2020-21 Game 34: Jets at Oilers

by Lowetide

I saw the Jets in their old barn several times, the most recent being March 2, 1990. That was a fine Jets team, if they had played in another division there’s zero doubt in my mind they would have won at least a round of the playoffs. I saw Wayne Gretzky, Luc Robitaille, Larry Robinson, Dale Hawerchuk. I had to strain my neck to see some of the goals, Winnipeg Arena was unique good and bad.

The one thing I remember from that night: No points from Hawerchuk. Wonderful player. He belongs on a very short list of greats who didn’t post crooked numbers when I saw them live. He’s right at the top of the list, with Dave Winfield, who went 0-for-4 one night in Anaheim, each out more impressive than the last.

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 34 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015-16: 14-18-2, 30 points; goal differential -17
  • Oilers in 2016-17: 17-12-5, 39 points; goal differential +5
  • Oilers in 2017-18: 15-17-2, 32 points; goal differential -8
  • Oilers in 2018-19: 18-13-3, 39 points; goal differential +3
  • Oilers in 2019-20: 18-12-4, 40 points; goal differential +1
  • Oilers in 2020-21: 20-13-0, 40 points; goal differential +16

A win tonight puts Edmonton on a 69-point trajectory. The current fifth place team (Vancouver) would need to finish 16-2-4 in the final 22 games to finish with 70 points. Calgary would have to go 17-5-3 in their last 25 to finish with 70 points. Montreal would have to get there in their final 26 by going 9-0-17 to finish with 70 points.

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 1-0-0)
  • 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: 6-4-0, 12 points in 10 games

Edmonton has six games left in the month, my projection suggests seven more points are out there. I have to say most of this month my prediction looked over-aggressive, but a win tonight would mean that five points in five games would get it done.

CLUSTERS

The Oilers Stanley Cups were built on the back of Wayne Gretzky and the 1979-81 drafts, with a couple of echo selections (Esa Tikkanen, Jeff Beukeboom) chiming in. The first three drafts (with the echo)netted an entire team’s worth of personnel that ranged from above average to elite:

  • Goal: Grant Fuhr, Andy Moog
  • Defense: Paul Coffey, Kevin Lowe, Steve Smith, Jeff Beukeboom
  • Center: Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Marc Habscheid
  • Left Wing: Esa Tikkanen, Willy Lindstrom (via Walt Poddubny), Jaroslav Pouzar
  • Right Wing: Jari Kurri, Glenn Anderson

The Oilers will never see that kind of cluster again, but this year the 2013-2015 cluster, added to the echo of 2016-17, gives this team a solid foundation:

  • Left Defense: Darnell Nurse, Caleb Jones, William Lagesson
  • Right Defense: Ethan Bear
  • Center: Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl
  • Right: Jesse Puljujarvi, Kailer Yamamoto

Men who are just arriving now include Jones, Lagesson, Puljujarvi and Yamamoto. Not all of those will make it with the team, someone in this group is Walt Poddubny.

OILERS 2020-21

This is five on five pts-60 (forwards), Corsi five on five (defense) and five on five save percentage (goalies). Koskinen should be .909, that’s on me.

The concern I have here is Nuge’s scoring, Edmonton needs him to be over 1.75 per 60 and he should be able to cover that number. Puljujarvi is posting a similar number but he’s a young player building his resume. A total of 1.50 by season’s end is a reasonable goal, and his total with McDavid (1.82 per 60) is in the range of quality (you’d like to see 2.00+ for a McDavid winger). Nuge with McDavid is 1.21 per 60. It’s a concern.

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hunter1909

Would anyone trade the Oilers captain for any other captain in the NHL? He’s got the team all buying into his leadership.

Then, scores at will lol

kelvjn

This must be one of those games that you win no matter what. The Mike Smith diving save and the Jets shot the post at end of 2nd would have got in on a bad day and 4-1 or 3-1 would have made it much more difficult. Razor thin margins.

Will take the 2 points all the same.

Last edited 30 days ago by kelvjn
Reja

The first Jet goal was a fluke pinball wizard goal and the second was a screen deflection couldn’t blame Smith for either. The hockey Gods owed Smith the save at the end of the the 2nd.

DevilsLettuce

Jesse Puljujarvi can not be contained, literally other large men are unable to do anything about him. Then he smiles and they die inside, while we sit stunned unsure what we’re witnessing.

