Humble Pie

by Lowetide

The Toronto Maple Leafs flattened the Edmonton Oilers, stomped their guts out, sliced them up into little bitty pieces and fed them to the pigeons. Outcoached, outplayed, anticipated and executed. A complete domination. Now, what are the Oilers going to do about it?

If you are a child of the 1960’s (or before) you’ll remember all the magazines sold to men (sports, true crime) had about 20 pages of ads. Some of the ads were disgusting (see-through glasses, as if), and some of them were funny (how I got rich selling aluminum siding!). My all-time favourite ads were the Charles Atlas ones. “It’s 11 o’clock, you’re on the beach with your best girl. 11 o’clock plus 10 seconds, a big mean bully kicks sand in your face. What are you going to do about it?” Killer ads. Bet they worked, too.


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: 8-15-2, 18 points; goal differential -14
  • Oilers in 2016-17: 13-10-2, 28 points; goal differential +7
  • Oilers in 2017-18: 10-13-2, 22 points; goal differential -13
  • Oilers in 2018-19: 12-11-2, 26 points; goal differential -5
  • Oilers in 2019-20: 15-7-3, 33 points; goal differential +13
  • Oilers in 2020-21: 14-11-0, 28 points; goal differential +1

The goal differential is shot to hell and the 11 losses in 25 games bring the 2018-19 team into play. The post-game buzz surrounded a terse reaction by Leon Draisaitl (more in a minute) but I left these three games convinced that the Oilers need to upgrade the goaltending. My article above about the trade deadline recommends a goalie acquisition. Nothing against Mike Smith, or Mikko Koskinen, but the Oilers need an upgrade at the position. This team makes too many mistakes to get by with average goaltending.


  • At home to: Toronto, Toronto, Calgary (Expected: 1-1-1) (Actual 0-2-0)
  • At home to: Ottawa, Ottawa, Ottawa (Expected: 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Vancouver, Calgary, Calgary (Expected: 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to Winnipeg, Winnipeg (Expected: 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Montreal, Montreal, Montreal (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Toronto, Toronto (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 9-6-1, 19 points in 16 games
  • Current results: 0-2-0, 0 points in two games

Not a good start to the month, friends. Calgary on the weekend, and then three against and improved Ottawa team. I have Edmonton going 3-1-0 in those games, but the group looked poor this week and today is a day off. So, Friday then.


Mike Smith gave up a pile of goals but he also hung in there. He’s now down to .923 and his won-loss record (6-2-0) represents almost half the wins and about 20 percent of the losses. That’s good. I would run Koskinen Saturday. I would also trade for an upgrade.

Ethan Bear is a personal favourite but he hasn’t been right since he came back and struggled before he left. Last night it looked like he was late for the sky on the second Vesey goal, and he wasn’t much of a deterrent on the Ilya Mikheyev goal. He was late getting off the bench on the change in the case of the Vesey cash and that’s going to get a lot of attention in the coming days. I remain onside and believe in his future, but I wonder if he’s completely recovered from his injury.

Leon Draisaitl picked up an assist in the game, and should have had two on the night. I think the story of this series (goalie aside) is contained in the single play that saw Draisaitl unable to get the puck through TJ Brodie and to Kailer Yamamoto. Toronto has always been able to score goals, but the defending is exceptional now. I don’t recall a Maple Leafs team with this kind of ability across the spectrum.

Adam Larsson is lethal and I love it.

Connor McDavid was not effective in the series, not through lack of effort but because Toronto made progress with the puck difficult. McDavid is a transporter who feeds on chaos from the opponent, so calm feet and effective coverage work. Fortunately for McDavid and the Oilers, the TML are the only team in the division who can do it, and even then it doesn’t always deliver as it did this week. In seven games against Toronto this year, 97 has scored 3-4-7. The most effective team in the division is Montreal, keeping the captain to just two assists in three games so far this year.

  1. Calgary Flames: 3 games, 4-3-7
  2. Winnipeg Jets: 4 games, 1-8-9
  3. Ottawa Senators: 4 games, 1-7-8
  4. Vancouver Canucks: 4 games, 5-2-7
  5. Toronto Maple Leafs: 7 games, 3-4-7
  6. Montreal Canadiens: 3 games, 0-2-2

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored and had two HDSC at five on five. I think Tippett would be wise to keep him on the Draisaitl line, and should try to run McDavid and JP with Ennis or Nygard for now. When Kassian gets back, maybe Puljujarvi can move over to the left side. For now, keep Nuge where he scores most.

Jujhar Khaira and Tyler Ennis each had two HDSC and showed well in tough circumstances. Ennis stirs the offensive drink, so moving him to the McDavid line might be counterproductive (and necessary).

