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Category: Edmonton-Oilers

What Will The Edmonton Oilers Do With Andreas Athanasiou?

from David Staples of the Edmonton Journal,

The word right now is that Holland will see if he can get Athanasiou to sign for less than his qualifying offer. For the player to do that, he’d have to assess the market, determine he can’t get more elsewhere, and decide Edmonton is his best bet, even at reduced wages, with the number of $2.2 million per year floated. It could well be that Athanasiou could only command that amount on the free market, but it may take Athanasiou going to market to find out this vital fact. He and the Oilers may well go that route, with Edmonton then circling back to the player if he doesn’t get an offer to his liking. That’s another option here. Perhaps it’s the best one for all parties. I’m uncertain, but if Holland does decide to qualify the player on a one-year deal that wouldn’t be a terrible strategy, given the winger’s scoring potential.

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The Goalie Issue In Edmonton

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

The Edmonton Oilers could go into next season with the same goalie tandem of Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen. Kind of the way your mechanic says you could ride an old timing chain for another six months, but you’re going to have to buck up eventually.

The aging part would be the 38-year-old Smith, who is an unrestricted free agent. He is a big goalie with a lot of miles on him, but was comfortable in Edmonton and gave the Oilers a big dose of swagger that served them well.

The part you replaced recently would be Koskinen, the recipient of Peter Chiarelli’s ridiculously large contract who (to his credit) actually resembled a $4.5 million goalie for much of last season. He will be part of the Oilers tandem in 2020-21 — no doubt.

The question is, does general manager Ken Holland court Smith, or should he look elsewhere for someone to share the crease with the Three Metres of Koskinen?

The answer: Holland isn’t sure yet.

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Ken Holland’s Press Conference Today

frrom David Staples of the Edmonton Journal,

In the press conference, Holland was asked three times about the defensive or two-way play of stars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, and whether the two need to do more in that area, just like stars such as Jonathan Toews and Steve Yzerman did in the past.

Holland finally dug into the topic after Sportsnet’s Mark Spector asked most pointedly about McDavid and Draisaitl: “Does the team need their defensive leadership more than their offensive leadership right now?”

“The answer would be yes, but I saw that happening…,” Holland said. “That was one of the things we talked about with Leon in the exit meeting Saturday morning before we left the hub, Dave Tippett and I, and I remember one night in February in Carolina and there’s a puck turned over, and how Leon buried his head, and it was a two-on-one and he ended up killing the two-on-one just out of sheer determination to backcheck and to play defence. So they are getting better. They are getting better. But I also think in this playoff series we were playing against battle tested. Some players there had won three Stanley Cups. They had to learn that too, and we’re learning it. And you’re focusing on the two guys, but certainly our entire team, we’re learning that defence is as important as offence in terms of going for long playoff runs.”

more from Holland...

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An Early Exit By The Edmonton Oilers

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

One life to live just became no life to live for the Edmonton Oilers.

The 12th-seed Chicago Blackhawks burst the hub city home team’s bubble Friday, kicking the malfunctioning Oilers to the Stanley Cup tournament curb with a 3-2 win in Game 4, and really, the Oilers didn’t even get to the playoffs which is 16 teams on any other year. Not 24 teams.

The Oilers didn’t even last a week; there was no hubba, hubba headline because their overall game was nowhere near as pretty as it looked for much of regular-season.

More commotion than emotion, never a good thing in the playoffs.

Oiler defenceman Darnell Nurse said the Oilers never got the intensity level up to where it was, say, against Calgary in the tournament tune-up. Their battle-level was in and out against a Chicago team that has a toolbox full of skill but isn’t big and doesn’t play tough, but has Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith and Brandon Saad, who know how to win.

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Leafs, Oilers And Penguins Are Three Of The Six Teams Facing Elimination Today

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

One Maple Leaf forewarned that the Blue Jackets “will keep comin’ at you, no matter the score”.

In other words, a three-goal deficit with Toronto on cruise control just isn’t enough to discourage a team that thrives on boring substance over style. But a blown three-goal lead in Thursday’s 4-3 overtime loss might have seen the whole series go up in smoke for the Leafs.

Coach Sheldon Keefe can’t squeeze out the defensive effort John Tortorella gets from his Jackets, never mind when Toronto’s minus Jake Muzzin, but did use some of Torts’ succinct postgame podium punches.

