2021-22 Game One: Canucks at Oilers

by Lowetide

There are years of your youth when things seem to happen at a more rapid clip. As one matures, and interest grows in new pursuits, the world becomes a more interesting place. In 1969, we lived on the west coast, in Maple Ridge, up past Thornhill School. That was the year Jacqueline Guenther told me I was going to marry her, and I told her I had no job prospects so she might want to tell Rory Kinack instead. Life was coming at me fast.

THE ATHLETIC!

MEMORIES

Neil Armstrong landed on the moon one Sunday in July, we were at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. We were in the living room, maybe 10 people, completely in awe of what the television was transmitting. My Dad said “you remember this son” and I always have.

I couldn’t tell you a thing about Woodstock, John and Yoko’s wedding, but did follow the Expos starting in April 1969 and was a Rusty Staub fanatic by the time Armstrong landed.

On the night of April 24, the Expos lost to the Philadelphia Phillies, Rick Wise (an amazing hitter for a pitcher in any era) beating Montreal’s ace Jim “Mudcat” Grant. Montreal would deal Grant to the Cards in June.

Same night, the Boston Bruins were eliminated from the 1969 Stanley Cup playoffs by the Montreal Canadiens. Double overtime, Jean Beliveau. How could the Canadiens beat Bobby Orr? What made them so hot? They didn’t run the world!

Spring became the summer, and I waited impatiently for the fall and the NHL season. I wanted Boston to smash Montreal, but in that era the Habs seemed to get the best of the Bruins, even with Orr. In 1969-70, Montreal won three against Boston, lost two and three ended in ties. Montreal outscored the Bruins 30-22 in those eight games and a playoff matchup would probably have resulted in a Canadiens victory.

The hockey Gods did the impossible that year, finding a way to throw Montreal from the playoffs before they began. Orr’s Bruins won the 1970 Stanley Cup. Armstrong had the moon, Staub ruled Jarry Park and Boston owned the Stanley.

Since then, fall and the beginning of hockey season is an annual invitation to stroll down memory lane. I have several memories for every year and revisit them from time to time, especially this time of year.

You only get so many of these, and you’re damn certain to get only one Connor McDavid. It’s hockey night in Canada. Oilers fans are ready to shoot the moon.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN OCTOBER

  • At home to: VCR, CAL, ANA (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: ARI, VEG (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: PHI (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: VCR (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 5-2-0, 10 points in seven games
  • Actual results: 0-0-0

I see losses to Calgary and Vegas for the Oilers. The club started 3-4-0 last year and 6-1-0 in 2019-20. My prediction for this season lands around the middle of those two starts. A 4-2-1 start is fine, 4-3-0 would be a small disappointment. Edmonton has an inviting schedule to begin.

THIS SEASON

I see this as being a season of roster tweaks, with goaltending and defense getting some upgrades. Ken Holland and Dave Tippett have been running Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen since arriving, and Koskinen is the goaltender whose name has appeared in trade talks.

He isn’t a bad goalie, there’s every chance Koskinen outplays Smith. However, Smith has an extra year on his deal and the Oilers (Holland and Tippett) would be wise to tweak the goalie combination before the playoffs.

I think a John Gibson trade makes sense, maybe Chris Driedger, whoever falls out of Texas.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A fun show I can’t wait to do! At 10 this morning, TSN1260, we’ll preview the Oilers-Canucks and look forward to the season and its challenges. Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal will help us tee up tonight’s game and Joe Osborne from Odds Shark will handicap Edmonton’s chances. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.

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jp

I thought that was a really encouraging game from all the things that are question marks entering the season (2nd pair, 2nd line, goalie).

Don’t want to be blowing leads like that, but they got the 2 points.

Jethro Tull

Meet the new Oilers, same as the old Oilers.

Rely on McDavid, hope the goalie doesn’t get groin strain.

I hope Tipp’s got something else up his sleeve.

jp

Last night’s Oiler team did not get out scored with McDavid off the ice.

OriginalPouzar

None of the 2nd, 3rd or 4th lines got caved.

In fact, the 2nd line caved the opposition and were fantastic all game.

