2020-21 Game 43: Oilers at Jets

by Lowetide

The last time the Edmonton Oilers played a game, the club was humbled by a fresher group in Calgary Flames jerseys. The following morning, Oilers were 15 points up on Calgary with 14 to play (Flames had 15 left). I said at the time “if the Oilers go 6-6-2 (14 points), the Flames would need to go 15-0-0 to beat Edmonton into the postseason.”

Calgary had a good week, winning two more and losing just one. The Flames are just 11 points behind Edmonton now, with 12 games to play. How silly I was to predict it was over. So, let’s do the math again to see how much ground Calgary has gained and how close this is now. If the Oilers go 6-6-2 in their 14 remaining games (remember, they didn’t play this past week), the club would finish 31-21-4, 66 points for 56 games.

That means that in those final 12 games, if Calgary went 12-0-0, the team would finish 31-22-3, 65 points. If you’re an Oilers fan you know this: Catching up is very difficult with 60 games left in the Bettman NHL. With 12 games left? Forget about it.

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 43 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015-16: 17-23-3, 37 points; goal differential -25
  • Oilers in 2016-17: 21-15-7, 49 points; goal differential +3
  • Oilers in 2017-18: 18-22-3, 39 points; goal differential -24
  • Oilers in 2018-19: 20-20-3, 43 points; goal differential -11
  • Oilers in 2019-20: 21-17-5, 47 points; goal differential -8
  • Oilers in 2020-21: 25-15-2, 52 points; goal differential +10

The three playoff teams (including this year’s club) have left the other McDavid clubs behind. The goal differential of the 2019-20 team is a concern at this point and it should be mentioned that this year’s group had a +17 and was 21-13-0 back on March 21. Since then, Edmonton is 4-2-2, but -7 in goal differential. That’s not good, about -1 GD per game. Most, but not all, from the Calgary game.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN APRIL

  • At home to: Calgary (Expected: 1-0-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • On the road to: Montreal, Ottawa, Ottawa, Calgary (Expected: 3-1-0) (Actual 2-1-1)
  • 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)
  • Expected April record: 7-4-0, 14 points in 11 games
  • Actual April record: 3-1-1, 7 points in 5 games

The Oilers are basically on track with my expectations, I had them going 4-1-0 and the team is currently 3-1-1. This season is very difficult to predict because momentum is fleeting. I do not expect Edmonton to win tonight, but do believe they’ll show well against Montreal in the two games next week.

FIVE ON FIVE GOALS-60 (FORWARDS)

There are 372 NHL forwards who have played 260 or more five on five minutes in the league this season. Why is that important? It gives us the most qualified pool available for all teams top 12 forwards. It’s the NHL this season. I’m going to run the top goal scorers at five on five (per 60) on the Oilers with the designated line they represent based on ranking across all forwards in the league at this time. I think there will be some surprises, there were a few for me. Here we go:

First line

  • No. 58 overall: Connor McDavid 1.01-per 60
  • No. 93 overall: Leon Draisaitl 0.89-per 60

Both men have improved shot volume and shooting percentage, but there are many marksmen in the NHL posting better numbers this season. By the way, McDavid has been at or near 1.00-60 scoring at five on five every year of his career.

Second line

  • No. 104 overall: Dominik Kahun 0.85-per 60
  • No. 155 overall: Kailer Yamamoto 0.73-per 60
  • No. 178 overall: Jesse Puljujarvi 0.66-per 60
  • No. 186 overall: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 0.65-per 60

This is a bit of a surprise for a couple of reasons. I didn’t think Kahun would be so efficient (this is a good number, he’s so quiet) and I didn’t think JP would be inside the top 186 forwards in the metric. Dave Tippett chose the correct six shooters to play on the skill lines.

Third line

  • No. 205 overall: Jujhar Khaira 0.60-per 60
  • No. 210 overall: Josh Archibald 0.59-per 60
  • No. 230 overall: Tyler Ennis 0.55-per 60
  • No. 278 overall: Alex Chiasson 0.44-per 60

The offensive support has been better this year, some of these chaps have benefited from playing with 97 and 29. Khaira has enjoyed a strong season in several areas, this is one.

Fourth line

  • No. 289 overall: Zack Kassian 0.42-per 60

Kassian might get a push as early as tonight. The absence of alternatives clears the mind.

