2020-21 Game 48: Flames at Oilers

by Lowetide

The Edmonton Oilers are now in a solid second place after sweeping the Winnipeg Jets this week. After a slow January (10 points in nine games), the club has amassed monthly point totals of 18 (February), 17 (March) and 15 (April) with one game to play. The Oilers organization still has detractors, but their voices grow less furious with each passing win. The long nation nightmare of futility appears to have been replaced by competence. When you’re running 97 and 29 out there every night, that may well be enough.

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 48 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015-16: 19-24-5, 43 points; goal differential -25
  • Oilers in 2016-17: 25-15-8, 58 points; goal differential +7
  • Oilers in 2017-18: 21-24-3, 45 points; goal differential -26
  • Oilers in 2018-19: 23-22-3, 49 points; goal differential -10
  • Oilers in 2019-20: 25-18-5, 55 points; goal differential -3
  • Oilers in 2020-21: 29-16-2, 60 points; goal differential +20

There isn’t much track left, which is a shame because many of the youngsters are really emerging. Jesse Puljujarvi is a semi at full speed in a shopping mall in the offensive zone right now, Yamamoto is contesting pucks and McLeod’s speed gets his line to all kinds of good things. The Jones-Bear pairing isn’t bleeding and the team is winning. A guy could get used to 35 more games of this team.

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 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 2-0-0)
  • 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: 7-2-1, 15 points in 9 games

Quality work during a month where games had to be rescheduled and flights across country became the norm. Tonight is a schedule loss, not certain the Flames will bring the entirety of their game with them but they’re always a tough out.

LINES LAST NIGHT

  • Kahun-McDavid-Puljujarvi played 13:54, going 7-13 shots, 0-1 goals, 4-4 HDSC and 12-16 Corsi five on five. I like this line and Kahun looks engaged, if he could cash three of those a month Edmonton would have a long-term solution. He had one HDSC and a takeaway. McDavid had four shots and four HDSC at five on five, along with three assists (two on the power play). Puljujarvi had a takeaway, drove the Jets to distraction and is playing with as much confidence as I’ve ever seen. Edmonton needs this line to work, I hope it does. So far, in 28 minutes as a trio they are 3-1 goals but 49 percent Corsi five on five and 45 percent shot differential five on five. The outscoring is the key.
  • Nuge-Draisaitl-Yamamoto played 11:39, going 6-2 shots, no goals, 3-1 HDSC and 11-6 Corsi five on five. This line was strong last night, starting to get the rhythm. Nuge scored on the PP, but he also had a great chance five on five and three shots. Draisaitl scored an EN goal, and had four takeaways at five on five. Yamamoto is getting closer to scoring, damn near potted one coming out of the penalty box on a breakaway. Had three HDSC, two takeaways, drew and took a penalty. He contests everything. Love this player.
  • Shore-McLeod-Archibald played 10:03 (with a rookie center!), going 2-4 shots, no goals, 2-0 HDSC and 8-5 Corsi five on five. Shore didn’t have a lot going on offensively, but got the puck out when required. He’ll need to post some offense here, I think the point of McLeod’s recall was to add some five on five offense. McLeod is getting better by the shift it seems, he won five of eight on the dot, blocked a couple of shots and skated the puck out of danger multiple times. He’s really good at reading the play in the defensive end and he’s no shy violet (hit a couple of people and took a significant hit). He has offensive instincts, needs a more substantial offensive linemate. Archibald had both HDSC’s for the line and has some early chem with No. 71.
  • Neal-Haas-Chiasson played 6:27, going 1-3 shots, no goals, 6-5 Corsi five on five. Neal had two shots, one HDSC and a takeaway, the most encouraging game since his return. Haas was solid on the PK, won three of five faceoffs at five on five. Chiasson had a couple of looks on a quiet night.