I believe the 4th line has solid potential to help but didn’t get to play due to all the damn penalties.

Jethro Tull

I know it’s game 1, but that game was damn near out of reach within the first 5 minutes if not for Smith.

That to me was a mulligan. Forgivable, as long as we learnt something and improve upon it.

People were predicting a steam-rolling of Vancouver last night. Shots were consistently even throughout the night. Not sure of the HDSCs.

Last year’s team was better at closing out leads so far.

OriginalPouzar

Bourgault has a couple apples last night (including on the OT winner) and was plus 1 with 4 shots in a 3-2 win.

OriginalPouzar

I’m in, lets see if this works:

Interesting game last night. I felt uneasy from start to finish but the boys had it in hand.

Smith was huge for most of that game but that goal cannot happen. Tough to harp on the man when he wouldn’t have even had a chance to “cost them a regulation win” if he hadn’t been so good for the first 57 minutes (and then after, OT and SO). With that said, a heartening performance from Smith.

I’m going to pretend that Tyson Barrie wasn’t as awful as he was last night – my goodness – Nurse made some iffy plays (including on the first shift) but, given the minutes he munches, had a real positive effect on the game overall.

Keith/Ceci had a bit of chaos, as expected, but they a good pair – they can both move that puck – wow.

Six plus minutes on PK1 for Bouchard and a clean sheet. This man has a large hockey IQ and size – given that, he will be a very good defender and PK guy – it won’t take him long. There will be a transition period here but Nurse/Bouchard will be the top pairing on this team for a LONG time and they will be dynamite.

Over the last few years, Nurse has shown how he can make his partner better (see Bear, see Barrie). When Bouch is developed a little more, Nurse/Bouchard makes me salivate.

———-

Tip says Kass will be in with Foegele and Ryan on Saturday.

They will need to make a roster move to activate him – either assign McLeod to the AHL or IR Shore presumably.

godot10

With B…, it’s “pretend” every night.

OriginalPouzar

Seems to be working fairly well – for the moment.

defmn

Good to be back.

flyfish1168

Watching a Oiler game and not being able to log onto this site to enjoy everyone’s company was different. Much more enjoyable when this site is working during the game.

SwedishPoster

Two points was nice though they almost fumbled it, that was a game tjat should have been won in regulation time, too many unnecessary penalties and not nearly enough focus in the third. High paced but sloppy game from both teams overall.

Keith looked good, you can tell he’s lost explosiveness in his first few steps but once he gets going skating technique and mechanics kicks in and he’s still a good skater, he’s got the solid veteran positioning down but the strongest part of his game is his ability to make the first best pass extremely quickly in the defensive and neutral zone, he knows where he’s moving the puck before he’s got it under control which gives his teammates so much time and space and relieves pressure in an instant, pure quality. I’m sure he’ll have rough stretches through the year but there’s still enough ability there for him to be able to turn it up for more crucial games.

McDavid was merely good which tells us how spoiled we are. Drai was his early season sloppy version but still manages to be a difference maker. Jesse was good but when with McDrai he takes a backseat and I’m not sure that’s ideal deployment from a team perspective. The Nuge line were good enough that there’s at least some hope that McDrai can be played together without the rest of the lines ending up as hold on for dear life lines which is a nice change. I still very much prefer the megastars apart to start games mind you.
The Ryan line was ok, needs a better offensive player than Sceviour if they’re going to be any kind of real threat, hopefully Kassian can bring that without messing up the defensive assignments too much. The McLeod line was the line that wasn’t there. To me McLeod doesn’t look like an NHLer at this point, I think he’d benefit from another full AHL year, maybe some spot duty in the NHL but more than that, I don’t see it. Turris scored the winner but barely passable overall. Liked that Perlini got in on the forecheck nicely but never got anywhere near showing the offensive chops from preseason.

Nurse-Barrie wasn’t at their best. Bouchard was solid, played with as much veteran poise as you’d expect from someone looking as old as he does. Russell had some rough moments but he knows how to defend the dangerous spots of the defensive zone, no doubt.
Smith was great outside the weak second GA.

