2020-21 Game 40: Oilers at Senators

by Lowetide

When it comes to putting together a prospect pipeline, the Ottawa Senators have been firing on all cylinders for several decades. Right now, in the middle of a rebuild, there’s so much talent some of it might fall through the cracks. Expansion Seattle Kraken will take advantage but so could the Oilers.

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 40 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015-16: 16-21-3, 35 points; goal differential -22
  • Oilers in 2016-17: 20-13-7, 47 points; goal differential +5
  • Oilers in 2017-18: 17-20-3, 37 points; goal differential -17
  • Oilers in 2018-19: 19-18-3, 41 points; goal differential -6
  • Oilers in 2019-20: 20-16-4, 44 points; goal differential -4
  • Oilers in 2020-21: 23-14-2, 48 points; goal differential +13

A win tonight and Edmonton gets to 50 points in Game 40. If this was an 82-game season, we’d be talking about a 100-points season. It would have been Edmonton’s second 100-point campaign since 1986-87 (2016-17).

WHAT TO EXPECT IN APRIL

  • At home to: Calgary (Expected: 1-0-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • On the road to: Montreal, Ottawa, Ottawa (Expected: 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-1)
  • At home to: Calgary (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Winnipeg (Expected 0-1-0) Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Montreal, Montreal (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Winnipeg, Winnipeg (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Calgary (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Vancouver (make up game) (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Expected April record: 8-4-0, 16 points in 12 games
  • Actual April record: 1-0-1, 3 points in 2 games

A sweep in Ottawa gets the Oilers out to a fast start (7 points in four games), meaning the final 8 contests need deliver just 9 points to cover my bet. No idea how this month is going to go, but so far the team is averaging 1.5 goals per game for and against and have gathered three of a possible four points. Some luck there.

OTTAWA’S FARM TEAM

Brady Tkachuk isn’t going to be traded but is a fantastic young player. He is 12-11-23 in 39 games, with 177 shots on goal.

Drake Batherson isn’t going anywhere either but he’s one of my favourite young players. At 22, he has scored 18-24-42 in 82 career NHL games. He owns a heavy shot and would be an ideal acquisition for the Oilers.

Alex Formenton is a big, fast winger with complementary skill. His numbers (at 20, his NHLE via the AHL was 34.6) suggest a future middle-six LW role but that has value and it’s easy to imagine he could get lost in the prospect flood and be acquired for very little. For Edmonton, he represents similar offense to Tyler Benson in a much faster package.

Logan Brown has played in 29 NHL games, scoring 1-8-9. At five on five, he is 1-3-4 in under 100 minutes (2.55 pts-60). Brown is 23, 6.06, 220 and has scored 21-50-71 in 86 AHL games. He is more passer than shooter and is a two-way center. He won 39.6 percent of his NHL faceoffs, so maybe he’s a winger.

I would like to see McLeod recalled to Edmonton. I think it’s fairly clear coach Dave Tippett wants more speed and there’s absolutely time for an audition on left wing. That brings me to something I would like to see in the days ahead. Here is my suggested lines and pairings for today’s afternoon game:

  • Nuge-Draisaitl-Yamamoto
  • Ennis-McDavid-Puljujarvi
  • Shore-Khaira-Chiasson
  • McLeod-Haas-Archibald
  • Nurse-Barrie
  • Jones-Larsson
  • Russell-Bear
  • Smith (Koskinen)

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, we preview an afternoon Oilers game on TSN1260. Bruce McCurdy form the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal will guide us through the pre-game and remind us of afternoon games of the before time. Joe Osborne from OddsShark will talk Masters, NBA and what I think is a juiced ball for MLB and how that might impact over under. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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maudite

Did anyone else catch that sly burn McDavid threw out, in post game interview, against Matthews after game?

McNuge93

Yes. Ovechkin and Drai.

90s fan

Haha yes! I read it in Spectors article. As I was reading I just assumed he was going to say Matthews, but then it was like bam.

OriginalPouzar

MLB loosening restrictions massively with individual and team vaccination thresholds.

I wonder if the NHL will follow suit? This loosening wouldn’t apply to any Canadian teams this season but could for US teams:

https://twitter.com/jtbourne/status/1379969478818205697/photo/1

Scungilli Slushy

I love the Dynamic Duo racking up the points.

I am prepared now for the outcome in the playoffs based on how they play as a team still.