His forecheck is, LeBron James chasing down a block. It’s fucking spectacular and I hope to see it for 20 years.

Even through this wind and rain I can hear the Sutter hockey posts being strangled up island.

Munny

“The confidence, you can just feel it throughout the lineup. We’re getting contributions from everybody … from the net out, guys are working hard and buying in,” he said. “Starting to believe is a big part of it.

“Guys are buying in. It’s dangerous, and contagious.”

—Capt. Connor McDavid

Last edited 30 days ago by Munny
jp

Just finished watching that.

I got some chills.

(Leon earlier was also pretty candid)

Heck of a post-game tonight, actually.

Last edited 30 days ago by jp
jp

Watching the highlights now:

‘the Jets, who have not lost 2 straight in regulation this season’.

Before tonight.

jp

All the talk about Jesse realizing he’s big.

Remember in a presser earlier in the season, a reporter mentioned to him that Nurse said he was the biggest guy our there..

Jesse seemed genuinely surprised and pleased (iirc his reply was ‘did he say that?’, followed by a big grin).

That may have been a turning point, though clearly not the only one.

Munny

Hockeydb says 6’4″ 201.

That’s clearly wrong.

His ass weighs 201 by itself.

jp

Lol.

I didn’t realize Nurse was actually listed at the same height and 20!!! lbs heavier (thought he was 6’3″ 210ish).

Zero question 201 lbs for Puljujarvi is wrong though. Guess it will get updated at some point. Gheez.

Also, the Puljo pic you posted earlier, definitely evil.

thelongdark

the Oilers won the Hall for Larrson trade.

GMB3

No

DevilsLettuce

You’re sick.

JimmyV1965

Huge huge win for the Oil. Real character builder. I was really frustrated with the reffing tonight. They allowed continuous interference all night and then they would call the ticky tack stuff.

PS. The Oilers defence is good. There.I said it. They generate offence, play defence and transition well out of the dzone. I must be living in an alternate universe. We not only have the deepest defence in the north, but the best top pair.

maudite

Going to check copperandblue feed see if they spend game again complaining about whatever contract they imagine barrie is signing. Cheering to start seeing the majority of these blogs finally allowing themselves to enjoy this year’s squad.

Truly think that Chicago odd playin structure loss did more damage to fan psyche than it really merited last year. This season has a if most of the bets come in right and prospect take another step in positive direction this could be an exciting season feel to it.

Been taking the pulse last 10 games and a large share just can’t seem to shake expecting the worst to be soon in view.

Its starting to feel real
And they are spectacular

Redbird62

All this talk about the Oilers record without the 7 wins against Ottawa. Taking away the bottom team is no more relevant than removing the top team. Take away Toronto and Ottawa and overall Edmonton is 12-8 now against the rest of the division. Montreal is the only other team besides Toronto Edmonton does not have a winning record against, and I expect they will fix that on the road trip next week.

Munny

That moment when you realize your 2016 #4 overall is better than both #2 Laine and #3 PLD…

You next, Matthews.

hunter1909

Where are the trolls now, offering low 2nd round pick offers for Puljujarvi.

Redbird62

It wasn’t just trolls. At least half the people on this and other Oilers fan sites and even some of the reporters were “Good riddance, don’t let the door hit you in the ass” etc. and would have taken almost any asset in exchange.

jp

This is a true statement.

Luckily Holland wasn’t one of them.

Munny

Can Devin Shore take the ice every time there’s an empty net, please?

Thank Gord the top 6 wasn’t out there to fuck that up.

Last edited 30 days ago by Munny
wolf8888

Didn’t Nuge have the assist on that goal?

Munny

See. He knows to pass. Even to a 4th liner.

😉

wolf8888

He made a few good passes tonight. soon he’ll find his scoring touch and then…..

Munny

He reads the play so well… I thought he had a fantastic game without the puck tonight. Some nice relays too, but that’s his bread and butter.

He’ll bang in a streak of goals soon too. Just can’t rely on him goal-wise. It’s unfair.

JimmyV1965

None of this is true of course. I too argued that we should take a second rounder for JP – if he refused to return to the team. But he did return and the rest is history.

hunter1909

HUNTER1909’s Death March™ 

Update:

With Oilers now on pace for a 69 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. 

Yeti; TOML;  agent_sid ; BONE207; PerryK; Indy; hunter9

Will replace previous various leaders:

Boil-in-the-Oil; Cowboy; Z Mac; Crazy Pedestrian 

JRizzer25; Hazwasted; KGB; Oilnc79; Unjustenrichment; Whale 

jp

69 point pace?

