Monday Mailbag - First Impressions of the Battle of Alberta

Monday Mailbag – First Impressions of the Battle of Alberta

Happy Monday, nation, and welcome to a brand new mailbag to help you start your week and realize all things Edmonton Oilers. This week, we’re looking at the battle of Alberta, the players battling through injury, and more. If you have a question you’d like to ask, email it to me at [email protected] Or hit me up on Twitter at Tweet embed I will get to you as soon as possible.

May 18, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Calgary Flames striker Milan Lucic (17) clashed with Edmonton Oilers striker Zach Cassian (44) in the third game of the first game of the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup qualifiers at Scotiabank Saddledome. Flames won 9-6. Mandatory credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

1) Mitch asks – It’s been 31 years… What’s everyone’s first impression of the Battle of Alberta playoff match?

Robin Brownlee:

Announcement – Continue reading below

Love her. It’s been a long time since these teams were as good at the same time as they were in their BOA days.

Jason Gregor:

It was very entertaining. Feelings increased in both rinks. I’m a little surprised by how much Edmonton has dominated Calgary in the past five periods.

Cam Lewis:

Announcement – Continue reading below

Although it’s been 31 years since the Oilers & Flames met in the playoffs, the two teams have been building a rivalry over the past few years. The first three matches came as advertised, with a lot of excitement and excitement.

Tyler Yarchuk:

It was great. The matches were pretty unexpected with lots of goals and lots of energy from both sides. I think it lived up to the hype so far!

Bottled Milk:

The first thing that comes to mind for me is the stress this series has really caused because every game feels intense, you know? But the first impression was not great because Oilers lost the first game in a very disappointing way.

May 18, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Edmonton Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft on the bench against the Calgary Flames during the third period in Game One of the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

2) Kaley asks – I’ve never seen a team struggle from their starts as long as the Oilers struggle no matter who coaches, plays or otherwise. What do you think about why this team goes back in heels so often at the start of these hockey games?

Announcement – Continue reading below

Robin Brownlee:

Giving up early goals, especially bad ones, emphasizes a slow start. This is part of it. Honestly, I have no idea why this problem has persisted for so long under the presence of so many coaches. A better start last night against Flames – 0-0 is a step forward.

Jason Gregor:

If I knew I would get a lot of money. They scored first in five out of 10 playoffs, which is good, but even in the games they scored first, they didn’t start well. I think it’s mental. When they need a good start, Matches Six and Seven, they do and again in Game Three of the Flames series, so they are capable of it. It must be a mental block.

Cam Lewis:

I’m not sure the team players can answer this question. It’s been happening through different coaches with different players. Fortunately this was not the case in the third game. Ideally, we see more of that.

Announcement – Continue reading below

Tyler Yarchuk:

I honestly do not know. I feel like this question has been asked 100 times in different mailbags over the past two years and I don’t think there is an obvious reason for that. It’s unexplained how many times they struggle from the first drop of the puck and it has to stop, but I have no explanation as to why this keeps happening.

Bottled Milk:

That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? I have no idea how to respond to this but it’s so weird to watch that I basically resorted to anticipating it. Fortunately, we got off to a good start hopefully last night in Game 3.

17 February 2022; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Edmonton Oilers fans celebrate a goal by striker Leon Drystle (29) against the Anaheim Ducks during the third period at Rogers Place. Mandatory credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

3) Eve asks – even though Leon Drystel and Darnell a nurse have been reported to be fighting due to serious injuries, how impressed are you with what we’ve been able to do so far in these playoffs?

Announcement – Continue reading below

Robin Brownlee:

More than impressed with Draisaitl. When he first came back his lack of jumping was noticeable. You can tell that he has no strength or momentum in his stride. Much better since then. I suspect he was hit by a (freeze) bullet but I don’t know that’s the case.

Jason Gregor:

Draisaitl was very good despite his injured playing. However, he was starting to feel better. You can see how he skates, which is a good sign for Edmonton.