PAIRINGS AND GOALIES, LAST NIGHT

  • Nurse-Barrie played 21:15, going 12-15 shots, no goals, 6-4 HDSC, 24-23 Corsi five on five. Nurse was on the ice with newcomer Kulikov for the GA, the Russian made a bad pass. Nurse had an assist, two shots, four hits, three blocked shots, and got caved by the Copp-Schiefele-Appleton line (0-1 goals, 5-13 shots, 8-19 Corsi five on five). Looks like the McDavid line (0-1 goals, 5-14 shots) had a tough time with the Schiefele line and Morrissey-Poolman pairing. That has to be encouraging for Winnipeg. Barrie’s PP goal was a key to the game, allowing Edmonton to play a calm, collected game instead of chasing goals.
  • Kulikov-Larsson played 15:48, going 6-6 shots, no goals, 3-3 HDSC and 15-11 Corsi five on five, mostly with the Draisaitl line. The Connor-Stastny-Wheeler line was the most common opponent and Edmonton saw the better of the play. I saw Larsson (and Draisaitl) good in reading and either intercepting or slowing opposition sorties. Kulikov made the bad pass that resulted in the GA, but was physical and effective otherwise. Larsson hit people for fun and won battles, same thing he does every night.
  • Jones-Bear played 11:48, going 2-3 shots, no goals, 2-0 HDSC and 9-8 Corsi five on five. Jones skated well, had a giveaway, blocked some shots. He’s settled in now. Bear made a dreadful giveaway early that could have been a big part of the game story but the goalie saved him. Bear had a shot, a couple of good looks and drew a penalty on a mostly solid night.
  • Mikko Koskinen played well, very well considering he hadn’t played in some time. He stopped 29 of 30, .967 and moved his overall save percentage to .906 (from .903).

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260, we review last night (10:20) with five questions for Tyler and at 10:40 Ryan Pike from Flames Nation lets us know what to expect from the Calgary crew tonight. Frank Seravalli from TSN talks playoff races, NHL draft lottery and the new television deal with ESPN and Turner Sports. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

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jp

Semi random thing #2:

Brogan Rafferty’s Uncle Steve

 April 29, 2021 8:04 pm

Calling it right now: Barrie gets a secondary assist from the penalty box.

Barrie does have a lot of 2nd assists.

He also has more primary points than all but 4 other Oilers.

Proof:
McDavid 68 (good Lord)
Draisaitl 49
Nuge 24
Nurse 20
Barrie 19
Yamamoto 17
Puljujarvi 16
Chiasson 10
Kahun 10

jp

McDavid 68

Just noticed that McDavid has more primary points than any other NHLer has total points.

jp

Semi random things picked from the thread:

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

 Reply to  Primetime

 April 29, 2021 1:20 pm

Ennis has some of the worst defensive numbers of all forwards and he has created nothing offensively. There is a reason he’s not playing. 

This is pretty much completely untrue.

On the season, of 15 Oiler forwards to play 100+ minutes at 5v5, Ennis has had:
-the 5th fewest shots against/60 when he’s been on the ice
-the 2nd fewest goals against/60
-the 8th fewest expected goals against/60

And on offense, he’s 5th among forwards in 5v5 points/game. The list:
McDavid 0.94
Draisaitl 0.71
Khaira 0.33
Yamamoto 0.33
Ennis 0.32
Puljujarvi 0.32
Nuge 0.27
Kahun 0.25

So Ennis has above average defensive numbers on the season.

AND he’s scored as well or better than any non-McDavid/Draisaitl forward, despite McDavid and Draisaitl being only his 9th and 10th most common linemates.

Not bad for a hobbit.

Sierra

Thanks for the research and posting this.

Bling

For a third game in four nights, not bad.

The chances were there, just not cashing. Kahun and Yamamoto in particular have been snakebitten lately.

KnightRain

The guys couldn’t find their legs until the third but then misplaced their hands. Pretty tired team. If not for Markstrom this game woulda been 5-3 Oilers. He was outstanding. Lost count of the great saves. Bet the flamerz wish he would played half this good throughout the season, eh? Loved hearing about the flamerz chances of still making the playoffs. lol Can’t wait for Saturday, now. We’re gonna be flying!!!

Dustylegnd

The Flames play a horrifically boring brand of hockey that is terrible to watch exhausting to play against and to play

Sutters “system” works when his tender plays out of his mind “Kipper” “Quick”

Leon had no jump and looked mentally tired.

Yamamoto needs to score as does the 3rd line

Tarkus

Yamamoto needs to use some pine tar on his gloves. Lost his stick at least thrice, by my reckoning.

Could also stand to improve his skating too.

Pretendergast

50 games you win, 50 games you lose. Unless magic happens, i think we can chalk this up to that.

90s fan

*does some quick mental math*

But that’s 100 games?

jp

*does some quick mental math* 

But that’s 100 games?

