2020-21 Game 22: Oilers at Canucks

by Lowetide

As we near the end of February, a few things are becoming clear. The Canadian Division houses seven teams, but only five appear to be packing for the long haul of March and April. Tonight’s opponent for Edmonton is eight points behind while having played two extra games on the schedule. In the land of the Bettman, that’s the Fraser Canyon.

A loss tonight is another crushing moment for the Canucks, who have too much talent to be here and yet the National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book is about to receive a disappointing report on Van City.

I think most Oilers fans can have some sympathy for Vancouver fans while also being thrilled to see it isn’t the Oildrop losing touch with the playoffs. It’s difficult to be talking draft before the halfway point in a season. Ask an Oilers fan.

Meanwhile there’s a game to play, and the Oilers can’t go down by three goals again and expect to win. The Canucks were desperate on Tuesday, double that and double it again for tonight’s tilt. This is war.

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 22 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015-16: 7-14-1, 15 points; goal differential -12
  • Oilers in 2016-17: 12-8-2, 26 points; goal differential +10
  • Oilers in 2017-18: 8-12-2, 18 points; goal differential -14
  • Oilers in 2018-19: 10-10-2, 22 points; goal differential -9
  • Oilers in 2019-20: 13-6-3, 29 points; goal differential +12
  • Oilers in 2020-21: 13-8-0, 26 points; goal differential +11

If you look at the two Tippett teams (26-14-3, 55 points in 43 games) through the early portions of the two seasons, the group boasts a goal differential of +23. The previous four seasons? Goal differential -25. I know many Oilers fans and observers who are not thrilled with Ken Holland, Dave Tippett, or both. Imagine how mad they would be if the record was poor? What would make these fans happy?

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 1-0-0)
  • 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: 8-2-0, 16 points in 10 games

Even a split of the final two games of this month sets the Oilers up well. Winning both, and gathering 20 points in a single month, would be a major accomplishment and perhaps signal a push to the top of Mount Canada (which sounds dirty but isn’t meant to be).

OILERS 2020-21 ROSTER (FIVE ON FIVE PTS 60)

NHL trade deadline is April 12. PLD played three games for the Winnipeg Jets in the 30 days that followed his trade. I think teams are going to want to make deadline deals with American teams by the ides of March.

What do the Oilers need? I’m not sure they’re going to be active. Lots of assets dealt a year ago, no cap room, and it isn’t like last year on the roster. The team may be dealing with several baseball-style platoons, but they’re working. I think Holland may be quiet at the deadline barring injury.

OILERS PROJECTED 2020-21 SCORING

This is via Sports Forecaster, which is a helluva good site. They keep great records of injuries and project season-ending numbers on the daily. The extrapolated numbers suggest the No. 1 line will score 73 goals in 56 games, and the No. 2 line will finish close to a goal per game (51 goals in 56 games). That’s good productivity. The numbers are a little unreliable due to things like Jesse Puljujarvi’s entire season being projected. If you run just his time with McDavid, the goal total blossoms to 24 goals.

Nurse, Barrie and Bouchard are projected to combine for 29 goals in 56 games. Adam Larsson’s goal total is projected at 5, his career high is 4.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, we hit the ground running with a hot show filled with cool guests. Jeff Krushell from Krush Performance will pop by at 10:20 to pump you up with MLB projections. Jeff works in the baseball industry and has all kinds of insight on rookies and old guys trying to make their return. I’ll ask about Vladdy Guerrero at third base and the San Diego Padres incredible offseason. Frank Seravalli from TSN will give us the latest on NHL trade rumours and talk about when we might see some movement. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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maudite

https://www.tsn.ca/los-angeles-kings-eye-dynamic-left-shot-defenceman-ahead-of-nhl-trade-deadline-1.1599391

Uhm dream date?

They have cap and are looking to add what we likely are going to lose in expansion.

