Sing Me Back Home

by Lowetide

The best country music, I mean the really good stuff, can speak right to you, relate life experiences through words, and move you. You’re not alone. You matter. Been there, passed out over that. The worst country music is so ghastly most people pretend not to know or like it. Maudlin songs, silly titles, ridiculous rhymes.

Somewhere in between is Sing Me Back Home by Merle Haggard. A simple melody, a sad tale and a deadly conclusion. It’s a sentimental tune, what saves it is the back story. Somehow, when things are real, there’s a goose-bump moment when you think of James ‘Rabbit’ Hendrick. his life and impact on the song’s author. It then becomes less sappy and more inspired.

The Edmonton Oilers lost a hockey game last night. No one is going to die from that experience. Still, things matter. Is the song of this Oilers season a moving tale, a pile of maudlin cliches, or something in between that raises the ordinary to something special? We’re about to find out.

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’s the latest!

  • New Lowetide: Jesse Puljujarvi has arrived for the Oilers — again
  • New Jonathan Willis: What the Oilers need to do to beat the Jets
  • New Lowetide: Oilers final 2020-21 report card: A regular season to remember
  • New DNB: ‘The biggest transformation I’ve ever seen in an elite player’: How Connor McDavid took the next step
  • New DNB: Are the Oilers botching Evan Bouchard’s development?
  • New DNB: What Leon Draisaitl learned in Bakersfield
  • LowetideAdam Larsson contract talks give us a glimpse into Oilers’ offseason plans
  • Lowetide: Ideal Edmonton Oilers lines and pairings for the 2021 NHL playoffs
  • Jonathan Willis:Oilers’ Mike Smith is putting himself in the all-time old-guy goalie conversation with a stunning season at 38
  • DNB:What are the Oilers’ pressing questions ahead of the Seattle Kraken expansion draft?
  • DNB: 2nd Hart Trophy is firmly in Connor McDavid’s grasp
  • Lowetide: An early look at ideal Oilers’ free-agent targets for the offseason

LINES AND PAIRINGS

  • Nuge-Draisaitl-Yamamoto played 12:14, going 8-4 shots, no goals, 3-0 HDSC and 16-7 Corsi five on five. Nuge had three excellent chances, a takeaway and played his best game in some time. LD had a HDSC, three takeaways (2GV) and was responsible defensively. Yamamoto also had a fine game, drawing a penalty and contesting pucks all over the ice. I liked this line’s work.
  • Kahun-McDavid-Puljujarvi played 10:40, going 4-5 shots, 1-0 goals, 2-1 HDSC and 11-8 Corsi five on five. Kahun had a great look, he made a couple of fine passes too. McDavid had a HDSC, 2 shots and 2 giveaways, I thought he should have drawn a penalty against Demelo. He missed on a wide look coming down the wing, that would have been a beauty. I suspect he’ll be impossible to overcome Friday night. Puljujarvi was Edmonton’s best player, scoring the team’s goal, four shots, two HDSC and plenty of dangerous looking rushes. I was impressed by this trio.
  • Archibald-Khaira-Chiasson played 9:49, going 9-4 shots, no goals, 3-1 HDSC and 12-7 Corsi five on five. Archibald hits like a truck, and he also had one HDSC. Khaira had three shots and a couple of great chances, this was one of his more involved games with the puck since the early days of the regular season. Chiasson had a strong game too, three shots and one fine chance on the power play. This is the third line of three I liked last night.
  • Neal-McLeod-Kassian played 6:15, going 2-0 shots, no goals, 1-0 HDSC and 5-0 Corsi five on five. Neal had a great chance, one shot and was on the ice for the Poolman goal. McLeod had a dandy chance goalmouth early in the game, I think that’s the closest he’s come to scoring. Kassian had a vapor lock moment when pursuing a hit instead of defending a developing play, but that’s going to happen with this player, and a lot happened later.
  • Draisaitl-McDavid-Puljujarvi played 5:10, going 5-0 shots, no goals, 2-1 HDSC and 11-1 Corsi five on five. I think we’ll see this line a little earlier Friday night.
  • Nurse-Barrie played 23:55, 13-7 shots, 1-0 goals, 7-2 HDSC and 24-13 Corsi five on five. Both men picked up assists on the Puljujarvi goal and had a dominant evening. Most of the damage was done when on the ice with the McDavid line. Barrie seemed to defer to Nurse often for outlets, don’t know what that’s about. Nurse-Bear played 2:43 together late in the game.
  • Kulikov-Larsson played 17:58 together, going 11-6 shots, 0-1 goals, 2-4 HDSC and 21-12 Corsi five on five. Both men allowed Poolman through without being marked, I think that was peculiar. Smith didn’t catch it clean but needed someone to ride Poolman into the distance. Other than that, save for some early wobble from Kulikov, I liked the pair.
  • Koekkoek-Bear played 10:37, going 5-4 shots, 0-1 goals, 4-1 HDSC and 11-5 Corsi five on five. Koekkoek made a stunning pass to Nuge early for a chance, plus a takeaway. Bear passed the puck well, covered effectively and had one sequence where he got a strong shot on net and then another look but the puck went wide. The GA was tipped several times on the way to the net and the goalie got some of it, anyway. Stuff happens.
  • Mike Smith stopped 18 of 20. No chance on the tip, and I don’t think he had adequate time to gather the puck. Poolman needed a door, not saloon doors.

BACKUPS AND HEALTHY SCRATCHES

Five years from now I’ll be looking around to see the healthy scratches, best to write it here where I’ll find it.

Mikko Koskinen (backup), Kris Russell, Kyle Turris, Joakim Nygard, Devin Shore, Patrick Russell, Tyler Ennis, Caleb Jones, William Lagesson, Evan Bouchard, Philip Broberg, Gaetan Haas and Alex Stalock.