DYLAN HOLLOWAY

The contract starts 2021-22 (PuckPedia), it’s possible he signs an ATO to play in Bakersfield if the season is still going when he recovers from surgery. This is a fine young prospect, we don’t know how good yet but he has a chance to slot in with the big bats if he can bring offense from Wisconsin.

50-MAN LIST 2021-22 (30)

  • Goalies (3): Mikko Koskinen, Alex Stalock, Olivier Rodrigue
  • Left Defense (8): Darnell Nurse, Oscar Klefbom (IR), Kris Russell, Caleb Jones, William Lagesson, Dmitri Samorukov, Philip Broberg, Markus Niemelainen
  • Right Defense (5): Ethan Bear, Evan Bouchard, Filip Berglund, Phil Kemp, Mike Kesselring
  • Center (4): Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Kyle Turris, Ryan McLeod
  • Left Wing (5): James Neal, Tyler Benson, Rafael Lavoie, Ostap Safin, Dylan Holloway
  • Right Wing (5): Jesse Puljujarvi, Zack Kassian, Josh Archibald, Kirill Maksimov, Seth Griffith

Lots of holes in this roster but $27 million in walking around money will help. No. 1 goalie, RH defenseman who can defend and play top-4D, Klefbom’s return to full health, a No. 1 LW, Nuge and Yamamoto re-signed, and a No. 3 center. That’s seven, but as many as four could be internal solutions.

RFA’S 2021-22 (8)

  • Goalies (2): Stuart Skinner, Dylan Wells
  • Left Defense (1): Theodor Lennstrom
  • Right Defense (0):
  • Center (2): Jujhar Khaira, Cooper Marody
  • Left Wing (2): Dominik Kahun, Devin Shore
  • Right Wing (1): Kailer Yamamoto

I would bring back Skinner, Lennstrom, Khaira, Kahun and Yamamoto. Your mileage may vary. I’d bring back Marody too if I thought they could find a role for him.

UFA’s 2021-22 (14)

  • Goalies (1): Mike Smith
  • Left Defense (2): Dmitry Kulikov, Slater Koekkoek
  • Right Defense (2): Tyson Barrie, Adam Larsson
  • Center (2): Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Gaetan Haas, Alan Quine
  • Left Wing (3): Tyler Ennis, Joakim Nygard, Joe Gambardella
  • Right Wing (3): Alex Chiasson, Patrick Russell, Adam Cracknell

I would bring back Larsson, Nuge, Haas. You?

Left wing is going to be the position to watch. There are three young prospects of note who will be pushing (Holloway, Benson, Lavoie if he continues playing LW) and remember skill players rarely spend even 50 games in the AHL.

Players who Edmonton might add via free agency include Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall, Tomas Tatar, Brandon Saad, Gabriel Landeskog, Mike Hoffman, Mikael Granlund and Blake Coleman.

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Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

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Last edited 24 days ago by Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve
v4ance

Just finished watching the game on PVR.

My issue with analysts like Kelly Hrudey is that he is flat out wrong wrong and he doesn’t see what actually happens and then makes up narratives to fit his pre-conceptions.

In the post game, he points out that Kyle Connor was set up for a open one-timer from the slot and he says Connor whiffs and the Oilers come right back and score on the reversal. If you look closely at the replay, Jesse actually sticks his blade into Connor’s to disrupt the shot.

If Hrudey was accurately describing the play, Jesse made a great defensive play at one end and got rewarded for it at the other end.

***

The other error that was being propagated was that the first goal was a screen shot past Hellebuyck when it was through a clear lane. The colour commentator said Hellebuyck was standing up looking for the puck or looking for traffic on the replays. When I watched it initially, something nagged at me that they were getting it wrong because I was trying to find the mythical screen.

When McDavid has the puck on the RIGHT half wall, Hellebuyck actually stands to take a peek at Draisaitl on the LEFT half wall exactly when McDavid passes it to Barrie. By the time Hellebuyck’s head actually reaquires the puck it’s already on the way and eventually through the five hole as Hellebuyck desperately tried to go down into his butterfly. From the back of the net camera, you can see Copp was up high fronting the shot but to the right of the open lane. Yams was at the hash marks trying to get a tip but to the left of the open lane. Chaisson was at the top of the crease to Hellebuyck’s right and well clear of his eyeline to the puck. I guess all along, I was watching Hellebuyck’s head movements instead of just watching the puck.

I just wish the announcers would look more closely and get it right rather than making shit up.

hunter1909

Think of Hrudey like he’s a CNN (already showed up with mind made up don’t bother him with facts) announcer. Then everything makes sense.

jp

I guess OP went to sleep.