Caleb Jones struggled, he and Bear are having a time. I don’t have an answer, but expect Lagesson will draw in for him when he’s ready. Defense. Who knew?

Kailer Yamamoto is getting closer to going on a run, I think. He is getting to the net and passing brilliantly. I bet he has a good week ahead.


I don’t know Rob Tychkowski well, but have read him for years and have been in the same room for a time. He’s a very smart guy and a quick wit and I imagine most of us would enjoy having a beer and shooting the breeze with him.

Last night, Tych drew some attention due to a question asked of Leon Draisaitl. I’ll let Mr. Tychkowski speak for himself, I don’t do his job and therefore can’t offer insight into what happened.

I want to make two points here: First, the current process for interviewing players and management is difficult, and it has strained both sides. I’d bet a conversation held under the previous format would have been much better for all involved.

Second point: I don’t think it’s coming back. Any time a professional franchise can control the message more, that’s a road taken. That means the job gets more difficult for Tych, and that will no doubt lead to more pointed questions in the time players and management are available.

I don’t have the answer, but understand both sides. The team wants to control the message, the reporter wants to find a unique angle or scoop that will own the attention of fans for an entire day. That’s his job. I think his will be more difficult in the future and that outside sources, those not connected to the team, will become even more important now than they have been in the past.


No idea if this is real or a mirage, but Skinner’s third pro season looks like the charm. The Condors are better this year, those Euro adds on AHL deals are working well. Skinner is a player the Oilers have believed in all down the line. We’ll have to see if he can sustain this level of excellence.


At 10 this morning, TSN1260, we’ll devote the entire show to the Oilers and what happened this week. Matt Kassian, former NHLer and TSN1260 Analyst will help us drill down on the week and what can be done before Saturday to fix some things. Frank Seravalli from TSN will join us at 11 to talk Oilers-Leafs, what’s next and the trade deadline. Might talk about Ovie’s spear and small fine, too. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!


You may also like

4.3 7 votes
Article Rating
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Todd Macallan

Just saw this also on Tullio from Mr. Wheeler:

One of my favourite prospects in recent years, still cannot believe he lasted until the 5th round.

Last edited 1 month ago by Todd Macallan

Calgary Flames fire Geoff Ward and re-hire Darryl Sutter. This north division is anything but dull that’s for sure!


The firing is not surprising. Called it a little over a week ago. Others did too, the trick was coming up with what local solution. Guess Darryl’s calves can go frickin brand themselves this Spring.

Man, the pressure of playing in an all-Canadian division… It’s unbelievable.

These are devastating losses and absolutely glorious wins.


I like the cut of Snrub’s jib.



and the countdown to Johnny Hockey being traded begins.

Im sure those two will get along just like peas and carrots.

I don’t think it’s any secret that’s the players in LA absolutely hated Sutter by the time he was fired.

Treliving might as well put his house up for sale now.


Your work’s done, Walter. Go be with Gord.

comment image


That’s really awesome, thanks.

RIP Walter.

Harpers Hair

Vancouver beats Toronto 3-1.

This ain’t over yet folks.

Harpers Hair

Demko .969

Bank Shot

Blah blah blah


Walter Gretzky has passed away.


A true gentleman.


Someone lower the flag to half-mast, please.


Not sure about Skinner. But having watched him a lot in junior, he was one player who elevated his game in the Playoffs. That to me is a Good sign.

Is he NHL good? I don’t know But very Happy to hear he is having a Good run in the Bake.!


He did out-duel Carter Hart in the one playoff series.

Then again, Carter Hart has almost identical numbers to Brayden Holby this season.


Yo host!!!!
the rug is wet again!!

Scungilli Slushy

Man Woodcroft is blowing it up.

Just sayin’



Harpers Hair

Montreal scores with an empty net.

3-3 with a minute left.

Harpers Hair

Jets win in OT.


I hate 3-point games. 3 points for a regulation win please.

Harpers Hair

Yep..but it is what it is.

Harpers Hair

2-0 Flames..on 3 shots.

Harpers Hair

2-1…on 3 shots.

Harpers Hair

3-1 Calgary in the first.

Harpers Hair

4-1 Flames at the end of the first.


So you’re celebrating a split with Ottawa?

just sayin

Mr. Hair. Please post this on Flames site. We don’t care.

Harpers Hair

You don’t care how the teams the Oilers need to beat are doing?


just sayin

I care about the things the Oilers can control not the things they can’t. I’ll leave that to you.

Harpers Hair

Flames lead 5-1 after two.

Harpers Hair

Flames win 7-3.