ABOUT LAST NIGHT

I think the Oilers played well enough to win last night but had some bad luck and two mistakes/omissions/bad breaks ended up in the back of the net. That was a coin flip game after the Jets survived Edmonton’s strong second period.

I can accuse Edmonton of sitting back in the third but that would give too little credit to Winnipeg. That team worked their asses off all night, credit where due.

If the Oilers lose this series, and remember I picked Edmonton in seven, I think two main issues will come to the fore. The first one is something we talked about all season and that’s lack off true scorers on the roster. When Koekkoek sent that pass to Nuge, he cradled it and then shot the puck, giving Hellebuyck a split second to set himself. Wildly unfair to point to that play but it was an example of a massive opportunity not cashed.

Who will score in this series? JP is already in. McDavid and Draisaitl are locks. Chances are Barrie and or Nurse will get one and I’ll suggest Nuge will find a way.

Edmonton needs more scorers, to increase the offense. Inserting Tyler Ennis and Caleb Jones will increase offense, and maybe we see it Friday.

Bottom line: It’s one game. Edmonton earned a lead by the end

Bottom line: It’s one game. Edmonton earned a lead by the end of the second that did not exist. That happens and perhaps the luck lands on the other side of center ice in Game 2.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning we hit the ground running with a big show, TSN1260. Frank Seravalli will join us at 10:20 to talk about Game 1 and the series ahead and at 11 Murat Ates from The Athletic pops in to give us the Jets side of the story. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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Reja

Why are 2 Flames wingnuts doing the in between even the Flame fans can’t stand Hrudey and Cassie.

TheGreatBigMac

I don’t think it was intentional but that hit on Tavares is why I’m happy we didn’t draw the habs. Too much injury risk. Hopefully Tavares is okay.

Last edited 1 month ago by TheGreatBigMac
godot10

No joy in Underpants Central tonight.

Boil-in-the-Oil

Habs win. I couldn’t be happier.
GO OILERS!!!

BONE207

That last face-off took forever with a clock correction. Too much fan noise & couldn’t hear the whistle?

Boil-in-the-Oil

From what I saw, the officiating was much different than our series opener, for sure.

Material Elvis

That Leafs loss perked up my evening.

OriginalPouzar

I am sure that Leaf fans will be just as calm and reasonable as Oilers fans in the first 48 hour post game 1 loss….

leadfarmer

Leafs end the game on a 4min shift
don’t think i support that strategy

wolf8888

If they keep losing I support that strategy completely!

Victoria Oil

Great shortie by Paul Byron 2-1 Habs.

leadfarmer

I doesn’t win goal of the year but it probably wins effort of the year

leadfarmer

Lomberg with the “I’m gonna need you to come in on Saturday”
overtime winner

OriginalPouzar

Heartening to see a couple of ex-flames (Bennett and Lomberg) helping save Florida’s season.

Bling

Maybe it is the lack of fans, but the North division games thus far have been lacking in comparison to other playoff games.

Execution level seems much higher elsewhere.

leadfarmer

It’s a collection of 4th seeds playing each other

BONE207

The Pittsburgh-NYI game was epic…well at least the 3rd period. 4-5 guys per penalty box is intense.

Sierra

Could be the lack of fans, but could also be the layoff the northern teams had.

tileguy

Why am I seeing ticky tacky calls being made in tonight’s game?

Bling

That JT collision was scary. Hope he’s okay.

Prairie_Sentinel

Agreed. That was ugly to watch.

Interesting postscript was Perry having to answer the bell with Foligno. Personally I didn’t think that was anything other than bad luck. Was that just a reputation deal, i.e Perry was involved so he’s gotta pay?

Bag of Pucks

Yep. I think a player with a better reputation gets the benefit of the doubt that he did everything he could to avoid the collision. Perry is a known cheap shot artist so the Leafs are more likely to perceive intent because of it.

The code seems antiquated to many, but I look at it from the perspective of “what would you do if Tavares was your brother?”

The code aside I’m sure they’re desperate to win this one for their Captain, and I hope they do.

Reja

Ha.ha.ha your team lost.

leadfarmer

That is scary
hope Tavares is ok

Prairie_Sentinel

That is not a good look for John Tavares – hope he’s OK

OriginalPouzar

Anyone watch Drai’s media avail today?

Spec starts off stating that Tip changed his lines and “you were up playing with Connor right from the start…..”. Leon got this confused look on his face, cut Spector off and said “we didn’t have any lines today”.

It was excellent.

knighttown

The Oilers stifled the Jets as well as any game this year. Twenty shots?

The challenge was scoring chance creation and to my eye I hated Nurse and Barries offensive game last night. Tippett’s 5-man attack led to our defence being right at the top of the league in scoring but this was 2018 Nurse reverting back to cycle-killing wristers either into the chest or into some shin pads.

97/29 live by getting to the soft ice behind the net or on the half wall and extending shifts but this requires the defence to reset the puck to this soft ice when there isn’t the lane required for a scoring chance. Even when Nurse did reset the puck it had terrible touch and resulted in turnovers.

I gotta assume that was jitters and he’ll be better.

Material Elvis

The Oilers played their B game and still could have (should have) won the game. They’ll get it going.

OriginalPouzar

Terry Jones is reporting that the Oiler players did have their first vaccine shots this week.

Material Elvis

I didn’t think the NHL was starting the tracking technology until next season…..

Side

I wonder if the Flames got their shots. And if so, how many tires they slashed, lines they cut, or old people they climbed over to get them.

Justthestatsman

~I heard they sent Tkachuk in first to butt-check everyone out of the way~

Bag of Pucks

Good for Jonesy. He really hung in there after Eakins took away the donuts.

Pressbox Popcorn. It’s a lifesaver.

Bag of Pucks

Early days obviously but man do the Avs look good.

St Loo is only 2 years removed from a Cup title and yeah, they don’t have Pietrangelo or Perron, but they are playing big boy hockey, throwing everything they have at Colorado and not…making…a…dent.

