2020-21 Game 41: Oilers at Senators

by Lowetide

The Edmonton Oilers won yesterday afternoon in Ottawa, and that combined with a Montreal Canadiens loss contributes to the likelihood that an Oilers-Winnipeg Jets playoff series is in our collective futures. Only downbeat? Stephane Beauregard won’t be in the Winnipeg net.

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 41 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015-16: 17-21-3, 37 points; goal differential -23
  • Oilers in 2016-17: 21-13-7, 49 points; goal differential +6
  • Oilers in 2017-18: 18-20-3, 39 points; goal differential -17
  • Oilers in 2018-19: 19-19-3, 41 points; goal differential -10
  • Oilers in 2019-20: 20-17-4, 44 points; goal differential -8
  • Oilers in 2020-21: 24-14-2, 50 points; goal differential +14

The Oilers 2020-21 have a narrow lead over the 2016-17 team, and I expect it’ll be a battle to the finish (wrote about it at The Athletic today). The goal differential on this year’s team remains the best indicator, the current team will need to sustain.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM 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 1-0-1)
  • 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: 2-0-1, 5 points in 3 games

Another strong start to a month, and if Edmonton can win the next two games (against Ottawa and Calgary) the Oilers will hit trade deadline day with a record of 26-14-2 after 42 games. That’s 72 points in 56 games, or 105 points in 82 games if you extrapolate, which you should never ever do. One thing is certain: This is a playoff team.

LINES, LAST NIGHT

  • Draisaitl-McDavid-Puljujarvi played 15:12, 9-11 shots, 1-1 goals, 1-4 HDSC and 17-22 Corsi five on five. Draisaitl was 1-1-2 at five on five, plus scored on the power play and added an empty netter. He was challenged by the young Sens, drawing a penalty and exacting some punishment on the opposition. McDavid was skating with an extra gear or two, going 1-3-4 (1-1-2 five on five) and could have doubled it. If this was an 82-game season we’d be tracking an historic point total. Jesse Puljujarvi had two shots, drew a penalty, had some good looks. He didn’t post any crooked numbers, Edmonton needs him to produce at least some offense if he is to remain on this line. He is increasingly involved physically and is a punishing hitter. It pisses people off. Music!
  • Kahun-Nuge-Yamamoto played 9:31, going 3-6 shots, 0-1 goals, 2-2 HDSC and 5-10 Corsi five on five. Kahun was quiet save for some good forechecking work, Nuge had one HDSC and covered well. Oilers need more five on five offense from him Yamamoto had a HDSC and a takeaway, once again the best player on this line for my money. This trio needs someone who can push the river. Will he arrive Monday?
  • Kassian-Turris-Chiasson played 9:19 going 4-6 shots, no goals, 0-2 HDSC and 6-9 Corsi five on five. Kassian isn’t touching the puck much these days, that’s a problem. Turris had one reasonable chance, he was in close and couldn’t corral it but the chance was there. Chiasson had a fantastic chance on the power play but it didn’t work out.
  • Shore-Khaira-Archibald played 9:16, going 5-2 shots, no goals, 0-1 HDSC and 11-5 Corsi five on five. Shore had one good look at five on five and an even better one on the PK. He’s winning a contract. Khaira had two shots, won three of six on the dot five on five and was 2:19 on the PK without incident. He is having a positive impact on every game, his on ice goal differential (11-10, +1) towers over last year’s (15-34, -19) last year’s total. Archibald had two shots, got in some hits and a couple of takeaways. His is 13-19 five on five goal differential this year (-6), compared to 19-36 (-16) one year ago.

PAIRINGS AND GOALIE, LAST NIGHT

  • Nurse-Barrie played 18:22, 10-13 shots, 0-1 goals, 0-5 HDSC and 19-23 Corsi five on five. Nurse had four shots (one HDSC) and four giveaways, he failed to cover on the first goal against Edmonton. Barrie had two assists, two shots and skated miles.
  • Russell-Larsson played 15:31, 6-8 shots, 0-1 goals, 0-3 HDSC and 10-19 Corsi five on five. Russell defended a lot, had one good look offensively. The goal came on a screen, don’t think it was Russell (Nuge was more likely) but it was a goal either way. Larsson had two shots, four hits, and he was credited with a faceoff win but I didn’t see it.
  • Jones-Bear played 9:19, 2-2 shots, 2-1 HDSC and 7-4 Corsi five on five. This pairing has some looseness to it lately, risky passes into the Edmonton slot, etc. Need to iron that out soon. Jones had a shot, blocked a shot and recovered well. Bear had an assist, two giveaways and passed the puck well (subtle, effective pass on the goal), save for a wildly dangerous back pass into the slot that turned into several seconds of sphincter defense. Not good.
  • Mikko Koskinen stopped 28 of 30, .933 and had a great night, looking very good on 12 HDSC. I thought the Connor Brown goal could have been stopped but for a friendly screen. Now sports a SP of .903 for the year.