Nice.

OriginalPouzar

Oilers have now pulled ahead of the Jets in points percentage and have eight, yes, eight, more regulation wins than the Jets (and are +19 to the Jets +10).

Munny

At 5 v 5, King Leon and McDeity are 19-2, 90.48 GF% in 141 minutes together, this year of our Covid 2021.

This… is The Vaunt.

Last edited 30 days ago by Munny
Bling

Tipp: Leadership group is McDavid, Draisaitl, Nurse, Larsson, and Nugent-Hopkins. They are responsible for driving things.

Sure sounds like Larsson and RNH will be back.

OriginalPouzar

Larsson is a must re-sign. So is Nuge but Larsson is almost as important.

DevilsLettuce

I have to admit Larsson has really put it all together.

SK Oiler Fan

Nuge leads all forwards with 23 min in a tight divisional game against a damn good team. It’s not all about points folks

Bling

Played well, but still cursed. It will come, I’m confident.

Still very sneaky, still skating well with nice edges and getting good looks.

Redbird62

Great play by Nuge along the boards to get the puck to Shore in the middle who had plenty of time to line up his empty net long shot.

Munny

Wonder how much Maurice would match Wheeler and Scheifele against 97 if he had last change considering this series.

SK Oiler Fan

Good question. Judging by the past 2 games gotta think he gambles with the Lowry matchup?

Munny

you’d want to try something else just to see.

(than Wheeler and Shuffly)

Last edited 30 days ago by Munny
OriginalPouzar

Leon/McDavid/Jesse:

4:31 TOI
13-5 Corsi
9-1 shots
2-0 goals

KnightRain

Generation talent mixed with Sublime skill and stirred with Beautiful Chaos. A recipe for highlight reel results.

Redbird62

Not to mention that trio also had Nurse/Barrie with them for 3 of the 4 minutes, and for both of the goals, with Nurse getting a goal and an assist. They subbed Bear for Barrie on the last shift with the net empty.

Bling

Spec: Jesse, did you make that play to 97 on purpose, or was it lucky?

Jesse: I didn’t know I touched the puck. Definitely lucky.

OriginalPouzar

Jesse had an assist taken away so maybe he didn’t……

Bling

Nuts!

KnightRain

Credit where credit is due. If Smith doesn’t make that save at the end of the second this game likely ends differently. Not a great shot by the jet but Smith didn’t give up. Kudos. Tipps gets marks for putting McD, Drai and Jessi and they were ridiculously dynamic! So good with the puck and we’re just as good in the D zone(minus one play by Drai). What else can you say about Puljujarvi? Beautiful Chaos. Love that kid. Anyone else notice Nuge had instant chemistry with Kahun and Archie? They were excellent in their short audition. Same with Khaira, Ennis and Shore. It seemed like they had an extra guy out there!!! Totally bottled the jets. So satisfying to see an effort like this in a high pressure game. Growth. Bring on the Habs!!!

Munny

I think it might be an evil laugh

comment image

Bling

I’m getting a lot of Sonic the Hedgehog vibes.

Munny

Yeah. Not evil…

Insane.

SK Oiler Fan

Jets are a damn good team. Full marks for 4 pts out of that series. 1st round Jets vs Oilers could be high level hockeying

fistycuff

Brilliant win. Can’t think of anybody who played poorly in that game. Sure there were a few blunders but all in all a brilliant effort!

OriginalPouzar

If I had to choose, Alex Chiasson has come off his heater.

If Kailer is ready……

fistycuff

Agree. The Puppy has earned Chaissons spot (at least temporarily) on the PP. but everyone has played well, so whoever comes out, doesn’t deserve it.

flyfish1168

I use to drink to drown my sorrows and now I drink to celebrate.

Munny

Celebrate? You haven’t won nothing yet young man. There’s a lot of Bataan to march before you can kick back and savour victory.

/Tip

Last edited 30 days ago by Munny
wolf8888

Enjoy every little victory along the way. This was a good night!

KnightRain

Same. Much more satisfying this way, eh? Now to finish my sixer and watch highlights. Good time, brah. Good times.

Solly

Really nice to see 2 bad bounces that end up in our net, not end up as a loss. This team looks solid right now…battling through the adversity and hushing all the critics.