Oilerguy

I wonder if Columbus ever kicks themselves for not taking RNH over Johanson for Seth Jones

Bulging Twine

In the 4 games that Turris hasn’t played in the Oilers have given up a total of 5 goals.

The best defensive 4 game stretch this season

Last edited 7 months ago by Bulging Twine
OriginalPouzar

Gaetan Haas is real and he’s spectacular!

Reja

I can’t believe Turris has been a bust and on the other end how impressive Hass is. After being bought out and benched could this motivate Turris when he’s back in the line-up if he can find flashes of his old form and do the hardest thing in hockey which is score. what a boom for the Oilers it would be.

Bulging Twine

Interesting, Barrie got 4 even strength shifts after the first goal which was scored at 7:41 of the second.

Of note, he was off the ice yesterday and Tippett said that there were a couple guys not skating that were banged up ‘last night’.

So it may have been injury related or strategic.

OriginalPouzar

Ya, I mentioned that late in the game or shortly after last night – i wonder if his low TOI was injury related – he had the least TOI of all the d-men at evens (add 6 plus minutes on the PP).

I know that some/many here would like Barrie’s role reduced (or removed) but its odd from the coach playing him on the top pair for 18 minutes of 5 on 5 per game to, all of a sudden, the least amount 5 on 5 (without egregious on ice mistakes).

Bulging Twine

Of FW’s who have played a half hour or more on the PK, Khaira is 2nd in GA/60

Of FW’s who have played 20 minutes or more on the PK, Haas is tied for first with 3 other players in GA/60 at 0

jp

Over the 3 seasons before this one, among the 123 forwards to spend 250 minutes on the PK:

Khaira is 3rd in GA/60 and 11th in SA/60. He’s legit.

OriginalPouzar

Khaira’s PK success isn’t just a function of team and structure, he’s been a plus to elite PK buy by the numbers year after year after year now. He’s a skilled PK guy.

Thank you for the numbers on Haas – that matches the eye test – he looks like a high end PK guy and his insertion in to the lineup has really helped the PK and solidified the bottom 6 (with his high end defensive responsibility).

Bulging Twine

Having so many extra bodies around seems to have brought the best out in some of the bottom six, with the waivers and the extra competition for roster spots.

Munny

This is my first ever gif,.. looks like it turned out all right.

https://giphy.com/gifs/smith-edmonton-oilers-ranford-padstack-x1umD5WdIjRjUPR5QI

BornInAGretzkyJersey

You betcha.
comment image

Last edited 7 months ago by BornInAGretzkyJersey
Munny

Wow, that’s pretty cool. Like, wow. And to see it here… I have to say I would like to share the pride I’m feelin right now with Ryan, without whom we would not be seeing this. Take a bow, bro. This adds value.

Last edited 7 months ago by Munny
Kraz

@harmandayal2

I know I’m beating a dead horse but it’s still insane to me that you have Pettersson and Hughes at a combined roughly $2.5 million, Horvat, Miller and Boeser all under $6M and *this* is the capped out on-ice product
10:23 PM · Feb 25, 2021

Truly amazing when you think about it. Extend Benning!!!

Last edited 7 months ago by Kraz
BornInAGretzkyJersey

Take notes on the DoD Oilers, Dys.

There are lessons to be learned.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

George Santayana-1905

They need to clear out dead cap, and improve their veterans… at the very least.

Last edited 7 months ago by BornInAGretzkyJersey
JimmyV1965

Two top 10 centres and a top 10 dman; what’s not to like?

BornInAGretzkyJersey
  • Nuge could have a higher 5v5 p/60.
  • Nurse could cost less on his contract extension over a year from now.
  • Barrie is blocking Bouchard.

AMIDOINGTHISRITE

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Also, excuse me?

Two top 3 centres, THANKYOUVERYMUCH.

hunter1909

If Puljujarvi was a rookie would he be getting Calder Award consideration?

BornInAGretzkyJersey

No.

He’s an Oiler.