With 2 games in St Louis and Kadri likely out, it’s do or die time for the Blue Notes. But it feels like Nathan ‘Man on a Mission’ MacKinnon has this locked and loaded.

Gotta love the playoffs.

McSorley33

Big time.

St.Louis roster much different. Half of their D core turned over.

Pieterangelo
J – Bo
Edmundson

St. Louis finished nearly 20 points behind Colorado. I don’t think this series is in doubt….and Ryan O’Reilly’s pronouncement’s before were ill advised. Just my two cents.

Harpers Hair

The only way STL wins a game is if Colorado lets them.

dustrock

Although I prefer keeping 97 & 29 apart, I do wonder if it makes sense to dump Nuge to 2C to saw off against Statsny while McDavid and Drai dismantle Scheifele.

They can’t shadow 97 to the same extent if Drai is on his line because 29 will then just carry the puck in.

Maybe if Dubois and Ehlers are in, you want Drai to saw off on the 2nd line, but really, I don’t think Winnipeg could play much better and they scored on 2 of 3 real good chances they had (Scheifele kicked a field goal after Barrie’s turnover in the OZ).

Does combining 97 & 29 lead to a greater chance of drawing a penalty?

Solly

I like the idea of playing McDrai together…while WE have the last change. We showed all year long that the two superstars together is way too much to handle for the Jets. Putting them out against whatever matchup you want is a huge advantage for us. And if we wait until game 3 to combine them, we won’t be getting the matchups WE want.
We played an ok game last night…not a good one. I think putting the superstars together right from the start, matching up as we choose, was probably a better plan. If we started hammering on them (as we should have), or start to lose other matchups….then split them up.

Why make it harder for yourself when you have the option not to? We should have came with all the power we are capable of and set the tone for the series.

wood99

I must see the game different,I thought the Oilers were pushed around and really didn’t cause Hellybuck any discomfort. That I thought was one of the worst games I have seen Macdavid play. He did not look engaged at all. I am long time Oilers fan and I don’t see this team with the mental fortitude to rise up and show up next game. Nothing in this teams history going back to last years debacle against the Blackhawks shows that they will be better. I think it is going to be a short series, Jets in five. This team didn’t learn anything from last year…..first shot nine minutes into their first playoff game….inexcusable. Best players have to lead the way! Did ours play last night. End of rant😃

quade

I saw it similarly, but also reserve some hope that we see a better look out of the oilers in the coming games. Haven’t given up hope, but did see some troubling trends.

wood99

I was just so surprised by their lack of fire coming out of gate ,especially with what happened last year. I also am hoping for a better effort Friday,but their recent history doesn’t bode well for us. Not to beleaguer a point but our best player did not show up last night and lead this team. 0 shots in the first 2 periods is not how you lead by example.

Sunnyboy

Agree, shades of Chicago, it appears lessons learned last summer are forgotten. Best players have to be the best players or what are they. Reputations and past glory mean zip now.

wood99

I don’t really doubt Macdavid’s desire to win. I think he is wired to be the best,but sooner or later you have to be the best on the biggest stage or your legacy will always be questioned. He is my favourite player and I hope he has a coming out party Friday night.

106 and 106

Playoff hockey is the best hockey.

Shane

I know they’re not running ‘traditional rushes’ but if those are the lines that Tippett is going to use on Friday I’ll be very disappointed.

The numbers show us we played a strong game last night. Some bad luck and some missed assignments made the difference. We keep playing that game and we win the series.

I’m a big Tippett guy. Think he’s our best coach since forever. But fuck is that ever stupid 

This team needs to just keep calm and carry on. They need their coach to just keep telling them to play the game they’ve been playing since February. 

He’s hitting the panic button and it sends the wrong message to this young team right now..

GordieHoweHatTrick

+1000

Shane

He’s been trying different lines all year long. What’s the point of doing that in the regular season if you’re just gonna blender something together you’ve never tried after game 1 of the playoffs?!
Stupid 

Last edited 1 month ago by Shane
GordieHoweHatTrick

Maybe it is just to “re-boot” the lines for “freshness” when he puts normal back together. I will probably throw something at the TV is I see these two lines to start the game tomorrow. Here’s hoping I still have a TV for the second period.

Numenius

Agree, absolutely. It would be foolish to use brand new lines like that. The existing lines were doing fine yesterday, just not getting the puck luck.

quade

I’ve heard it suggested this was just specific line practice for when Tippett chooses to go McDrai in certain game states…might be a good idea, since McDrai got hemmed in our d zone a few times last night when we were down a goal…but we’ll see!

Fuge Udvar

That makes sense. When Tippett loaded up Draisaitl-McDavid-Puljujarvi the Kahun-Nuge-Yamamoto was ineffective. Swapping Puljujarvi and Kahun gives it a little more balance. Someone needs to transport the puck on the 2nd line.

Shane

I hope this is true. And I’m the one hitting the panic button too early..

Harpers Hair
pts2pndr

Why don’t you go take a leap at a flying log you parasitic bastard!

Bag of Pucks

Are we in the sunset years of bastard as an insult? Having children out of wedlock is no longer the stigma it once was and now it seems like a perjorative that sounds worse than the actual content implies. Motley Crue’s ‘Bastard’ would not be vaguely transgressive if released now. Remember when Hawkeye said it on MASH? Those were heady times for us fans of this particular cuss word.

Now we call someone The Magnificent Bastard as the ultimate sign of respect.

I’m calling it now. Within 3 years, Bumbleberry Bastard will be a flavor at Baskin & Robbins.

Harpers Hair

And I just finished reading The Parasitic Mind..so it’s all good.

66 hertz rental

I think the point was, which you are not blind to but simply have no defence, is that you bring fairly limited ORIGINAL content. Your schich is old and tired. Perhaps the best advice is to come with new and fresh news on an Oilers fan site. You know like telling us how this team has nothing other than Connor or that the Canucks have made all the right moves and soon will be flying past the Oil in the standings.

