GDB 37.0 Wrap Up: Kings @ Oilers

You may want to sit down… The Oilers actually beat a Western Conference team.  Final Score: 3-2 Oilers in the shootout.

Tonight’s game was the first of back to back games, against the Kings and Flames, that will end 2014 for the Oilers.  The Kings played (and lost to) the Flames last night, and the Oilers were rested so normally you would think that we had a chance here.  This is the Oilers, though, and you never really know what to expect when you watch a game.  It seems like the entire month of December was dedicated to giving wins to every other team in the National Hockey League. Needless to say, I wasn’t expecting much from the Oilers tonight.  Much to my surprise, the Oilers that we got were playing hockey like an NHL team! Honest, a real life NHL team. 

Despite the game, I couldn’t help but be distracted by the “news” that Leon Draisaitl will be sent back to junior by Saturday.  If true, it’s the right move, but it also shouldn’t have come to this in the first place.  Leon Draisaitl should have STARTED the season in junior, but Craig MacTavish didn’t get any help at centre.  The Oilers were stuck playing another 18 year old that wasn’t ready for the NHL.  Of course, I wouldn’t be surprised if Draisaitl stayed either, Derek Roy looked like he got stepped on and missed most of the 1st period.  Roy did come back, but it definitely would have thrown a wrench in the “send Draisaitl to junior” game plan.

Overall, this game was surprisingly entertaining.  Not so surprising: spirits weren’t so high around the Nation today.  We all assumed that playing the Kings would surely continue the losing streak.  I don’t think any of us would have expected the Oilers to beat the Kings for Todd Nelson’s first NHL win.  Regardless, that’s what happened, and the Oilers almost deserved it.  For 40 minutes, the Oilers played very well.  In fact, you could argue that they were playing step-in-step with the Kings.  In the 3rd period, the wheels fell off again.  If not for Ben Scrivens, this game would have been another night of wasted points.  Instead, Ben Scrivens stopped everything in overtime, and he stopped everything he faced in the shootout.  Rather than the expected loss, the Oilers come out of this game with 2 points.  A pleasant surprise indeed.

We wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

ChocolateCake

  • Derek Roy picks up his first assist, as an Oiler, on Matt Hendricks’ goal in the first period.
  • Either the Oilers had a solid start, or the Kings did not.  The Oilers scored first, and to mark the occasion I spent my mortgage money on scratch tickets.  It has to be a sign.
  • The power play has actually been shooting the puck.  One day it will score and I’ll say “I told you so.” 
  • Nuge continues to engage #MegaNuge. He scored another beauty goal on a nice feed from Taylor Hall.  The kid has a hell of a shot.
  • Ben Scrivens played very well tonight.  He stopped 35 of 37 shots and finished the game with a .946save%.

THE FACE PALMERS

FloorCake

  • They said on the Sportsnet broadcast that the Oilers are keeping #25 for Darnell Nurse.  I really like Nurse as a prospect (and future staple on the blueline), but I find it odd that they’re already reserving a jersey number for him.  I know he’s played NHL games with that number, but… I don’t know.  It’s odd.  Maybe it’s just me?  It’s probably me.
  • Derek Roy got hurt in the first period, but did return. It looked like his leg got stepped on.  Kevlar socks, people.  Make them happen.
  • Another third period collapse.  A lead is the Oilers kryptonite, and there are no apparent solutions to be found.
  • The Oilers were outshot 15-1 in the 3rd period.  Where did the team from the first 40 minutes go?

BEST OF THE TWEETS

Want to be included in Best of the Tweets? Show me why you’re the funniest human on Twitter.  Tweet your shenanigans to @OilersNation and @jsbmbaggedmilk for your shot at Internet glory.*

*Life will not change in any way. Thank you.

THE #NATIONLIMO

When you have tickets to the game, head to the Pint Downtown and you could win a ride to, and from, the game in a limo.  On top of that, we’ll hook you up with some Nation swag and an Oodle Noodle GC.  All you have to do is let the bartenders know that you want your name on the list.  You should also note that this isn’t some special event, this is happening every home game.  Write that down, take a screep cap, or lock it in your mind locker.  It’s a good time, and you should be there.

  • good grief Charlie Brown

    Merry Christmas nation! A little late, but everyone needs a day where we can just enjoy a little surprise and a good meal, even iknowing tomorrow it’s back to the daily grind.

  • dougtheslug

    Here’s a fun fact:

    On December 30, 1981, 33 years ago, Wayne Gretzky scored his 50th goal in 39 games.By that point, the Oilers had scored a total of 228 goals in 39 games.

    On December 30, 2014, the Oilers have scored 78 goals in 38 games.

    I know, different game, different era. Still, its nice to remember those days, on the anniversary of one of the greatest feats in hockey history.

        • Anton CP

          Think you are missing the sarcasm here. I believed Dubby was a good goalie and Scricens is also good. The constant cry for a starter goalie is ridiculous. I mean, where can you find this so-called starter? Which goalie in their eyes are starter material? Those who kept on saying that we don’t have a starter are those who drink too much of those Toronto biased TSN kool-aid.

          • YFC Prez

            WHERE ARE THE ” SO CALLED STARTERS”?

            Here are some of the starters who were available as UFA’s this past summer: Miller, Halak, and Jonas Hiller. Vancouver and NYI will almost certainly make the playoffs, Calgary has a decent chance.

            I am tired of people making excuses for Oilers management. They are just plain INCOMPETENT.

          • YFC Prez

            PS

            Even Bob Stauffer was saying, all summer, that neither Scrivens nor Fasth had proven themselves as a number one goalie. Bob Stauffer was not “drinking TSN kook-aid”. Many people saw this coming.

          • pkam

            Are you telling us that we will be a playoff team if we can replace Dubnyk with either Miller, Halak or Hiller?

            How do you know these 3 goalies will perform better than Dubnyk, Scrivens and Fasth behind the Oilers?

            Dubnyk has better SV% than the 3 STARTERs that you listed.

            If you’re going to tell me that Dubnyk has better defense in front of him, let me point out that Mike Smith is .884 behind the same defense.

            Now let’s compare the SV% of Hiller, Miller and Halsk to their team backup. Hiller is 0.919 and Ramo is 0.903. Now this is funny, Miller is .910 and Lack is 0.916 behind the same defense. Halak is 0.917 and Johnson .867.

            So both Ramo and Lack play better than Smith but Dubnyk is better than both Hiller and Miller. And Halak is just comparable to Dubnyk and not better.

            So if Dubnyk is not a starter, how can these 3 goalies considered starter?

          • Derzie

            There were lots of starters out there, its just that mangagement thinks they know better. Fasth and Scrivens were obvious secondary goalies who have never proven anything like Hillier, Halak or Miller have.

        • Derzie

          Actually the 2 goals Scrivens let in were not great, especially the 2nd one, that goal was unacceptable, and is the reason this team will never succeed with him as a goalie here.

        • Clarkopolo

          Devan Dubnyk has a 2.49 GAA and a .925 save percentage. