2020-21 Game 47: Oilers at Jets

by Lowetide

Call out the instigators, there’s something in the air. It feels a little similar to 2016-17, when the Edmonton Oilers caught fire down the stretch. We aren’t there yet and any number of disasters could send things sideways, but for now it’s appropriate to do a little playoff daydreaming.

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 AT 47 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015-16: 19-23-5, 43 points; goal differential -24
  • Oilers in 2016-17: 25-15-7, 57 points; goal differential +7
  • Oilers in 2017-18: 21-23-3, 45 points; goal differential -21
  • Oilers in 2018-19: 23-21-3, 49 points; goal differential -7
  • Oilers in 2019-20: 24-18-5, 53 points; goal differential -4
  • Oilers in 2020-21: 28-16-2, 58 points; goal differential +19

The 2016-17 club and this year’s model have intersected often this season and a loss tonight would have their records very close. The goal differential is exceptional this year, the 2016-17 club finished +36. This year’s edition could hit that with 82 games on the schedule.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM 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 1-0-0)
  • At home to: Montreal, Montreal (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 1-1-0)
  • On the road to: Winnipeg, Winnipeg (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • 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: 6-2-1, 13 points in 9 games

Edmonton has been strong by month after a subpar January (5-6-0). February (9-3-0) sent the club up the standings and March (8-5-1) was good enough to keep the team in a playoff spot. April has been the month of separation, with Edmonton’s 6-2-1 mark putting the team in second place at this time. Vital to finish well.

OILERS GAME 1 2017 PLAYOFF LINES

  • Patrick Maroon-Connor McDavid-Leon Draisaitl: (13:39) 4-7 shots, no goals, 2-4 HDSC
  • Milan Lucic-Nuge-Jordan Eberle: (12:18) 5-7 shots, 1-0 goals, 0-4 HDSC
  • Drake Caggiula-Mark Letestu-Zack Kassian: (8:36) 3-8 shots, no goals, 1-2 HDSC
  • Benoit Pouliot-David Desharnais-Iiro Pakarinen: (5:16) 1-4 shots, 0-1 goals, 0-1 HDSC

These are the numbers and lines/pairings for the first 2017 playoff game against the San Jose Sharks. Question: Do you like the current lineup more? Here’s an estimate of what the forward lines could look like opening night 2021:

  • Dominik Kahun-Connor McDavid-Jesse Puljujarvi
  • Nuge-Leon Draisaitl-Kailer Yamamoto
  • Devin Shore-Ryan McLeod-Josh Archibald
  • Zack Kassian-Jujhar Khaira-Alex Chiasson

Plenty of time for Gaetan Haas, Tyler Ennis, James Neal and others to find their way to the starting lineup, but my suspicion is that we see something like this. Now, is the big differences between 2017 and four years later are that 97 and 29 are in their peak seasons and have been split up? Is the current forward set superior to the one from four years ago? Who is this year’s Anton Slepyshev (worked his way into the starting lineup and scored three post-season goals)?

WINNING AND THE JETS

This is Edmonton’s final game against the Jets for this season and the Oilers have done well against a damn good hockey club:

  • Ottawa Senators: 9-0-0
  • Winnipeg Jets: 6-2-0
  • Calgary Flames: 5-3-0
  • Toronto Maple Leafs 3-5-1
  • Vancouver Canucks 3-2-0
  • Montreal Canadiens 2-4-1

Edmonton is about to see the Canucks a lot, I expect we’ll see some of the men who have been sitting for a long time in those games.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10, TSN1260, we preview the Oilers-Jets with Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal. We’ll also chat with Joe Osborne from OddsShark about what we might see at the NFL draft tomorrow night. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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KnightRain

My contention is the NHL hasn’t seen This version of the Oilers. None have since the late 80’s, early 90’s. The solid play up and down the lineup is phenomenal and having Connor and Leon as game breakers is our edge. Playing “playoff” type games before the actual playoffs is huge for our team to figure out how to succeed. We have not only survived but thrived in these games. The confidence that we are building in this team first focus is going to propel us far in the playoffs, imo. The key, to me, is Kulikov. Once he is fully up to speed with our system he will solidify our defense. Our bottom six has figured out how to play stout and responsible hockey and our top two lines are set and loaded for bear. Now our backup goalie has come out and had a solid game with some tough saves made. I see very little holes in our team right now. We are dangerous, confident and still getting better. This is going to be epic!