Canucks looks like an ok team but their D group will get in trouble a lot down low and pretty much all of them outside of OEL, if he bounces back which looks like a real possibility based on this game, struggle with positioning. That will kill them often this year. Hughes was horrible in his own end. I don’t understand why they play Miller on the left boards over having both OEL and Hughes on PP1, they could have a top 5 PP in the league with the players they have once Boeser returns but imo Green is not using his best assets if the plan is to play OEL and Hughes seperatly. Miller was a mess btw. Elias Pettersson was good, overhandled the puck a few times and had some defensive miscues but felt like the most dangerous Canuck by far. Demko was great.
Two points was nice though they always fumbled it, that was a game tjat should have been won in regulation time, too many unnecessary penalties and not nearly enough focus in the third. High paced but sloppy game from both teams overall.

Keith looked good, you can tell he’s lost explosiveness in his first few steps but once he gets going skating technique and mechanics kicks in and he’s still a good skater, he’s got the solid veteran positioning down but the strongest part of his game is his ability to make the first best pass extremely quickly in the defensive and neutral zone, he knows where he’s moving the puck before he’s got it under control which gives his teammates so much time and space and relieves pressure in an instant, pure quality. I’m sure he’ll have rough stretches through the year but there’s still enough ability there for him to be able to turn it up for more crucial games.

McDavid was merely good which tells us how spoiled we are. Drai was his early season sloppy version but still manages to be a difference maker. Jesse was good but when with McDrai he takes a backseat and I’m not sure that’s ideal deployment from a team perspective. The Nuge line were good enough that there’s at least some hope that McDrai can be played together without the rest of the lines ending up as hold on for dear life lines which is a nice change. I still very much prefer the megastars apart to start games mind you.
The Ryan line was ok, needs a better offensive player than Sceviour if they’re going to be any kind of real threat, hopefully Kassian can bring that without messing up the defensive assignments too much. The McLeod line was the line that wasn’t there. To me McLeod doesn’t look like an NHLer at this point, I think he’d benefit from another full AHL year, maybe some spot duty in the NHL but more than that, I don’t see it. Turris scored the winner but barely passable overall. Liked that Perlini got in on the forecheck nicely but never got anywhere near showing the offensive chops from preseason.

Nurse-Barrie wasn’t at their best. Bouchard was solid, played with as much veteran poise as you’d expect from someone looking as old as he does. Russell had some rough moments but he knows how to defend the dangerous spots of the defensive zone, no doubt.
Smith was great outside the weak second GA.

Canucks looks like an ok team but their D group will get in trouble a lot down low and pretty much all of them outside of OEL, if he bounces back which looks like a real possibility based on this game, struggle with positioning. That will kill them often this year. Hughes was horrible in his own end. I don’t understand why they play Miller on the left boards over having both OEL and Hughes on PP1, they could have a top 5 PP in the league with the players they have once Boeser returns but imo Green is not using his best assets if the plan is to play OEL and Hughes seperatly. Miller was a mess btw. Elias Pettersson was good, overhandled the puck a few times and had some defensive miscues but felt like the most dangerous Canuck by far. Demko was great.

Last edited 2 days ago by SwedishPoster
who

Agree with you on JP.
They are wasting his talents making him the 3rd wheel with McDavid and Draisaitl. Put Yamamoto there and let JP be the primary puck carrier on the 2nd line.

McSorley33

Oilers 2 goals.

McDavid 2 points.

OriginalPouzar

but yet the best line was the 2nd line!!!!

Munny 2.0

Playing way too loose (all game) and it cost them. Tied.

OriginalPouzar

Zack Hyman is WAY better with the puck on his stick than I remember.

That 2nd line has been unreal tonight.

OriginalPouzar

Of note, Evan Bouchard is full time PP1 with Nurse tonight and so far, in apx 3 minutes, he’s got a clean sheet.

Munny 2.0

The panel is missing the fact that Pujo created that Too Many Men penalty

jp

That PP was next level, even for the Oilers. Man.

OriginalPouzar

What a beautiful PP goal – Wow!

Munny 2.0

Sceviour can’t stop making me love him

BornInAGretzkyJersey

That’s boarding all day long.