Definitely a great development season for the team, given cap restraints and the other things Holland has had to deal with.

I REALLY hope Holland can round out the roster with the cap space etc for next season.

It will be time to roll.

Ice Sage

Ho hum another 4 points for McD…
(but, the wise Hart $ is on Matthews! or McKinnon! or is it Rantanen… Kane?)

seriously, there is McDavid, then a lot of open space, then all those other guys + Drai

wolf8888

Drai is 10 points up on the nearest player on the board….so It’s McD, then Drai, THEN all the rest! 🙂

90s fan

95 pt pace for 56 games. 140pt pace for 82 games. 1.7 per game. Incredible.

90s fan

We are 100% in Lemieux/Gretzky territory here.

Harpers Hair

Except the rest of the lineup can’t piss a drop.

The good teams will shut this shit down.

Dac189

Well you’re just a ray of sunshine

OriginalPouzar

The rubber is about to hit the road!

90s fan

Well… we got this other guy… I think he’s German? Man can’t remember his name….

90s fan

Oh we also have these 2 d-men that were able to put the rubber thing into the the net thing and make the lights flash….

Last edited 3 months ago by 90s fan
Harpers Hair

Not even in the ballpark.

90s fan

Nobody is in the ballpark! Hes playing a game of his own.

Ice Sage

Yes, Connor McDavid is the best hockey player ever, that’s clear now. I’m not comparing eras – he’d score 500 points playing in 1978, so that’s not fair. He just does things that are superlative and groundbreaking nearly every night. We are in a golden age.

Side

Your assessment of Draisaitl was that he would be Joe Colborne. You have proven you don’t even know what a ballpark is when it comes to assessing players abilities.

OriginalPouzar

They are doing things as teamates not seen since Lemieux and Jagr and given “the rest of the team can’t piss a drop”….. no Francis, Stevens, Nedved – certainly no Zubov – I’ve been told Nurse isn’t near a top d-man.

Harpers Hair

No nothing..and no he isn’t

OriginalPouzar

Even more amazing what those two are doing with no other players on the team.

Of course, Nurse is indeed a top d-man in the league this season – even Greg W. of all people put him in that category.

flyfish1168

like huges -18

Sierra

nm

Last edited 3 months ago by Sierra
Side

Why are you so angry and hyper over a sports team winning?

Reja

If Kahun RNH Jesse and Yamo didn’t have to be spoon fed by Connor and Leon for every opportunity and goal they score this team would be a force

OriginalPouzar

Of course, Kahun scored from Yamamoto and Bear last game…

Harpers Hair

Kahun has 10 points in 32 games.

Plan the parade?

Harpers Hair

Of course Zach Hyman has 28 points in 38 games…but let’s celebrate Kahun’s 10 points.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

No one disputes that the Oilers have a flawed roster. Can you not appreciate or acknowledge that McD and Drai are the two best forwards in the league?

Harpers Hair

They’re great…but how many teams win with two players?

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

This thread is about the greatness of Drai and McD. The Oilers poor roster construction would be a different topic. Here is a book you might find useful: https://www.amazon.ca/Learn-Read-Activity-Book-Lessons/dp/1939754526/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=Learn+to+Read&qid=1617852699&sr=8-5

Reja

Hasek would be my first choice.

flyfish1168

Chicago Bulls

90s fan

I dont know… steve kerr/ john paxson, Rodman/Horace grant.

90s fan

Hey, we turned HH! He admitted to Connor and Drai being great!

fishman

So can we make it 9-0 vs Ottawa? For a while it looked like the game was going to get pretty chippy and Brady T was running around taking cheap shots. Hope we can run the table and bank the points!

OriginalPouzar

Palmeri and Zajac to the Isles.

Per Puckpedia:

The #Isles acquired 30 y/o Palmieri (Yr 5/5 $4.65M Cap Hit – 50% retained) & 35 y/o Zajac (Yr 8/8 $5.75M Cap Hit – 50% retained) for Greer, Jobst, ’21 1st & ’22 Cond 4th.

#Isles add $5.2M Annual Cap Hit (Greer & Jobst not in NHL).

TheGreatBigMac

One less suitor for Hall!

Harpers Hair

Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) Tweeted:
Lamoriello says because Palmieri and Zajac are local, will both be on the ice for tomorrow’s #Isles AM skate. No quarantine necessary.

https://twitter.com/StapeAthletic/status/1379959243286196228?s=20

fishman

Both on expiring contracts so no cap impact for next season unless they resign. Lou going for it.

