2020-21 Game 33: Jets at Oilers

by Lowetide

The Oilers won in Calgary on Wednesday night, as the team’s best players had their cannons pointed in the right direction. It was an important win for the team and the Canadian division standings, as you’ll see in a moment. No rest for the Oilers, who play the high-flying Winnipeg Jets in Edmonton tonight.

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 33 GAMES

  • Oilers in 201514-17-2, 30 points; goal differential -13
  • Oilers in 2016: 16-12-5, 37 points; goal differential +4
  • Oilers in 2017: 14-17-2, 30 points; goal differential -9
  • Oilers in 2018: 18-12-3, 39 points; goal differential +4
  • Oilers in 2019: 18-11-4, 40 points; goal differential +2
  • Oilers in 2020-21: 19-13-0, 38 points; goal differential +15

This year’s model of the McDavid Oilers could be the first to win 20 in the first 33 games of the season. That’s a fantastic rate. Entering this evening, the Oilers 32-game pace should have them arrive at season’s end with a 67-point campaign and 33 wins. That’s a playoff team.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM MARCH

  • At home to: Toronto, Toronto, Calgary (Expected: 1-1-1) (Actual 1-2-0)
  • At home to: Ottawa, Ottawa, Ottawa (Expected: 2-1-0) (Actual 3-0-0)
  • On the road to: Vancouver, Calgary, Calgary (Expected: 2-1-0) (Actual 1-2-0)
  • 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: 5-4-0, 10 points in nine games

After the Calgary win, the club is just shy of my predicted pace and the 5-4-0 record is close to my projected 5-3-1 start to March. These Winnipeg games are going to be difficult, although the Jets played and traveled last night, too.

Edmonton is in third place by winning percentage and by points (tied for second) and that’s close to my prediction (full second, behind Toronto) before the season began. The team’s record against the Flames (4-2-0) is much, but not all, of the gap between the two teams.

LINES, LAST NIGHT

  • Kahun-Draisaitl-Yamamoto played 11:51, going 5-8 shots, 1-0 goals, 2-2 HDSC and 8-11 Corsi five on five. Kahun had a goal, two shots and a HDSC. He’s too small to win battles but he’s always working at it. He has five goals in 26 games. Draisaitl had three assists (two on the power play) and won 56 percent of his faceoffs, plus a takeaway. He also took seven (the most) defensive zone faceoffs. His pass to Kahun is the stuff of legends. Yamamoto had a HDSC and went to the tough areas despite getting run over just for fun. If Holland makes a deal at the deadline, it will be to bring in size on LW for one of the top lines.
  • Chiasson-Shore-Archibald played 11:09, going 4-8 shots, 0-1 goals and 4-15 Corsi five on five. Chiasson scored a fine goal on the power play, he now has six in 24 games. Shore filled in well for Khaira, won 62 percent of his faceoffs (70 percent at five on five) and had one good look offensively. He played a clean 1:40 on the PK. Archibald played 2:21 on the PK (also no goals against) and was quiet offensively. He sure hits a lot, credited with three but I think the French judge wasn’t paying attention.
  • Ennis-Haas-Kassian played 9:49, going 5-4 shots, 1-0 goals, 2-2 HDSC and 8-8 Corsi five on five. This line was refreshing. Ennis had three shots and two HDSC’s, he is worth way more than his contract. Haas had a nice assist, won seven of 10 in the dot, and used his terrific speed to his advantage. Nice game. Kassian scored a terrific power goal, driving to the net and sending a backhand past Markstrom. That’s when the broadcasters started talking about it not being Markstrom’s night, but have another look at that play. Kassian has skill.
  • Nuge-McDavid-Puljujarvi played 9:39, 7-5 shots, 2-1 goals, 1-2 HDSC and 10-7 Corsi five on five. Nuge scored an early goal on a terrific McDavid feed (Lucic sending a lovely pass to the captain), plus an assist and a HDSC. That goal was badly needed. McDavid went 1-2-3 boxcars, both assists at even strength and the goal on the power play. He was brilliant but had his minutes cut when the game got out of hand, Tippett possibly having an eye to load management and the Jets tonight. Jesse Puljujarvi had major impact on two goals. His power-play marker was a brilliant tip on a Barrie point shot and involved JP saving the puck to the point a split second for a Flames player would have gobbled it up. On the assist, he got the puck to 97 when he had clean air in front of him, the result being Nurse’s goal just seconds later. This line had a tremendous night, all three men scoring.