OriginalPouzar

Codi Ceci can pass the puck – he’s going to create scoring chances for the Oilers.

Munny 2.0

Yams still needs some finish

OriginalPouzar

Keith/Ceci were the Oilers best pairing in the 1st and it wasn’t even close.

Groggie

25 minutes of trying to connect without the dreaded “Database Connection error”. LT, I love you man but this is really, really, real bad

jp

Yaaa Jesse!!

Munny 2.0

Fast.

Defense looked a little sleepy out of the gate.

If Hyman’s a LHS he scores on Yam’s play to the crease.

Sceviour has had two very strong shifts. Liking that line a lot.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Glad you’re back.

Munny 2.0

Thank you. Glad to be back. Had to pull a Woodguy and create a new account as couldn’t log in all this time. Not sure what I’ve come back to though…. Site is really struggling.

OriginalPouzar

Nurse (bad pass), Barrie (walked trying to stick-check) and Buch (not covering man in slot) all with bad plays for the oilers in the first two minutes.

Tyson Barrie has NOT had a good first 10 minutes of the season – oh my.

DevilsLettuce

Database does connect better though than the Canucks and Stanley cups do, we can all rest better knowing that.

Database does not allowed posts once you’ve broken through the simulation vortex.

OriginalPouzar

Just over an hour from puck drop, tick tock, tick tock:

– Come on second line, show that you can, and will, be an outscoring line with the head coach determines load-up is appropriate

– Come on 2nd paring, be solid in the defensive zone – you are both PRIME candidates for “team goat” by most of this fanbase – many have preconceived narratives they won’t move off of so every. mistake will be amply talked about on social media. I know you two can move the puck and will help the transition and offensive game – just be solid against 2nd lines and tough comp in the defensive zone please.

– Come on 4th line – Don’t give it all back – I’m not expecting a goal every game or two but I am expecting 10 minutes per game of solid play including offensive zone time. I’m confident in the 3rd line and am hopeful for the 4th line.

Redbird62

This database connection error is getting tiresome fast. Any prospect on this being remedied soon?

Ryan

Go Oilers!

Go Godaddy Server!

Bulging Twine

GREAT to hear Draisattl when asked about (something like) do you have the team to go far say, “we are focused on the here and now, WE ARE JUST TRYING TO WIN TONIGHT”.

YES! This is a huge key to winning any sport! And it’s been an issue with Oilers (imo) for years. Way too often we hear of potential, and stuff like this team can be special type thing. Well in the words of the great McKinnon, we haven’t won sh*t. Even back in the Gagner – Cogliano days we’d hear of hope etc. Like winning here is a given for some reason (remnances of the 80’s). Like it will happen again.
The McDavid Draisattl era is not promised a Stanley Cup.

I hated it two years ago before the playoffs when Draisattl said they have potential do something special here.

And then last year, the owner comes out before the playoffs and says how this team is special and they want to redo the glory years or something to that affect.

We aren’t promised anything.

Win the next game.

That is it.

Focus.

And when you win that one, “we are on to Seattle”. Focus.

Just win tonight.

Love it! Huge positive sign for me

godot10

Good times never seemed so good.**

**Database Error in Tyson Barrie’s favour.

Sweet Caroline.

Bulging Twine

Sceviour played a total of 15 minutes 5×5 with Crosby and Malkin combined.

Bulging Twine

Encouraging to hear Sceviour say that what is similar with Crosby/Malkin and McDavid/Draisattl is their competitiveness and ability to raise the bar amongst the group. To get everything out of even off season skates etc.

ChupaCabra

Just like the Canucks later this evening, my database connections are seriously fucked.

winchester

So, the question once again is “Is it enough?”

For the past 5 off seasons we ask this question and each time the answer was no. Even with off season optimism if you were honest, the roster probably came up short.

Based on everything discussed and witnessed this off season, I do believe the GM has finally delivered a roster that will be enough. Enough for a launch and enough for a division title.

Caveat: Some holes are present as any cap team, and of course the roster is subject to some tuning as all rosters are before the deadline.