Chucky with 4 points.


Markstrom is dressed tonight but backing up – I look forward to chasing him from the game, again, on Saturday night!

Harpers Hair

Who starts for the Oilers considering Smith just got ventilated by Toronto?


Did you even pause once before writing that?

Harpers Hair

Why would I?

If it’s head to head, I would put my money on Markstrom over either Oiler goaltender.


I don’t know. Maybe on the basis that some people here have relatives on ventilators at this very moment fighting for their lives. You know, this whole pandemic thing. It’s been in the news.

Harpers Hair

Do you have a list of words we can no longer use?

Good grief.


That’s not really the same kind of “ventilated”. To be fair, it wouldn’t have crossed my mind, using it in the same sense..

Harpers Hair

Elias Sports Bureau (@EliasSports) Tweeted:
If Toronto (18-4-2) wins tonight, they would set a franchise record for most wins over their first 25 games of a season. The @MapleLeafs were 18-5-2 through 25 games in 1934-35. #NHL #LeafsForever


Anyone think there is potential for a Koskinen trade for an upgrade once Stalock is available? Holland wouldn’t have been able to make a move before as that would leave him only Smith until the new guy finishes quarantine

Harpers Hair

Who exactly would want or need Koskinen at that cap hit?

I expect the answer is very close to zero.

You would have to attach a significant asset to get another team to even consider it.


I don’t think there is a market for Koskinen even if with retaining half.


He said ‘for an upgrade’, so there would clearly be an asset attached.

Exchanging Koskinen in the transaction would be almost the only way to upgrade anyhow (even if it was an offseason move) because of cap.


Looks like it’s time for Habs to fire their goaler coaches again



132 piece Roman Legion toy soldiers $2.25

150 Civil War toy soldiers $1.49

I would step on a single ant then wait for the next one then step on that one then the anthill sends another and another then finally a wasp turns up that was the ant Air Force time to retire lol


Go Ottawa!
Go Toronto!


Toronto has mastered the art of the one-time pass. On the breakout, in the neutral zone…a quick pass followed by a one-time pass would completely collapse Edmonton’s coverage, and we were on our heels thereafter.


yeah, they can do that because of how well they support the puck. 5 man unit. They also don’t hesitate to turn back and regroup with all 5 guys if they don’t like the way the zone entry is shaping up. That’s what I’ve noticed anyways.


one thing that stood out with me about how Toronto defended was how quickly they closed the gap on him when he received the puck. They got a stick on his and were in a position consistently to slow him down consistently. I’m not sure what the answer is for that. It felt like a basketball team double teaming the other teams star consistently. In theory that should create space for one of the F’s on McDavids line. Problem is that JP struggled to get to the open ice and James Neal is just too slow to fit on that line in that kind of game.

It also felt like Connor was trying to force the issue too often. Nice thing about Connor being Connor is we can safely assume he’ll figure that out on his own.


In the first two games of the set, Nuge didn’t look great there and in all honesty to my eye he hasn’t been very effective on that line and there’s evidence of that with his 5v5 scoring this year.

Harpers Hair

They’re actually triple teaming him.

Generally two forwards and one defenseman surround him.

Not only does it slow him down but it also limits his pass options as there is either a stick or body in the passing lanes.

Won’t always work but it’s an effective strategy.

If you can couple that with staying out of the penalty box, you limit the damage he does.

The plausible solution would be to have another player carry the puck in but, once again, that limits his effectiveness.


I think McDavid kind of played right into the Leafs hand this series. By refusing to dish off the puck to his wingers at the blueline.
He tried beating 2 or 3 Leafs at the blueline by himself far too often. He’s going to have to trust his wingers to get the puck back to him if he wants to be successful against good teams.


This was a very big thing.

It reminds of another big thing from the days of yore.

Back in the Badger Bob days I think it was, the Flimflams were being ripped apart by Paul Coffey, who in the day was a guaranteed zone entry despite the fact that usually everyone else on the ice was between him and the OZone.

The Oilers and the Flickers were to meet in the playoffs and Badger felt they had no chance of winning unless they could stop Coffey. I wish I could remember which year this was so I could give you more details. Where the hell is McCurdy when you need him?

Anyways, yeah Coffey not Gretzky. He felt Coffey was the engine that drove the machine. And man even the most cursory glance at Coffey’s playoff stats will see what a holy terror he was to the opposition.

So Badger Bob (I think) decides to emply a tactic which we would call a trap today. Whenever Coffey had the puck and wound up, they came at him in a vertical stack of two guys. The first guy’s job was to force him away from the middle of the ice and towards either wall. The second guy’s job was to take him into the wall and hopefully pin him there. It was actually pretty effective, but DynastyOil has so many options for puck transport… adjusting wasn’t a mountain.