Condors win 5-1.

927 fans in attendance.

Skinner with the W.

McLeod was 1st star, 2G-1A +3 (now 28-14-14-28 and leads the league at +23)
Kesselring was 2nd star 2A +2 (his first 2 pro points, now 10-0-2-2)
Stanton 3rd star 2A +2

Lavoie also 1G-1A +1 (now 8-4-3-7)

Marody with 1A, Benson held off the score sheet. They are 2nd and 3rd in +/- behind McLeod. Gildon is 4th.

OriginalPouzar

Cracknell with some great board work to cause a turnover and Lavoie with a wonderful backhand cross-ice pass back to Stanton and his shot is deflected in by Cracknell.

OriginalPouzar

Plus level PK work from McLeod.

stephenw24

With the post about Tampa bay drafting the other day it might be interesting to look at Winnipeg’s draft history. I am an oilers fan but they have found a lot of good players in the draft. Not sure if it’s cheveldayoff or the scouting department but I admire what they have built in the draft.

JimmyV1965

The Jets draft record in the late rounds has been meh. They’ve hit on virtually all of their first round picks though, often in a big way.

OriginalPouzar

Skinner with a big save on a breakaway (although it was Keegan Lowe) after Griffith turned it over high in the offensive zone – Condors come back on a 2 on 1 the other way and Cracknell is stopped.

nathen99

Lavoie is going to be interesting. Has all the tools to be cmd trigger man that would be great savings for a couple years

OriginalPouzar

Lavoie is a solid prospect – he is one hell of a shooter – great release.

I anticipate he’ll need pretty much the entire 2021/22 season in the AHL but could impact the roster after that.

€√¥£€^$

Lavoie really catches the eye when he has the puck, he has a lot of tools, great size and decent speed. I have not seen him rip a shot like Safin has, so far (I guess he scored one like that in garbage time VS Colorado, but I had stopped watching by then). Hopefully he finds his shooting touch. I expect that we will see him pick up his production even more now, as he seems very comfortable at this level.

He is a cherry-picker in his own zone, but has shown flashes of a defensive conscience. When he gets better at that, he will be in the NHL, so hopefully it takes him a year or less, because he has NHL-level offensive skill and would fit on the 3rd line today.

€√¥£€^$

Lavoie really catches the eye when he has the puck, he has a lot of tools, great size and decent speed. I have not seen him rip a shot like Safin has, so far (I guess he scored one like that in garbage time VS Colorado, but I had stopped watching by then). Hopefully he finds his shooting touch. I expect that we will see him pick up his production even more now, as he seems very comfortable at this level.

For context, in 8 games he has 4 goals on 23 shots so far which sounds excellent, but 1 goal was the excellent shot, one was a great tip while going hard to the net, one was an open net shot and his fourth was an unchallenged ENG. He will be scoring more goals off shots in the coming weeks I am quite certain.

He is a cherry-picker in his own zone, but has shown flashes of a defensive conscience. When he gets better at that, he will be in the NHL, so hopefully it takes him a year or less, because he has NHL-level offensive skill and would fit on the 3rd line today.

Here is an excellent compilation of all his shifts VS Henderson, a very good AHL team, thanks to Sean Patrick Ryan’s excellent efforts.

https://youtu.be/ZobuQlouYd0

nathen99

Lolol ok I can use proper puctuation.Yes 3 rookie lw is ambitious, but think Holloway and McLeod are good bets for bottom 6 next year.

OriginalPouzar

I agree on McLeod, he’s playing with a lot of confidence and spiking as a top 6 center in the AHL right now (which is key to becoming a bottom 6 center at the NHL level).

Holloway will be a teenager when camp starts – sure, he’ll have a shot but my guess is he starts the season in the AHL – may not finish there mind you.

nathen99

Yes for sure most likely, Bensen is ready just what line first or third?that assuming dry line is reunited,we probably get nuge signed hope it’s in the six million max range

OriginalPouzar

Lavoie has had the puck on his stick ALOT in the first period – he has a good chemistry going with Seth Griffith.