TRADE DEADLINE TARGETS

The list is updated from TSN (here) and the possible targets for Edmonton are either pricey (Taylor Hall, Mike Hoffman, Rickard Rakell) or of limited value (Luke Glendening). I would love to see this team acquire one of these young Senators forwards, perhaps for a lefty defense prospect, but that’s a summer trade.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning we shatter the airwaves with Oilers talk and Masters updates, TSN 1260. At 10:20, Nate Ewell, the College Hockey Inc. executive director will talk Frozen Four and dominance by the state of hockey (Minnesota). Frank Seravalli pops by to chat trade deadline, and things possibly heating up after the big NYI-NJD deal last night. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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SwedishPoster

Sounds like Filip Berglund’s visa issues are resolved, according to Oilers swedish scout Joakim Holm he’s heading over as soon as possible to get as many games in as he can before the season ends. Looking forward to see him in the AHL.

Last edited 6 months ago by SwedishPoster
Yeti

Thanks. This is great news!

OriginalPouzar

Good stuff – thank you.

Here is hoping he shows very well in the AHL this year providing the following as the possible RD depth chart for next season:

Bear
Larsson
Bouchard
Berglund

I don’t consider Kemp or Kesslering realistic NHL options next season.

Chances are, Holland will need to acquire a cheap veteran 4RD (similar to Matt Benning) but it would be great if Berglund could be an option.

Rebillled

jess will be so good in 2 yrs book it

Rebillled

pulju

Last edited 6 months ago by Rebillled
hunter1909

HUNTER1909’S OILERS DEATH MARCH ANNOUNCEMENT:

ANYONE WHO HAS BEEN COMPLAINING ABOUT HAVING THEIR PREDICTIONS CHANGED…

they have recently been brought mostly up to date.

Now.

thank you for your cooperation. The Death March Team.

kgo

Hypothetical trade proposal alert. Upvote if you think it’s close to win-win.

To Edmonton – Taylor Hall

To Buffalo – 2021 1st, 2022 3rd, James Neal with $750k retained. (Conditional that if Taylor sign an extension in Edmonton before July 1st….the 2022 3rd converts to a 1st 2022)

hunter1909

2X 1st round picks forget that in a flash because Ken Holland isn’t Kevin Lowe.

Or Peter “Moustaches” Chiarelli for that matter.

The object is to rob Buffalo by sending out surplus players like these that come to mind: Haas(great underlying numbers) , Turris( He only needs a fresh start and Buffalo offer him that), Lagesson(fantastic potential), Kahun(responsible in both ends), Neal thrown in if possible etc.

Oilers are ripe for a huge multi player 3-4 per team blockbuster LOL

hunter1909

LAK couldn’t win with Gretzky in his prime, and had no 1st round picks to draft talented youngsters to star next to him.

Compare this to 2021 in Oilers land and unlike Gretzky’s LAK flop team, which was a disaster for his legacy LOL

€√¥£€^$

The firsts are still valuable, Especially when you have no 2nd rounders or 3rd rounders or 4th rounders, etc. This year with their 1st the organization could have Cossa, a potential stud goaltending prospect they’ve never seen since Grant Fuhr.

Broberg, Holloway and Cossa would be an excellent young core for the team to build on moving forward.

John Chambers

Not enticing enough for Buffalo to take Neal’s contract – probably have to add another Samorukov or Lavoie-type prospect

hunter1909

Forget that 2022 1st round pick and…done!

€√¥£€^$

Neal won’t be moved and neither will a 1st for Hall.

I can see a package like Kassian + Kahun + Safin + 2022 2nd + 2023 3rd for Hall 50% retained + Lazar (injured, sot sure if this viable)

Buffalo will want useful players back and as we’ve seen in the recent trades, teams don’t need to move younger prospects to make useful moves.

I think Holland will end up making 2 deals, one for a top 6 winger (Hall or Hoffman, more likely it will be Hall) and a cheap 2nd pairing Dman. Del Zotto, Rielly, Kulikov are targets, I would guess.

I hope Glendenning isn’t a target, but that is my fear. Getzlaf would be ideal, but that isn’t realistic.

The Trade Guy

Yeah I’m going to say no to paying 2 first rounders to get rid of Neal and get a month or two of Taylor Hall.

When we could not make that trade at all. Keep the firsts and try and sign him this summer if we really wanted to do that.