It might not be as easy but regardless, the Oilers will have to adjust to teams using the swarm on 97. Most importantly as Who points out, McDavid will have to adjust.

Maybe the person we should be looking to deploy alongside the Commander (CMD) is someone good at transporting the puck, like…

Don’t you dare say Holloway!!!


Last edited 1 month ago by Munny

Listening to the show just now and Saravelli mentioned that Nashville has been refusing to retain on Granlund vis-a-vis a trade to the Leafs (initially reported by Dreger).

Granlund would be a very nice add to the lineup but, aside from rental cost, if NSH won’t retain, the Oilers are likely not in the conversation. Even if NSH was willing to retain half, that would send the acquisition cost up even more – with no 2nd, 3rd or 5th…..


This year I bet a lot of these owners would rather have a million dollars than a better draft pick


You are probably right but, at the same time, not retaining could be a deal-breaker given how limited cap space is so it could lead for them remaining on the hook for the entire remainder of the contract as opposed to a portion of it.


19 other teams have the same thoughts on Granlund …..


Rewatched the game and noticed total lack of finishing of checks. Sure, the bottom 6 follow through some times but all of the top 6 save Yammo, bless his heart, fly by ad nauseum. Lost track of the times McDavid overtook a defense man then swooshed as the puck left his stick. I know he is not Clutterbuck, but frankly, his ability to close on people would make him a devastating bodychecker. Check the number of times Holl clears the puck with his back to the glass with any of the top 6 bearing down on him. Total lack of concern. Now imagine Ovi or Iginla in the same position. The Oil need everyone to pull oars in the same direction. Turn McDavid into a goon? No, but use his speed and size to create room and turn over even more pucks as D men try to avoid being hit in exposed positions. And if you say’ NHL defense men will take this as open season on McDavid’ , it has been since his first shift in the NHL.


I believe Edmonton had double the hits Toronto did in the series. Didn’t change much. Narrative is old and tired.


I think this is a bad idea.
Do you really want our best players, who play a ton of minutes, finishing all their checks?
I would prefer they save their energy for creating offense. Or backchecking.
How many hits did you see Matthews, Marner and Nylander throw in the series?

Harpers Hair

If you’re throwing a lot of hits…it means you don’t have the puck much.


My goodness, a frustrated Drai gave a sarcastic answer to a question from the media – why is this blowing up my timeline half way through the next day. Good answer. A non-story.


Hmmm seeing a lot of the league has figured McDavid out… Even though he hasn’t registered a point in 3 games he’s still leading the league in scoring over his fellow teammate by 5pts… But he’s figured out because teams throw 3 guys on him and for a short 3 game series it worked… Good grief the goal posts are grasping at straws.

Good thing they don’t play Toronto 56 times, because no other team has stopped McDavid in the slightest and you’re lying to yourself if you think otherwise.


The division has cracked the PP setup and standard zone entry methods of line when McDavid is on ice.

Neither of these things is that hard to grasp (harder to perfect as McDavid is that good) but they need some variance.

1. On the fly line blender vs tactical adjustments to system – pre game –

2. Improper management of goaltenders – there is some fairly strong rose colored glassitis between the two.

Tippet weak points.

I like tippet but without solid reference prior to here:

I wouldn’t be shocked if he does have a history of not reading and reacting to red flags in a series like segment – which likely impedes him from greater success in post-season play.

Last edited 1 month ago by maudite

One of the distinctive things about the Leafs, and the thing smart teams will emulate, is that the distinction of top six and bottom six is meaningless to them in terms of the acquisition of players. Skill all the way down, everyone plays the same way. Attack with five, defend with five.

The old school days of saying to a guy either you are a top six player or you are nothing are gone.


*Taps Devin Shore on the shoulder, points to Connor McDavid picking up the puck at his own blueline and skating past 4 defenders*

“Do that”


Are you suggesting that Keefe does not have his top 6 and bottom 6 wear different jerseys in practice?????


No idea if this is real or a mirage, but Skinner’s third pro season looks like the charm. The Condors are better this year, those Euro adds on AHL deals are working well. Skinner is a player the Oilers have believed in all down the line. We’ll have to see if he can sustain this level of excellence.

Skinner is popping in the AHL this year….. so far, he’s only played 5 games but so far, so damn good. This is important.

Lets not forget, he is doing this with a defence that currently has one single player under an NHL contract in Neimelainen – its Niemelainen, an aging Stanton and a bunch of non-prospects – even more impressive.


