2020-21 Game 54: Oilers at Canadiens

by Lowetide

As we near the end of the regular season, it’s worth finding out the most productive players in the North Division. Where does Connor McDavid rank in five on five pts-60 among North Division forwards? Going in, I’m thinking No. 1. Is Jesse Puljujarvi a top-six scoring forward at five on five in the North this year? Going in, even with a strong closing push, I’ll say no. Let’s have a look.

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 54 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015-16: 21-28-5, 47 points; goal differential -30
  • Oilers in 2016-17: 28-18-8, 64 points; goal differential +10
  • Oilers in 2017-18: 23-27-4, 50 points; goal differential -26
  • Oilers in 2018-19: 24-25-5, 53 points; goal differential -17
  • Oilers in 2019-20: 28-20-6, 62 points; goal differential 0
  • Oilers in 2020-21: 33-18-2, 68 points; goal differential +21

This year’s team is on a trajectory to finish with 105 points in 82 games, and of course this is the final week of the season and the entire project is running out of track. This team will finish second in the division, just like the 2017 club. Deja vu all over again.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN MAY

  • At home to: Calgary (Expected: 1-0-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • On the road to: Vancouver, Vancouver (Expected: 1-1-0) (Actual 2-0-0)
  • At home to: Vancouver, Vancouver (Expected 1-0-1) (Actual 1-1-0)
  • On the road to: Montreal, Montreal (Expected 0-1-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Vancouver (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Expected May record: 4-2-2, 10 points in 8 games
  • Actual May record: 4-1-0, 8 points in 5 games

I have Montreal grabbing four points in the next two games, as I anticipated one club will have a great deal at stake and the other (Edmonton) will be home and dry. My guess is the Canadiens will be a tough out tonight.

NORTH DIVISION FORWARDS (FIVE ON FIVE)

Here’s the list, 250 or more minutes at five on five. First line forwards top 21, second line 22-42, third line 43-63 and fourth line 64-84.