Harpers Hair

My schich shriveled up and fell off years ago.

66 hertz rental

Look I have days where I can be a jerk too. Not proud of it and we all have it in us but I’m not over at a Canucks site LOL’ing about Benning coming back or running down Hughes because of his plus minus. That’s just a lousy thing to do. Spreading misery is great for the Nielson ratings and maybe the self-esteem so what do I know.

Harpers Hair

Fully 5 teams in the Oilers conference will be in the lottery and that will impact the Oilers down the road.

While I agree it’s a scrambled draft, it’s quite likely 1 or more of those 5 will be adding an impact player.

Objecting to that knowledge being shared strikes me as more than a little myopic.

Last edited 1 month ago by Harpers Hair
66 hertz rental

It’s not this comment per se. It adds to the site and was informative. It’s about context and history. For me the poster constantly derides the team I grew up with it does get old and insulting. As we know at this site all our mileages may vary but I apologize for giving you reason for pause LT and I won’t turn this into some kind of annoying tit for tat. He get’s on my nerves, always goes for the cheap and easy insult of my team and I’d block him if such a forum tool existed but I’ll try to do better with self control. Oilers in 6 and thank you for providing the best site for Oilers fans to visit.

who

I am slowly becoming a fan of HH.
In fact, I want him to take me fishing sometime…… cause he can catch more fish with one cast than anyone I know.

66 hertz rental

Look it’s the internet, fill your boots if you think he’s living in my head. As I said I’d block him if I had the ability. It’s his opinion that the Oilers are hot garbage and are an empty shell beyond 97. I happen to disagree. Censor him? Nope not a chance and if you wanna go trolling and casting with the dude that’s fine.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

How was it?

I’ve been watching his podcast interview tour and am on the fence. Great idea but I’m a bit bored from the repetitive nature of the interviews.

OriginalPouzar

Murat Ates

Maurice on Ehlers and Dubois:

“There is a chance. We’ll get them in tomorrow and make that decision. Two more days has been really good for both of them. But premature for be to put them in tomorrow as of what I know today.”

Ehlers in non-contact; PLD in a regular jersey today.

OriginalPouzar

Tip confirmed both Smith and Bear are fine to play tomorrow.

Tip was asked if Kass played too cautious of a game and did say he wished he was a bit more cautious on the first goal against – took himself out of position. Overall, he thought Kass was fine, handled the puck well.

Was asked about McLeod who didn’t play a ton after the lines were switched – Tip said that wasn’t cause of his play – he was good for his first playoff game.

Ryan

https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/45642181b1511e47e37c026606d814ba?s=64&d=blank&r=g

rocket

May 20, 2021 10:12 am

One thing I have noticed with Tippet’s system is that the forwards play about halfway in their own zone. Winnipeg Jets and other teams play their wingers closer to the blueline so that when the puck goes to the Oiler defensemen the Jets wingers are right there and thus don’t allow the defensemen to shot right away. With Tippet’s system the Winnipeg defensemen have room to shot and this happened with Stanley’s shot and it went in for the game winner. Same thing happened last year with Chicago in the preliminary round – they scored from the point on deflections…

This is a really good post.

I was having some flashbacks of the Chicago play-in last year and this nailed it.

Now I’m thinking of Todd Mclellan… He loved flooding shots from the point.

During the regular season, this made him a dinosaur who doesn’t understand defenseman have a lower shooting % than forwards etc… He also kept a lot of pressure on opposing dmen at the blue line with his system.

You can see why teams try to do this during the playoffs with the lack of space.

I wonder how Tippett will adapt for the next game.

At least no one can fault him for not playing the DRY line.

Really though, I’ve long noticed that there are some structural changes during the playoffs that seem to really mitigate the value of forward players like 97 while contemporaneously magnifying the impact of the #1 d.

Remember Heiskanen last year?

Even Karlsson when he played for Ottawa, he was almost an unstoppable force tilting the ice during every game.

It’s hard to win in the playoffs without that true #1 d who can drive offense and stifle defense while playing

Really though I think you can clog the middle and take away time and space for players like 97, but you can’t shut down the elite dmen during the playoffs.

Harpers Hair

Ryan Rishaug

@TSNRyanRishaug

The drill they’re running isn’t a traditional line rush, but McDavid-Draisaitl-Kahun are taking multiple reps together, Yamo-RNH-Puljujarvi.

ArmchairGM

Looking to see if Puljujarvi can drive his own line?

I actually don’t hate that second line. What I don’t like is trying lines/pairings that we’ve never seen before – that’s what the regular season is for. Tippett should know what works and what doesn’t by now.

jp

Agreed it’s and interesting line. And also that you’d like to have seen it before today. 🤷

OriginalPouzar

Bear not being on the ice for practice is less than ideal news.

No Smith either – I assume that’s just energy management though.

Harpers Hair

Daniel Nugent-Bowman

@DNBsports
·
4m

Mike Smith and Ethan Bear didn’t practise because of maintenance reasons, Dave Tippett said. Both are expected to be available for tomorrow’s Game 2.

Sierra

Oiler fans are hoping Bear isn’t too nicked up.

Scungilli Slushy

It’s cool how we all see things differently.

I think Chiasson tries really hard to be technically correct, knows what he is supposed to do, what to say. A good team player and teammate.

If he was a musician he would play very cleanly, with no groove. He doesn’t do enough for what a strong team needs for me, can’t push the pace, and doesn’t bring enough physical presence to overcome the rest.

I don’t think they’ll miss his play.

With Yama, if I was his coach I’d have him watch tape of players like Ennis that had skill and were really small. His fearlessness is admirable but not realistic if he wants a long career.

Quickness and IQ are his strengths, trying to physically battle players when a typical smaller forward still has 20-30 pounds on him isn’t a plan for long term success.