I think it helped the players confidence getting a small cup of coffee earlier. Just knowing that the team believes in you can be a huge boost. Great to see him starting out so well.


Gravel too though. He and Stanton are 28 and 31, each with more than 100 NHL games.

Definitely impressive work from Skinner regardless.


Well, its like someone opened up the window and let some fresh air in…..

This team just is not good enough. We all knew that coming into the season.

Trying to fix the roster -in season- closing in on the trade deadline -is usually not a
recipe for success.

Clearly, KH knows he has to upgrade the goalie position.

We need a legitimate top 6 winger for McDavid.

RNH – Drai -Kailer will be one of the best lines in hockey if we can
resign Ryan.

And most importantly, a high end 3C – who can withstand bein the on
the ice with the oppositions line 1 and line 2.

I remain bullish next year.


Caleb Jones struggled, he and Bear are having a time. I don’t have an answer, but expect Lagesson will draw in for him when he’s ready. Defense. Who knew?

I anticipate we’ll see Laggeson or Russell in for Jones and Bouchard for Bear on Saturday.

I thought Bear was looking good early in the game but then it all came apart.

Bear remains a big part of this team and I think he should play although so should Bouchard.

Dee Dee

The progress of young defensemen is never a straight line, their will be enough bumps and dips to rip your heart out.


The sun came up again today – who woulda thunk it?

The Leafs thumped the Oilers in three straight. The Oilers are not in the same tier as the Leafs right now, that was made clear.

On that other hand, the Oilers:

1) are not “a dumpster fire”
2) are not needing to fire Dave Tippett
3) are not wasting another year of prime McDavid/Drai

6 days ago, the Oilers were in the top 10 in the league in points percentage and running hot. They were not that good.

Now the Oilers are reeling but they are not that bad.

The Oilers got blown out in 3 by a top NHL team. The flames got blown out in 2 out f 3 against the Sens.

The Oilers are a middle of the road team, a playoff team in the North.

No, they probably don’t have the team to go far in this year’s playoffs but, guess what, the core of the team is young and improving, there is more cap space flexibility coming up and there is internal help on the way both up front (Holloway, Lavoie, etc.) and on the back end.

I can’t wait for Saturday, they are going to throttle the flames, a team the Oilers have proven to be superior than this season, despite a 6 day slump.

Go Oilers!


Yup to your three points. As long as the players and coaches recognize, and adjust. Use the talent and skills to get the best result every night. I have faith that the team and coaching is good enough to get to the playoffs. Now it’s up to them to get there. This team is better than the Flames and now the Oilers gotta prove it.

Go Oilers go!

Chelios is a Dinosaur

Original Pouzar as much as your posting “style” is not to everyone’s taste your posting “substance” is as usual on point.

Last edited 1 month ago by Chelios is a Dinosaur

I used to stare at that 204 piece Revolutionary War toy soldier set for hours. There was no getting away from it. The Mother of all toy soldier battles for $1.98

Then I’d go dig anthills up.

Last edited 1 month ago by hunter1909

That one was back cover and it always got to me too.

The WWII one less so but it was still fascinatng… the Revolutionary one however was the goods… could make up stories in your head for hours


comment image


Why would Holland pick up Stalock unless he was going to give him a honest shot remember last time we picked up basically a career back-up from Minny we hit lightning in a bottle. I think Holland and Tippett have lost all faith in Kosh Holland has to find a way to off load him this summer or perhaps a buyout which I hate. Maybe there could be a deal with the Coyotes Kosh plus for Kuemper.


Stalock will get an honest shot.


Googled Charles Atlas advertisement. It certainly belong to a grittier time.


Debbie Downvoter in da house!


$5000 fine for AO.

I’d love to see McDavid spear someone that obstructed him in the neutral zone to make them think twice.

And if the league suspends McDavid if he keeps doing it.
They are in a real conundrum.

Suspend the best player of this generation, or call the egregious interference.


On a positive note Ostap Safin played his first AHL game in over a year, got an assist and recorded a shot on net!


I have the highlight in yesterday’s thread.

No Safin and no Sea Monkeys today from LT and yet I’m supposed to believe correlation doesn’t equal causation. Yeah, sure, right.

Last edited 1 month ago by Munny

Personally, I am very disappointed there was no mention of Sea Monkeys…

comment image

Last edited 1 month ago by Munny

Lol, Sea Monkeys definitely got my 8 year old attention back in the day. As did the wrist watch communicator and x-ray glasses, but I never thought they were real working devices so I always had the sense as a very young lad that they were fake.

However, I must admit as a 13 year old I paid $9.99 for what I discovered to be the very dated Charles Atlas program. Go isometrics!