Rebillled

Super glad our goalie didnt headbutt the tunnel.

Glorious night.

hunter1909

@ Harpers Hair: If anyone mentions the Oilers current 5 game Win streak, remind them that the LAK under Todd McLellan have a 6 game Win streak.

Munny

Is there any way I can get the pad stack pic onto here without joining some photo site?

Wish I knew how to make gifs

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Where is Wilde when you need the guy, hey?

Speaking of, has anyone heard from him? Is he okay?

Oilerguy

He is a great one but I’m still wondering what happened to all the posters like Punjabi Oil and lots of other greats.

BornInAGretzkyJersey
Munny

I’m dumb. Do I upload the video and the site chops it up, or do I upload pics and it animates them?

BornInAGretzkyJersey

There are two options… upload gifs to share abroad or create. Both buttons are top right beside the login. 🙂

Munny

Oh, we’re already past that point. It’s after that…

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Email me the clip?

Munny

Well, that’s the question. Am I using a clip or pics? Kind of important to know once you open your RAM-sucking video editor…

But it’s all good. I just watched a video that used a clip, so that’s the way I’m going to go.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Giphy will take videos and down compress them to postable gifs for you.

Munny

lol

Munny

Here you go.

https://giphy.com/gifs/smith-edmonton-oilers-ranford-padstack-x1umD5WdIjRjUPR5QI

I can do one of the other angles if you prefer.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Yes please! 😀

flea

Canucks looked tired in both third periods. Poor fitness on that team – conversely the Oilers look strong. Everyone is following their captain’s example on how to train and prepare.

Oilers are the hottest team in the NHL right now. Keep it going against the Buds!

hunter1909

At the end of the game they all had a thousand yard stare from playing the 1969-70 Boston team.

Munny

Have your Coach talk about you the way Dave Tippett talks about Puljujarvi.

#teacherspet

Pouzar

Terry lost his mic.

Munny

It’s somewhere in his shirt with the rest of supper…

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Am I allowed to laugh at that quip?

Because it’s hella funny.

Munny

Dude, when I was doing stats for Oiler games, seeing Terry Jones at the buffet pre-game was like going to the Pyramids or something.

Awe-inspiring, and you KNOW there’s only one in the whole world.

Last edited 7 months ago by Munny
BornInAGretzkyJersey

I may have woke the household laughing out loud, analog style.

Oilerguy

Lmao those some funny words haha

Munny

Khaira:

16:10 TOI
4:28 PK TOI
3 SOG
1 High Danger chance
3 Hits
62.5% on the dot

That’s a beauty game from a 3rd liner who was playing himself off the team.

Pouzar

We need to waive him more often.

hunter1909

I always wanted Khiara to succeed but figured he’d gone far enough and was washed up.

Best part of the Oilers season: seeing the Lowe+MacT level players exceeding expectations.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Tippett is your answer.

I’m going to regret asking this, but what would have become of Yakupov if Tippett was his coach?

hunter1909

40 goal man!

BornInAGretzkyJersey

#fewerbees!

MushedPeas

Never doubted you JJ! #totallydoubted

Boil-in-the-Oil

Other than getting an outright shutout win, my favourite moment was Jesse scoring while Roussel was in the sin-bin…ultimate pay back.

MushedPeas

For my money, the spiritual game winner.

Reja

It sure is nice listening to a broadcast crew that enjoys their team unlike the previous doorknobs. Need to get rid of part Flames owner Cassie and suckhole Hrudey on the main broadcast.

Side

Hrudey sucked so hard tonight he blew a button.

flea

My PVR recorded the Sportsnet Pacific feed – now that was a sombre Pbp crew!

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Hrudey sucked so hard tonight he blew a Button [sic].

I think that’s the moment the golf ball breaches the garden hose.

Munny

Gawd I hope someone has video of that.

OriginalPouzar

Hrudey does the regional Calgary games on SN – not the “main broadcast” for which I assume you mean the national games.