OriginalPouzar

Some good action – Safin with a dangerous shot from a sharp angle and then he gets sent in all alone but the defender knocked it away just as he was about to shoot – puck went back the other way for a quick strike break and Skinner with a solid save.

nathen99

Just hope Holland does not sign barrie those bucks have to be spent on 3C as we will find out if we make final 4 k hair a love him but that line gets killed by Colorado Tampa our top 2 lines can saw off fine 4 line won’t play in tight games much we are right where we need to be very excited for future and I forgot Lavoie in 2 years he may be perfect for top 6 yamo love him on third line come on nuge 5 times five you want cups or money we shall see he is 7 million on special teams 4 million 5v5

Crazy Pedestrian

Woah dude. I know you’re excited and all, but punctuation is a thing. Had to read that and your previous comment a few times to see what you were getting at. Brain was working in overdrive trying to “decipher” them as OP had put it.

Last edited 28 days ago by Crazy Pedestrian
nathen99

Hope We Try BENSEN WITH McDavid AND JP IN Camp This Year Holloway 3 Left Wing McLeod 4 LW Free Agent 3C AND Dry LINE I Like It Defense Is Cup Level IN 3 Years WITH Nurse BROBERG SAMO On Left BOUCH BEAR AND Ya We NEED ONE More Rd But MCD AND DRy WILL Sign EXTENSIONS TIMING WILL Be Perfect Min 1 Cup IN 4 Yrs PROBALLY 2 imo

OriginalPouzar

Whoa – trying to decipher that sentence.

To be honest, I’m not sure I see three forward rookies (Benson, Holloway, McLeod) in the opening night lineup.

I’d be fairly surprised if Holloway doesn’t start 2021/22 in the AHL.

OriginalPouzar

Beauty goal by McLeod two minutes in. Kesselring with a shot from the point, rebound is kicked to the sideboards where McLeod picks it up, goes behind the net, comes out the other side and in front and roofs one far side.

jm363561

Not one complaint about the refs tonight! My guess is the Jets boards will see things differently. 😀

The team played well and deserved to win. Unlike JP, who has been snake bitten the last few games, Yamo never looked like scoring on two great chances. He needs a goal. I love watching Barrie full stop, but particularly how he just glides past the forecheck.

Last edited 28 days ago by jm363561
OriginalPouzar

Oilers had an extra PP or two (I believe) but, considering how much they dominated at 5 on 5 (14-1 high danger Corsi per NST), they deserved that. One could argue the Khaira call was a game management call as well.

Victoria Oil

This was the Oilers most impressive victory in quite a while, IMHO.

OriginalPouzar

Skinner starts for the Condors.

No Joe G. tonight (blocked a shot late) – either Stukel or Safin coming in.

tcho

The rubber/road combo is nigh!

OriginalPouzar

Sam Bennett played center between Duclair and Huburdeau……. 2 apples and a plus 3.

Warms the heart!

kelvjn

Finally found a condition coach that taught him how to do chin ups?

northerndancer

This was a good game by a well rested, good and reasonably deep team, with good goalering, against a good and reasonably deep team team that is playing 3 in 4. Nice to see the Oilers on the right side of things and taking advantage of it.

OriginalPouzar

Adam Larsson led the team in ice at 5 on 5 (just over 20 minutes) but Leon had 27 total minutes, my goodness.

Boil-in-the-Oil

Our D is playing with some (previously rare) confidence. I’m sure playing in front of solid goaltending is partly credited, but this bunch/mix is a pleasure to watch.

N64

~ 5-2 season record against Jets. So obviously Jets are no good and we should look at the Oilers record without those points. ~

Pescador

I’m actually surprised how well the boys have played the Jets this season.
The W-L record is most pleasing.
I honestly thought that Winnipeg had the better team overall.
Regular season means little the deeper you get into a playoff series.
Just encouraging to know that the Oil match up extremely well against the Jets.

Eh Team

McDavid’s line destroys Scheifele’s line every time they are matched against each other.

JimmyV1965

I listen to the Illegal Curve podcast all the time. They are not huge fans of Scheifle’s defensive game.

OriginalPouzar

Condors’ game isn’t until bedtime, 9 mountain.

Of note, they will have limited fans in the stands for the first time which, I’m sure, will be nice for the players.

Gerta Rauss

The Edmonton Oilers are a pretty good team in the National Hockey League

OriginalPouzar

Last night the youngest goalie in the org with a shutout.

Tonight the oldest goalie in the org with a shutout.

Boil-in-the-Oil

Brilliant.

MushedPeas

Oldest in the league…?

OriginalPouzar

Oh, no, there are older – Ryan Miller comes to mind.

fishman

Shut out!!!!