Wasn’t he into tension/resistance as well?

Dunno. Dad bought me and my brother a Ben Weider set of weights when I was 13 or 14. So no Charls Atlas, but the Weiders were kind of the Canadian Charles Atlas.


“Dynamic Tension” was his name for isometrics. There were also chin-up using a broomstick, dips using chairs and triceps dips. Other than that the program was a series of simple isometric exercises like pushing/pulling your hands with each other, wall push-ups, standard push-ups, sit-up and leg push-outs.

Watching and following Jack LaLanne (I think ITV showed it early in the am around that time) would have yielded a superior result.

Dee Dee

Sea Monkeys were Brine Shrimp. You get a little packet the size of a sugar thing for your coffee.

You’d pour it into a glass, and that was pretty much it.

Best marketing next to pet rocks.

The Submarine ads were prominent too, and you’d get a cardboard box.


The President’s trophy has been awarded 33 times only 8 times that lead to a Stanley Cup.

All these games are part of the long journey.


The Oilers got owned by TML, there has to be a bushel of lessons in there, right? So who will learn them and what will this look like? We should see on Saturday. If the team has been impacted (in a good way) we should see positive results in the next 4 games. This is my expectation.

If the team continues to shit the bed over the next 4 games this season will be in jeopardy. But the sky is not falling. To be honest, it has been clear that this team has been far too dependant on Drai, CMD and the PP for positive results. The bottom 6 and the wingers in the top 6 have only made the occasional cameo in the goal generation department.

The difference maker for this team has been the scoring contributions of Nurse and Barrie, and the 2 week boost by Khaira’s line.

There are still too many holes to plug and this team is thin on prospects and draft picks, so what are the remaining options?

Unless the Neal, Kassian, Chiasson or Koskinen contracts can be moved out, there will not be moves to be made. If they can move 2 of these contracts along with perhaps Barrie and a developing player (like Jones) or two, then a few deals are possible.

In my opinion, if Bakersfield does go on a longer roll (they have been exactly the opposite Oilers their last 3 games) perhaps the solutions are already in-house a few weeks down the road. So if the Oilers get back to winning (meaning 97 & 29 + good NHL goaltending) the team could be bolstered by young reinforcements.

IMO Holloway is the #2 LW in the organization and Benson is #4. McLeod is #6. All the top RW’s are with the big club and I can’t see much help at the C (Marody is simply not fast enough), unless Holloway or McLeod
are seen as viable solutions (likely not). At D, perhaps Lennstrom makes an appearance and does well, although I believe Niemelainen is more likely to have a much more significant positive impact.

In goal, Stalock could come in and make some noise, but so could Skinner who is a few minutes shy of Lauren Brossoit’s consecutive shutout minutes record in Bakersfield.

But nothing will happen overnight, there isn’t a prospect that will arrive today and change the fortunes of this team and a trade will not result in an instant fix. Everything will take time.

Buckle up folks, but settle in and get comfortable, the next month should be one of the most interesting in this club’s recent history.

Today they don’t look like a legitimate playoff team at all, let’s see what a few weeks can do to hopefully change this outlook…

Last edited 1 month ago by €√¥£€^$

A team needs to face adversity and come through it.

We are certainly not short on adversity.

Can they come through it? Are they emotionally and mentally strong enough to move forward from these losses? Or are they going to give up? Can the coaching staff get their heads screwed on right?

We’re about to find out…

Damn that was a helluva series by TML though. Best I’ve ever seen them play, and I’m including Borje, Darryl and Lanny.


I’ve been saying it all summer. I believe a deal with ARZ looks better everyday for Kuemper.


Agree. But not just for his goaltending…instant fan favorite


Friedman made a good point when talking about Toronto last night and the timing of any trades due to the 14 day quarantine requirement. IF Edmonton is able to upgrade its goaltending then, and we assume the goalie is coming from the US, it makes sense (as much as it is possible) to try and time any trade around the team’s schedule. Having a look it would appear the best time to make any such trade would be the weekend against Toronto at the end of the month. There are some days off that, and a couple the games following weeks against Ottawa and Vancouver which is about as soft as it gets. That gives Stalock a few weeks to get up and running. Either that or pull the trigger today