A typical normal size forward has 40+ pounds on him, D even more.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Yamamoto should be watching oodles of tape of MSL in his prime.

And make leg day every other day haha.

who

Yamamoto isn’t built like St Louis.
St Louis was short and stocky, Yamamoto is short and slight.

ashley

This is a good post. Great analysis.

The only bone I would pick is singling out Nuge. He had one of the best games I’ve seen in a while. He was energetic, smart, and read plays well. Watching him wheel across the ice to the right slot in a nanosecond to receive the pass from Draisaitl was a thing of beauty. Great read and brilliant movement away from the puck. It’s very hard to teach that. Most players on the roster (and league) would never make that read and get into that scoring position.

The first goal was a grievous defensive error. One of the first things every player should be taught as kids is to never let a player without the puck drive to the net alone. Always go with him. I will acknowledge that this particular circumstance (2v2, goalie square and set, shot from a distance) turns into a nothing play 97/100 times. It usually ends with the goalie smothering it, steering it to the corner, or the puck goes out of play off a stick. But every now and then the goalie can’t control it and there is spare change that falls to the ice only for a moment. Full credit to Poolman for driving in there on the outside chance of the puck falling just as it did.

Larsson has to go with Poolman there. He was late to recognize it and was a step behind. He knew he made a terrible mistake and his body language the moment the light went on said everything that needs to be said. He doesn’t need to be told.

The second goal was a double deflection luck play that happens. There is nothing a team can do about that….other than score more of their goals to offset the chance of luck determining the outcome.

That is the only other problem I have with last night’s game, but I have a slightly different take than LT. I think this roster has enough scorers if you consider the outsized level of scoring from the big guns. But the supporting players have to cash. The team played pretty well, but nervous in the first 10 minutes (I blame the long delay since the last game). But after the first 10, there were many chances. In a typical game where a team is having 10-12 ten bell chances, they will put in 3-4 of them. That’s all they needed to win. Instead they only scored on a broken play and missed ALL the 10 bell chances. Many teams are lucky to get half of those types of chances that the Oilers got last night and certainly Winnipeg got next to none.

So if Edmonton can play like it did limiting Winnipeg to low danger opportunities and cash their own great opportunities at a normal rate, they should win this series.

I like their chances based on what I saw last night.

Last edited 1 month ago by ashley
Eh Team

Yeah, Hellebuyck won the game along with a defensive lapse on the first goal and bad bounce on the second. But that’s going to happen when you are playing a 1-1 game, even a game that your team is controlling. Based on the play, it should have been a 3-1 win.

Need to cash on the chances or it’s going to be a coin flip every game.

Bag of Pucks

Good post 👍

John Chambers

Great post.

You could’ve written it after Game 1 or Game 3 of the Chicago series last August.

We got Matthew Highmore’d again 🙁

Scungilli Slushy

Good post.

I will add that the error on the first goal was Larsson tried to save the shot. It drives me nuts. Get in the lane, and either the puck hits you, or the shooter makes another choice. In this case getting in the lane isn’t the job, the job is to not let the player get to the net.

But standing straight up, legs together, that isn’t going to happen.

I don’t see any other team that has this absurd level of trying to make saves and blocks. All of the kick saves by players, a few who have been seriously injured like Larsson last year, starfishing on passes and two on ones, brutal.

It’s one thing if it’s game 7 OT, maybe, but stay in the play for the love of Pete, let the goalie do his job. Just don’t be sense and be constantly screening him.

JimmyV1965

I’ll be disappointed in the Oil lose to the Jets, but I’m truly not expecting a deep run. Add a couple top six wingers in the off-season and it will improve the bottom six, by pushing down better players like possibly Yama.

Melman

The game was decided by 1 team’s tip going in over the others, so I’d be surprised if there is any line up adjustments. If “playoff Kassian” still exists he helps, and so the logical player to take out is Neal due to slow feet. Although Ennis has the superior offence, that’s a lot of smurfs against a big Jets squad. I’d be most tempted to put Shore on JJ’s wing and bump Archie into Neal’s spot if a change is going to happen. I’m curious to see what the coach does, I think Friday is same lineup with an Oiler win.

Dustylegnd

You do not make deep playoff runs without scoring depth and at least 3 lines you can roll with confidence. The coach can’t coach these guys to score, he can try to mix and match to generate goals but that is it.

The Oilers are small up front and not particularly fast, but we knew that, I don’t think Holland’s off seasons decisions are particularly hard unless UFA’s just don’t want to live in Edmonton

Winnipeg will not keep McDrai down for ever, but really good teams will…we need size speed and scoring beyond McDrai/Puluj…is what it is

Now we sit back and see just how far McDavid’s talent and will can take this team

Scungilli Slushy

For me it’s that the Oilers have not been a good cycling team in decades. Even the MacT Oilers weren’t great at it. They could hold the zone fine, especially Laraque, but there didn’t seem to be a plan to make plays to the slot. They had a ton of trouble scoring. These Oilers are the same in many ways.

Puck to the point and shots that often don’t get through, or Leon on the half wall trying to thread the needle.

Teams that do cycle well hold the puck, but there is a plan to attack the net. And they get after it quickly. The players learn to time breaks to open space, Like the second Jets goal. The kid came straight out from behind the net, unnoticed as per usual, at the right time to deflect the shot. Lucky for sure on the deflection, but that is how you do it, easier against teams that don’t defend the front of the net well overall.

The really good always find a gap for a shot and the puck gets to them (Marchand/Bergeron), or players try sudden wraps/jams.

delooper

Small critique LT: you have the offensive lines scoring goals, with no goals against. Only the d-men get goals against. If I recall, those goals against were with the Draisaitl line (three) and Chaisson (one). Are you making exceptions for things like PK time?

godot10

Kassian makes the mistake that causes the goal and costs the game, and gets off the ice before collecting the minus.

OriginalPouzar

Can you acknowledge that multiple other Oilers also made a mistake on that goal?

Just a straight answer to the question without some narrative-based response regarding those mistakes would never have happened if Kass didn’t make the first (as you don’t apply that same mitigator when Barrie or Kass made the 2nd, 3rd or 4th mistake on the a play).

Did other Oilers make a mistake on the 1st goal against? Yes or no?

godot10

Kassian’s was the preventable egregious mental mistake. Distinctly different from everything else that happened on that play.

OriginalPouzar

You seriously don’t have the ability to provide an answer to the question regarding other Oilers potentially making mistakes?

You can only provide the narrative-driven response (which is exactly what I suggested you would do)?

jp

I’m told that ‘admitting you’re wrong is the hardest thing to do”.

Sierra

gets off the ice before collecting the minus.

You sure he wasn’t just going for a line change like you think McLeod was?

godot10

Did you listen to Tippett’s answer to Matty’s question today in the presser?

OriginalPouzar

Tip acknowledged Kass’ mistake but stating that “he wished he’d have been a bit more cautious”.

I don’t think anyone in this community has discounted Kass’ mistake. Of course, all others acknowledge subsequent mistakes made by multiple other Oilers – something you are incapable of, it seems.

Do you hear what else Tip had to say about Kass? He liked his game for the most part.

Sierra

Interesting notion that a tying goal in the middle of the 2nd period costs the game.

At the time of the tying goal the shots were 15-7 Oilers

At the time of the game winning goal the shots were 28-17 Oilers

Seems that the Oilers continued to dominate after the tying goal up until the RNH / Bear bobble in the corner leading to the GWG.

BONE207

Calm your tits everyone. I was overly confident in my earlier prediction so I’m adjusting it now. Oilers in 5…🤪

Bag of Pucks

So much teeth gnashing after one game. Funny how every season some fans have to be reminded that the regular season results mean squat.

The reality is the Jets have deeper F depth, a Vezina caliber tendy and their glaring weakness is the same as the Oil, an inconsistent D Corps. This was never going to be easy, nevermind a given.

And here’s the thing. That’s what makes this fun. If winning in the playoffs was easy, no one would care.

Fans that piss and moan that they don’t call enough penalties in the playoffs are completely missing the point imo.

Winning the Cup takes skill and will. Before the Oilers became a dynasty, they were so called “gutless wimps.” Yzerman. Lemieux. Ovie. They all had to round out their games before they could win the ultimate prize. This is what the quest for the Cup does. It takes the best individual players in the world and humbles them. The lesson? This grail demands collective team sacrifice and committment.

If you want to win the ultimate trophy in professional sports, you’re going to have to pay the price: every series, every game, every shift.

Who is going to rise to this challenge? I can’t wait to watch and see.

dustrock

Tampa Bay had some hard lessons to learn after losing to Columbus. Rinse, repeat.

thelongdark

Last night – Boston vs Washington 9 penalties, Carolina vs Nashville 14 penalties. Edmonton Winnipeg 1 penalty.

nothing to see here.

BONE207

Canadians are so polite. Let’s wait for tonight’s game to see what’s called. I’ll put an HH wager* that Toronto doesn’t get called.

*HH wagers don’t need to be paid…🤣

Scungilli Slushy

Piunk played a clean game!

rocket

One thing I have noticed with Tippet’s system is that the forwards play about halfway in their own zone. Winnipeg Jets and other teams play their wingers closer to the blueline so that when the puck goes to the Oiler defensemen the Jets wingers are right there and thus don’t allow the defensemen to shot right away. With Tippet’s system the Winnipeg defensemen have room to shot and this happened with Stanley’s shot and it went in for the game winner. Same thing happened last year with Chicago in the preliminary round – they scored from the point on deflections…

jake70

Agreed. A lot of collapsing toward the G. Been like this for years. But point shots are low percentage…not against the Oil it seems.

godot10

Kassian had a vapor lock moment when pursuing a hit instead of defending a developing play, but that’s going to happen with this player,

That is the difference between winning and losing a game in the playoffs. The Oilers have taken over the game, had the lead, Winnipeg was beginning to wilt, and in an instant Kassian let the Jets back in.

One cannot win in the playoffs with unreliable players.

Sierra

The Oilers and their top players must be mentally weak and lacking leadership if a tying goal against at 11:01 of the 2nd period caused the team to wilt and is the reason for the loss.

Last edited 1 month ago by Sierra
wood99

Agree100% ,but it is starting to look that your statement might not be that far off. We will see how mentally strong they are tomorrow night. Fingers and toes crossed 😄

Eh Team

True, but that goal was really on Larsson and Kulikov. 2-2 should have been a nothing play.

Sierra

The Oilers have taken over the game, had the lead, Winnipeg was beginning to wilt

At the time of the tying goal the shots were 15-7 Oilers

At the time of the game winning goal the shots were 28-17 Oilers

I’m struggling to see where the game tilted away from the Oilers as a result of the Larsson-Kulikov breakdown.

Last edited 1 month ago by Sierra
OriginalPouzar

Kassian was part of the pain on the play that let them in the game.

Larsson/Kulkiov were part of the pain

Smith was part of the pain

Truth be told, Kassian, while part of the pain, made the least egregious play of the the four noted played – Smith can’t bobble the shot for a rebound then miss the clear and the d-pair cannot part the path to the net

Bag of Pucks

If the bottom 6 is not going to score, they need to play with an edge? Why? So they can agitate the opposition and draw some penalties. That’s how they set the table for the stars.

It’s not enough just to finish your checks in the playoffs. You have to finish with prejudice. This time of year, you don’t play to the whistle, you play through the whistle.

GordieHoweHatTrick

Ennis or Nygard in for Neal would help. Too bad Nygard has hands like me.
But the bottom 6 needs more speed and forecheck pressure. Neal is glacial.

dustrock

Yes, not a ton of speed last night for sure. Makes McLeod look even faster ha ha ha

Sierra

The bottom six has to both play with an edge and score…just like the top six have to. This isn’t an either- or scenario.

Bag of Pucks

No HC expects their bottom 6 to be outscorers. The job description is to not give up more than you get, wear down the opp D on the forecheck, and contribute on the PK. Goals from the plugs are a bonus.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bag of Pucks
Sierra

I call BS on “no HC expects their bottom 6 to be outscorers.”

Bag of Pucks

It’s cute that you think “I call BS” is a cogent argument. I bet you’re big on calling dibs and shotgun too?

If the HC expected his bottom 6 to outscore, he wouldn’t shorten his bench when trailing a goal. He does so because the Top 6 are expected to be the consistent outscorers despite facing the toughs.

Sawing off is the job for the bottom 6, especially for the Oilers.

Any HC banking on consistent outscoring from his role players is destined for the unemployment line.

Sierra

Quit being a sensitive baby. Last week it was “get over yourself” and now this. It’s unbelievable that someone who gets so defensive has the gall to make comments on others discussion methods. Maybe you should stay the fuck off this site if you can’t handle having your opinions open for discussion…or you could take your own advice and “get over yourself.”

There are some very easy, and very obvious, rebuttals to your “shortening the bench” and “sawing off” comments, but your not worth the effort and I don’t want to cause you more distress.

Bag of Pucks

I’m the one being the baby. Riiiiiiiiiight.

gregsaint

The job description is to not give up more than you get

  • the definition of an outscorer
Bag of Pucks

If you got nothing, but gave up nothing (ie saw off), you haven’t given up more than you got. This is not outscoring but it’s a perfectly acceptable (and common) result for a bottom 6 player.

winchester

Isn’t the definition of “outscore” to not give up more than you get?

This they outscored the opposition

giddy

Truthfully, I am not even really upset about the loss of the game. It’s the loss of fans in the stadium that stings way worse. The loss of everyone jumping to their feet and cheering after Archibald railroaded Demelo, and the loss of the crowd going absolutely ballistic when JP scored the first goal of the series in his first ever playoff game.

Compared to watching the US playoff games, last night’s game felt entirely anemic. Half of the fun of playoffs isn’t even the on-ice product. It’s the excitement. The energy. The fans going berserk and the players on both sides eating it up. It’s the camera shaking after a massive home ice goal. It’s the white outs, the pompoms, the middle age white collar dudes three sheets to the wind in full face paint. It’s that tweet popping up about why watch overtime playoff hockey when you could snort cocaine and drive a motorcycle out of a helicopter. It’s truly the emotional tie it brings us into–the feeling of belonging in celebration and despair.

Of course, I am not suggesting in anyway that they should allow fans in the building, but that man, this has been such an incredibly cruel fate to endure as someone who’s only playoff experience as an adult last two rounds in 2017. Of all the damn years for the Oil to make the dance back-to-back, it happens during freakin’ COVID.

Munny

Hear, hear.

But don’t blame Covid. Covid didn’t shut the stadiums.

dustrock

Agreed, and though watching the game with friends over Zoom was better than nothing, it really wasn’t the same experience.

Bag of Pucks

The Oilers didn’t make the playoffs last season. The play-in tricks the memory.

Bag of Pucks

5 people apparently don’t like “facts.” lol

Reality, what a concept.

Side

I know Wikipedia isn’t always the most accurate source but…

“On May 28, the NHL stated that both the Round-robin and the Qualifying Round were to be counted under playoff records, on the same day that the league declared the winners of the stats-based regular-season NHL awards.[7] The league then announced on June 4 that all series after the Qualifying Round would remain a best-of-seven series but were re-seeded after each round.[8] With the ratification of an extension to the collective bargaining agreement on July 10, the league also announced that all teams participating in the Qualifying Round are considered to have made the playoffs and have participated in a playoff series.[9]

The reality seems to be that they participated in a playoff series.

OriginalPouzar

Facts are:

1) Oilers finished 2nd in their division
2) Oilers finished 4th in the Western Conference (5th via points percentage)
3) Through apx 85% of the regular season the Oilers were almost a lock for the playoffs (95% or higher by all models)
4) A pandemic happened and hockey took a 4 month break and canceled the rest of the regular season
5) The NHL changed the rules and created a play-in never season before (and went away from division seeding) and the Oilers lost a post-in series

I don’t really care what any official records state or not – the Oilers were 100% a playoff team last year – they earned the playoffs based on their regular season performance.

Silver Streak

That was a frustrating experience to watch, and to hear. Mr. Singh is definitely the worst play by play guy employed. His performance last night was his poorest to date.
If the radio audio matched the video stream, Jack Michaels would rule the waves.

Clarkenstein

TV is a few seconds ahead of radio. If you are able, pause your TV until radio catches up and hit play. I sync it with the anthem. When the singer hits the last “thee.” I pause it until radio catches up then hit play.

Munny

Every time the the muted “Let’s go Oilers” chant came on I laughed, I couldn’t help myself. The quietest playoff chant I had ever heard, so absurd.

jp

That was truly terrible.

Harpers Hair

Poeskie’s Sports News Alert (@PoeskieA) Tweeted:
The Columbus Blue Jackets have hired John Davidson as President of Hockey Operations and alternative governor. Davidson, 68, gets a five year contract and returns to the team he worked with for 8 seasons (2012-2019).
#ColumbusBlueJackets
#JohnDavidson https://t.co/QZx9lZYzH2

https://twitter.com/PoeskieA/status/1395406219586768898?s=20

McSorley33

I was wondering if he would go back.

Man, that sounds like a nice gig.

McSorley33

Throws 2 x 4 flat on the ground, watches Oilers fans High Jump over it.

Before last nights game- Paul Maurice would concede he was likely going to lose
the possession and HDSC game last night.