Agree or disagree?

winchester

So, the question once again is “Is it enough?”

For the past 5 off seasons we ask this question and each time the answer was no. Even with off season optimism if you were honest, the roster probably came up short.

Based on everything discussed and witnessed this off season, I do believe the GM has finally delivered a roster that will be enough. Enough for a launch and enough for a division title.

Caveat: Some holes are present as any cap team, and of course the roster is subject to some tuning as all rosters are before the deadline.

Agree or not?

winchester

Hitchcock was a hell of a coach, but finally had to move on from coaching. The same might apply to Sutter.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

I am not sure why people are so mad at Tip about Drai and McD being on the same line.

They are so good together. Many other top teams load up one line during the regular season. It puts an enormous amount of pressure on the opposing team to stop the line and simultaneously takes the pressure off lines 2-4. Putting McD and Drai together is basically like starting the game up 1-0. If the goal is for the team to get off to a fast start I understand why the coach is putting the most dynamic offensive duo together to start the season.

It is not my line-up preference (I would go unicorns) but I think it is a very defensible deployment.

winchester

absolutely agree. Pick any “Connor McDavid highlight compilation” and look, there is Leon feeding him the puck time and time again.

I do think its a strategy to jump out to a lead, but then in my opinion Tippett should switch Leon back to center his line and keep average ice time down for the big two.

ArmchairGM

They were 33-17 goals last season at 5v5 (66.00% or +16), which is great. The issue was the rest of the team, who were 29-52 (35.80% or -23).

Draisaitl was 22-16 (57.89% or +6) without McDavid and Connor was 31-31 (50%) without Draisaitl, the hope was that the added players would lift both lines to around 60% this season. This along with the revamped 3rd line (who would be expected to saw off) should, in theory, provide a MUCH deeper scoring threat and a team that wins its 5v5 minutes handily.

geowal

We know that teams eventually get a handle on shutting them down enough, meaning “only” a goal of so a game, that a shuffle is usually in order. But this can often take several games. So the strategy is to blow the doors off for the first (say) 6 games including during an opening home stand with the line change advantage and then shuffle things back to “normal”?
Sounds good to me.

Randle McMurphy

In what alternate universe

NHL Marquis Season Opener

Seattle Kraken vs Las Vegas Golden Knights

On ESPN.

Randle McMurphy

Bold Prediction 2021-22

At the deadline, Ken Holland with a blockbuster trade with Stan Bowman. MARC-ANDRÉ FLEURY becomes an Edmonton Oiler.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

This is my nightmare.

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

Trading for another geriatric goalie with an injury history is a recipe for disaster.

I can picture the Holland press conference already after trading a 1st rounder for Fleury. “What was I supposed to do, get him for free?”

Ryan

You can’t smoke out Stan Bowman, right?

Redbird62

Oiler line-up posted on NHL.com:

https://www.nhl.com/oilers/news/projected-lineup-oilers-vs-canucks/c-326707562

Russell in on LD according to this. The Lowetide universe will generally not be happy.

Redbird62

Sceviour and McLeod in as expected due to Shore/Kassian injuries.

Is this opportunity knocking again for McLeod? Play so that Tippett can’t take him out when Shore is healthy.

And as expected Drai is on with McDavid/Jesse and Hyman with Nuge?Yamamoto.

LadiesloveSmid

Russell is their 2nd best LHD now. The unhappiness came when Jones was scratched in favour of him. Cupboard is bare now. Klefbom gone, Jones gone, Kulkiov gone.

ashley

Russell played really well last year. He’s got all the tools you can’t teach. Speed, agility, stamina, physical. Decision making can be taught, and he seems to be learning and getting better.

Why do we have so much time for Dmen under 25 who “don’t develop in a straight line” and break our hearts on a nightly basis, but none for Russell? He’s still developing too, and he looks much better to my eye. He’s just a late developer.

ashley

I would have more confidence in Nurse-Russell in a tight game than I do with Nurse-Barrie.

