers fan base, but if we’re fair Russell delivered exactly what his coach asked of him in a tough series against a bitter rival. That’s a contributor. Bouchard was mostly good, he can eat minutes playing rocking chair hockey with Russell but I’d like to see the dynamic Bouchard more often.
  • Mikko Koskinen stopped 41 of 42, .976 and now owns a .901 SP for the season. Quality performance.

BAKERSFIELD CONDORS

I’ll give this a full look tomorrow, but the last couple of games have been explosive for the Bakersfield Condors. Cooper Marody (7, 3-2-5) and Joe Gambardella (7, 1-4-5) lead the way offensively, with Tyler Benson (5, 1-3-4) impacting the weekend in a big way.

On defense, Theodor Lennstrom (7, 2-1-3) and Markus Niemelainen (7, 1-2-3) have been noticeable in the games I’ve watched so far.

Perhaps most encouraging has been the play of Stuart Skinner, a rock this weekend and now the proud owner of a .916 save percentage. He stopped 44 of 45 shots on the weekend. Oilers’ brass believes in the player, a strong AHL season would be welcome.

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Pouzar

Caleb Jones 85 min AWAY from McDavid this year:

CF%: 51.5

That is absurdly good.

Next best is Bear at 47.06


John Chambers

Dubois … man!

The Jets are loaded up front. If they get another top-4 D (Elholm maybe), it’ll be a three way race between them the Leafs and the Oilers for top spot.

Harpers Hair

Pionk is a revelation.

Another undrafted NCAA defenseman.

The Oilers are NOT in a three way race for top spot…Toronto is (and will) run away with it.

jp

Thank you for the unbiased report.

Have you moved to Centre Island?

JimmyV1965

You’re an interesting poster. Always gobbling up the latest flavor of the day. What exactly makes the Leafs better than any other team in the North? Their top six isn’t better. They’ve got Thornton and Kerfoot on the top two lines. Their bottom six certainly isn’t better and their defence and goaltending isn’t better. The Leafs will regress. Book it. They’re just another middling team like the rest of the north, with some nice pieces and a bunch of holes.

Ice Sage

Oilers and leafs are tied vs each other this year and that reflects reality now that Oiler goaltending has solidified. And as elucidated below, Nurse >> Reilly so HH’s mantra of ‘you need a #1 D to compete’ favours the team he pretends to revile.
Fun season!

Ice Sage

Pionk was the jewel of the Trouba trade. My few Jets fan friends were giddy when it happened.

OriginalPouzar

Tkachuk scores in OT and Habs only get one point – sweet.

I have never seen a 3 on 3 OT dominated by one team for four minutes like Ottawa dominated this. One medium chance for the Habs, two breakaways, a cross-ice one timer, 4 shots from the slot and then finally Brady ends it.

Eh Team

So it seems like almost all of the teams in Canada (other than the Leafs so far) have struggled for a good portion of the season.

The Canucks and Sens almost out of it. The Flames in freefall, the Canadiens now not a lock for the playoffs (can’t score, just like last year), the Jets getting beat (so far) by the Canucks (and the Jets defense pretty much sucks). The Oilers showed their vulnerabilities early (hey, no goaltending, no secondary scoring, Turris!).

A shorter season, a locked in roster (23+taxi squad) and very little trade market. No one is coming to rescue any team.

Ice Sage

The Oilers have had OT’s like that the last few years, with good reason… but they have rarely lasted 4 minutes!

CMcD4PM

I can’t believe I’m glad a Tkachuk scored.

OriginalPouzar

Jake Allen with two massive saves in the first minute of OT.

Pouzar

Sens dominated that OT.

OriginalPouzar

Like I’ve never seen before (for that long a stretch – 4 minutes).

OriginalPouzar

Habs and Sens going to OT.

Habs are NOT as good as their record, in my opinion.

The flames play the Sens five times in the next couple of weeks. I don’t see the flames getting near 10 points. 5-7 points I predict.

leadfarmer

I dont think the Habs are that good either. They started crazy hot but really falling back to the playoff hopeful pack. But I do think after the leafs they are the most likely to spend futures for a run

OriginalPouzar

Wow – Cory Perry absolutely walks Gubrandson and scores a beauty to tie it up with apx 5 minutes left.

Gubrandson looked like he plays for the flames.

Damn.

Eh Team

Cory Perry (second slowest man in the NHL), next to Gubrandson

OriginalPouzar

Ottawa takes a 2-1 lead on the Habs early in the 3rd.

CMcD4PM

Corey Perry 🙁

Pouzar

Go Sens! 2-1.

OriginalPouzar

Per Gregor:

Hearing Yamamoto has no serious injury. Could be good to go for Tuesday. Was precautionary and some soreness to have him sit out rest of game. 