Harpers Hair

This should open up the floodgates.

More tomorrow.

oilsnc79

Unfortunately, nuge in yr snake bite

fishman

He is not exactly helping his quest for $7 mil contract.

oilsnc79

Certainly is not. I do much like utility play… Jack of all…..

OriginalPouzar

The shift that led to the winning goal had 1:43 of zone time (per Reid Wilkins) – and McDavid looked like he was fresh off the bench.

fishman

Connor doesn’t get tired playing offence!

wolf8888

He was wasn’t he? They said Zack came off and McD came on?

OriginalPouzar

I think it was Drai that came on for Zack – that was at the beginning of the zone time though.

KnightRain

Credit to Mikko. He made the stops when needed. Solid game. DraiMcJarvi is Awe inspiring to watch. More please. Not sure who is more snakebit. Nuge or Puljujarvi. Both are due for a few. Thought Nuge and the hobbits played pretty good. Developing some chemistry. Make Nuge the mayor of hobbit town, now. Liked the heavy game our bottom six played. Solid game all around!

Darth Tu

Fun fact. Do you know who had the most consecutive terms as Mayor of the Shire?

Samwise Gamgee.

Bring back Gagner.

KnightRain

lol I miss Sammy. One of my favourites. The eight point game will forever live on in my personal highlight reel.

OriginalPouzar

I say “less please”.

They looked OK in the first and fantastic late but, overall, I didn’t think they were as dominant as they need to be in order for the line to make sense and they did lose the possession game and got killed in the high danger game.

KnightRain

With Nuge’s line getting chances and developing chemistry, I like it. Connor and Leon had four point nights. I’ll take that any day and twice on my birthday. They may not be perfect but, damn, can they ever make brilliant plays!!!

OriginalPouzar

Not sure I saw these chances and developing chemistry of the Nuge line (other than the one Nuge alone in front chance) – they got caved in possession and 0-1 goals….

KnightRain

Not in the first and I missed the second but in the third I saw them making plays, finally. I got time for them. Maybe a few more games to see if it was a mirage or actually something. If they can be a decent second line it leave the top line intact and I love that. But, really, I just wanna see DraiMcJarvi play together. They are wicked together and if Jesse starts to bury some chances they will be unstoppable!

OriginalPouzar

Fair enough – I’m not as enthused with them as you are, and that’s fine.

Of course, they can be absolutely dominant and, even in games when they aren’t dominant, like tonight, they can make a couple of plays and be magic.

I personally think that they do get “stale” together somewhat quickly and, also, when they do get in the defensive zone, its a tire fire – they can both be very good defensive players, however, when they get running around, they really run around.

Not to mention, having them deployed together regularly doesn’t provide the load up option adjustment during games when a boost is needed.

Just me though.

Boil-in-the-Oil

I agree the 2 of them together are pretty formidable, but I can’t help but remember last season when most here were saying our success really began when they split up the 2 elite centres. Having 2 top 6 lines threatening to score every time up the ice just seems to make sense.

Why get away from that? With our bottom 6 jelling somewhat and producing some important moments, separating the 2 adds flexibility to effectively combat opposing defensive matchups. I want them separated.

OriginalPouzar

The total lack of creation with McDavid and Nuge together in recent times is a problem and has the coach looking.

It can be intoxicating but, overall, for the reasons discussed, I don’t think its a great idea nightly.

Reja

If he can win his next start he’ll be at 500

David

I thought Draisaitl deemed empty net goals beneath him. That’s the only thing that explained his misses. Glad he ditched that thinking.

hunter1909

HUNTER1909’s Death March™ 

Update:

With Oilers now on pace for a 70 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. 

They are: 

Boil-in-the-Oil;

Cowboy

Z Mac

Crazy Pedestrian

They will replace previous(various) leaders:

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

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

JRizzer25; Hazwasted; KGB; Oilnc79; Unjustenrichment; Whale 

Chief Inspector

Leon scores all the empty net goals.

Chief Inspector

Hatty!

OriginalPouzar

That’s a hatty for Drai!

Hard fought win!

KnightRain

BOOM for the Hatty!!!

Chief Inspector

Mikko!

OriginalPouzar

McDavid with a turnover and Mikko with a massive save.