If Winnipeg cannot play their 2C and best winger Friday, Maurice will again concede his team is likely to lose the possession & HDSC battle.

Paul Maurice went to a gun fight last night armed with a knife.

Winnipeg Sun: “We were good,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said.

Darth Tu

The Jets fans must be gnashing their teeth. They’ve been calling for Maurice’s head for the last few months at least.

Being fair to him and the Jets, they did a spectacular job of clogging the neutral zone and/or blocking off centre ice for zone entries. Still, I feel like the balance of power will shift going into Friday. Usually when McDavid and Draisatl have been kept off the scoresheet they bounce back harder than the Crypto market after a dip.

McSorley33

Yes, lots of stuff in the air about Maurice and the ‘room’ here.

Playoffs are a professional athletes ( and coach’s ) shot at redemption.

winchester

Uh-oh I just took a shot as well LT before your reply.

Brantford Boy

Game 1 winners have gone 367-164 — a 69.1 percent winning percentage. Teams that have won both games to go up, 2-0, have gone 254-37 — 87.2 percent.

Friday is a big damn deal. I feel comfortable knowing this team is different than previous versions. This team will turn it around in game 2 and lay waste to the stat above.

Litke 94

Great breakdown, LT.

Tough game! But I felt better after that game than I did after Game 1 of the Chicago series.

I agree that we need a bit more offense to shake things up. I would like to see Ennis in over Kassian, and perhaps Jones in over Koekkoek. But definitely Ennis with a nod. Wouldn’t hate Nygard in over Neal either- but Neal does have that ability to score, so…

dustrock

They are very much less scrambly in the DZ than against the Hawks.

dustrock

It’s funny, arguing a bit with Willis on his article at The Athletic, Oilers and Drai’s line in particular dominated possession and xG…..and who cares?

Jesse’s goal came on a bit of a broken play, otherwise to be honest, I didn’t really find the Oilers threatened much at all that game.

Once again, they came out tentative and wasted half a period. Not sure if that’s on Tippett, but they weren’t ready to start this season (I think we might forget how awkward they looked the first few games), and they weren’t ready against the Hawks.

The Jets, funnily enough, reminded me of the 2006 Oilers last night – play a system, no dumb penalties, work your asses off, ride a great goalie.

I actually thought that was Nurse’s worst game in some time – he looked the scrambly Nurse of old, firing passes into skates, etc. Barrie is damn lucky Scheifele fired over the crossbar in the first period after a Barrie TO in the OZ. Barrie was invisible afterwards.

Kulikov and Larsson were fine, other than indeed not locking down Poolman to ruin the Pool Party.

Can’t blame the refs, other than somehow hilariously not giving 4 minutes on the Yamamoto high stick, oh NHL never change. Do we need a single drop of blood coming down his cheek to get the call?

Draisaitl played extremely well but his wingers need to cash at some point.

McDavid was honestly human looking for the first time in a long time. This might have been the least I’ve seen him transport the puck in a hockey game – they really did a great job ensuring he couldn’t transition with speed.

I’m not making the usual MSM mistake of blaming the superstars for the loss, but when your team is so heavily reliant on McDavid, you need him to have his first shot of the game sooner than halfway through the 3rd period.

I picked the Oilers in 6, but this was a game without Ehlers and Dubois, and after Friday, they play back-to-back Sunday and Monday. Do you play Smith all the games, or do you throw in your backup who can’t stop a beach ball for one of them?

tileguy

Regarding the Yamo high stick, I did see the ref go check his face and signal 2 minutes, shortly after he was involved in a scrum and that might be where he got the cut on his face. We never saw the cut when the camera focused on his face but only later after the scrum. Yes, no, maybe so?

tileguy

Judging by the negatives received, the only conclusion is that the ref deliberately ignored the cut on his face. I wonder why?

Bling

Last night’s game was one of the most lopsided with respect to possession and chances. A bounce here or there and that’s a well-earned 2 points.

And that’s without McDrai firing on all cylinders.

The Jets’ supposed advantage was their depth, and perhaps it will prove to be when Ehlers and Dubois return. Yesterday, though, our bottom six dominated.

With Ehlers and Dubois out, the best course of action may be loading up line 1. Will be interesting to see what Tippett decides.

LMHF#1

I hate when they start the way they did last night. It never works out. This is a team that looks slow with the puck and super fast without it when they’re good. Last night was the opposite.

They did a whole ton of things that don’t matter and didn’t test the Jets D or goalie at all.

They’d better wake up, remember that they’re simply the better team, and get out there playing their system from the start.

Not likely to save games with quick 3 goal bursts at this time of the year.

winchester

That was disappointing.

Mostly because it was just so Oilers to be the favorite and fall flat. To let the new guy on the other team score. To notvtake advantage when the other roster is depleted.

Kassian takes some heat. First we seen him standing up from the bench watching the scrum on the ice. Next shift he takes a run. He wants to make a difference. That’s the player, that’s his game.

The other thing that was exposed and yet to be overcome was Hollands roster building. Common discussions was how depth wins in the playoffs.

When Edmonton was bounced last year, the first thing Holland did was sign P Russel, Haas and Nygard. Then continued to make more low end bets until they were stacked one on top of the other and the AHL guys could not be found.

Mark Spector of course blaming top end guys again, but even if McDavid isn’t scoring, he is consuming the energy of the opposition.

We knew depth was questionable but fingers crossed, they can still do it but it won’t beceasy.

meanashell11

It just upsets me that Tip does not know how to coach in the playoffs and certainly does not know how to adjust during a game other than to put Drai and McD together. If they don’t make it out of the first round he should be gone.

Litke 94

I really like Tippett, and the lack of scoring on the roster is not his fault, but if we lose Round 1 I would think long and hard about a Jay Woodcroft promotion.

LMHF#1

This is correct.

The only measure of a team with 2 of the best players in the world on it is playoff success.

If you can’t make that happen, you’re not the right Coach.