———-

Huge news!

OriginalPouzar

Blumel watching Drai videos to prepare for this PPG:

https://www.flashscore.ca/game/SOouM5af/#video

wolf8888

Nice!

OriginalPouzar

Zegras recalled by the Ducks.

I’m sure he will produce well – he’s a top tier prospect.

Of course, Philip Broberg is also a top tier prospect and it was known, on draft day, that Zegras would “arrive first” and that Broberg would need more time developing the raw skills.

leadfarmer

Really wanted Zegras on draft day.

OriginalPouzar

It may turn out that Zegras would have been the better pick but we are at least a few years before finding out with any sort of certainty.

I have little doubt that Zegras will have a bigger NHL impact in 2021/22. I can’t say the same for 2023/24 and beyond.

It will be interesting to follow their paths over the next few years, I’m just not looking forward to the posts next year when Zegras is having NHL success and Broberg is in the AHL.

They are both currently right on schedule with their reasonable draft-day development paths and timelines.

OriginalPouzar

Remember when the team had too many NHL d-men and some/many wanted to trade away Larsson (or another)?

All of a sudden the team is down to six fully healthy NHL d-men and are calling up one of the only two NHL contracts playing in the AHL to the taxi squad.

McSorley33

Sounds like Caleb Jones will actually get to play hockey instead of developing in the press box.

Eh Team

Jones could be a massive boast the rest of the year. He’s a quality player. And getting Bear back will be huge too

jp

Tippett might actually be forced to let Jones ‘learn’ on the PK again too. Barrie and Bouchard each played over a minute last night, and that’s not plan A or plan B.

Bling

Saw OP post below regarding starting Holloway’s ELC this season. Good point for discussion. Do you start Holloway’s clock?

I do it for sure.

I think there are reasons to delay, but who knows how long you have Nuge, Barrie, Larsson, etc.

Holloway is the only prospect I can conceivably envision filling a top 6 role (in the event of injury). He’s gotta be here.

OriginalPouzar

Burning the first year of the ELC of a higher-end prospect arguably has benefits as well.

It means his second contract, while coming a year sooner, is likely to be “less” given he’s essentially a year less established.

As long as he’s not on the NHL roster for 40 games (or whatever its pro-rated down to for this year) which would vest a year towards UFA status. This won’t happen.

Bulging Twine

Coach Cassidy citing load management as the reason for resting Krejci.

Redbird62

The OIlers need to take care of business with the Canucks this coming week to help solidify their place in the standings. Winnipeg plays the Canucks tonight for one of their games in hand, and Montreal plays Ottawa twice, but then those two teams go head to head 4 times in 10 days. Hopefully there are no or few 3 point games between them.

season not played

Just an aside LT, I noticed my comment is “awaiting for approval”. I’m not an English major but that should probably be either,
”waiting for approval” or
”awaiting approval”
But yah, probably not a big deal.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

LOL I thought the exact same thing.

Pretty sure is a WordPress plugin issue.

Bulging Twine
€√¥£€^$

Thank you for this, this is the best thing I have read in 20 years, lol.

wolf8888

Hahaha. Very funny and as you could see last night…totally true!

kgo

I hate to say it but Yamo was bound to get crushed at some point. He’s obviously very courageous, but you can’t fight physics forever. I know this is a terrible analogy, but in terms of boxing weight classes, Kailer is likely a lightweight….4 weight classes below Johnny Gaudreau FFS!

I wish him all the best in his recovery and his career, but man…Lindholm lifted Yamo off his feet and into orbit with a moderate (albeit illegal) shove.

P.S. Kailer’s official NHL card shows him at 5’8″ 156lbs….that must be measured with skates and soaking wet equipement on.

Last edited 9 days ago by kgo
Reja

If that was little Johnny Hrudey,Button,Stewart, Burke and the ring leader Cassie would be picketing the league office for justice. I hope someone returns the favour for Yamo and clocks Elias a nice elbow should do it for Mr. tough guy.

wolf8888

And the reason Koekkoek had his collar bone broken by the shoulder check is that he is too small and it had to happen eventually? Are you also one of the posters that said he was too small to even make it to the NHL….a wasted pick?

kgo

No, I was saying it would take him 5 years to sniff the NHL, I was appalled when the previous regime rushed him. Speaking of Koekkoek, the x-ray looks like he has a few pins in his shoulder from a previous surgery…

I guess we have to quit with the Sam Bennett pull-up jokes

BornInAGretzkyJersey

According to the official stats, both KY and JG would square off as middleweights in a boxing tilt. They’re (reportedly) only nine pounds apart. JG is five years older. So Kailer has plenty of time to gain muscle mass as he ages.