OriginalPouzar

Duncan Keith is certainly the Oilers 2nd best LD in my opinion. Yes, there was chaos in the defensive zone in exhibition (but that is to be expected with a new team, a new structure, a new partner and starting 10 days late) but I saw alot of game left in Keith with the puck and in the offensive zone – the man can move the puck and can make smart plays with the puck in all zones.

At this point, acquisition cost and cap hit are not part of the conversation – as for product on the ice, I think this player will help!

jp

It will certainly be interesting to look back at on this ordering at the end of the year:

Nurse
Jones
Russell
Keith (?)
Koekkoek (?)
Lagesson (?)

I don’t *think it’s correct, but will acknowledge I’m not 100% certain.

hunter1909

“Will this ever end?” harpers hair

Oilers Death March™

Last Day to register!

See website for countdown clock.

http://www.oilersdeathmarch.com/marches/2021-22

Last edited 3 days ago by hunter1909
ChupaCabra

Are we officially on the death march of the Death March™?

hunter1909

yeah lol

Harpers Hair

Brendan Batchelor (@BatchHockey) Tweeted:
Morning skate lines for the #Canucks in Edmonton

Pearson-Horvat-Garland
Highmore-Dickinson-Höglander
Miller-Pettersson-Chiasson
Dowling-Lammikko-Podkolzin

Extras: Petan, Boeser

OEL-Myers
Hughes-Poolman
Hunt-Schenn
Rathbone-Burroughs

7pm on Sports650 tonight.

@Sportsnet650

https://twitter.com/BatchHockey/status/1448341306732777475?s=20

McSorley33

I am a bit surprised at Chaser and the line mates he has obtained.

Not sure on Poolman in a 2nd pairing.

Very sure what to expect with a Hunt/ Schenn pairing on the road.

Travis will have his work cut out for him tonight.

Harpers Hair

Absences of Boeser and Hamonic pretty much forced his hand.

Worth noting Schenn played 38 games for TBL last season and his underlying numbers were stellar across the board.

https://www.naturalstattrick.com/playerreport.php?fromseason=20202021&thruseason=20202021&playerid=8474568&sit=5v5&stype=2

A little surprised Hunt is in ahead of Rathbone but I expect we will see both at times tonight.

McSorley33

Yes, I keep forgetting about Boeser missing.

Harpers Hair

Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) Tweeted:
Draisaitl-McDavid-Puljujarvi
Hyman-RNH-Yamamoto
Foegele-Ryan-Sceviour
Perlini—McLeod-Turris
Nurse-Barrie
Keith-Ceci
Russel-Bouchard
Smith
Koskinen

https://twitter.com/TSNRyanRishaug/status/1448324948137709570?s=20

ArmchairGM

That’s gonna bruise Pettersson’s ego…

Brogan Rafferty's Uncle Steve

I love the Hunt-Schenn pairing!

Bank Shot

Highmore-Dickinson-Hoglander

Really trying to set the bar high on mediocrity here.

Harpers Hair

Rathbone – Burroughs confirmed as 3rd pair tonight.

Lutefisk

Yes, I know we’re all fixated on tonight’s game but I want to know the fate of Jacqueline Guenther and did she take LT’s advice?

Durag

I wish Jacqueline’s tale was a happier one. She never got over being spurned by LT in 1969. The following year, 1970, a hockey team known as the Vancouver Canucks would join the NHL. They would not go on to do anything of note in the 51 years that followed.

Jacqueline, distraught and wayward after her recent heartbreak, placed her hope in the fledgling Canucks and put every piece of her broken heart into cheering them on. As the years went by and the Canucks iced a terrible team year after year, Jacqueline grew more twisted and bitter in her rage. She never forgot the man who drove her to these depths of despair and never stopped obsessing over him.

Some say poor Jacqueline can still be found haunting LT’s blog to this very day, jabbering incessantly about her doomed Vancouver Canucks…

elgruntus

“Some say poor Jacqueline can still be found haunting LT’s blog to this very day, jabbering incessantly about her doomed Vancouver Canucks…”.

Jacqueline’s Hair?

“as per Garfield” ?
Makes sense now.

Justthestatsman

HH is a woman?

Ice Sage

Gender is so passe

Bulging Twine

clap clap clap

dustrock

Here’s to a great season. Enjoy, everyone.