I think the mini-series with Leafs revealed the true state of the Oilers team – warts and all. Besides the obvious manpower issues (Top 6 winger, 3rd line center and an above replacement goalie), it exposed a multitude of issues:
On the backend, things like inexperience (Barrie / Jones / Bouchard), one-dimensional players (Larsson / Russell) and Barrie (who gives up more than he creates) and how all of this together is not a winning formula.
As to the forwards, I think we have some great pieces in place but the mix is not ideal. As some poster pointed out, McDavid is a beyond brilliant individual player but it is not easy to play with him. Marner seems to get more out of his line mates than McDavid even though the latter has a #1 and a #4 overall pick on his side. Given his physical stature, Yama is a fantastic player but too often he gets ridden off the puck and fails to maintain possession. Kahun gamely tries to compete but seems have coverage issues and may ideally be more suited for the 3rd line. Speaking of the 3rd line, we don’t have a 3rd line so to speak. A good team would have the line of Khaira, Ennis and Arch as the 4th line. On the so called 4th line, Haas skates fast, and play intelligently but has no finish, can’t win a draw to save his life and would not be on a contending team. The others like Neal, Chaisson, Russell, Turris are meh to bad.
Finally, Tippet and his crew were totally outcoached by their Toronto counterparts. Forget in-game adjustments, the Oilers coaching crew did not make any tactical changes between games. The 3 games seemed to have the same approach. Yes, the players have to play better but if you see the opposition take the time and space from your best player, you need to come up with some out of the box strategy – doing exactly the same thing and expecting a different result is you know what… Not saying that we should look for a new HC but we need fresh outlook on how to counter the 3 men on McDavid tactic that the Leafs used and now the rest of the league will adopt.
For Holland, he needs to look at his pro-scouts and maybe issue a few pink slips specially the person who recommended Turris and Barrie. He needs to use the last few games to see how far we are from making any inroads in the playoffs. Yes, he has some promising prospects but they’ll raw for the next couple of seasons – need experienced vets to guide on the ice not just talk the talk in the dressing room.
In short the Oilers, from top to bottom, need to do a self-audit – like the one burger Bob promised post Chia and while a total rebuild is not called for, need make some definitive and astute moves to make fans want to come back and cheer for the team.  
Apologize for the rant but this is where I am thanks to the putrid show against the leafs.

Harpers Hair

An excellent analysis.

Happy to see you noticed the three checkers on McDavid tactic.

In fact, others teams have already employed the same strategy albeit not with the same success that Toronto garnered.

When combined with a concerted effort to stay out of the penalty box as Toronto did, it renders McDavid far less dangerous since he cannot effect game outcomes at 5V5.


Pretty good post you have here mad.

Rants are a result of the lack of success the team just experienced. They are welcomed if they point out things which are valid. You make some good points. These 3 games really highlighted the current talent weaknesses, the structural gameplay deficiencies (5v5, PK, PP), and coaching errors.

The thing that’s stands out the most to me is the large amount of errors in coaching decisions. There is no gentle way to say this. Tippet and assistants needs to be much better. Lack of in-game…and between-game adjustments were horrid. Not to mention brutal roster decisions made prior to each game. (Too many to mention in this post).

I am not happy that Tippet has not accepted any of the blame here. Here is a brief summary of what “I” heard him say. After game 1 he said the team lacked energy. And a lot of blah blah. After game 2 he said the team was in a rut. Rut, rut, rut…blah blah. After game 3 he said he was very concerned that the team couldn’t grab enough compete. Blah blah….nowhere did he mention that any of these losses could be on him or the coaches… while in reality, the coaching and roster decisions had a large impact on the games. Too many times in these 3 games, defenceman were sliding around, too many poor line changes, horrible PK structure, and very poor hard matchups with last change.

The coaching needs to acknowledge that they were not good. I need to hear them say it. Until that happens and better decisions are made, let the rants carry on!


Holland needs to get him some Darcy or John then sprinkle in alittle Eric and Taylor and bake that cake.


Darcy Hordichuk and Eric Gryba?


No need to panic, this is just the first half of Major League, we’re the Indians and the Leafs are the Yankees.

Once Vaughn gets glasses and Cerrano learns to hit a curveball we’ll be fine.


The Leafs are not the Yankees.

The Yankees win championships.

Good lord don’t let this team ever become the Cleveland Indians…

Remember when the Oilers were the Yankees?

Nothing is stopping them from becoming that again…if you go read about the Oilers in the 80s and the brand and the deals with Nike and the wide reach…it’s very interesting and completely conflicts with the “small market sadness” story we were all told in the 90s.

Last edited 1 month ago by LMHF#1

You know us…we’re a professional hockey team!

Bag of Pucks

Personally, I loved Draisaitl’s sarcasm. Athletes are asked way too many dumb questions and are expected to grin and bear it. Worse, you have the new trend now where reporters don’t even ask questions. They state a strawman they’re keen to propagate and invite the athlete to respond.

From conspiracy theorists to science deniers, we’re living in a world where stupidity is running rampant. Why should dumb behaviour get a free pass? Good for you Leon.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Agreed 100%.