BanffOil

Love the optimism but why do we wilt vs. The leafs and the Habs?

MushedPeas

Wouldn’t stick that label on the last couple Habs games.

SwedishPoster

I can’t wait to see the battle of the playoff beards between Larsson and Khaira

Last edited 3 months ago by SwedishPoster
Redbird62

With his 3 points tonight, Connor raised his ppg to 1.79, which is right on pace for 100 points. He has scored 15 points in 8 games against the Flames. If he can pick up 5 points in the next 2 games, he’ll have 20+ points against 3 different teams in the same season.

Redbird62

What has become more and more noticeable in the sound defensive games the Oilers have played this season, is how much more active their sticks seem to be to disrupt plays, deflect passes and cause turnovers, in both ends of the ice. For years, it seems other teams were able to frustrate the Oilers with active sticks both on the forecheck and when defending against them, and I would always ask why can’t the Oilers do that more. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so Tippett couldn’t change everything over night. First he had to get them to buy into a system, then emphasize their positional play particularly defending, then playing at a higher tempo and finally focussing on the little details like the active sticks. To me it sure appears more obvious now particularly in the last 10-15 games. Some of it can be attributed to players such as Jesse and Kailer, but it’s the whole team much more consistently now. I think Tippett would say there is more progress to be made, but the team has made great strides this season.

Ivan

Kahun is looking like a lock with McD and JP. Really smart, great forecheck and at the right moment, give it to Connor.

JimmyV1965

Really liking McLeod’s game. He’s fast, doesn’t cheat in the dzone and looks like he will contribute offensively. I would like to see him forecheck more aggressively. He doesn’t need to plaster guys into the boards, but the flybys don’t work in the NHL. Stay on top of the defenders and disrupt their ability to move the puck. With his speed, he should be very effective. 

Ivan

It was classy to give him the last faceoff in garbage time, too, I thought.

Ryan

I wonder if he reminds Holland a little bit of Justin Abdelkader.

Both 6’2, picked in the second round, big and fast with maybe a little choppy stride and solid defensively.

I remember watching the 2008 playoffs. I can’t recall who got injured, but the Wings pulled Abdelkader seemingly out of a hat for an injury replacement. I remember the color guy mused “what’s an Abdelkader?” I was wondering the same thing at the time.

He had quite a run those playoffs with 8 points in 10 games, then cooled off the next regular season. Still carved out a solid career.

Oz

Not sure how to edit my comment , but I meant that the intermission host “does NOT have …”

Oz

Really like the Winnipeg broadcast crew. Play by play announcer calls the players name as it is happening on the ice, and my wife marvels as too how such a fast game as tonight was called and he does not miss a beat. The colour guy is an acceptable homer but acknowledges when our Oilers make good plays, and the intermission host does have some stupid schict (not sure if I spelt that right, think Bryan Hall), bonus was having Ray Ferraro as her guest.

hunter1909

Not so fast.

Some say that before they started winning, Bryan Hall’s voice was about all that stood between the Edmonton Eskimos and bankruptcy.

edoil1

Have to agree, many of the younger people on here may only see the latest and we all slow down ,but Hall is what 85?He has been awesome for Edmonton over the years, listening to Eskimo games,he and Jackie Parker on color or John Farlinger made it more interesting then any TV broadcast for many years.The class these people had may never be replaced,I hope not.

Oz

Love your comment I am 74 going on 75 😂
Hallsy talked over everyone who did not agree with his view …. who was the point -counter point guy who was on his show?. And the Hallsy hairstyle ooh so cool !!
Now to be serious the CFL was an old boys club in those days and he fit right in … eg see the recycled coaches.

MushedPeas

All respect to Hall. I remember young Turks Dutch and Perry on the ITV crew giving Hall the gears all the time. As a kid I loved it.

Oz

Not so sure that is what saved the Eskies, I’m thinking it was Campbell the the player then as a GM was brilliant, Warren Moon was a clutch performer, the square headed guy on TSN (Matt Dunigan) was guts and glory, and speaking of guts and glory the guy I admired most was the running back from the Rough Riders George Reed. Hit the line twice and gain 11 yards. no dance , no shenigans this is my job. Thanks to you and those below for the the feedback

90s fan

I dunno. They complained about a lot of penalties and non calls. Kinda annoying. In one such complaint the guy actually said “fair is where pigs compete for ribbons.”