Pescador

In a fight, Yamamoto takes John Goodrow to the cleaning company all day & twice on Saturday

jp

I believe that’s true.

Bulging Twine

McDavid with the rare, for him, deflection goal. I don’t recall any since his first ever goal. (I’m sure there have been others)

Redbird62

It’s his second tip goal this season. He scored against the Leafs back in January with a tip of a Bear wrister in a similar fashion. He mentioned last year he wanted to find more ways to score and specifically referred to Crosby getting both highlight reel goals and the gritty goals off of deflections and scrambles just by being in the right place. I expect will see more.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

His second goal of the night, the unassisted one, will be running all around my brain for a long time. Never looked, did not telegraph, just sent the shot on net where it found top dead center. Did he use The Force? Is this fair? What’s next?

Connor has actually scored that goal before, and against CGY to boot. It was during the ramp up game in the RTP.

Thing. Of. Beauty.

lynn

Josh Currie recalled to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

https://www.eliteprospects.com/player/45243/josh-currie

Pouzar

Lennstrom recalled.

McNuge93

In a way this helps the Oilers a bit managing the 23 man roster. Lennstrom wont require waivers like Kookoo did. When Bear and Lagesson are back Bouch could go to taxi squad allowing 7 D, 14 forwards. Could even consider a 3rd goalie on the 23 man if the waiver wire ever goes our way.

Last edited 9 days ago by McNuge93
OriginalPouzar

Russell’s performances this weekend will get zero credit from a certain segment of the Oilers fan base, but if we’re fair Russell delivered exactly what his coach asked of him in a tough series against a bitter rival. 

Russell had a very nice couple of games. He did what he does in the defensive zone and on the PK but he also added a number of plus plays in the offensive zone – he doesn’t show those offensive chops very often but it was a nice weekend.

Now, with Koekkoek out for the season, he’s likely to play more, maybe even every night now (do we see Laggesson/Jones both being in the lineup most nights?) – that isn’t good. Rusty is at the age now where his effectiveness reduces if he plays nightly, in particular the amount of minutes he did this weekend.

Russell playing in 2-3 out of every 5 games is an effective player. I’m not sure about nightly 22 minutes Rusty.

Lagesson ready to play should help.

pts2pndr

Russel has value! His current contract not so much. To have a man that gives his best every time he steps on the ice has value. He sets a great example for the new kids and at next years cap is value + as the seventh D who can play both sides and willing to sacrifice his body.

Elgin R

Value to the room should not be undervalued -see Flames, Calgary.

Kraz

https://oilersnation.com/2021/02/21/oilers-blueline-injuries/

Gregor with a good update on the Oilers injuries here. Jones will play Tuesday and Bear and Lagesson both skated today and both could be ready within the week

Bulging Twine

that picture of Koekoek’s shoulder is ugly, that bone is just swimming loose in there! ech

Munny

Nice of Gregor to give this site a h/t on the Samorukov injury.

OriginalPouzar

I was speaking with him this morning (as I reached out to him yesterday to ask if he had any intel or if he could ask Holland about it next time he speaks to him).

He said he learned about the injury and Friday and was waiting for Holland to call him back which he did this morning.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Tough to say if he reads the comments section here, or even the blog at all. Four hours is a lot of air time to account for, and he does so without resorting to the amount of filler you’d get on the morning show.

That said, I logged into ON for the first time in ages to post a props and a link to where the news first broke and… the comment is in moderation. Go figure.

Eh Team

Nice to see the Flames imploding. A couple of loses to the Leafs and there will be some people down the road.

Starting to think building around Thachuk is not the road to success. Gaudreau is their best player but he will be gone soon.

Not enough high end players and zero depth.

John Chambers

And Giordano is not getting younger.

Luckily for them Markstrom will prevent them from hitting absolute rock bottom, providing false hope and likely eliminating their contention for the lottery.

The forecast calls for a long amble through sand dunes.

Eh Team

The Hamilton trade really hurt the Flames. He’s a true #1 D. And then letting Brodie walk. Those two would be their best two D by a long shot.

Reja

I would say it’s a wash at least for Calgary. Flames problem is internal where there’s smoke there’s fire and the well put together Ward has aged 5 years in the last 10 days. Treliving has to be on his last coach can’t believe he gets such a pass in cow-shit town.

Primetime

I would disagree…Lindholm and Hanafin have been 2 of their best players this year. The way they are losing is not something Hamilton would help

Bank Shot

Flames fans just hyping Hanifin because they have no one else. Tanev is their best defenceman and he makes others look good.

Eh Team

Hamilton on merit should make Team Canada. You don’t trade that for a second line forward and second pairing D.

OriginalPouzar

Don’t forget about Adam Fox being thrown in to that deal (of course, to be honest, he wasn’t signing with Calgary, it was no different than the Marino disposition – but still).