OriginalPouzar

Can no longer have trade conditions related to the acquiring player re-signing.

flea

Who beats up on the bad teams? Good teams do. They find ways to win. The Oilers had a few blowouts against the Sens but also found ways to win close games, including both of these final two games.

The team could surprise a team or two in the playoffs if they stay healthy and keep improving. Maybe they aren’t the cream of the division but they are damn good team. I think in a regular year Holland would be adding. I think he will add something small at least but nothing significant. They might not win Stanley this year but I was to watch McDavid in a cup parade in person. Next year would work better for me!

hunter1909

To my eye there are 13 teams with very good records this season, evenly spread out among the 4 divisions.

These are:

CENTRAL: Carolina, Tampa, Florida

EAST: NY Islanders, Washington Ovechkins, Pittsburgh Crosbys, Not the 1971(but we wish we still were) Bruins

NORTH: Toronto, Edmonton McBeliveaus, Winnipeg

WEST: Colorado, Vegas, Minnesota Dark Horse Wild(hunter1909’s dark Horse pick)

Any one of them has an excellent shot.

One of the other teams in the NHL just might surprise in the playoffs, but it’s not probable – they toil in mediocrity. Or worse, they’re like the Calgary Flames.

McDavid and Beliveau 2.0 are winning games in all kinds of fun ways. The only hope the opposition has is to gang up in the first 5-10 minutes and hope they don’t go ahead by even 1 goal.

Last edited 6 months ago by hunter1909
flyfish1168

I didn’t see the game. I noticed RNH was not on the game stats. Is he injured?

OriginalPouzar

Yes, he didn’t play due to injury.

Took a hit late last game – could be a head.

flyfish1168

That sucks. I hope its just precautionary

Redbird62

With about 5 minutes left in the game Wednesday night 2 shifts after the McDavid go ahead goal, Nuge was carrying the puck towards the Ottawa line, and just as he passed the puck to Kahun, Zaitsev caught him a little high as his shoulder rode up off of Nuge’s chest and looks like it clipped him in the chin causing his head to go back a little. He went down, popped back up and continued on the forecheck, but Ottawa dumped the puck out after only a few seconds, and Nuge headed off. That was his last shift of the game.

OriginalPouzar

Could be interesting on Saturday – flames will have had four full days off having last played on Monday whereas the Oilers would have played Mon, Wed/Thurs, Sat – travel throughout.

flyfish1168

I’m concern that our boys maybe a tired group.

fishman

A big concern would be injuries. We seem to get banged up playing the Flames.

OriginalPouzar

Thankfully, a full week off after….. blah.

OriginalPouzar

So, yesterday, Archie was out with McDavid/Drai on the last shift of the game with the net empty.

Today, Jesse was out with McDavid/Drai on the last shift of the game with the net empty (Archie was just out there with his regular linemates for the 2nd last shift).

This was about 4-5 minutes after Jesse made another wonderful play on the back-check and I posted he was elite in that area. We have seen Jesse out there late in the past but he’s truly earning now with his play.

David

Puljujarvi has a well rounded game. I have my questions about how high his offensive ceiling is, but he is not a player that if he isn’t scoring he isn’t doing anything.

flea

If anyone has the game PVR’d – go listen to Jack Micheals call during the empty net sequence. Lots of great calls , but notably he points out Puljujarvi being out there in the final minute, “entrusted” to get the win.

After which Puljujarvi makes several nice defensive plays leading up to the solo effort on the ENG. Great recognition in that call that drew my eyes to JP for that sequence.

I know Jack Micheals isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but excellent job on that call, especially considering they did it sitting in Edmonton in front of a TV.

hunter1909

Was reading the Calgary Puck side of tonight’s game.

Maybe we need to be kind to our friends from Calgary. They have to watch their own team get run around in circles, endlessly dreaming of that 1st line centre.

One of their posters said something to the effect of: “The Sens can play perfectly then one mistake and then the great Connor McDavid scores.”

Last edited 6 months ago by hunter1909
Strapping Jocks

Pity, maybe. Kindness, no.
Those Flames fan can suck it. Their endless ‘E=NG’ thread is full of hate and envy, and extends beyond loathing McDavid and Drai to the whole city.

They are a sad, mulleted lot of fans who thought Sutter was going to save their team.

DBO

So we could make a totally new (from tonight’s lineup) 2nd line if we got Hall.

Hall-Nuge-Chiasson/Kassian

The top line stays. Tonight’s second line could be a solid third line, pushing Khaira’s line to the fourth line. That’s depth.