Current hockey season it’s ~17 games.

winchester

I have only seen half the game. Looks like there is absolutely nothing Oilers can do to win this game. Not going to happen. – hockey gods

SK Oiler Fan

Ugly game. No entertainment value tonight as expected

OriginalPouzar

Ugly Game – Agree

No Entertainment Value – Don’t Agree

BONE207

Around here, we call them hockey gords…🤪

DieHard

gords is ridiculous

SK Oiler Fan

Nurse wandering. Barrie swimming again

OriginalPouzar

Twitter is full of “Fire Holland” and “Fire Tippett”

Unreal stuff.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Bizarre. This is a scheduled loss game.

OriginalPouzar

Not really, its the same “cool group” – Hupka, NateinVegas, etc. and, of course, the Copper N’ Blue crew.

Bling

Some smart guys maybe, but it’s an echo chamber.

Redbird62

That core of that crew (or insider club) including their “authors” is a whiny group of arrogant twits, who spend most of their time complaining about the players they like the least even in a victory and most of them analysis has limited value. Even their game summaries have frequent obvious errors. They enjoy each others company, but it’s hard to think of them as Oiler supporters. Alway fair to be critical, but it that kind of vitriol that gives fans a bad name.

Bling

Oiler fan Twitter is loaded with some absolutely terrible takes.

Some weird stuff, not sure what’s going on there.

N64

~ When did they let unreasonable people on Twitter? ~

Paulie

Oil getting their chances. Can’t solve Markstrom and missing open net too.

KnightRain

Holy man! Where are they finding the energy! Markstrom standing on his head but can he keep it up before we run out of adrenaline? Stay tuned!

OriginalPouzar

A couple McDavid/Drai shifts that are just dominant.

They are much better together when they are paired sporadically

leadfarmer

”tkachuk will limp off the ice”
sweeter words have not been said

OriginalPouzar

Damn, McDavid with a hell of a shift – beauty set up for Kailer but Markstrom is having a night with 6-7 5-bell saves.

flyfish1168

dirty play by andersson

leadfarmer

You know what’s gonna be fun
watching the playoffs start while the Canucks and Flames continue to play regular season games

Redbird62

Likely, but Calgary only plays 3 games between now and the end of Montreal’s schedule: Edmonton, Winnipeg and Ottawa (ie. only 3 games in the next 14 days), then the 4 Vancouver games afterward. If Calgary wins 2 (or 1) of those 3, then Montreal will have to win 4 (or 3) of 8 + an OT loss to mathematically eliminate the Flames (if the Flames catch them, they will have the edge in the tiebreaker). Montreal’s 8 games are 1 Winnipeg, 2 Ottawa, 3 Toronto and 2 Edmonton games. The North Playoffs or at least 1 vs 4 couldn’t start till Calgary is mathematically eliminated. If Calgary beats Ottawa and Winnipeg, or even just one of them, it would be hilarious if Montreal needed OT point in that last game in Edmonton to eliminate Calgary. Assuming, Edmonton’s position standing can’t change on the last day with the outcome, and Edmonton was leading by one late in the game,

Reja

What the hell is Shannon and Stauffer smoking .

Redbird62

I think so far James Neal has been the Oilers best player, or at the very least the one who is exceeding the expectations for him by the widest margin. McLeod looks like he is having a really good game as well, and it would look even better if he’d shot that puck in the first, whether he scored or not.

Reja

Neal could of had a hat-trick. I would have him on the PP to start the second.

Redbird62

Calgary has been tenacious with their sticks, but the Oilers, including McDavid and Drai aren’t handling or passing the puck that well. Is it possible, besides a little fatigue, that the ice is not at its normal standard?

Pretendergast

its been bouncing alot, perfect for a sutter muck it up team

KnightRain

Wonder if the ice is bad or guys are just tired? Lotta fumbling of pucks. Man, are we ever outta gas. Flamerz aren’t playing great, we just can’t get it outta second gear. A short burst to tie it up then lock it down and take it to OT. We’re nearly on empty, now…

OriginalPouzar

Sam Bennett with the OT winner for Florida.

8 shots on net
6 hits
56% Faceoffs
21 minutes

SK Oiler Fan

Calgary looks to have the worst shooters in the league. They get decent chances and manage to muff the shots or miss the net alot of the time

OriginalPouzar

Even if the Oilers lose this game, it would be tough to really get too upset – it is “scheduled loss night” and, at the end of the day, the standings are pretty much locked – Oilers/Jets and, even with a loss tonight, Oilers probably still get home ice.

