Well, it’s Christmas Eve. One more sleep before the Oilers resume their 16-game (minimum) trek toward the Cup of Stanley after what feels like an honest to goodness eternity. Seriously, we need to get this thing started ASAP or Dave Tippett might do something silly like not play Caleb Jones to start Game 1.
It’s early in a 3 practice week here, but Koekkoek is clearly paired with Bear today. Jones/Russell/Bouchard all working in on the 4th pairing. Could easily change tomorrow but that’s what he’s going with today.— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) May 17, 2021
Look, Koekkoek’s been a weird one this year. He played the most early in the year, when the Oilers played their worst. Then he got hurt forever and missed about a billion games (35 if you’re counting). The data on him this year is both disappointing and limited in sample size. Previously, he was quite competent in Chicago, hence his status as a bit of an analytical darling coming in. If he can play like that, it’ll be hard to fault Tippett for making a change.
If he doesn’t, it could be the bubble play ins all over again.
One thing worth noting is that, it is a long practice week.
If Koekkoek is with Bear tomorrow, then a change is likely. Possible reason today - He’s still getting into full game shape, and skating on a 4th pairing with 3 guys rotating doesn’t get him the reps he needs. Got a good workout in today on one of 3 main pairings.— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) May 17, 2021
So, we’ll wait and see I guess, but the early returns are surely concerns...ing.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
The Copper and Blue Podcast: Episode 11 — “Cool, you’re Jets.”
It’s playoff time baby!
Preston, Shona, and Corey break down what to expect from the Oilers in their first round series against the Winnipeg Jets. We go line-by-line and pairing-by-pairing as we give our thoughts on Edmonton’s roster and how it stacks up against Winnipeg’s.
Stick around for the second half of the episode as the crew looks at the other playoff matchups, complete with predictions and all!
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly season review! (Copper and Blue)
Hot Links: Monday, May 17 (Copper and Blue)
Shallow Depth (Copper and Blue)
WWYDW(TE): Lines And Pairings For Winnipeg (ON)
Oilers-Jets Playoff Series Featuring Smith Vs. Hellebuyck In Net (ES)
How To Handle The Coaching Conundrum Of Containing McDavid And Draisaitl (SN)
What Should The Edmonton Oilers Do With Zack Kassian? (ON)
Looking Back At Iconic Moments From The Oilers And Atlanta Thrashers Rivalry (ON)
Calling The Next Fernando Pisani As Oilers Seek Playoff Hero (ES)
Bakersfield 20 Questions (LT)
Lowetide: Oilers Final 2020-21 Report Card: A Regular Season To Remember (TA)
2021 NHL Playoffs: Jets Vs. Oilers Schedule, TV Channel, Games, Scores, Guide To The First-Round Series (TA)