Elgin R

Yup destined to be the Wild – Stuck in the middle.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

I have it on good authority the Wild are poised to win the Cup imminently.

dustrock

There were rumblings about Gaudreau a couple of years ago. I think it might have been an addictions issue? I remember the Flames brought in a former NHL player to talk about these issues to the team.

People are piling on Tkachuk because he’s an obvious target but I wonder if the issue is more guys like Monahan and Gaudreau.

pts2pndr

Issues misuses who cares Tkachuk is a jerk who tries to hurt others and deserves whatever he gets. Take a look at his record of players injured.

Durag

The lack of depth is starting to tell for Calgary. I remember wondering in the first BOA how we were losing to a team that employs Zac Rinaldo in 2021.

Redbird62

Interesting tidbit about the Oiler’s better play of late: Currently the Oilers have won their last game against all 6 of their North Division opponents. Keep is rolling.

Elgin R

That is progress for sure.

leadfarmer

Holloway has 4 more games before a break before a very quick weekend Big 10 tourney in mid March
he can then head to Bakersfield for 23 games and playoffs.
putting him on our team seems a very non Holland thing to do

OriginalPouzar

Playing those games in the Bake will burn the first year of his ELC.

Not saying this means he shouldn’t play those games but just noting.

Bank Shot

Dylan Larkin only played 6 AHL games. If the guy can play, he can play. I guess we will see.

leadfarmer

2 week quarantine changes things

OriginalPouzar

If Holloway does sign and they decide to burn his 1st year of his ELC with development time in the AHL this season and he lights up the AHL, I would anticipate that they may call him up with a view to the playoffs.

If Wisconsin goes to the Frozen Four – that’s April 8-10 and he could still get apx 6-7 AHL games prior to quarantining for two weeks before the NHL playoffs. More games if Wisconsin is out earlier.

That is ALOT of “ifs”, of course. We don’t even know if he is going to sign after this season and, if he does sign, if its for a view of starting in 2021/22 or burning that first year finishing off this season.

Bulging Twine

True, but didn’t see the NHL till draft +2

John Chambers

When was the last time the Oilers picked up 18 of a possible 22 points, or similar efficiency over a 10+ game span?

Three times over the 1998 portion of the ‘97-‘98 season, after the Arnott for Guerin (& Zelly25) trade they won 6 out of 7. They climbed from the basement into 7th place and beat the Avs in rd 1.

In ‘16-‘17 though they had a 7-1 start, another run of 7-0-1 bookended by losing streaks, but I see finished the season going 12-2 over their final 14.

That ‘16-‘17 brilliance to finish the season needs a sweep of the Canucks a win over the Leafs next Saturday night to be matched.

McDavey Jones' Lockeroom

I believe in 2000-01 they had a 12 game point streak with a 9 game winning streak in the middle of it

godot10

Putting defensemen on waivers in the NHL and particularly in Canada just became a whole lot more interesting (potentially, if the prognosis for Lagesson and Bear is not good).

OriginalPouzar

Sounds like Lagesson’s return is imminent (Gazolla) – he was never put on IR.

leadfarmer

So I assume Bear comes in for Bouchard when he’s ready? (Just reading tea leaves and Bouchard limited TOI)
i would like Jones to get a few games as it looks like we will need all 9 d this season and I don’t want a guy sitting for months

Pouzar

Oilers prospect Dmitri Samorukov suffered a shoulder injury at practice a few weeks ago and will be out for the remainder of the season.

fistycuff

That sucks. He couldn’t come over anyway, but shoulder injuries and prospect D is never a good combo. Hopefully it doesn’t need surgery. Was really pulling for him. He reminds me a bit of Larsson.

OriginalPouzar

What do you mean he couldn’t come over anyways?

The express stated plan was for him to finish the season in Bakersfield. CSKA is a top team so they could potentially go far but there would still be plenty of games for him to play.

Its a significant blow as Sammy had (has) a real chance to make the team out of camp in October and another 15 (apx) games in the AHL would have been a solid development bump to end his season.

I agree with the comparison to Larsson in the regard that he is an aggressive defence first defender. I do see him as a potential “Larsson replacement” as far as tough hard nose defender goes (in a few years). I think he’s got a broader potential skill-set though. He’s a better skater and has better offensive instincts than Larsson. Also a very very aggressive defender of the blue line.

They are still deciding but it seems surgery is likely (as per Gregor).

fistycuff

It was my impression that he was signed for entire season in Russia and wasn’t able come over until the season in Russia ended.

OriginalPouzar

He was loaned to the KHL, yes, for the entire season, but their season, and playoffs, will end well before the AHL is done this season.