  1. Connor McDavid, Edmonton 3.61
  2. Jason Spezza, Toronto 3.24
  3. Mitchell Marner, Toronto 3.12
  4. Auston Matthews, Toronto 3.08
  5. Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton 2.64
  6. Brendan Gallagher, Montreal 2.60
  7. Elias Patterson, Vancouver 2.46
  8. Nik Ehlers, Winnipeg 2.43
  9. William Nylander, Toronto 2.30
  10. Mark Scheifele, Winnipeg 2.22
  11. John Tavares, Toronto 2.21
  12. Alex Galchenyuk, Toronto 2.17
  13. Tyler Toffoli, Montreal 2.15
  14. Zach Hyman, Toronto 2.14
  15. Tomas Tatar, Montreal 2.10
  16. Adam Lowry, Winnipeg 2.07
  17. Nils Hoglander, Vancouver 2.05
  18. Kyle Connor, Winnipeg 1.96
  19. Brock Boeser, Vancouver 1.93
  20. Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary 1.92
  21. Elias Lindholm, Calgary 1.91
  22. Connor Brown, Ottawa 1.88
  23. Andrew Mangiapane, Calgary 1.87
  24. Tim Stutzle, Ottawa 1.87
  25. Jujhar Khaira, Edmonton 1.86
  26. Milan Lucic, Calgary 1.84
  27. Matthew Tkachuk, Calgary 1.82
  28. Mikael Backlund, Calgary 1.80
  29. Andrew Copp, Winnipeg 1.79
  30. Dillon Dube, Calgary 1.78
  31. Philip Danault, Montreal 1.78
  32. Nick Suzuki, Montreal 1.74
  33. Josh Anderson, Montreal 1.73
  34. Mason Appleton, Winnipeg 1.70
  35. Bo Horvat, Vancouver 1.66
  36. Austin Watson, Ottawa 1.65
  37. Derek Ryan, Calgary 1.63
  38. Jesse Puljujarvi, Edmonton 1.62
  39. Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg 1.62
  40. Tyler Motte, Vancouver 1.61
  41. Sam Bennett, Calgary 1.60
  42. Josh Norris, Ottawa 1.59
  43. Alex Kerfoot, Toronto 1.59
  44. Joe Thornnton, Toronto 1.59
  45. Jonathan Drouin, Montreal 1.57
  46. Paul Stastny, Winnipeg 1.57
  47. Brady Tkachuk, Ottawa 1.57
  48. Paul Bryon, Montreal 1.55
  49. Tyler Ennis, Edmonton 1.54
  50. Evgenii Dadanov, Ottawa 1.54
  51. JT Miller, Vancouver 1.53
  52. Pierre Engvall, Toronto 1.49
  53. Sean Monahan, Calgary 1.47
  54. Drake Batherson, Ottawa 1.47
  55. Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Montreal 1.42
  56. Joel Armia, Montreal 1.41
  57. Jimmy Vesey, Vancouver 1.41
  58. Mathieu Perreault, Winnipeg 1.39
  59. Ryan Dzingel, Ottawa 1.37
  60. Pierre Luc Dubois, Winnipeg 1.33
  61. Chris Tierney, Ottawa 1.30
  62. Corey Perry, Montreal 1.27
  63. Ilya Mikheyev, Toronto 1.25
  64. Kailer Yamamoto, Edmonton 1.23
  65. Dominik Kahun, Edmonton 1.23
  66. Tanner Pearson, Vancouver 1.19
  67. James Neal, Edmonton 1.17
  68. Josh Leivo, Calgary 1.16
  69. Colin White, Ottawa 1.15
  70. RNH, Edmonton 1.13
  71. Kyle Turris, Edmonton 1.12
  72. Alex Chiasson, Edmonton 1.11
  73. Jay Beagle, Vancouver 1.09
  74. Devin Shore, Edmonton 1.07
  75. Brandon Sutter, Vancouver 1.07
  76. Trevor Lewis, Winnipeg 1.02
  77. Wayne Simmons, Toronto 1.00
  78. Nick Paul, Ottawa 0.99
  79. Jake Evans, Montreal 0.99
  80. Zack Kassian, Edmonton 0.97
  81. Brett Ritchie, Calgary 0.95
  82. Josh Archibald, Edmonton 0.92
  83. Artturi Lehkonen, Montreal 0.86
  84. Joakim Nordstrom, Calgary 0.85

McDavid and Draisaitl are top line players, Khaira and Puljujarvi second line, Ennis third line, and the rest are fourth line although Yamamoto and Kahun are basically third line with Nuge and Neal not far behind.

What about by position?

CENTER

  1. Connor McDavid, Edmonton 3.61
  2. Auston Matthews, Toronto 3.08
  3. Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton 2.64
  4. Mark Scheifele, Winnipeg 2.22
  5. John Tavares, Toronto 2.21
  6. Elias Lindholm, Calgary 1.91
  7. Mikael Backlund, Calgary 1.80
  8. Nick Suzuki, Montreal 1.74
  9. Bo Horvat, Vancouver 1.66
  10. Josh Norris, Ottawa 1.59
  11. JT Miller, Vancouver 1.53
  12. Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Montreal 1.42
  13. Pierre Luc Dubois, Winnipeg 1.33
  14. Colin White, Ottawa 1.15

They say championships are built up the middle, Edmonton is dominant in the division if they run this alignment. One thing I should mention: Five on five goal differential. Draisaitl is 53-30 (+23) and McDavid (62-42, +20) are running fantastic seasons, although together the pair is 32-14 (+18) so the ‘without you’ margins are lower (but still on the good side of zero).

