My take on Gothenburg

Discussion in 'Edmonton Oilers' started by wiz64, Oct 8, 2018.

View Users: View Users
  1. wiz64

    wiz64 Registered User

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    I have been following this forum for multiple years only very rarely posting mostly becuase as a middle european citizen from Autria you do not get to watch a lot of Oilers games live and when I enter the forum most of what can be said is already in discussion. However, I enjoy following the heated discussions although I see that recently things have been going a bit downhill with very strong personal opinions crashing...
    That said, I took the chance to watch the Oilers in Gothenburg as it meant only a four hour connection instead of probably a 20 hour connection I would need to come to Edmonton. Even though the result was not perfect it was an awesome experience, I guess that there were about 70% Oilers fans in the audience. Later on in the pub I met with some Swiss guys who are nearly life-long die-hard Oilers fans like I am. It shows what a special team this franchise represents when you think that like me, most of these people have not experienced the glorious 80s but just the hard-working 90s and the abysmal 2000s and still, with no connection to the city, we bleed oil. It was a treat to come in contact with so many loyal people and dwell in the old times of Doug Weight, CuJo, Todd Marchant, epic playoff battles with Dallas and Colorado and the 2006 Cup run. But I disgress...

    Watching the game in person gives you a whole new perspective on what happens on the ice and here are some points I noticed, take them or leave them for what they are:

    - First, I understand your problem with coaching and the playing system as a whole. New Jersey won the game because they were better organized and their whole game structure was well composed. One particular thing I noticed was, that when the Oilers lose the puck in the opposing zone, the forwards will try to pressure on the puck, and especially McDavid preys on these situations, but the defensemen retreat very fastly deep into their own zone and yield the neutral zone too easily. I think that with the mobility we have, the defenseman need to stay more up-ice and try to support the forecheck or at least limit the amount of open ice in the first phase of the opponents' attack.

    - The defensemen are mostly not strong enough on the puck, I especially point at Klefbom and Benning with that. Larsson is a defensive beast, very assertive and when he was on the ice. I did not worry too much about getting scored on, however, his offensive play is extremely weak and his point shots do not pose a threat at all. Klefbom tried to shoot but his aim was completely off that night. I guess we will have to wait until Bouchard develops to get serious offensive support from the blue line.

    - Once the Oilers gain the puck in their own zone, the breakout system is completely unstructured and often simply relies on shooting the puck along the boards for a tip-in into the offensive zone. You would think that with skilled forwards like Nugent-Hopkins, Pulju, Drai and of course McDavid they would be able to control the puck up-ice and have a structured offensive push.

    - The second goal was an indication how the team could and should play with puck retrieval in the own zone and quick passes to the fast forwards and a monster shot from Draisaitl. I think a Lucic-McD-Drai line would light up the league, but I understand that this would essentially render the Oilers a one-line team with hardly any secondary scoring at all. Has a Nuge-Pulju combo ever be tried as a potential second line?

    - It was a treat to watch McDavid play although I thought he had a more quiet night but still got out with two assists and was the only real driver of the Oilers offence in that game.

    - The Oilers started the game with some jump and had some early hits by Larsson and Lucic which seemed to get them going, but the early goal by New Jersey somehow had the foreboding of same-old... At least they scored almost immediately after that on the powerplay, which seemed to get them going and after that the first period was an up and down with chances on both ends, I actually had a very good feeling going into the first break.

    - This said, the powerplay is a mess and anybody with the slightest idea about hockey sees that this won't work this season again if the setup stays as it is.

    - I have no idea, how things went downhll so fast in the second period. New Jersey raised the intesity and the Oilers simply were not ready to play. That second goal is fully on Talbot, that is a shot that needs to be saved by a semi-competent goalie. you could feel, how it sucked the life out of the team and killed every bit of momentum. On the other hand, Talbot made some key saves in difficult situations. I guess that he has issues with stability/focus and if he cannot get on top of this fast, we will have a major problem like last year.

    - There was a situation in the second period, when Drai had the puck on a two on one in the offensive zone with a clear path to the goal but instead of shooting he was turning and obviously seeking for a trailer to pass to, which led to a turnover. It was a very weird move, and it was either an indication of a completely dysmal offensive scheme or a lack of confidence (?). All in all it seems that the Oilers do not shoot enough and do not crash the net efficiently, which again is on the coach.