Remember though, stupid can be a 2 way street. Players are coached to give stupid answers. As Dusty said above, at intermission the mute button is pushed and the iPad is opened.

Bag of Pucks

We labour under this belief that we should “suffer fools gladly.” While undoubtedly, a more graceful and tolerant approach to living, I’m not sure it’s sustainable.

The fools are rapidly becoming the majority if we haven’t reached that tipping point already, and the impacts of this on public policy are leading us to extinction.

I think we’re better served exposing the idiocy rather than suffering in silence. Ignorance is far too emboldened these days imo.

Harpers Hair

We are now at the point that 2+2=4 is racist.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Oh shut the fuck up.

Your ad nauseam Oilers trolling is enough. We don’t need to listen to your shitty political takes too.


Id be very curious what the sportlogic numbers where for this series. Theres probably a few players that lost 90% of their battles


Do we know what the issue is with Kahun that had him sidelined?


He was “unfit to play” – he’s got some undisclosed injury. Tippett is very very tight-lipped on the nature of injuries.

I don’t believe its anything Covid-related despite the use of the words “unfit to play” – if it was, then a bunch of close-contact players/coaches would have been on the Covid-list yesterday – they weren’t, nor was Kahun.


I just hope there’s not a knee jerk reaction to this series, and that the coaching staff sticks with most of these players, and line combinations for a few weeks.
The only line change I would make is Kahun in for Neal, and Chiasson in for Turris. If Kahun isn’t ready, swap Neal and Nygard.
Neal has no business playing on Mcdavids wing. At this point he’s a 4th liner who needs to be bought out this summer. Nygard needs to play. His speed is real, and it is spectacular.


I see Nygard as the softest player on the team.


How did you come to that conclusion? We’ve hardly seen him play.
I certainly haven’t seen him soft, this year or last year. He needs to be given the opportunity, or we’ll never know.
I’ve seen enough of Neal to make a decision on him.


I agree and have full confidence that Tippett and Holland have each been around long enough to know not to over-react to any 3-game sample size.


There isn’t a single reporter who asks the questions people might actually want the answers to. It’s either cliche bullshit, water-carrying for someone, or a question that reveals they didn’t watch the game (or have no clue how to).

Part of this is simple quality of the profession vs the crummy pay – but also the fact that it hasn’t evolved like other areas or sports have (you’d do better to have a couple YouTubers/podcasters and a couple bloggers in there as they have better motivation and a better sense of audience).

Access doesn’t matter anymore – and yet they all act like it does. There is no one deeply imbedded enough to tell you a real story that would be interesting, and also no one with enough guts, separation and knowledge to say “why aren’t you icing the best roster?” or “the goalie looked off but you didn’t pull him” or “the power play was being shut down at the blue line, how are you going to fix the zone entry?” Or even the less hockey-technical versions of those questions. You need both of these types ideally – neither exist right now.

It’s a joke to be honest. Listening to any mainstream Oilers source is utterly pointless and if anything, just aggravating.


Postgame, other than McCurdy, it’s either Lowetide or The Athletic for me at this point. It’s been years since I’ve been able to stand the intermission stuff while watching games.

Guys like Woodguy on Twitter give more in-game insight (and humor).

So I find watching the game with twitter open is the most entertaining, plus if anything actually interesting happens in the post-game stuff, I’ll see it in my timeline anyway.


I like how he was claim and didn’t lose a beat with the questions.


I’ll be curious what Holland does with the D-corp going forward. As promising as Bouchard, Bear, Jones, Lagesson, Broberg, Samurokov are there, and even if lets say you lose Jones to the Kraken. There is no way you can hope to win the cup with that much youth on defense


As painful as this was to watch, it was a good lesson for them to learn as it was effectively playoff caliber hockey. The leafs look like a team that has learned the hard lessons already. Thankfully our lesson is in the regular season and not the playoffs.


I thought the lessons were supposed to have been learned from last playoffs?


The lessons to be had from last years playoffs is to not have a pandemic and start playoff hockey immediately after 2 month absence


Hardly. Unless you think the best team didn’t win it all.


Anyone knows what was said? Some of us are far from Edmonton media and looks like the link above was edited

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

I see, so a complete nothingburger then?


That was incredibly underwhelming


Draisaitl answered a cliched question with deadpan sarcasm (effing brilliant, really), exposing the proceedings for the kabuki theatre and farce that it is (Implicitly suggesting that perhaps the media should ask a real question and not another cliched one).

Media was offended that they did not get a cliched answer, and continue to ask cliched questions, particularly Spector.