“We got what we deserved,” Keefe said more than once. “I feel like the game got away from us in the first period. I didn’t like it at 1-0, 2-0, 3-0. There was no real purpose or plan to our game, just making it up as we go along. We were back to a lot of really bad habits.”

After Friday it might be back home for summer and fall.

continued

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

So, as hockey people like to say, it is time for the Oilers to “suck it up.” They’ll have all summer to feel sorry for themselves if they can’t put together a win on Friday, and then pull off Game 5 on Saturday.

“If we start worrying about the (fifth) game, back to back or whatever, it’s not going to happen,” said defenceman Oscar Klefbom. He’s right: They can not win two games on Friday.

“We can all sit here and say, they had a few lucky bounces,” added Chiasson. “But our game wasn’t as good as it needed to be. We need to address that.

more

from Joe Starkey of the Pittsburg Post-Gazette,

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Imagine This

from Michael Traikos of the National Post,

I know the temptation would be to send Lafreniere out with Connor McDavid and just sit back and watch the highlight show unfold. But I’ve liked how Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has given McDavid’s line more of a defensive presence in this post-season. And with the undersized Kailer Yamamoto having found a full-time role on Draisaitl’s right side, the left side could use someone with Lafreniere’s size and grit.

Then again, maybe you do what the Penguins did when they won back-to-back Stanley Cups with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel on separate lines, and split up the big three. Putting Lafreniere on a third line with Riley Sheahan would give Edmonton more forward depth than it has had in a long time.

Honestly, the possibilities are endless. They are also a bit nauseating.

This is not what Oilers fans want to be thinking about as they head into a must-win Game 4 against the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday. They don’t want to be thinking of Lafreniere and what line he might fit best on. They don’t want to be considering another No. 1 overall pick, another season of missing the actual playoffs, another year of failure.

All of that is quickly becoming the reality after Edmonton blew a one-goal lead and lost Game 3 to Chicago on Wednesday. They now trail the Blackhawks 2-1 in their best-of-five qualification round series.

read on

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The Edmonton Oilers Are A Loss Away From Elimination

from the CP at Sportsnet,

The Chicago Blackhawks dressed in the Edmonton Oilers dressing room then proceeded to eat their lunch, pushing the Oilers to the edge of the abyss in the NHL playoffs with a stunning 4-3 comeback win Wednesday night.

With a victory Friday the Hawks, the bottom-seeded Western Conference team, can knock out the fifth-seeded Oilers and send home the NHL’s two top scorers, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

The Blackhawks lead the best-of-five qualifying series 2-1, but late in the game Wednesday it looked like they would be the ones facing elimination.

The Hawks were down 3-2 in the penalty-filled affair at Rogers Place, when they blitzed the Oilers for two goals with less than six minutes left in the game.

continued

Watch the game highlights below.

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Video- Connor McDavid With An Impressive Night

Below, watch all 3 goals from McDavid last night.  The second goal is the most impressive one.

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  Tags: connor+mcdavid

The Edmonton Oilers Were Not Ready To Play

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

“We just weren’t ready.”

On a three-point night, that point was Connor McDavid‘s most salient.

It started with their head coach, Dave Tippett, who started the wrong netminder, filtered down to McDavid, who was schooled at five-on-five by the great Jonathan Toews, and went right to the vaunted penalty kill, which got stung for three Chicago Blackhawks goals.

The grand total was a 6-4 shellacking, two of the Edmonton Oilers‘ goals coming in garbage time to disguise what a lopsided Qualifying Round opener this truly was.

“Not good enough all around. Pretty easy,” said McDavid, who would not hear of the fifth seed Oilers perhaps thinking the 12th seed Blackhawks would be easy pickings. “We definitely didn’t take them lightly. They’re battle tested. They came out and did exactly what we thought they would do. We just weren’t ready.”

continued

Catch the game highlights below.

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Viewing Parties Planned In Edmonton

from Julia Wong of Global News,

While many public health experts say large gatherings are not recommended amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a plan to allow for large watching parties for NHL games once the hockey season resumes is beginning to take shape in Edmonton.

Edmonton and Toronto will serve as the hockey league’s two hub cities once it resumes play next month.

Tim Shipton, vice-president of corporate communications for the Oilers Entertainment Group, said plans are in the works for the site of the old Baccarat Casino beside Rogers Place.

continued

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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