Amadeus

Does anyone know why Quinn Hughes gets so much love and Tyson Barrie gets nothing?

GP G A Pts PIM +/-

Hughes – 56 3 38 41 22 -24

Barrie – 56 8 40 48 10 +4

ashley

They are both bad defenders.

Randle McMurphy

This comment really rocked me.

OriginalPouzar

Well, if we are being honest, Hughes point production at his age trumps what Tyson Barrie was doing at that age and Hughes wasn’t playing half his minutes (plus PP) with the likes of McDavid. Hughes is also a better skater, if that matters much.

With that said, yes, at this stage, Hughes is worse defensively than Barrie and, while I’m sure he’ll improve, I don’t see him getting to vast heights in that regard ad he’ll always be limited.

Harpers Hair

All Hughes has to is return to the form he showed in his rookie season when he was above water in every metric.

https://www.naturalstattrick.com/playerreport.php?fromseason=20192020&thruseason=20192020&stype=2&sit=5v5&stdoi=oi&rate=n&v=p&playerid=8480800

BornInAGretzkyJersey

Now do Meyers.

godot10

Put Barrie on the Canucks.

OriginalPouzar

and he’d probably produce similar to how he did on the Avs – including a year with 57 points in 68 games.

YYCOil

I want Driasaitl to center his own line.

McDavid and Driasaitl each playing 22 minutes gives us the best player on the ice for the majority of the game.

Nuge, Hyman, Yamamoto are all good complimentary players.

ArmchairGM

Personally I’d run

Hyman – McDavid – Yamamoto
Nuge – Draisaitl – Puljujarvi

but I understand Tippett going with a loaded 1st line. It’s such an unfair advantage that it would be tempting for the strongest of us.

chrisco stu

And there’s another part to it, maybe less important and maybe not, Mcdavid and Draisaitl seem to want to play together.

Randle McMurphy

If you want to see Draisaitl center his own line, only watch the road games.

innercitysmytty

I’m fine with them together, but Yamo and JP should be flipped

ArmchairGM

As a reminder, Connor McDavid scored 36 points in his final 14 games last season – an average of 2.57 P/GP. He’s on another planet and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us this year.

Something special awaits.

JimmyV1965

Just think what he could do if he was actually trying to pad his point totals. How many times did he have three or four points after two periods and then coasted in the third period with the game out of hand.

McSorley33

Sounds like Tippett doesn’t think that was good enough.

Connor, apparently, needs help driving a line.

jp

The 36 points in 14 games was mostly with Draisaitl.

Also, McDavid has a 48.5% goal share over the last 3 seasons without Draisaitl.

I’m OK with them together or apart, but yes, McDavid does need some help in driving a line.

OriginalPouzar

I believe McDavid was even in goal differential away from Drai last season….

OriginalPouzar

Sorry, JP’s great post was not there when I typed the above.

JimmyV1965

Looks like Bear is on the first pairing in practice today. For people rwho want accurate, timely line combos go to gamedaylinetweets.com

ashley

I’m hoping for the best from this season, but I think we had a better chance of winning each night with Bear and Larsson on the right. Larsson is a huge loss. I think communication could have been better and earlier to prevent the outcome.

Redbird62

Still trying to blame Holland for Larsson leaving despite Larsson’s own stated reasons for why he couldn’t stay in Edmonton. No confirmation bias in that reasoning.

I suppose if Holland could have performed a seance, and had Larsson’s Dad tell Adam that it is okay if he stays in Edmonton that might have worked.

dessert1111

How much to get you a better hosting platform LT and pay someone to do all your data migration so you maintain the archives and don’t lose anything? And to pay the person to deal with all the communications with the new host so you don’t have to deal with it? If under 50k or so I think we could raise it, there’s enough of us here who would be pleased to, just say the word!

Happy opening night everyone!

tileguy

Sceviour, Perlini and Turris are the surprises this year, my guess is they are all in the lineup tonight.

Last edited 3 days ago by tileguy
Coilers2021

The connection issues have really ramped up lately. I feel like I’m dial-up again…

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