LEFT WING

  1. Alex Galchenyuk, Toronto 2.17
  2. Tyler Toffoli, Montreal 2.15
  3. Tomas Tatar, Montreal 2.10
  4. Nils Hoglander, Vancouver 2.05
  5. Kyle Connor, Winnipeg 1.96
  6. Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary 1.92
  7. Tim Stutzle, Ottawa 1.87
  8. Andrew Copp, Winnipeg 1.79
  9. Joe Thornnton, Toronto 1.59
  10. Brady Tkachuk, Ottawa 1.57
  11. Sean Monahan, Calgary 1.47
  12. Dominik Kahun, Edmonton 1.23
  13. Tanner Pearson, Vancouver 1.19
  14. RNH, Edmonton 1.13

This is the area of weakness for Edmonton up front. Both Kahun and Nuge have two-way ability but the offense needs to be stronger. We will likely see a major turnover at this position in the summer, although there is more script to be written.

RIGHT WING

  1. Mitchell Marner, Toronto 3.12
  2. William Nylander, Toronto 2.30
  3. Brock Boeser, Vancouver 1.93
  4. Matthew Tkachuk, Calgary 1.82
  5. Dillon Dube, Calgary 1.78
  6. Josh Anderson, Montreal 1.73
  7. Jesse Puljujarvi, Edmonton 1.62
  8. Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg 1.62
  9. Evgenii Dadanov, Ottawa 1.54
  10. Drake Batherson, Ottawa 1.47
  11. Jimmy Vesey, Toronto 1.41
  12. Joel Armia, Montreal 1.41
  13. Mathieu Perreault, Winnipeg 1.39
  14. Kailer Yamamoto, Edmonton 1.23

Encouraging for Puljujarvi, who has passed some impressive and effective players in recent weeks, while Yamamoto lands at the bottom courtesy a scoring drought that is now around 25 games.

A lot of numbers, I find them interesting. The Puljujarvi spike signals his status as Edmonton’s third best forward. He has passed the Nuge.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN 1260, we’ll discuss Connor McDavid’s 100 points in 53 games and try to put it in historic perspective. We’ll have Jason Gregor from TSN 1260 and a Habs guest during the first hour. Final week of the NHL season! 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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jp

It’s really interesting (and cool) that we seem to have come full circle after all the gnashing of teeth though the season, and talk about promises and ultimatums.

Coach Tippett let the best player in the world be the best player in the world. Allowed McDavid to have a historic 100 point season.

And now it seems he’s finally reverted back to what most (myself included) think is the optimal deployment for playoffs.
(Kahun-McDavid-Puljujarvi)
(Nuge-Draisaitl-Yamamoto)

I like it (and the bottom 2 lines look pretty good to me as well).

Seems that maybe Tippett wasn’t blind to all this after all.

hags9k

Love him but I don’t think Jesse has passed the Nuge as the team’s 3rd best forward.

What do the possession fancies say? I would think Nuge does a lot more for the team that isn’t reflected in just the offensive numbers. He is an all round good player.

I think team will miss him dearly if he is walked in free agency.

Harpers Hair

Colorado wins 2-1 over Vegas.

The division and President’s Trophy still in play.

Harpers Hair

Alex Newhook already paying dividends for the Avalanche.

Now 3 points in 4 games.

Oilerguy

All the hate I appreciate these it’s just when it’s all Vancouver, but I think you’ve resigned yourself to accepting they are a ways behind Oilers now.

Harpers Hair

Some notable season ending performances tonight.

Joe Pavelski scores his 25th of the season…pro-rates to 37 goals.

Alex DeBrincat scores his 32nd of the season…pro-rates to 47 goals.

The President’s Trophy race is now between Vegas, Colorado and Toronto.

Vegas and the Avalanche tied 1-1 in the second.

Toronto is in the conversation if they beat the Senators and Jets in their final 2 games.

The hottest team going into the playoffs is the Florida Panthers who have won 6 straight and are 8-2-0 in their last 10.

N64

The President’s Trophy. Catnip to Dys fans

Harpers Hair

Being the best team in the regular season is far better than being the team with the fewest points gained in the salary cap era.

Wonder which team that is?