PAIRINGS AND GOALIE

  • Lagesson-Larsson played 16:58, going 4-9 shots, 0-1 goals, and 6-17 Corsi five on five. Played mostly with the Shore line and against the Tkachuk-Lindholm-Dube line, which I think would be an extreme advantage for Calgary but resulted in only the Backlund late third-period goal. I wonder if both coaches wanted this matchup. Lagesson took 7 hits, but kept on ticking.
  • Nurse-Barrie played 14:28, going 8-12 shots, 3-1 goals, 1-5 HDSC and 9-15 Corsi five on five. That’s a weird line, three goals on one HDSC and 9 Corsi events. Played 8:25 with the McDavid line and over four minutes with Draisaitl’s trio. Played 8 minutes against Lucic-Backlund-Mangiapane. We know Sutter is going to run Backlund against great opposition, interesting to see how long Lucic remains there. Nurse went 1-1-2, has nine goals now (all even strength) and leads NHL defensemen in that category.
  • Russell-Bear played 13:28, going 9-3 shots, 1-0 goals, 4-2 HDSC and 13-9 Corsi five on five. Bear needs to play more. Were deployed mostly with the Haas line and against Gaudreau-Monahan-Ritchie who lost the shot battle 4-3 to Russell and Bear. Both defensemen had strong games, Russell’s hard work defensively was all over this game. His power-play minute won’t be remembered. Bear is feeling it now, you can see him sliding back in a timely manner and looking before sending an outlet pass. If I were a GM of another team, I’d inquire about Bear. You won’t get him this time next year.
  • Mike Smith is absolutely playing great hockey. He stopped 30 of 33, .909 and could have had a better set of numbers but this Oilers team started to wander.

OILERS 2020-21 ROSTER

This is five on five pts-60 (forwards), Corsi five on five (defense) and five on five save percentage (goaltenders).

A lot of men got healthy in a hurry last night, including both of McDavid’s linemates and young Kahun. Gaetan Haas is coming on now, he’s going to be a strong contributor if he can hit 1.50 pts-60 at five on five.

Ethan Bear’s Corsi leads the team, no surprise there. Bouchard isn’t playing but that Corsi number tells you he is ready.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, we’ll review last night’s game and look forward to tonight, TSN1260. Five questions at 10:20, we’ll talk March Madness with John Price at 10:40. At 11, Frank Seravalli will discuss the expanded trade deadline board and I’ll ask him how active Ken Holland will be in improving the Oilers. Plus your chance to qualify in the $10,000 Fan Cave! 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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Victoria Oil

Habs finally get a win in extra time.

kgo

Kyle Connor sure is creepy lookin, looks like a young Robert Pickton

wolf8888

He’d look awfully good on Mcdavid’s wing though wouldn’t he?

kgo

Jones was all over the map tonight. I saw him make some great plays, he battled hard on the wall, made a huge hit but he also had some horrible mistakes that could have easily cost us goals.

Jones isn’t doing himself any favours.

maudite

And a Russell with a game break here or there in platoon mode is not making for easy target to replace this year.

Munny

@Robin_Brownlee

Watching Puljujarvi battle in front of the net is like watching Godzilla swatting bi-planes out of the air.

Munny

Funny, but I think he means Kong

Last edited 1 month ago by Munny
hunter1909

Godzilla swatting biplanes fails for cinematic recognition but receives an A+ for metaphysical representation of JP’s Gordie Howe swat away the opposition style.

JimmyV1965

Huge win for the Oil tonight. Bear looks much better recently, like he did last year.

maudite

Saw more good than bad. The patience with the puck is coming back. Trusting a bit more to double back and keep the puck over panic tossing away. Confidence thing that I can understand be hard to gain and easy to lose.

Did feel like there was almost some concerted effort dumping his way and looking for puck battle easier wins on his side…but could be confirmation bias creep…puzzled but it felt like it.

hunter1909

HUNTER1909’s Death March™ 

Revised Update:

With Oilers now on pace for a 68 point finish, here are the current leaders in the Death March game which might pay out to all winners at the end of the season. 

dcsj_57; Slocanoil; SOS; JAMCON; HotEire; Enigma, BornInAGretzkyJersey

Will replace previous leaders:

JRizzer25; Hazwasted; KGB; Oilnc79; Unjustenrichment; Whale 

OriginalPouzar

Ensure to adjust for strength of schedule.

fistycuff

Ha ha ha. Very well done!