OriginalPouzar

Another great defensive play by Nurse knocking that puck down.

Chief Inspector

Big stop Koskinen

Chief Inspector

Have to get Yama the puck earlier

Chief Inspector

Ridiculous shift… What a goal.

godot10

I remember Taylor Chorney.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZqpW9KTJXo

Last edited 3 months ago by godot10
fishman

Was he better than Barrie? Asking for a friend…..

Esa10

Beautiful!

KnightRain

BOOM!!! What A Shift!!! McD magic!!!!

Someone

Wow that was a good puck moving shift.

OriginalPouzar

What a shift and what a goal.

SVR

4 points each

OriginalPouzar

Yup – it ended up working out great as they were able to work magic on a couple of shifts but the line, over the course of the game, did not dominate the game – the got scored against, the got running around a number of times in their own zone, they gave up dangerous opportunities, etc.

Half the points were on the PP and EN.

They did score two at evens and only gave up 1 but didn’t dominate shift after shift at evens.

Material Elvis

McDavid with another highlight goal. What a shift.

fishman

Yea Baby #3!!!

OriginalPouzar

Massive defensive play by Nurse.

fishman

This is a game you have to close out with a win. It’s what good teams do.

KnightRain

Damn it, Nuge. Where has your confidence gone! Nobody is Ever that open in front…smh…

Esa10

Wow Nuge, you need a shovel instead of a stick? What a chance!!!

OriginalPouzar

Was that Bear that took forever to feed the all-alone Nuge in front?

Either way, come on Nuge, make a better offensive play.

Durag

Nuge…what’s it going to take to get that monkey off your back?

fishman

A new contract????

OriginalPouzar

Nice transition pass by Jones there.

KnightRain

Well, that sucked. Perfect shot. I don’t blame Mikko on that. Shitty D zone coverage, though. Not sure if Nuge or Kahun at fault…both, maybe…

godot10

Two hobbits taking a nap up ice.

OriginalPouzar

Soon to be Oilers, Mike Riley.

90s fan

I dont know if I am counting correctly, but the sens have beaten the flames 5 times and the Canadiens 4 times?

Man it’s almost embarrassing that we then go and lose to the Canadiens!

OriginalPouzar

That is the opposite of an insurance goal

OriginalPouzar

I’ll take an insurance goal please. Nuge at evens please…. or maybe Kassian can do something….

Material Elvis

You mean other than Dzone giveaways?

KnightRain

Watched the first at the cabin and missed most of the second. I’ll watch the Drai goal later on PVR. Sounds like it was a wicked Blast! Two for the top line! Love those guys playing together! Wish they would look for Puljujarvi more. Big third coming up. Hoping they play it smart and don’t play a frighin prevent Defense.
GO OILERS!!!!

Durag

I’m not sure there has been another combination of players that could pull off that pass and that shot 😲

Last edited 3 months ago by Durag
Our Edmonton Operation

On Sportsnet, Jack Michaels mistakenly called a Khaira shot off the crossbar a goal earlier in the game. So when he called the Draisaitl shot a goal from the deep corner, I first thought Michaels was wrong again. There was no way Draisaitl could score from there but indeed he did. I don’t think it even ricocheted off Hogberg but hit twine directly from that crazy angle.

Reja

Hull&Oates were a pretty good duo.

VanIsleOil

They were pretty good singers too….

Reja

Sara smile

fishman

That was a hell of a shot!

90s fan

No clue how he did that. And also, still no smile.

Material Elvis

In the pregame warmup, Draisaitl shoots about a dozen of those shots from that exact spot. He’s just incredible.

90s fan

Ha. Ok, so that’s not a “fire it a the net and see what happens shot” then. Incredible.

Oil2Oilers

That’s last Draisaitl goal was from the David Perron spot

OriginalPouzar

OK, fine, they can play together after PKs…..

SVR

4

fishman

Yea Baby #2

OriginalPouzar

As I said, Shore is most dangerous offensively on the PK.

It would be ideal if Khaira wasn’t the team’s best player…..

flyfish1168

Ethan wrong team

Sierra

How is that not a cross-checking penalty on Tkachuk? Unbelievable.

Both refs must have been staring at the rafters.

fishman

That is the current state of NHL officiating. Oilers are not due another PP.

flyfish1168

game management. they don’t want Oilers to go 9-0 against them