Rebillled

Big Rad.

Side

Is it just me or does anyone notice that JP’s big ol’ grin is starting to chip away at the stoic hockey guy demeanors on the Oilers?

It’s like with each of his goals you see his teammates also starting to flash bigger and bigger grins.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Smiles more contagious than Covid.

Winning. The panacea that solves all.

Side

So glad Holland didn’t throw JP away for a 2nd (if he was lucky, of course).

BornInAGretzkyJersey

I’ll admit, at first I was content to be patient. But after a while I was getting frustrated to the point I would have been happy with a 1st and a prospect or an A prospect like Strome or Necas.

So, so happy things didn’t pan out that way.

I mean, it still chaps my ass we didn’t draft Turtle once PLD was gone but them’s the breaks.

Last edited 7 months ago by BornInAGretzkyJersey
OriginalPouzar

A 1st? If any team had offered a first, I’m sure Holland would have closed that deal, real quick.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

And we’d all be le sad.

striker

comment image

Whoever doesn’t smile when Pulju smiles is a heartless bastard

Last edited 7 months ago by striker
Side

I don’t mean for this to sound disrepectful to JP, but watching him around the net trying to dig or find the puck reminds me very much of a border collie who is trying to find a ball. That look of focus and determination like they will move heaven and earth to get the ball.. er.. the puck, no matter who or what is in the way.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Have you ever seen a border collie corral a flock of sheep in person? So. Damn. Impressive.

Side

I have and it’s very impressive. I had a border collie and I think I enjoyed seeing him herd people more though, as they were usually unaware that it was even happening. Except for the odd time where they were aware:

“hey I think your dog just hip checked me.. on purpose..”

BornInAGretzkyJersey

That’s perfectly acceptable, unless he low-bridged those poor, unaware souls. 😛

Munny

Rob Brown commenting on the level of frustration on the Canuck faces at the end of the 2nd. So fragile team going into the dressing room and he’s wondering if that had an effect on their play in the 3rd.

They started off with a shit powerplay and the Oil only allowed 4 SOG in the 3rd. His words: “Oilers are a much better team in the 3rd than they have been in the past. Great team effort in the 3rd tonight.”

Last edited 7 months ago by Munny
BornInAGretzkyJersey

Couple that with just how much better this team is at starting the game from the opening face off.

This team is a different animal than many years prior.

Munny

(well except for last game)

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Shhhh… exceptions prove rules.

Last edited 7 months ago by BornInAGretzkyJersey
BornInAGretzkyJersey

Spector can’t think of the opposite of fragile.

You can’t make this stuff up.

OmJo

Unfragile. Duh.

Side

Fragile? What is that, italian?

BornInAGretzkyJersey

🤌

delooper

Oh! oh! I have it! Not fragile!

striker

Give him a break, he doesn’t write for a living or anything….oh right…

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Bingo.

Anti-fragile was precisely what I had in mind, but more from a Haight perspective. Thanks for the link, I’ll look into that. Taleb’s work comes HIGHLY recommended by Eric Weinstein.

Munny

Taleb is the goods.

Victoria Oil

Very smart guy but not a fan of him personally. I’ve seen him talk at a couple conferences. Poor speaker and arrogant to boot. Started reading the Black Swan but gave it up after 40 pages because his arrogance was showing through.

Munny

Oh, he’s an arrogant dick to be sure, especially if you are in a room full of finance people as it seems he doesn’t care too much for those folk, despite having been one once himself.

Funny things is… my Dad taught us the premise behind Black Swan using Black Swans as his example back in Gr 9 science, 1979. Not from a tail risk p.o.v. of course, but certainly similar on an epistemological basis. I used to think there was some commonality in their educational background, but Taleb is French educated.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Fun fact.

Newton was a poor speaker and an absolutely arrogant asshole amongst his peers.