Redbird62

I thought Russell played a great game. Some key defensive plays in the 3rd. Jones didn’t get on the ice in the last 11 minutes. It was the Jets forward on his side that was sprung for the breakaway earlier. No wonder Russell played over 20 minutes. Right now, Tippett trusts Russell more to play the right way as he and the coaches have defined it and he has good reason to.

fistycuff

Yep. That breakaway was on Jones. Didn’t see a replay that showed why he was so far out of position.

Last edited 1 month ago by fistycuff
Munny

Great quote from Tipp on JP.

wolf8888

What was it?

Bling

Paraphrasing, he said that JP is a very hard-working player. Used the descriptor “hard player” multiple times. On the wall, in front of the net. Has improved his defensive zone play and his play along the wall. You need players like that to win.

It was very effusive praise.

Munny

Yup but with emphasis on the hard over the hard-working. Such a hard player to play against too. Ultra-competitive which why he was out at the end of the game protecting the lead.

Like I was saying last night, he’s more valuable to a team than Laine.

Last edited 1 month ago by Munny
wolf8888

That’s great. Thanks. There was talk yesterday of giving him up with with a bunch of other A assets for a goalie. I wouldn’t do it

Bling

Ethan Bear, on off-days, watches more hockey because he gets tired of watching himself. Haha. He’s great in front of the mic.

Brewha Ha

Deadleeeeeeyyyy!

Brewha Ha
Pretendergast

Fantastic game by Bear and Koskinen. Larsson continues to be mean as hell and I adore the JP-Nuge-Connor line where JP goes nordic track to gain the zone and back the d off then drops for Connor with space. Created all types of offence off of that play, and it’s incredibly tough to keep up and back-check on that level of speed.

That was a playoff type game where both teams were admittedly playing more conservative having played last night. Tight checking and those Winnipeg forwards cause havoc on pursuit, really elite group and the boys held on. Great win. See ya Saturday for i predict a more open game. #ConnorMcHundred

Dac189

That empty netter would have had McDavid on a 100 point pace.
Would be pretty cool if he got that and the rocket by the end of the season.

What’s the chance of Koskinen getting the net Saturday?

OriginalPouzar

I would go back to Smith.

KnightRain

I wouldn’t mind a 2 for Smith, 1 for Kos rotation. Would be nice to keep Smith fresh and Kos with games to stay sharp. Playoffs are just around the corner and two Goalies who are sharp is a necessity.

GMB3

Koski is rocking something like a .932 over the last 7 games, played very well again tonight. WPG was pretty passive on the forecheck so I don’t feel Smiths puckmoving is as much of a strength as it was against CGY.

either way I’m relatively comfortable with both, smiths play has been a surprise and Koski has rebounded well from a tough start.

OriginalPouzar

19 regulation wins for the Oilers – two more than any other team in the NHL and 3 more than any other North team.

Munny

Why are you lighting the Bat Signal?

treevojo

Lol.

bat signal rarely works on nights like tonight.

tileguy

Munny

 March 18, 2021 9:06 pm

So many players have stumbled tonight for no apparent reason

I’m thinking bad ice, ask Sheilfele what he thinks.

Munny

I think the same.

Psyche

Would today’s warm temperatures in Edmonton impact the interior environment for the ice? If not, what would impact ice conditions when the venue isn’t in use (besides the Oilers)?

Munny

Brown just commented on it, he saw the same thing… says it was the ice, and also brought up some bouncing pucks like the one on Scheifele and Pujo on the offside empty-netter.

hunter1909

HUNTER1909’s Death March™ 

Update: from Hunter1909’s Death March Regular Season 2021™(since 2014)

With Oilers now on pace for a 68 point finish, here are the current leaders in the Death March game which might pay out to all winners at the end of the season. 

dcsj_57; Slocanoil; SOS; JAMCON; HotEire; Enigma

Will replace previous leaders:

JRizzer25; Hazwasted; KGB; Oilnc79; Unjustenrichment; Whale 

Munny

Their only goal was a fluke. This was a strong defensive effort.

Brewha Ha

Yup. Rivals Montreal game for best d effort yet.

KnightRain

Holy mackerel. Puckered the entire last 40 seconds…we sure like to be dramatic, eh? lol Solid win. Strong D and Connor providing the offence. Kos was good when he needed to be. I thought we could of had a few more but we got enough to win and that’s all that matters. Expecting a full on playoff intensity type of game on Saturday!!! BRING IT!!!

fishman

Worst outcome is a split. Pressure on the Jets…

KnightRain

Can’t wait! These will be the types of games that get us battle ready for the playoffs! It’s gonna be a dandy, for sure.

treevojo

The important thing for people to remember is that Vancouver has the best record in March and has a butter schedule the rest of the way.

sleep on them at your own peril.