Cam Lewis:

Announcement – Continue reading below

Watching Draisaitl has been so incredible, you’d never know he’s dealing with an injury on this series. This separatist target broke through at full speed. Just an impressive show.

Tyler Yarchuk:

The Draisaitl in particular was amazing. He started this series with consecutive games with three points and his goal was far from rushing. Think about it, a guy who plays through an ankle sprain is still using his speed to score goals. What he was doing is incredible and something we will be looking at for a very long time.

Bottled Milk:

I’m honestly amazed that both guys play at all given what’s going on with their bodies, and for Drysittle specifically, he still finds ways to contribute to the score sheet each night. It’s really amazing. I’m not sure it’s the smartest thing to do in terms of body, but Jord respects it.

Announcement – Continue reading below

May 8, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent Hopkins (93) shoots on target against the Los Angeles Kings during the third period in Game 4 of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

4) Nancy asks – I’m a huge fan of Nuge. I wasn’t too disappointed with his playoff performance, but I think he can do better, especially offensively. He spends a lot of time in the D-zone and I wonder how much of this factor is. I love everyone’s ideas of what needs to change/happen to get to what level it should be in the playoffs – and silencing the haters.

Robin Brownlee:

RNH seemed pretty normal to me, too. He is trying to find his place in a lineup with much more depth than he has in years past. Being a two-way guy and a 200-foot player makes it useful, but it’s not a spotlight type role. RNH is what is the sixth or seventh most important striker now after McDavid, Draisaitl, Hyman, Kane, Yamamoto and . . .?

Jason Gregor:

He was never a great 5×5 scorer, so I don’t expect that now. His role in the team is more defensive starts and in special teams. I would have liked him to score a little more, but I wouldn’t expect him to score much in 5×5.

Announcement – Continue reading below

Cam Lewis:

I’m not sure Nuge needs to be an offensive master catalyst for it to be effective. The thing that makes it such a good player is its versatility. Right now the Oilers are showing off offensively with McDavid Nuclear turning on a streak with Draisaitl or Evander Kane, so having Nuge to sit down and carry a streak who can get things done defensively definitely helps.

Tyler Yarchuk:

He was very good in the second game when Woodcroft put him on with talented wings and the results improved. Nugent-Hopkins can’t lead play alone, but when he’s talented, the results are almost always good. So it’s no surprise to see that the Oilers are doing well with him on the ice now that he’s in line with Puljujarvi and Hyman.

Bottled Milk:

Needs to be better around the ice. I thought Game 2 was his best in the series so far, and I don’t think it’s surprising that it came when he was turned away from Derek Ryan and Josh Archibald. If we expect an attack from him, he has to play with players who can help and Ryan and Archibald are not those guys. This isn’t a shot against them but it’s just a fact of the types of players they are.

May 18, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Edmonton Oilers goalkeeper Mikko Koskinen (19) makes a save against Calgary Flames during the second half in Game One of the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup qualifiers at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

5) Alex asks – read about the report from Europe that says Mikko Koskinen could head to Switzerland next season after the past five years with the Oilers. Was anyone else surprised to hear he’s back instead of trying to find another NHL gig?

Robin Brownlee:

Good money number. Easier schedule. shorter season. He’s been a good soldier here through some tough times.

Jason Gregor:

Not right. He’s made $13.5 million in the past three seasons. He is very family oriented and in Switzerland he will play fewer games and spend more time with his family. It’s also a nice place to play and will get good money. It would probably be a more interesting lifestyle for him.

Cam Lewis:

never. The Swiss league pays the players well and it is a nice lifestyle because traveling is not too difficult. Mikko will also be much closer to his family in Finland.

Tyler Yarchuk:

Not right. It will make good profits abroad and the decade is likely to enjoy some stability. I’m not surprised that he took a few years of guaranteed money near his home country due to the potential of being a marginal NHL goalkeeper for a team like Arizona.

Bottled Milk:

I’m a little surprised, I think. I could have seen Mikko landing at another party in the league but if you’re going to jump to Europe, landing in Switzerland is great. What a beautiful country to end up with.

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2022-05-23 13:00:08

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