    - The third line did not show anything the whole night. For me it is obvious that Strome cannot drive a line, and neither can Pulju. He should be used to ride the right wing with a playmaker like Drai with the only mandate to shoot whenever possible. Him on the third line is a complete waste. Even worse, Yamamoto on the second line is obviously too small and too inexperienced to overcome this deficit right now. We desperately need to change the second line RW because Yamamoto needs more time to mature and gain experience.

    - The fourth line actually was a more pleasant surprise, the few shifts I noticed them the had some success in sustaining pressure in the offensive zone and wearing the opponent down. I think you cannot ask for much more.

    - In the third period they somehow found back into the game and when everybody was at least having some hope again, they shot themselves in the foot with atrocious defensive play. Also in this situation I had the impression that the backcheck was not aggressive enough, letting the situation just play out or hoping that Talbot would be able to control the puck. Also this lack of focus seems very weird and should be a point of concern adressed by a coach.

    In conclusion, all four goals by New Jersey can be blamed on personal breakdowns and lack of focus, things that can and must be adressed and should improve when the team hits its stride with more games. However, especially offensive situations suffer from a clear lack of structure in the system, something which is solely on the coach. I guess I now understand a lot of what I read here every day. Still, it was one game of the season and some things will improve. However, I am not convinced that the team in its current composition can succeed with this coaching.

    Finally, I want to thank the NHL and the Oilers organization for making this happen. I understand that a lot of you are concerned about the schedule and the disadvantages of going to Europe. For me it has only deepened my bitter-sweet addiciton to the Oilers and this for sure was not my last game.

    DON'T READ ON HERE IF YOU BELIEVE IN JINXES:

    I have been to season premieres in Europe two times in 2011 and 2012 and both times the eventual Stanley Cup champion lost this game. So if we win the cup this year, you can eventually thank me :)
     
  2. Soundwave

    Soundwave Registered User

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Messages:
    45,805
    Likes Received:
    3,559
    Trophy Points:
    186
    Lucic with McDavid has been tried here like 50 times and in the long term it never works. It's nice that they were able to cash for one game, but it's a combination that doesn't work long term.
     
  3. FiveFourteenSixOne

    FiveFourteenSixOne 5-14-6-1

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2006
    Messages:
    3,351
    Likes Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    101
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Thanks for your post and insights, Wiz. Glad to hear a fans account of game 1 that isn't from watching the game on TV. Its amazing how much more you can see when you are there, and not mercy to the restrictions of whatever camera angle a producer decides to show you.
     
    5 Mins 4 Ftg likes this.
  4. GameChanger

    GameChanger Registered User

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2016
    Messages:
    1,824
    Likes Received:
    997
    Trophy Points:
    94
    A great post from you, thank you! To answer your question they did play together at the start of the last season and according to many (and my own eyes) they often formed the best line of the team. At that time McDavid and Drai weren't at their best yet. Then McLellan basically said Jesse playdc so well he wanted to send him down to the bottom6.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
  5. LaGu

    LaGu Registered User

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    4,535
    Likes Received:
    606
    Trophy Points:
    109
    Location:
    Luxembourg
    Thanks a lot for that write up.
    Great stuff!

    I'll agree whole-heartedly with the paragraph I left in above. I didn't even see a regular season game, just the PR game in Cologne but I am with you on what it meant to me and probably lots of other fans in Europe.
     
    Aerrol likes this.
  6. AM

    AM Registered User

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2004
    Messages:
    5,442
    Likes Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    101
    Hes probably talking about this year, not when it was tried before.
     
  7. Messier11

    Messier11 Registered User

    Joined:
    May 9, 2016
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    26
    Trophy Points:
    36
    OP, that was really a very good summary. Thank you.
     
  8. ToddsBod

    ToddsBod 5-14-6-1

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Messages:
    3,395
    Likes Received:
    622
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Great post! I enjoyed your summary.

    Did you find that the ice looked a little “soft”? It seemed like it must’ve been hot in the arena when I was watching
     
  9. wiz64

    wiz64 Registered User

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    Actually it was rather hot and the ice quality overall did not seem the best. Scandinavium is one of the older arenas in Sweden, I do not know why they had the game there and not eg in Stockholm which has a more state of the art arena.
     