N64

Never change Dys fans.

Pretendergast

Seattle

Material Elvis

You secretly wear a McDavid jersey around your house when nobody’s home, right?

Oilerguy

Yeah Bennett sure made Flames look silly. I wanted him here but it’d have cost lots more then Panthers paid

Material Elvis

Unsurprisingly, it’s infamous anti-Oilers writer Rob Rossi who said Crosby should win the Hart, and that he would have Matthews ahead of McDavid in his Hart ballot. LT, can’t the Athletic pull this guy’s voting privileges? He’s the same dipshit (along with Dom) who didn’t have Leon in his top 5 Hart ballot last season.

Harpers Hair

Panarin should have won last season and it wasn’t particularly close.

This season, I can’t see anyone arguing successfully that McDavid shouldn’t be a unanimous choice.

Redbird62

You mean other than the fact that his team was 7th in its division, and 11th in its conference and not in a playoff spot when the regular season paused. Whether he was more worthy than Draisaitl is debatable, but they weren’t going to give it to a player whose team in all likelihood wouldn’t have been in the playoffs in a normal season.

Harpers Hair

None of those things are relevant to the actual parameters of the award.

Look it up.

Redbird62

It’s not the rules, it how the majority of members in of PHWA feel. The votes weren’t close, look it up.

Harpers Hair

How those guys “feel” is exactly what is wrong with the award.

Redbird62

It’s been the writer’s trophy to vote on for 98 years (PHWA since 1967). How they “feel” has always been the basis of the vote. And most of them are capable of being more impartial than you by a country mile. I am sure you were clamoring for McDavid to get the trophy in 2017.

Material Elvis

How was it ‘not particularly close’ when Draisaitl beat him in nearly every offensive category while playing a much more demanding position? And led his team to the playoffs (the Rangers were dead in the water). I can’t reconcile your statement with anything logical. And that still doesn’t explain Draisaitl’s absence on Rossi’s ballot.

Ryan

Hey as Dom said, if only Leon Draisaitl were average defensively…

*checks notes*

+/-= +31.

#1 +/- in the league baby!

Harpers Hair

*checks notes*

In the season in question…Draisaitl was -7.

Panarin was +36.

Whew…that was close.

Material Elvis

I see that you’re cherry-picking the least important stat for determining the Hart Trophy; why not choose something more important like points or goals?

Redbird62

Leon Draisaitl had 44 power play points (on the best pp in the league) to Panarin’s 24 (Ranger’s 12th in the league), spent 62 minutes on the pk winning almost 50% of his faceoffs and having goals against per 60 in the top 15% of regular pk forwards (on the second best pk in the league) to Panarin’s 0 minutes on the pk (Rangers 23rd in the league), and scored 10 GWGs to Panarin’s 4. All reasons why Drai was instrumental in getting the Oilers into 12th place last season compared to the Rangers 21st. Whew… that was close. Apparently the voters took into account special teams too since they have something to do with the outcome of the game.

Last edited 1 month ago by Redbird62
Material Elvis

Dom’s models don’t account for save percentage or offensive boxcars.

Last edited 1 month ago by Material Elvis
Redbird62

And Dom’s model is disproportionately influenced by expected goals for and against, as opposed to what actually happened: … but my model says he shouldn’t have scored as much so it can’t be real.

OriginalPouzar

The only way the Oilers don’t play the Jets in round 1 is if:

1) Habs beat Oilers on Wed

and

2) Jets lose both their remaining games in reg (Van, Tor).

N64

Jets only have to lose in reg to Van to make next Habs game important.

Harpers Hair

Are you afraid of Montreal?

Do you think Gallagher, Weber and Price returning from injury will make a difference?

Inquiring minds want to know.

N64

Easy. Let the Habs try to injure Matthews instead of 97.

OriginalPouzar

Here is hoping Jones can parlay that performance and confidence boost in to consistency down the stretch and in to the playoffs.