Granted I thought that line was pretty awesome and will look for an opportunity to use it myself…

Oz

Yeah I liked that line too

Reja

Bryan Hall had heart he wasn’t scared right or wrong to speak his mind. Bryan was nobody’s lackey not like the boring tea baggers they employ now.

Oz

Speaking his mind and speaking over the listener are two different things. What is happening today I can’t speak to, as I have not watched a game for maybe 10 yrs.. If you are a CFL fan I am in on your side, much more entertaining than south of the border

tavvey tune

McLeod is looking better with each shift. If he keeps this up he’s here to stay, just as sure as JJ shaves every morning.

Ryan

…If Leon Draisatl was even average defensively, he’d be in the top tier of players…

+28. Number 1 +/- in NHL. 3rd in Toi/g among forwards.

ducks.

Last edited 3 months ago by Ryan
jp

Awesome.

But I don’t think there’s any need to duck around here!

OriginalPouzar

Finishes the game defending one-goal leads
Takes most draws on the PK
56% faceoff percentage

OriginalPouzar

Going to be a slog tomorrow night after travelling back to Edmonton.

Hope they can gut one out

hunter1909

Calgary are beside themselves with anticipation.

KnightRain

I expect a game much the same. Strong defensive play along with opportunistic scoring. We know it will be physical and we know the refs won’t call much. We’ve played these games the last 4 or so and we’re ready. Calgary won’t be able to break through and we’ll probably win with the same score. Or better since I expect Kulikov isn’t gonna make that same mistake again, leading to the jets only goal…

Ice Sage

Fine game – I like a team *finally* that can win many ways, including defending a small lead.

Anyone know the Oil’s magic playoff #? Its gotta be close now

OriginalPouzar

I believe its 7 vis-a-vis the Cancuks (points gained by Oilers or lost by the Canucks).

Ice Sage

Thanks, OP! Could be confirmed pretty soon then

OriginalPouzar

Potentially Saturday if the Leafs “help out” and the Oilers do their job.

Paulie

Blake Wheeler 2nd star, not Koski. I guess it’s cause Wheeler had a role in 1st 3 goals

northerndancer

His slashing Drai all the way down the ice for the empty netter was very classy, too.

90s fan

Pretty harmless.

Reja

I thought Leon was going to hold his stick and score with his one arm that would of been justice and funny at the same time.

Crazy Pedestrian

That was Winnipeg’s Three Stars, Oilers broadcast was 1- Barrie, 2- McDavid, 3- Koskinen

Paulie

Ah. Got it off ESPN.

leadfarmer

Kulikov too many turnovers but I like his physicality and if he keeps Russell eating popcorn it’s a plus
McLeod 57% in FO and fast sure make things difficult
I kind of like Chaisson. If they are ready to buy out Neal I would be ok with one more year
Larsson. LT is going to write plenty for a future generation about the years of Larsson at Shawshank as a forward enters the zone with a glimmer of a goal in his eye before being steered to the walls and being robbed blind. They just don’t make them like that anymore he will say

northerndancer

solid game by the oil tonight. Koski was solid. NO rebounds. And my 97 year old papa made his TV debut! Fine evening.

OriginalPouzar

That was your dad?

Cool stuff!

northerndancer

Indeed. Surprised me to see him! Someone else in the family must have set it up. The old guy was a great hockey player in his day. And a builder of Jr. teams in Alberta and Sask. And a blind ref, too! None of it rubbed off on me. lol

geowal

That’s awesome, nice little bit they did on him, even had Louie attempting a Gene level pun

northerndancer

It was lovely. Touching. His star is fading but his memory will remain bright. He was a great dad.

northerndancer

thank you

northerndancer

thanks

Reja

Oilers are in the zone they have the magic touch of no pressure games and will rack up the wins, if Toronto slips up Oilers will catch them.

N64

~ They can’t catch the Leafs because everyone knows games against the Canucks don’t count ~

OriginalPouzar

and, after they exclude the points from the Sens games……

edoil1

Don’t think we want to catch the leafs,Habs have been a harder opponent. Let them beat on them.