Unfriendly Regional Arachnid Individual

Haidt and Weinstein are two names I’m glad to have encountered on a hockey thread!

kgo

JP scoring the back-breaker with Roussell in the box is another breath of beautiful swift Hockey Karma

OmJo

McDavid for Hart.
McDavid for Rocket Richard.
Draisaitl for Conn Smythe.
Smith for Vezina.
Nurse for Norris.
Bouchard for Calder.
Tippet for Jack Adams.

Oilers for Stanley.

You heard it here first. Also, I am running on 5.5 hours of sleep and have been up since 4am. But I’m sure that has nothing to do with my prophesy.

Last edited 7 months ago by OmJo
BornInAGretzkyJersey

Really enjoying Bearsy in his media avail.

Calm, concise and genuine. Few cliches.

Mature beyond his years.

Last edited 7 months ago by BornInAGretzkyJersey
Side

He really gives his media avails 110% out there, y’know?

Bling

I liked his response to the question about being eased back into the lineup. He said something to the effect of, he doesn’t mind being eased back in and that it allows other guys to play as well.

Agree, he’s very well-spoken and mature.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Totally. Add that poise to his candour when asked about taking a puck off the bean and you’ve got a healthy human being under that sick flow.

OriginalPouzar

Tyson Barrie only played 7:28 at 5 on 5, lowest among all the D (over 6 min on the PP though). Interesting deployment – I wonder if he was a bit banged up?

Nurse ended up playing over 27 minutes – 9 minutes (and change) more than any other d-men (Larsson and Russell).

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Probably more of a function of easing Bear back into the lineup and playing everyone to their strengths.

OriginalPouzar

Probably – I also think the 7D does mess with a rotation/deployment plan – can’t be easy for Playfair.

Ivan

I really don’t think Barrie has ever carried a 25 min role. When you play alongside a horse like Nurse….dude you’re gonna be sucking some wind pick your spots,

jp

No, Barrie hasn’t carried a 25 minute role.

But he’s been over 21:45 in each of the past 6 seasons. I don’t think too much TOI per se is the issue.

jp

I didn’t see the whole game but it looked to me like Barrie was playing the 7D role (rotating into the main pairings). Interesting whatever the reason.

I do think we’re seeing what Tippett thinks of Barrie though. Bear pretty clearly (I thought) has his job back at Nurse’s partner. And Jones was back out there on the PK over Barrie and Bouchard.

I think it bodes well for Jones’ future with the Oilers (pending Seattle), and not so well for Barrie’s future with the team beyond this season.

Pouzar

Win.

Now own the Leaves Soul.

N64

JP now our 4th forward in goals scored.

Bling

Very impressed by the quality of the defending today. Top to bottom, all of the D were excellent at getting in lanes and transitioning pucks.

Bear had a nice sequence where he had a Canuck draped all over him in the corner but held on for that extra second to start a breakout.

Jones was money on the PK, doing exactly what Tippett had asked of him prior to being taken out of the lineup.

Bouchard has a deft touch for sure.

Nurse is a legit 1D. Barrie did a very nice job defending. Larsson, Russell, both very solid. Larsson’s skating is looking better and better.

I’m also encouraged that we’re starting to see a bit more of a 5 man attack in the offensive zone. I think this will take some more time, but once it settles it’ll be something to behold. Lots of smart activation by the D.

hunter1909

Oilers look Unstoppable

-Oilers looking deadly to opposition with sparkling W record in last 11 games.
-Soon Lowetide will compare them to the 1969-70 Boston Bruins.
-Chiasson = Odds on to be the new Pisani with his Esposito(Phil) willingness to stand getting thumped in “the slot”.
-Defence hilarious as Nurse thumped 2 Canucks in 1 shift, Larson made one of his patented “I’ll play great offence for 1 shift and fuck them if they can’t score from it” shifts.
-Flames fans watch their team getting raped by those crappy Senators who gave Oilers that 4-0 gift. Folks, it doesn’t get any better than this.