OriginalPouzar

Solid, solid game from the team – very good structure. Really carried the play at 5 on 5 and Smith was simply solid and in control and very good moving the puck tonight, very good.

OriginalPouzar

Natural Stat has the high danger Coris events at 14-1 for the Oilers (5 on 5).

fishman

Holy crap, now that is dominating!

jimdewger

That matches how the game has looked

fishman

Empty net goal would be nice.

jimdewger

Come on Mike Smith!

jimdewger

This has been a very fine game. They’ve stopped the Jets at the blue line regularly, kept the Jets outside of high danger areas in the Oilers zone and have prioritized getting to the front on the attack. Really strong game against a good team.

fishman

Nice kill!

fishman

Of course you know that was coming.

OriginalPouzar

Nice tip Chiasson – I think that was going in even without the tip!

Sierra

Who shot that?

OriginalPouzar

Chiasson stole Barrie’s goal – that was going in without the tip.

Sierra

Turnabout is fair play, I guess. Lol

pts2pndr

Come on! He was already screening the goal tender. Full marks for the goal!

OriginalPouzar

Come on, I was being facetious….

pts2pndr

Sorry! My bad!🙈

fishman

Yea Baby #3!!!!!!

fishman

Wow Jets with another penalty! Lets score and stick the knife in….

fishman

Ha called it!!!

DevilsLettuce

13 looked pretty good playing with 97 there.

godot10

I think that counts as an upvote from Jesse for me! -).

Pescador

We show him love & look what he gives us in return

OriginalPouzar

Not sure Jesse got all of that but he did a great job to back-up in to the soft area.

90s fan

Ya looked like he flubbed it. I just love that smile!

fishman

Yea Baby #2!!!!!

OriginalPouzar

Jesse buries the insurance goal – roofs it on a McDavid pass.

OriginalPouzar

Damn, captain, shoot the puck please.

OriginalPouzar

Another nice defensive stick by Kahun!

OriginalPouzar

Oilers have only given up on high danger Corsi event against at 5 on 5 (per NST) but I fear they will need more than one goal to win this game.

Even strength insurance goal from the Khaira line!

Pescador

Com’mon you guys!
I’m not watching the game, who the F scored the Oilers goal??

MADOIL

Tyson Barrie

Pescador

Thanks Maddy!

OriginalPouzar

It was an ego-goal and the point/goal was stolen from a forward……

Pescador

Hmmm,
better try some new material

Sierra

Without a doubt, all ego.

Reja

Wow some funny business on the LTIR who would’ve ever thought that was happening.

Sierra

“The league will be paying close attention to those players activated for day 1 of the playoffs”

we almost believe that.

Reja

The peanut gallery is mum.

OriginalPouzar

NST has the high danger Corsi at 8-1 (5 on 5).

Oilers are carrying the play and they are full value for having more PPs.

fishman

So Jets will get 2 additional PP’s in 3rd to even up penalties by end of the game!

MADOIL

Jets will come hard in the third. Oilers need to be ready. Don’t want this to be a 3-point game.

OriginalPouzar

Kahun is having his best game of the year (2-goal game notwithstanding) and Kailer looks fresh and rested – his style with his frame can lead to fatigue, I would think.

MADOIL

Yes, has been backcheking quite well. Nygard is the other forward who is noticeable.

hunter1909

Tippett strategy: trap until McDavid scores.

Tonight’s Winnipeg Jets: getting trapped until McDavid’s team mate scores.

OriginalPouzar

Big save by Smith.

That was a nice rush and decent play by Nurse but not on a PK rush – certainly not with a d-man and two forwards up.

Lucky.

Solly

Showed some crazy good confidence with the puck there. Risky? Yes. Did I like it still? Yes.
That play was one stick width away from being a tap in goal on the PK.

OriginalPouzar

Can’t disagree to harshly except to reference that the team had a one-goal lead and I’m not sure that was the “right” situation for that much risk – in particular when the 2nd forward joined the rush.

What was most concerning is, after they gave up possession, it seemed to take all 3 of them a second to get going on the backcheck!

fishman

When I watch how effective Jesse is I can’t wait for McCleod, Holloway and Lavoie to all be in the line up! No disrespect to Yamo (who I love) Kahun, etc but size with speed matters!!!! Especially against big teams like the Jets.

OriginalPouzar

McLeod, Holloway and Broberg – big guys that can skate.

Lavoie is another big body (as you say) – he doesn’t fly like the others but his skating is good.

Samorukov as well as a big guy that can skate.