MushedPeas

^ ☝️

KnightRain

Solid, solid, solid. This version of the Oilers are a force to be reckoned with. The last thing anyone in the NHL wanted to see was a confident Oilers team playing a mature game. They better be scared cuz we’re going Cup Hunting…

hunter1909

Winnipeg losing to Oilers in the playoffs you can take to the bank. After that Toronto has shown it can shut down the Oilers totally; which makes them a formidable foe for sho.

Then if they manage to get out of the division…waiting for them might be:

Vegas who look like a mature, confident team; and bookies are picking Colorado to win the cup.

Glad that only one of them are going to come out of that division.

Then the other conference is lousy with good to very good teams.

Boston v Oilers in the finals are my hope.

Solly

Barrie had a great game. Potted a beauty and saved 2 for-sures against.

Reja

His agent and Holland are filling the pen with ink as we speak. 4×5.25 =21 million bones to QB the power play for the next 3.5 years. Book it!

OriginalPouzar

Seems unlikely to me.

geowal

Great PK and hold on to close the game out. And the all important but not so important 3rd point for McDavid in the charge for 100

Ivan

I heard a stat at the end there about consecutive 3+ point games, but was distracted and missed the deets..something like it hadn’t happened in 20 years?

Whaler Slamamoto

I think he said 5 straight games with at least 3 points.

Redbird62

He did say 5 games, but McDavid only had 2 points against Winnipeg on the 17th, so it’s only been 4 consecutive games so far of 3+ points. Not sure if that has been done in the last 20 seasons.

jp

Quality game by Koskinen.

Tippett’s right, gotta focus on getting goalies #1 and #2 fully ready.

fishman

Nice game by Koski!! Tip keeping Smith fresh for the Flames in case Markstrom needs to be tuned in!

OriginalPouzar

Team was 0-1 at 5 on 5 – fire Holland!

KnightRain

Wheeler even said “we beat them at 5×5 1-0”. lol PP’s fine matter? It’s funnier cuz it was his penalties that we scored on…

90s fan

Ha ha, he said that? Too funny.

hunter1909

Of course – he has to find “positives” outside from the scoreline.

Reminds me of the MacT era. Plenty of “positives” lol

jzed

Ho hum road game,100 points on track, check. Bring on the Phlegms

Last edited 3 months ago by jzed
Chelios is a Dinosaur

I’m getting very tired of the “Hit of the Game” or the “Play of the Game” being multiples.

Paulie

Hell ya!

Crazy Pedestrian

DRAISAITL GOT AN EMPTY NET GOAL! SAVE THE DATE!

hunter1909

The best part? How Draisaitl knew he and the Oilers were so snake bitten with empty net goals he literally skated right up the goal line then didn’t even shoot – he simply let the momentum of the puck carry it over the line.

OriginalPouzar

That was the team’s 8th empty net goal of the year.

MushedPeas

I noticed 🙂

delooper

There it is.

OriginalPouzar

McDavid with his 3rd point on the Drai empty netter.

treevojo

3 for mcd

KnightRain

Icing on the cake

fishman

Yea Baby #3!!!!

delooper

Where is my hammer?

OriginalPouzar

Nurse/Larsson
McDavid/Drai/Archie

That’s the fully rested protect the lead unit.

KnightRain

Archie on with superstars for the last min. He’s earned it

OriginalPouzar

Gotta assume a TO, who do the coaches put out?

Kulikov/Larsson?
Nurse/Larsson?

McDavid/Drai/Jesse?

Shore?

OriginalPouzar

Jimmy P. sticking with Nurse/Barrie until the end.

jzed

I saw white tape between Yammo hands , the refs are a joke

Paulie

Team really battling tonight. No panic in their game.

KnightRain

Yammo needs a new move. Stoned twice on that move! lol

OriginalPouzar

Great feed by Nuge to Kailer there – nice move, great save.

fishman

Really nice kill!!!

jp

Great PK (pending the last 3 seconds).

OriginalPouzar

Adam Larsson, just so good at his job.

yeraslob

Kahun shot looked like it went thru Helly but missed the net

OriginalPouzar

Totally legit call on Kailer – he did it and it was a legit PIM even if it didn’t create a scoring chance, which it did.

fishman

Bad penalty by Yamo.

OriginalPouzar

There is the PK – neutral zone call on Kailer.

Paulie

Jones another nice pass under pressure

OriginalPouzar

Malone with a shortie for the hatty (and his fourth point).

6-2 Condors over the 1st place Knights!

Paulie

Need a back breaker soon.