Damn…that feels goooood.

razor

What can you say about Mike Smith. He is literally on a Vezina run now. At 39 years old. Is he our new Roloson?

Bling

Ooooh dynamite comp! Well done.

Munny

That story about the Oilers learning their final lesson when it comes to commitment to defence from the Leaf series is reminiscent of the Oil passing the dressing room of the battered Islanders, wearing their scars and bruises and miscellaneous other trophies of victory…

Bling

We have seen multiple teams struggle to defend that kick out pass to the D in the high slot.

This is the price paid for cheating down low and overloading 97.

It’s Golden State Warriors-esque.

Splash!

KnightRain

They won and they’re wounded. We lost and we’re fine.
love that line. Life lesson, really. Really seeing this team being more level headed and not panicking. Maturity is real and we are witnessing it grow in real time.
I won’t take it for granted this time, I promise!

maudite

They found the gaping hole of open ice and that point has room to generate speed on shot by skating it in over trying to wind up and beat it hard with slap. Similar end velocity but better shot accuracy I think.

Material Elvis

They look like a different team — a much better one.

SK Oiler Fan

It’s undetectable in the stats but the confidence of the 5 in front of a goalie in the zone is hard to quantify

Bling

Bear had two miscues on one shift with a couple whiffed passes, but otherwise was battling like Leo in The Revenant.

He made a super clever play on a puck retrieval in the third; made a bank pass off the back boards and peeled away so that Nuge could pick it up.

Deception with a capital D, completely fooled the Jets forechecker.

Craig Zonit

Absolutely loved this, it’s what made him such a special player last year and good to see him regaining his great footwork and creativity moving the puck north. At his best he makes it look easy to negate some of the league’s best forechecks.

maudite

Made a cool 350 bucks betting oiler win in regulation after 2nd period.

Sweet.

KnightRain

Stayed the course, didn’t panic and got the win. That’s team maturity your looking at right now. Full marks for playing the same from start to finish against a quality team.

jm363561

Probably the best game of the year. 2 – 0 down against a very good team. Jesse … the Lumberjack!

OriginalPouzar

So, I guess the “they’ll be tougher to beat with PLD in the lineup” theory is dead in the water.

The Oilers were the team without their 2RW tonight.

Material Elvis

Maybe he just needs more time to get going but PLD looks like crap. It’s no wonder Fonzy was benching him in Columbus.

TheGreatBigMac

Fonzy, good one, 😂

Brewha Ha

Putting Connor, The Puppy, and Leo together for the third was pure witchery by Tippet. Jets got out coached and swept! Way to go Oilers!

Last edited 30 days ago by Brewha Ha
maudite

You just wait until this road trip. Be the end of oilers season…

Am I moving these goalposts correctly HH?

Last edited 30 days ago by maudite
Rich M

Archie, Nuge and Kahun forecheck in the 3rd was outstanding.

KnightRain

They made so many plays in all zones. It’s hard to believe that they never played as a line before. Could be in to something, there. I would definitely like to see them play an extended audition. Might be last years DRY line all over again.

KnightRain

I typed it and realized that’s a pretty big stretch. lol But they were seriously effective in a short stretch. I would think that could warrant another look?

Last edited 30 days ago by KnightRain
Someone

What a huge win. Still waiting for the schedule to catch up with us

leadfarmer

JP my player of the game.
flawless (except for shot)

oilsnc79

Yes 

Chief Inspector

+2

Munny

Really asserted ourselves as the better team this short series.

OriginalPouzar

Two apples for Jesse tonight and they were a tiny part of his game tonight!

Chief Inspector

Dominant 200 foot performance by Jesse.

oilsnc79

Woop woop

oilsnc79

Star

SK Oiler Fan

Love Smith’s emotion. Never a doubt that he’s engaged every game. I can see why Tips defaults to Smith

OriginalPouzar

What a 3rd period.

What a game.

What a team.

hunter1909

Prediction:
(shooting fish in a barrel edition)

NHL players will be lining up with their agents to play for the Edmonton Oilers after tonight’s game.

Material Elvis

Bear played a very strong game defensively. He’s baaaack!

Munny

Devin Shore dead solid perfect.

Damn he held a lot of speed on that circuit through the neutral zone just before that

Last edited 30 days ago by Munny
Gerta Rauss

winner, winner, chicken dinner..!!

Chief Inspector

Huge win

KnightRain

BOOM!!! Shore with the Gravy!!!