Oilerguy

You are either missing JP or Yamo outta top 6

Oilerguy

Kass and Chais are just fine on 3rd and 4th lines

kgo

Turris is so ineffective…where does he really rank on the org depth chart for Centremen?

McD
Drai
Nuge
Khaira
Haas
Shore
Mcleod?
Marody?
Turris….
Cracknall?

I would argue he ranks 7-10th.

You can tell he still thinks the game well but everything else his hands, his boots and his lungs seem to have abandoned him.

OriginalPouzar

He’s essentially a winger now and is only playing center when injury hits (Hass yesterday and Nuge today).

hunter1909

He’s a reclamation project who is in big difficulty as the Oilers are proving to be a great team to play on(see Tyson Barrie).

winchester

I believe hes done. He has no jam whatsoever. Throws snow in the corners. Stays on perimeter, no hits, nothing.

He still has supporters, probably those who signed him, but all he’s really doing is blocking better players.

kgo

Yamo proving me wrong game after game! Love it! Keep it up Kailer

hunter1909

He shows skill. He deserves his shot on the team.

He also must work as hard as he possibly can, at that size, because if he relaxes he’s going to be NHL road kill.

OriginalPouzar

Oil are now up 9 points on the Habs with 4 games in hand.

Its really 10 points given Oil have the tiebreak.

Some road ahead but its looking very good to avoid the Leafs in the first round and, at this point, I’d be surprised if they don’t end up playing the Jets – the question is really where game 7 would be played.

fishman

Another question could be where are any of the play off games played? Way things are getting out of hand, is a play off bubble a possibility???

Reja

Better to start on the road to much Jiggy jiggy against the Hawks and yes hormones are a thing when your twenty five.

OriginalPouzar

They were in a guarded bubble……

Reja

That’s where the service elevator makes it’s moolah.

Tarkus

You know how to make a hormone?

Don’t pay her.

OriginalPouzar

I know the idea has been floated but I don’t see them getting there – it would take something for the players to agree to that (although, it wouldn’t be for the full two months I wouldn’t think).

OriginalPouzar

JJ Khaira has become an important member of this team’s success – no, of course not to the level of McDavid or Drai or Nurse or Larsson or Smith but he has solidified a bottom 6 center spot and, for me, has been a legit 3C since he “found his game”.

We know, JJ has always been inconsistent – he’s shown flashes of what he can do for a couple weeks here and there but always regressed back.

This stretch of play has been his longest stretch by far and seems “real” – its also been at a higher level than his previous stretches.

Re-signing him is a no-brainer and I’d ever protect him in the expansion draft (well, unless they go 4/4/1).

The question is term on the contract – I assume he’ll come on between his current $1.2M and $1.5M but does the org give him more than one year? Term for bottom six players is generally not a great idea but I would be fine with two years in particular since it will buy a UFA year.

Would we “expect” regression in a non-contract year? He’s not Kass…. ok, cheap shot.

hunter1909

HUNTER1909’s Death March™ 

Update:

With Oilers now on pace for a 71 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:

Meanashell11

Teach3

They will replace previous(various) leaders:

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

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

JRizzer25; Hazwasted; KGB; Oilnc79; Unjustenrichment; Whale 

Last edited 6 months ago by hunter1909
OriginalPouzar

Oilers now 17 points up on the flames….. flames do have a game in hand though so, if they win that……

Strapping Jocks

I wandered over to CalgaryPuck forum today, and oh boy, their hatred for the Oil is palpable. Their tears and hyperbole were delicious!

Durag

They’re having a hell of a time running down the Canucks

McNuge93

Yup, the gap just seems to stay the same.

Ice Sage

Yes, I think the ‘Woodguy’s Speakeasy’ North Division playoff race is over.
Now for seeding, mind games, load management and for effs sake staying healthy!

David

But when will the rubber hit the road?

Turning Tikkanese

What I am waiting for is the day (soon, I think) where Ottawa passes the Flames in the standings. Oh joy be still my heart!

Boil-in-the-Oil

Careful now, wouldn’t want them to win the lottery.

DevilsLettuce

No more rubber for this road

KnightRain

BOOM!!! Jesse Rewarded!!!

OriginalPouzar

Atta boy Jesse – who chipped that up? Oh, it was Jesse that chipped it to himself.

fishman

Yea Baby #3!!!

tapper

Ref yelling “No crosschecks” as Sens deliver 2 cross-checks. What he really meant was “No cross-checks Oilers”

OriginalPouzar

Interesting that Playfair hasn’t gone to the Nurse/Bear pairing late with the lead.

ashley

What’s with all the yellow sticks?