Same think with Maksimov (and Broberg, Lavoie, Kemp, etc.) – all loaned for the season and planning to come to North American when they are done.

fistycuff

Sad to hear that surgery may be required.

leadfarmer

Leon has to be listening to all this talk about Matthews and Mackinnon going wtf
i play with a 20 point player and a 40 point player and I’m still beating these fools
id almost like to overpay for Forsberg on his wing

wolf8888

With what though?

maudite

Just figure out a way to fit henrique

JimmyV1965

Trade them Neil and a sweetener.

wolf8888

Haha, don’t we wish

BornInAGretzkyJersey

I think it would have to be same number of contracts going each way, as ANA is at 51 contracts right now (somehow).

Otherwise I agree, that is a move (if available) Old Dutch should be all over.

OriginalPouzar

I think the 51 contracts is allowed and OK because they have guys like Drysdale playing in the AHL that will be re-assigned to the OHL when camps open (he’s only allowed to play in the AHL right now due to Covid-reasons).

Zegras would slide as well (if he doesn’t get called up and plays [7] games – I think they’ve pro-rated the ELC slide threshold).

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Good points, both. Thanks for the context.

Cape Breton Oilers 4EVR

I’m eating crow today. For starters, who would have thunk Smith’s return would solidify the goaltending? And as a side note, Daryl Katz should just walk up to Nurse’s stall after the next practice and say “Please take my money!”” Back to back 30 minutes plus against the resident thug of Tkachuck!! Nurse owned him!! He is the D we’ve been looking for since Souray didn’t work out. And on a side note, where was Tippet when Yakupov was here?

fistycuff

We are all eating a little crow on the Smith thing, but it doesn’t taste so bad. Especially since that early on (3-6) it looked like goalering might sink us.

OmJo

I wish Yak got the Holland-Tippett treatment instead of the Eakins-McLellan treatment.

Adam Wu

Tippet was in Detroit reading scouting reports on what the Oilers were doing with Yak face-palming in private, probably.

Woogie63

The Oiler’s development team has done a wonderful job this year, and this may pay -off for years to come
 
1.Getting European gigs for the prospects
2.Going with Bakersfield vs. a Canadian AHL division option
 
It seems Holland and Tre went in completely different ways, I think Holland has won this one.
—————————————————
AT THE START OF THE NHL 2021 NHL SEASON;
 
Number of “prospects”
Flames 21
Oilers 24
—————————————————-
Number of “Top prospects”
 
Flames 5 (Zary, Pelletier, Wolf, Mackey, Pettersen)
Oilers 10 (Holloway, Bouchard, Puljujarvi, Lavoie, McLeod, Benson, Broberg, Samorukov, Konovalov, Savoie)
 
Average number of games played (October 2020-February 2021) by “Top Prospects”
 
Flames; 35 total games or a 7 games average
Oilers; 305 total games or a 30.5 games average

leadfarmer

What about top prospect Vakimaki
he must have moonlighted as a traffic cone in Europe

Bank Shot

To be fair, Bouchard wouldn’t look so hot if he had to play some shifts against McDavid.

I think its probably a toss up who will be better out of the last trio of first rounders from the Flames/Oilers.

Zary/Pelletier/Valimaki vs Broberg/Bouchard/Holloway.

The key factor is that the Oilers don’t NEED their guys to become cornerstones unlike the cowboys down south.

Pescador

How bout dem Cowboys?

Woogie63

Fair point, Valimaki should be added – missed that

Flames Prospects 72 games or a 12 games average

Sierra

Lots of talked about Austin Matthews on the blog last night and today.

Let’s remember that his shooting % is 24% thus far this season whereas the past 2 seasons he averaged 15.5%.

leadfarmer

Pp conversion is 38%
all of the no way Oil can convert 30% from last year have short term memory problems

Harpers Hair

That would be a concern if most of his points were coming on the PP but they aren’t.

He has only 9 PP points while Draisaitl has 12 and McDavid has 16.

Matthews has 21 EV strength points, same as McDavid while Draisaitl has 17.

This has more to do with age trajectory as noted here.

CapFriendly Depth Charts (@CF_DepthCharts) Tweeted:
#Leafs Auston Matthews points per game by season:

2016-17 – 0.84
2017-18 – 1.02
2018-19 – 1.07
2019-20 – 1.14
2020-21 – 1.61

https://twitter.com/CF_DepthCharts/status/1363547172638089217?s=20

Harpers Hair

The explosion in points this season can be at least partially be explained by the relative weakness of the North Division which, of course, also applies to the other two players.

Kraz

He is also rocking a 16.31 On ice SH% at 5V5. The two years prior he was at around 9.2%

Reja

Matthews has Bossy, Kurri like release could you imagine how many he would pot with Leon setting him up aka Trottier Gretzky

Side

Difference is McDavid and Draisaitl are proven 100 point players. Them racking up points is expected. Matthews explosion is unexpected because history has shown otherwise which is why it is fair to be skeptical.