Harpers Hair

If you need to injure a team’s best player to be successful…you ain’t much.

Toronto has had an easy time against Montreal this season and I can’t see that changing in the playoffs.

N64

Little imagination if you can’t see any of the 4 teams getting through. Heck Oil might have preferred catching Leafs in first round.

For an actual example of Phyrric victory look no further than losing players while eliminating goons Let the Leafs battle through thuggery and whistle swallowing in round 1

JimmyV1965

I’m afraid of someone getting hurt. The habs are the dirtiest team in the North. They lead the league in penalties, yet we never get a call from the refs.

meanashell11

You are such a DB. Why you are allowed to do this here I will never understand. Go back to HFB unless you are permanently banned from there. Why we need this to accommodate this condescending drivel here is beyond comprehension.

OriginalPouzar

Enthused by:

Drai line (in the 1st half of the game)

Caleb Jones

Boil-in-the-Oil

I would add Ethan Bear.

Harpers Hair

Koskinen .893

Still enthused?

DevilsLettuce

Sutter hockey

Still enthused?

OriginalPouzar

Are they still a “really good bet” to make the playoffs? I read that less than a week ago.

OriginalPouzar

Pathetic.

I’m as concerned about goaltending heading in to the playoffs as any Tampa Bay fan – their backup has an .875% save percentage on the entire season.

Dac189

Why…

Last edited 1 month ago by Dac189
JAG-041

There’s a kind of phenomenon in academia, or theoretical work I suppose of any kind, where at first you feel you know nothing and look for someone to explain it to you. After this phase comes the phase where you begin to realize that other people also don’t know some things and in this phase (usually early in grad degrees) you start to think because you notice that you know things others don’t that you have the authority to tell people how everything is… Then comes the final phase, when you realize that no one actually really knows anything for sure, and that we’re all trying our best, and that the people who go around acting like they know everything are actually total clowns who fuck up everything for everyone else.
The key is realizing, as an adult, that you don’t want to be the clown.

meanashell11

Again, fuck off.

Munny

Tough game to win, but they got the two and some rest for the stars along the way.

If James Neal wants to go on one of his two week heaters right as we enter the playoffs, I’d be okay with that.

Yams was truly snakebit tonight. Would have been nice to see him get off the schneid.

OriginalPouzar

Neal has been good game, meh game, good game, meh game for a few weeks now.

Maybe he should play every second game.

KnightRain

Unlucky to go to OT(Koskinen🤦🏻‍♂️) but we got to see another Connor OT highlight and point 102 so no worries. Should been 3-2. Pretty solid game overall. Impressed by Bear and Jones. Feels like Jones finally figured out how to play a complete game. Bear is getting playoff ready. Larsson is gonna be sending guys to the trainers room all playoffs. Bottom six looked really good. Once Yammo scores the flood gates are gonna burst! He is soooooo close to getting over the hump. When he does the DRY line is gonna be back to dynamic. Fingers crossed!
The wait til the playoffs is killing me. So weird to have to wait…

OriginalPouzar

I posit the wait is killing the players even more – these games must be a slot right now.

Sierra

Beauty of a goal by Taylor Hall for the OT GWG.

Harpers Hair

Yeah…just saw that…wow.

1 on 2 beauty.

Sierra

Quite the move and shot.

Spartacus

No.

You’re not allowed to enjoy that, you fuck.

rickithebear

End of three:
larsson +2
Kulakov +2
————————
jones -1
Barrie -1
nurse -1
Bear -1
2 clear and 1 suffers the burden of being dragged down!

OriginalPouzar

Would you trade Nurse for Matt Benning or A. Sekera?

defmn

For the season:

Nurse +29
Barrie +7
Bear +1
Kulikov -1
Jones -5
Russell 0
Larsson -1

fishman

Beauty game winning goal by Hall. Looks weird seeing him in a Bruins jersey.

Sierra

Nice play by Drai, and clearly great move by McDavid.