OriginalPouzar

Yup, their goaltending stealing them an OT win against the Sens 3rd string tender and a SO win against their 4th string tender……. rollling!

GMB3

Yeah their underlying numbers have been terrible, Demko is just riding a heater. They’ll fade off into obscurity soon enough

fishman

Well said!

Munny

Petterson looks like an absolute lock to claim his third Calder in a row.

Side

And just wait for Matthews wrist to heal up. Once he’s back up to 100%.. lookout Connor!

Psyche

Demko is hot right now. Definitely not a team to overlook. I’m curious where you see the soft buttery part of their remaining schedule?

OriginalPouzar

Canucks are 8 points back of the Oilers with no games in hand. They have 8 less regulation wins and their goal differential is worse than the Oilers by 29.

I have zero concerns about them catching the Oilers.

treevojo

When you are a red hot knife like Vancouver anything on your plate will slice like a cube of butter that has been left on the counter on a hot July day.

geowal

As long as it’s old-fashioned butter and not one of those “buttergate” butters

Brewha Ha

Life lesson #3 for HH today from me to him…don’t count chickens. It will make you look like a fool every time. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s life lessons for HH – #4.

Last edited 1 month ago by Brewha Ha
OriginalPouzar

Kudos to Tip for his goalie deployment decisions this week!

Brewha Ha

Without question. Koskinen didn’t have a lot of work but was brilliant on a couple grade As and gave the Oil every chance to win. To be fair I thought Brossoit played good too.

wolf8888

Wonder if that 962 save % will get Koski another start in a couple of weeks?

Someone

When is this schedule supposed to catch up with us again?

Bank Shot

McDavid is unbelievable.

Munny

Road game win.

We were pretty trappy in the 3rd too

fishman

Not sure if this stat is tracked but I think Oilers goal scoring % with an empty net has to be pretty lousy!

David

It’s incredible really.

geowal

That…was tense! Great game, very fun to watch

OriginalPouzar

Kudos to Mikko Koskinen – didn’t steal it but was very solid and a big part of the win.

That was a lock down game by the boys – very well done.

oilsnc79

YESsss.. mcdavid n koski gotter done.

Younger Oil

Not a fan of basically allowing a team a four minute time out to “get it right”.

Happy for the win though.

Munny

Larsson is a freakin beast

Sierra

Really great to see such a complete team win.

fishman

We win!!!!!!!!!!!!

OriginalPouzar

Big stick there by Drai to pick up the McDavid mistake.

BONE207

Love that silhouette of Poolparty on that replay. Dr. Tongue in full view

treevojo

FUCK

fishman

Oh crap

Side

Did anyone tell the Oilers that they are supposed to lose this back to back because of their tough schedule?

Munny

both teams

OriginalPouzar

I don’t think this counts.

wolf8888

doesn’t look good

Munny

Everybody gets a nice rest.

oilsnc79

Beautiful mcd pass to nuge. Kosi os on

Munny

Whew. This gonna get looked at tho

fishman

Yea Baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BONE207

See…easy

treevojo

Nuge goal baby

OriginalPouzar

Protect mode on: Larsson with Nurse and, presumably, Bear with Russell.

KnightRain

Preview of playoff pairings? Atleast in the third with a lead, I bet.

OriginalPouzar

Unless something changes markedly, I would suspect they’ll be running Nurse/Barrie indefinitely.

Barrie was good in all zones tonight and instrumental in the winning goal.

Yup, with leads late, I would suspect the coaches continue to do what they did tonight.

theDjdj

This has the feeling of a playoff game. Being called like one too.

Brewha Ha

Brewha Ha

 March 18, 2021 6:59 pm

Feels alot like a playoff night tonight. Weather has turned. Big game. Fans excited. Lotsa game chatter. 1st place on the line…cmon guys. Get a win for the Yamm.!

echo!

Munny

I don’t know about Jesse, but my eyes were as big as saucers

fishman

LB pretty casual there!

fishman

Come on boys lets put this one away!

CMcD4PM

When the puck is sent around the boards to Kassian’s side, what is his percentage success at getting the puck out of the D-zone? 5%?

Kert

That might be generous.

treevojo

Is it too hard to show a couple Oilers replays tsn Winnipeg.

last two Oilers grade A chances I didn’t get to see twice.

pisses me off