  10. Drivesaitl

    Drivesaitl Civilized Worm

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2017
    Messages:
    7,749
    Likes Received:
    3,488
    Trophy Points:
    102
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Edmonton
    I'll be somewhat critical in response in this one. New contributions are always welcomed. BUT should occur in the thread for which everybody elses posts are. There were two to three Gothenburg threads including a GDT thread and a PGT. Any reason these comments couldn't be there? Why a separate thread?

    Next I don't see your observations being all that accurate. You mentioned being impressed with the 4th line performance. They were on ice for 3 GA and looked poor on every one of those shifts and others. They did absolutely nothing offensively and were torched in own end. You did say "the few times you noticed them" which tells me you didn't see them all that well. Kassian has been horrible last season and this. Brodziak, who I love, for some reason has played poorly the last few games after starting the preseason well.

    Next, I don't understand the comment on the Oilers starting out strong, when they got scored on almost in the first minute. That's a hard narrative to sell.


    Regarding Talbot for the 2nd goal it seems you have a bias here with "sucked the life out of the team and killed every bit of momentum". If indeed one goal does that then this team is more fragile, and has more problems than who is in net. Talbot made several brilliant stops as the game progressed just to keep the scoreline close. The Oilers were outplayed badly in the game.

    Finally, I don't even think the Oilers were good in the first period. I think they had the benefit of 3PP's to none and 2 of the calls were joke calls. That actually kept the Oilers in the game until the 2nd period. I even commented between periods that the Oilers had played poorly and were outplayed despite having 3PP's in the period.

    All that said thanks for your patronage of the Oilers in Europe and being a longterm fan and following the club all these decades. Good to have new posters on board.
     
  11. Drivesaitl

    Drivesaitl Civilized Worm

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2017
    Messages:
    7,749
    Likes Received:
    3,488
    Trophy Points:
    102
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Edmonton
    I couldn't understand the Gothenburg decision either. Why there, and why at Scandinavium which has only 12K attendance and looks like the Saddledome. I could see it being cute to use that Arena if the game was involving the Calgary Flames but for the Oilers it made no sense. I like the Ericsson Globe just for being different or the Malmo arena, both which seem better, and have higher capacity.
     
    wiz64 likes this.
  12. wiz64

    wiz64 Registered User

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria

    As I said, some of the points are my personal view of one game, and apart from the pitiful Austrian league I have not seen many live hockey games.
    That said, I do not think that my impressions are that far off. First, the Oilers did start strong into the game and were at least equal. The first goal was rather fluke and not the result of New Jersey's dominance. Yes the Oilers did profit from those powerplays but after the first period you would not have seen them at a disadvantage.
    I have been following this team longer than most on this board and I have rooted for every player who ever wore our jersey. There is no personal agenda against Talbot. I was just stating what 99 percent of the Oilers fans in the audience were thinking when he let in the second goal.
    My point is, I still think that this team can get a good season together, they have a lot of the right tools, what I miss is game structure, which is most likely on the coach. It was just that obvious watching the game and I thought that some new input would be appreciated around here. Anyway, you are right that this could have been posted in another thread, however I have seen no intervention from the mods so far, so I guess there is no need to call me out about that.
     
  13. Drivesaitl

    Drivesaitl Civilized Worm

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2017
    Messages:
    7,749
    Likes Received:
    3,488
    Trophy Points:
    102
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Thanks for the reply. Just feedback but you probably shouldn't post something like "what 99% of fans were thinking" as its only what you were thinking. Its a human tendency to think we know what others are thinking and we of course don't. I don't even know why my wife thinks half the time...

    The part about posting in the subscribed threads is just good board etiquette, on any board. Usually these threads are merged as they are same topic, not sure why this hasn't been yet.

    This team and lineup is unbalanced. While we have superstar players we lack depth players. We also lack in veteran leaders. Guys like Palmieri, Greene, Vatanen, that NJ has. Our vets are generally not good. Futher, our transition game suffers immensely because our D are poor at transitioning the puck. This is due to GM primarily.

    I've been a fan of the oilers since 72. Welcome to the board.
     
  14. wiz64

    wiz64 Registered User

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    I agree with basically everything you say about team composition, I think only time will tell how this team fares.
    I guess I was mostly referring to the atmosphere in the arena after the second goal. Anyway, the game tomorrow will already be a good indicator where this team is headed.
     

Share This Page

monitoring_string = "358c248ada348a047a4b9bb27a146148"