Sierra

Cowards

OriginalPouzar

Even if the Jets do lose to the Comets in reg, the Habs only getting one point tonight will hurt their slim chances at 2nd.

DevilsLettuce

Hahahaha

KnightRain

BOOM! McDavid is money in OT. Suck on that, Calgary

Material Elvis

Of course HE ends it!

OriginalPouzar

McDavid with the newly patented “look back” before burying it.

fishman

Yea Baby!!!!!!!!!!! Connor!!!

StixMalone

Whew….!!!!

StixMalone

I do not want to face Montreal in the first round…

OriginalPouzar

If it goes, I hope to see Jesse/McLeod (although it’ll probably be Nuge).

Lucinius

This is what the Flames get for cheering for Montreal to lose, but not cheering for Edmonton to win!

90s fan

Hahahahaha! They got what they asked for!

Material Elvis

Suck it Flames!

KnightRain

Free Hockey!!! Get the highlight reel ready!!!

OriginalPouzar

Milking points….

StixMalone

Koskinen says F U Calgary

Scungilli Slushy

Yama needs to be in close but net front is not his gig. On his ass when the puck popped loose. Scorers find space.

oilsnc79

Man, i would not like to be the one that really pissed jessa off. Big boy…

Material Elvis

Poor Yamo. No luck whatsoever.

DevilsLettuce

Mikko was only about 3 feet away from stopping that.

Bondo11

Are there any other goalies who sit back in their crease as much as Mikko? He needs to get a few lessons from Fuhr on how to challenge a shooter….

Reja

He’s playing scared we’re in big trouble if Smith pulls a groin.

Bondo11

Koskinen is hot garbage tonight!

We’re screwed if Smith gets injured.

StixMalone

We do have Stalock…..

OriginalPouzar

and we now have confirmation that he knows how to put on game-day equipment.

Scungilli Slushy

Gappy Jones. Only poor skating D should give that space.

Lucinius

I have to admit; the only thing I really care about these last three games is that no one gets injured. Be nice to get any shoddy play out of the way too, but.. mainly hoping for no injuries.

Brewha Ha

Koskinen gotta have that…

KnightRain

Do we put the superline back together now? Or take it to overtime then win it?

OriginalPouzar

Unless the Jets come back, win it in reg please.

Material Elvis

Damnit. Mikko has to stop that shit.

fishman

Ouch that’s not a great goal on Koski. This one ain’t over yet.

Sierra

Not a good goal.

Crazy Pedestrian

Huh… something is amiss…

Scungilli Slushy

Have to win possession and control the puck neutral zone and at the lines

The Oilers are not great at it overall

OriginalPouzar

Wow, that’s a bad goal.

StixMalone

Bad goal on Mikko

Material Elvis

McDavid with a mild finger injury? They taped it up on the bench. Fuuuck.

Sierra

Perhaps not

DevilsLettuce

How in the puck did the spirit of Tommy Salo find Koskinen.

Paulie

Jones making sweet taste to tape passes all nite long

Paulie

Has 6 ever played this well?

OriginalPouzar

2016/17 season

January to March 2020

This season

All great Larsson!

Paulie

Fair points but his game looks a tad better to me now. Passing a bit better and not seeming to take questionable penalties. In any case we can agree that beast Larson is peak Larson.

OriginalPouzar

Great play by Jones – wins the open ice battle and makes a quick and accurate pass.

Material Elvis

When he makes those plays, you can see the top 4 potential. He’s definitely ahead of Lagesson in the Leftorium.

Material Elvis

Cole Caufield is highly skilled but he looks afraid to play on the boards and go into the corners. Our hobbits are not scared of contact.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

“Goal” Caufield can shoot the pill.

Scungilli Slushy

Next step in Oiler system defending is not letting the puck or player go cross seam.

Odd man especially.

Force the puck carrier to beat the goalie.

Material Elvis

Solid save by Koskinen on the breakaway.