Toronto Series shaping up for a potential epic; Expect 1 W Hope for 2 and forget 3.

Last edited 7 months ago by hunter1909
OriginalPouzar

geezus – nice talk…….

OmJo

So is Mike Smith a consideration for the Vezina yet? 😂

theDjdj

Credit to Tippett and Holland for having faith in their players and trusting Smith. His heater has resurrected our season’s outlook. To be honest, I think Smith has been hiding a few warts in the Oilers game over the last few. Will be interested to see how they face up against Toronto.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

I’ll admit, I was skeptical about starting Smith so much. Had expected Tippett to continue with a 2-on/2-off rotation from last season.

Hopefully Mikko is so much the better for the extra practice time and Tipp can ride the hot hand and continue to rack up the victories.

Last edited 7 months ago by BornInAGretzkyJersey
theDjdj

I agree. I think the sunset stage of Smith’s career has featured periods of absolute heaters. The guy is a force of adrenaline and competitiveness when he’s feeling it. But it’s so temperamental. I think that’s why Mikko and Smith work when they’re both playing their best. Smith will crash eventually. But absolutely have to credit Tippett for recognising and riding the hot hand.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Yup. Makes me think of a few years prior just lamenting how OTT had such a rock in Anderson and why TF couldn’t we hit on a veteran goalie like that once in a while? Hello, Agent Smith.

SK Oiler Fan

Good road period. Under control. Lots of O zone time. Smith great again

Reja

Have no fear Mike Smith is here.

Admiral Ackbar

Geesh, Brogan can’t arrive fast enough, eh?

BornInAGretzkyJersey

IT’S A TRAP!

striker

You can reply to him every time with this line and you’ll be getting a thumbs up from me good sir.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

I’ve got a bad feeling about this.

OriginalPouzar

Nurse was a beast out there but Demko deserved one of those stars!

wolf8888

Can’t agree. He played very well but all 3 stars earned it. And they are Oilers of course 🙂

Gerta Rauss

Demko was given the 2nd star on the Canucks broadcast

Smith/Demko/McD

LMHF#1

Sloppy effort beyond the red line tonight – but the defensive structure has been solid and Smith stopped everything he should.

Just another way to win.

Last edited 7 months ago by LMHF#1
Bulging Twine

welp, I didn’t like the call to start Smith, I was thinking, just rotate them, but…good call Tipp

Bulging Twine

he was fire tonight

Munny

That win was so 2020…

Uneven effort. Lean heavy on the goalie. Win with PP and PK.

N64

Sweep. Maybe HH will also be right about a sweep in the 4 game Sens Flames series.

Last edited 7 months ago by N64
Reja

It’s a good thing he doesn’t bet anymore after welshing out on a measly $100 bet last year.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Finally, a #1OV who can score on empty nets.

jp

You mean one who has a chance to score on empty nets.

delooper

McDavid apologized to Leon about the goal. Gotta hustle man.

godot10

Draisaitl clung to the wall to force McDavid not to pass it to him. Goal totals for McDavid are important since the Toronto media have been sniffing Captain Underpants.

kgo

I was half expecting Leon to drop his stick there

jp

Ha, McDavid wanted to give it to Draisaitl.

Gerta Rauss

Hehehe….

This team is rolling

Tarkus

Connor McDagger!

OriginalPouzar

McDavid: #pointparasite

fistycuff

Nurse is the new Pronger

OriginalPouzar

His game is in that mold.

Ivan

Yep, Really starting to get those vibes,,,,,

OriginalPouzar

Nurse is taking a beating blcoking shots!

jp

Great PP shift by the 3rd line.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

I was liking that egalitarian alignment, they sure earned a bit of icing tonight.

jp

Most definitely did.

MushedPeas

Demko deserves better #sorrynotsorry

Last edited 7 months ago by MushedPeas
Munny

Ennis absolutely stoned on a brilliant set up