I thought you were supposed to be a free thinker? Seems like you are doing “goose steps” with the other Maple Leafs homers. Even going as far as to just cannibalizing and parrotting thoughts or stats generated by someone else.

Do you have any original thoughts that don’t result you in being embarassed whenever they come out?

Last edited 9 days ago by Side
Bank Shot

If the majority of Matthew’s shooting % is based on ES that makes it even less to be maintained.

pts2pndr

So now you want to cherry pick where the points are coming from. You must have a degree in BS and it has to be a masters from Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. How’s your presidency in assholes are us going? Asking for a Canuck fan?

Harpers Hair

Posted this previously…it explains why his shooting percentage is higher this season as he has adjusted his shooting repertoire.
There will no doubt some regression but know one knows what the new normal will be.

https://theathletic.com/2395353/2021/02/19/auston-matthews-cant-possibly-score-50-for-the-leafs-this-season-can-he/?source=user_shared_article

leadfarmer

A player adjusts his shooting to be a 25% shooter?
Riiiiiigggggggghhtt
your desperation is showing that you completely bailed on all your typical teams

Harpers Hair

Draisaitl has a shooting percentage of effectively 20% over the last three seasons while it was closer to 15% early in his career.

If you look at age trajectory, Matthews is tracking the same way just at a slightly higher level.

I don’t doubt it will come down to some degree but as noted, no one knows what his new normal will be but I expect 20% is certainly not out of the question…he’s a lethal shooter.

season not played

DSF,

I would like to chime in on your new man crush. It’s too bad Quinn Hughes is looking like a small pp specialist who can put up some points but will kill you defensively as opposed to a legit number one D, so you had to switch to Mathews, but whatever. It really doesn’t matter who you parade in front of this blog as bait, if Mathews was cold right now instead of red hot it would just be another player with good numbers.

I’m not sure if you are claiming Mathews is better than McDavid these days, I mean the first 19 games of the season are always a good indicator of how things will look at game 82, but I am sure you are claiming Mathews is better than Draisaitl. You actually present a reasonable argument including the fact that Mathews first 300 games were indeed more productive than Leon’s first 300 games. The simple problem is, until he does it, there is no evidence that Austin Mathews is a 50 goal 100 point player. None. Draisaitl is. Once and twice respectively. Hot starts are hot starts. But that is all they are. Even if he ends up with 34 goals and 68 points in 56 games, still not a 50 goal 100 point player. Do you know why DSF? Because part of the problem with being a top point producer in the NHL is being able to do it consistently for 82 games. Not 19 games, not 56 games. Is Auston Mathews scoring more goals than Leon Draisaitl right now? Absolutely. But that’s about it. Trying to argue any differently at this point is just behaving in a deliberately obtuse fashion. Always thought you were a little bit better than that. It would be like me coming on here and pointing out that Taylor Hall only has one goal, 10 points and is minus 9 in 14 games in Buffalo this year and is probably the reason the Sabres are shitting the bed again this year.

Pointless.

So, until Austen Mathews has actually proven he is a 50 goal 100 point player why don’t you just leave it. Really.

Sierra

So, if 24% is not sustainable and AM’s shooting percentage comes down to that of Draisatl’s then on what basis are you claiming he is so much better than Draisatl?

Sierra

If only it was that simple, right?

Kraz

You literally just said his high EV point totals has more to do with age trajectory when it is clearly just a PDO pony ride right now.

Kraz
BornInAGretzkyJersey

There really was never a legitimate debate between Auston and Connor outside of some flaccid pandering to a home audience.

Matthews vs. Draisaitl is an actual conversation.

Bank Shot

Oh yeah…. reminds me of everyone explaining Horcoff’s increased shooting % was because of his new stick….

fistycuff

I don’t even understand how this is a bloody conversation….watch the fuggin games….it’s not even close. If you can’t see (with your eyes) that Mcdavid is a mile ahead then maybe switch sports to one that’s slower..like lawn bowling. Numbers are not required here. Stop with the absurdity already. Edit: I replied to you Sierra, but my comments are directed at the entire post.

Last edited 9 days ago by fistycuff
OriginalPouzar

There are two games this season where McDavid has had 5 points before the mid-way part of the second period and then, essentially, barely played the rest of the game.

In each game, it seemed like McDavid could almost put up points at will.

Sittler’s record is in jeopardy and may have even been broken already if McDavid told Tippett he wanted to.

Bling

Here’s a comp for Dylan Holloway:

Cale Makar.