Last edited 6 months ago by ashley
fishman

Shore looking to earn a spot on next years team. Good depth player.

godot10

We have a 4th line. A 1st line and a 4th line.

who

I was just thinking that.

winchester

Who would have thought Jessie would become a pest? They can’t handle him! Lol

godot10

He is doing everything well except points. Like Tippett says. The chances are there. The points will eventually come.

One has to recognize the “doing everything well” part.

Reja

Now that’s what I’m talking about a blue collar goal from the taxi driver.

OriginalPouzar

JJ Khaira – this is a hockey player – this is a 3C.

KnightRain

BOOM!!! Shore!!! 3rd line finally rewarded!!!!

ashley

What a foolish play by Barrie. On the road inside of 8 minutes to a bettman or better and he’s pinching?

He is going to cost us a playoff series. Entire series are won and lost on a single goal.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

I am more worried about Smith. I don’t know if I have the stomach to watch Smith handle the puck in the playoffs.

OriginalPouzar

If he handles it like he has during the regular season, then its a massive benefit.

There has been a marked difference from last year, to me eye – its been the exception, as oppossed to the norm, where he’s been overly aggressive and trying too hard to make an impact. He did that in the first half of today’s game but reigned himself back in (seemingly).

fishman

Yea Baby #2!

OriginalPouzar

Shore tips home a Jones shot after Jones walks the line off some great Khaira work.

JOFA

And the Archie hit

Crazy Pedestrian

SHORE!!!

OriginalPouzar

Big save by Smith there.

Sens are catching on to the “Big 5” Globetrotting across the blueline and it almost caught up with them.

Crazy Pedestrian

Huh… obvious stick-in-skates trip on Kassian. That’s definitely a penalty.

wait what!? No penalty? I must be mistaken. Refs know EXACTLY what a penalty is.

fishman

Game management has determined that Oilers will NOT get another PP this game short of manslaughter being committed.

who

I think he might have stepped on the puck.

Reja

Anyone else that’s a penalty

KnightRain

How is that not a tripping penalty?

tapper

Guaranteed Edm did what Chabot did they’d be in the box.

fishman

That was a brutal non call!

fishman

So what exactly is a penalty these days????

OriginalPouzar

I thought Zack fell more than was tripped but am far from sure on that.

fishman

Wow Tcook is always hanging out at the top of the zone looking for the break away pass. In the “old” days this would get you labeled as a goal suck!

KnightRain

Guys are picking up the pace now. Keep it up! Top line is gonna pop one if they keep working this hard. What a great backcheck and takeaway by a Drai. That was looking bad for sec.

OriginalPouzar

Now would be a good time to load up a line to change the energy and look and….. oh, wait…..

KnightRain

Damn, Drai. Stop trying to force passes to Connor. Nearly cost us…

OriginalPouzar

Jesse is elite on the backcheck.

winchester

Oilers are accused of being a one line team. Or a “two guy” team. The coach deploys the roster as a one line team to
perpetuate this.

Its obvious that Connor and Leon plus a couple more are hiding the flaws on the roster, but they are winning so as you were people is the response by GM.

This may be short sighted. We have all played on a team with a superstar. Others defer to them and expect them to do it all.

Team unity might grow if some of that superstar time and responsibilities were shared. This game was good time to play others, play 2PP, Don’t allow two guys 3 minutes overtime shifts.etc. It disengages the other players. Playing Haaas, like him or not, is a step to team building.

Rest Leon for starters. Make others step up. If the team cant handle it it the GM should question why he filled a taxi squad full of players who can’t pull their weight.

so yeah, I want the two points, but I want the team to do whatever it needs to do to beat the other playoff teams. Tippet to
be looking forward.

Oil2Oilers

I wish they showed a replay of Puljujarvi destroying someone.with a reverse hit

KnightRain

Crappy period except for the PP. Getting totally outworked in our D zone. If not for Smith we would be down a couple. Some good ozone shifts by the top line but need some chances. Puljujarvi has to score on one of those. It’s crazy that the puck just won’t find twine for him…sure would be a good time to break the spell he’s under…

fishman

Better hope for a few more pp’s in the third! Getting killed 5X5

KnightRain

I just hope it’s more of a product of playing back to back cuz pp’s dry up in the playoffs and we gotta be better at evens. Getting outworked badly and everyone is gonna play hard come playoff time. We can be better. We Gotta be better.

OriginalPouzar

PPs drying up in the playoffs is a bit of a myth. Over the last number of years, PP opportunities have gone up in earlier rounds.

OriginalPouzar

Nice play by Brown….. faked that pass before the quick shot.

OriginalPouzar

Very nice defensive play by Turris but, damn, off target on the stretch pass.