Do you know The Band? Four Canadians and an Arkansan who got together in Northern New York during the hippie era and found the sound of lonely. If forlorn had a favouriite it would be The Band. Their haunting harmonies are married to gorgeous melodies and poetry:
Whispering pines, rising of the tide
If only one star shines
That’s just enough to get inside
I will wait until it all goes ’round
With you in sight, the lost are found
Foghorn through the night, calling out to sea
Protect my only light, ’cause she once belonged to me
Let the waves rush in, let the seagulls cry
For if I live again, these hopes will never die
I can feel you standing there
But I don’t see you anywhere
If you’re ever melancholy, and looking for a song to calm you, find The Band’s first two albums. Whatever else West Saugerties, New York brought the world, that magical pink house has calmed the unrest in this heart for decades. Music so beautiful it’s timeless from a bunch of long hairs who look like they wandered into 1968 from the civil war. RIP Richard Manuel.
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: The 5 biggest stories from the Bakersfield Condors’ 2020-21 season
- New DNB: Oilers running out of answers to solve offensive woes
- New Jonathan Willis: Mike Smith great, Connor McDavid pointless as Edmonton digs a hole
- New DNB: How Jesse Puljujarvi’s return to Finland primed him for Oilers success
- Lowetide: The seeds of Oilers’ 2015 orientation camp forms heart of current team
- DNB: ‘We need to bear down’: Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl can’t carry the Oilers, going scoreless in Game 1 loss
- Jonathan Willis: Jesse Puljujarvi scores, Leon Draisaitl thrives and Edmonton falls in Game 1 vs. the Jets
- DNB: Darnell Nurse is on ‘another level’
- Lowetide: Jesse Puljujarvi has arrived for the Oilers — again
- Jonathan Willis: What the Oilers need to do to beat the Jets
- 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
- Lowetide: Adam 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: A 2nd Hart Trophy is firmly in Connor McDavid’s grasp
- Lowetide: An early look at ideal Oilers’ free-agent targets for the offseason
THIS WHEEL’S ON FIRE
I believe the Oilers will win the series. The game last night was there for the taking just like Game One. Both games have been won on fluke goals. I don’t see any quit in the Edmonton side.
Some things were the same, like a slow start and some scrambled Edmonton coverage, and those things will have to be cleaned up in a quick hurry. Luck can leave you and not come back, maybe we’re watching a sweep. I don’t think so. The team had some great chances last night, they didn’t cash. Nurse goal mouth, McDavid looking at nothing but net, McLeod to Chiasson and on it went.
The team started getting loose (the good loose) by the second period last night, McDavid especially found his swagger after playing a tentative first four periods and having a tough time with what looked like a constant double team.
I counted seven players—McDavid, Draisaitl, Puljujarvi, Nurse, Barrie, Yamamoto and Khaira—who had 10-bell chances. Edmonton had three great OT chances before the fluke goal.
Mike Smith is giving this team a grand chance to win the series. Does anyone question his ability to win several games in a row?
SUGGESTED LINES AND PAIRINGS FOR SUNDAY
I’d stay the course with 97 and 29 on separate lines. Dave Tippett loaded up the top line last night, I think as an active measure to gain possession and in hopes of getting the lead. Howver, the Jets have placed McDavid in isolation, so there will be no clean air until the Oilers beat the trap. I would suggest Puljujarvi as transporter on the line, to establish possession, with McDavid searching for quiet ice as a passing option for 13.
The other thing Edmonton can do is use those short passes in the neutral zone, puck holder sending a short pass to a speeding winger who can hit the line in full flight. Entry, scoring chance and power play are some possible outcomes. Radek Dvorak used that option in the 2006 playoffs to great effect.
IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE
It’s funny what happens when outcomes differ from the expected. I though we agreed that all four Northern playoff teams were about equal, swear that was established somewhere about mid-season. When people started saying Toronto would dominate the playoffs, I mentioned on the Lowdown that seemed a stretch. I picked Toronto in six games.
I picked Edmonton in seven, still picking the Oilers in seven games. A loss tomorrow will seal their fate, though, so we’re in a room with old man Mandelbaum now. It’s go time.
One thing that continues to amaze me is the wild and often angry takes I see online. You know, it’s possible to play well and lose twice, right? Edmonton has been inconsistent and have started each game a little addled. They lose both games on fluke goals. Luck is a strange animal and currently the Jets are riding that nag (and a great goalie) until it drops.
I believe the Oilers will come back and win this series. If not, the legend of Hellebuyck will grow. Rage over a lack of penalties, roster choices and lack of deadline trades are all interesting, but if the Oilers themselves continue to push, this series has several more chapters to come.