Played two full college seasons and jumped into the playoffs for the Avs, putting up 1 G 5 A in 10GP and looking great. I watched his first NHL game and his skating ability stood out as elite.

Here’s another comp:

Mike Comrie.

Comrie put up 59 points in 40 games in his second year of college hockey, then played for Kootenay in the WHL, going near 2 PPG as a 20 year old. Comrie was an effective NHL player at age 20.

Holloway should come straight to Edmonton.

Holloway is a more substantial prospect than Comrie and less substantial than Makar, though as per LT’s Athletic article, he is getting better by the month.

We are getting to the point where we need to project where this player will be in a few months.

A rookie performance falling between that of Comrie and that of Makar moves the needle and makes the team better.

You want to win, don’t you?

leadfarmer

I think he’s a natural center and should get a little more time against higher competition given that he was moved back and forth
over last 2 years

jp

Do you mean Bakersfield or more college? Agreed generally if you’re projecting him as a C (probably prudent to develop him as such regardless).

Reja

If Hollaway keeps developing at warp speed how much of a boom would it be if he’s in our top 6 by the 50th game. Holloway is built for the playoffs looking forward to seeing him.

Munny

We should be impressed with the young lad if he can make the Oil at some point next season. Careful with expectations.

Reja

He wouldn’t be the first player that jumps right into the NHL and never looks back. We’ve been eating shit sandwiches for so long we forgot what a Philly cheesesteak sandwich tastes like.

prefonmich

For all the heat Holland took with the signing of Smith from me included, he deserves some credit. Also Dustin Schwartz needs to be recognized. Both goalies credit improved play to extra practice time. They look more composed in the net and tracking pucks, and absorbing pucks with fewer rebounds after practice time. The one two goalie rotation with both goalies healthy is the way to go this year. I am eating crow in this one because I definitely did not support the Smith signing at the time.

fishman

Crow tastes like crap! Another helping please!

fistycuff

Don’t feel bad. I don’t think many supported the Smith signing. Most, including me, thought that there were better options on the FA market. Once JM was gone though, the leftovers disappeared quickly, and Holland did remarkable things with the leftover $. Myself, I was disappointed that no attempt was made to get MAF. It was my opinion at the time that MAF could have been had for REAL cheap (a first overall) and that Vegas would retain $. Vegas was in a jam until Vancouver let them off the hook taking Schmidt contract. Hindsight being what it is, I still believe that the Oilers missed out on MAF. MAF would have made us true contenders. We may still be contenders and who knows what would have happened without Barrie…things worked out, and I am glad for that, but until we find a true #1 goaler, we can compete….although I am not sure we are true contenders. Just make the playoffs and who knows. Maybe Smith finds the fountain of youth and gets us a cup.

McNuge93

Yes, who would have thought Smith’s return would be a big catalyst to turning the Oilers season around. Surely he wont stay at this level but now we can platoon him and Koski. Smith just seems more positionally sound this year, using his size to stop pucks and way less flopping around.

Last edited 9 days ago by McNuge93
leadfarmer

With everyone on the Preds reportedly available except for Josi Ellis and Rinne (guessing he just retires if they move on)
who do we like
clearly Forsberg would be a pipe dream
Arvidsson we have Yamo already so I wouldn’t go there
Granlund would be nice and was my Offseason target
Ekholm don’t think we need more D
Anyone else?

OriginalPouzar

Any acquisition essentially requires equal money going out.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

SAROS!

McDavey Jones' Lockeroom

Id give whatever the preds wanted for Forsberg if they take Neal. Well nothing young off our roster and not Hollaway. But a 1st, and Broberg + Neal id do. Id even toss in a Tullio or the likes if need be. Thats just me though lol

Brantford Boy

One of my favourite plays of the evening, aside from the obvious McDavid skill competition, was watching Lucic “bowl the spare” (brilliant LT), just the look on his face from eating the dashboard and picking himself off the ice from eating dashboard was awesome.

Two nights in a row the Oilers have come around to playing two defensemen on the PP. I must admit I’ve wanted to see this employed for some time. Mostly when we were giving up short handed goals like crazy. I’m torn between the defensemen getting those minutes. Bouchard-Barrie vs. Nurse-Barrie/Bouchard. I’d like to have Nurse for his defense but I’d like Bouchard getting serious PP consideration.

OriginalPouzar

Just listening to the post-game show on 1260 and Gazzola said that Lagesson is very close to returning – perhaps ready for Tuesday.

It would be HUGE if they have 7 d-men given they can’t get Lennstrom for 2 weeks.

Lagesson vs. Jones for next game?

Pouzar

Russell vs Jones. Lags goes in with Larsson. KR continued use on 2nd pairing is a ticking time bomb. That pair got caved last night. How about we don’t lose Caleb’s confidence for good here and rotate him in eh?