With all that said, I really do want them to win this game – hate the flames.

KnightRain

Never want to lose to the flamerz, regardless of circumstances. That said, we gotta score early cuz we won’t have anything for an end of game push. Only McLeod, Haas and Neil look like they have any energy at all.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

ABC, baby!

Material Elvis

Oilers playing like shit but I wouldn’t read anything into it. Just a letdown game. That said, they are still in a position to win this.

KnightRain

WOW. Smith doing his best Furh impression. Just won’t let the next goal in. WOW

OriginalPouzar

Wow – that’s a save of the year candidate.

BONE207

Wow, just wow Smitty

Material Elvis

Mike Smith; that’s theft.

Paulie

If they can somehow keep it 2-1 and get the 2nd intermission rest, they’ll win it in the 3rd. Book it.

OriginalPouzar

Wow, that was a TOUGH shift for the 2nd line and the top pairing.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Diesel is pretty much out of fuel

OriginalPouzar

Markstom with his 3rd or 4th 5-bell save.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

Calgary is bad because of all the ice time they give to low skill plugs like Lucic, Robinson and Ritchie. Looking forward to many more years of Sutter hockey and them missing the playoffs. Boys don’t have much left in the tank tonight which should surprise no one.

Last edited 3 months ago by Paddy Morans Jockstrap
leadfarmer

Didn’t know Lucic was even playing until halfway through the game

Tarkus

The broken stick lying in the Calgary zone has had a more productive night than the stick in Lucic’s hands.

KnightRain

Flamerz winning the extra effort battles. A bit of fatigue kicking in? Haven’t seen McD fumble the puck this often in a long time. Keep calm, play responsible and bury our chances. Tired or not, this is our recipe for success.

SK Oiler Fan

Looks like a low skill team playing a tired team.

OriginalPouzar

Drai losing two draws there doesn’t drive with “FOGO” – Faceoff Getoff – he killed that full minute which was not the plan

KnightRain

Sometimes I feel like you guys just make up stats outta thin air…lol I get what your saying, I just didn’t realize there is a stat name for it! I just call it killing the PP…

SK Oiler Fan

Haven’t seen that embellishment before. Backlund actually grabbed nuge and drug him into him to sell the interference.

OriginalPouzar

On that note, Barzal got fined for embellishment/diving this week.

Halfwise

Drug infractions have no place in the great game of hockey.

OriginalPouzar

4 on 3 PKs are tough – lets do this!

OriginalPouzar

Learn how to shoot the one-timer, Leon.

KnightRain

Flamerz just can’t help but shoot themselves in the foot…

KnightRain

lol Geez. See that play a million times a game? We are gonna be sooooo ready for the playoffs…

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Calling it right now: Barrie gets a secondary assist from the penalty box.

Last edited 3 months ago by Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve
KnightRain

Good penalty there. Probably shouldn’t have tried that blue line play but that’s the player he is.

OriginalPouzar

Nucks about to lose in regulation – Oilers magic number vis-a-vis the Nucks, 5.

Solly

Looks like CGY is playing their best hockey…and we had to gift them a goal. This is their A game…and it’s just meh.
A fresh Oilers team wouldn’t be tied right now with these bums. Hope we get outta this one injury-free.

KnightRain

James Neal singin “I ain’t as good as I once was, but I’m as good once
As I ever was” lol Great goal for him. I wouldn’t mind a confident Neal meaning the 4th line in the playoffs.
The guys started slow but picked it up and turned the tide in the second half. Calm and Steady wins the day, fans. Just wait til Connor gets going…better not take any penalties, flamerz.

New Improved Darkness

James “DMV” Neal — give him a mile, he spots an inch. Somewhat akin to field-artillery correspondence chess, fully compensated for climate classification zone, seasonal average temperatures and crustal tectonics.

“What do you call a three-humped camel?”

Tertiary stevedoring (aka when you’ve got enough time and space to sift one through a clogblocked Egyptian canal on a single phone charge).

kgo

Every time I doubt Yamo, he proves me wrong with a few shifts like that!

oilsnc79

Mcd gonna get pissed again and do the voodoo…just a matter of time.

fishman

Well looks like our no blood no foul officiating is in the house tonight….