OriginalPouzar

Bruce spoke about this on the post game CoH podcast – if you look at the numbers, Russell/Larsson got caved by they, in particular Larsson, were very good last night (and very good over the weekend).

Score effects were massive last night and that pairing was very good to my eye over the course of the entire weekend.

———-

I’m not disagreeing that Rusty at 2LW, game in and game out, is not a good idea – I posted to that point a few days ago (and that Rusty is most effective when only playing 2-3 games out of each 5).

At the same time, my point here, is that while they “got caved last night”, those numbers are not representative of their play last night.

VanIsleOil

Q&A with Pronman at The Athletic. Question was asking about his thoughts on Holloway’s recent trajectory.
Pronman; It’s been very impressive, reminiscent of the player I saw in Jr. A. I liked him a lot in draft, I came down on him after WJC, probably recency bias with that one. He looks like a real player.
Great to see Holloway’s rapid progress.

leadfarmer

I get a Zibanejad vibe from him and not this year post covid version

OriginalPouzar

So, lets assume that Yamamoto is out (for the purpose of this conversation) – from last year’s team, the Oilers are without:

1LD (Klefbom)
1RD (Bear)
1RW (Kassian)
2RW (Kassian)

Even with the above, I’m fully confident this team can continue to win games and beat any team.

Thank goodness for:

1LD (Nurse) – stud
1RW (Puljujarvi)

wolf8888

Losing Yamamoto concerns me a lot. His forecheck is very difficult for teams to handle and I think we will really miss it

godot10

Kassian is neither a 1RW, nor a 2RW. He is a bottome six forward who cannot play on special teams, who is weak defensively, who cannot control his emotions, and who makes bad decisions.

OriginalPouzar

Of course I meant 2RW being Yamamoto.

It doesn’t matter what you think about Kassian or if he is a real 1RW (or 2RW).

The fact is that he played the majority of last year and the first half of this year as 1RW.

Our 1RW and, potentially 2RW from last year, and the beginning of this year are out (in addition to 1LW from last year and 1RD) and the team is likely to be just fine.

fishman

So other than that you really like him????

pts2pndr

So you are determined that this is a hill to die on! I admire your determination and stamina. You do realize that regardless of the number of times you say it, it still may not be true!😉

OriginalPouzar

Oilers have day off today (practice tomorrow) so, while Kokkoek has updated us personally on his collarbone, we may not know anything on Kailer until tomorrow.

Elgin R

Is Markstrom already regretting taking the most money he could get rather than just a little less to go to a team with potential? I for one am glad he did not sign with the Oilers. Have a fun 6 years in Cowtown during the scorched earth rebuild that is coming.

flyfish1168

Would have liked to see a few phlegms go down the tunnel.

Pouzar

Elliotte Friedman

@FriedgeHNIC
·
2m

Henrique clears. Frans Nielsen (DET) on waivers

Elgin R

No a surprise. Old guys with too much cap and too much term. No different from Neal clearing. Too bad Tre can’t put the human-turnstile (Lucic) on waivers.

maudite

I think henrique is significantly different than neal.

Last edited 9 days ago by maudite
pts2pndr

Old guys have to extra cap to hide the bald! Be kind to us old guys!

Fuge Udvar

I liked that move from Kahun. He nearly beat Rittich (or was it still Markstrom) to that post. It is a heady play to hit the brakes right as you get to the centre post and double back. Trying to time his stop with exact moment the goalie turns his head.

Lots of goalies are taught to hug the post till the player reaches the centre bar then go post to post. I remember Patrick Kane using that same spot to dish a sneaky backhand pass out front for a tap in against the Oilers years ago. Whoever our goalie was at the time was still tracking Kane when the puck was already in the net behind him.

Pescador

Ya that play only works if your using it Against the Oilers

Justthestatsman

Messier and Anderson used to pull it off fairly regularly. Always awesome when it’s your team that does it!

flyfish1168

Maybe I wouldn’t make a good ref. But the one thing is I wouldn’t let krakchuck get away with his $hit and boarding hits. If refs don’t want to let a game get out of hand all they need to do make more real calls and not fake ones like Leon for interference.

fistycuff

If that hit by Lindholm last night on Yam fry isn’t reviewed by the league then the league loses all credibility with me. Connor was suspended last year for similar hit to the one that Kokomo took.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1a32VctkljE

Reja

It was nice to see J.J step up I’m glad he clocked Bennett he’s the dirtiest of them all. He’s a predator just like Torres was.

McDavey Jones' Lockeroom

So is the Turtle

fishman

You can add in his non stop cross checks!

pts2pndr

The Khaira hit on the flame with the puck called interference was even more egregious. Carded ref friend couldn’t believe that call.

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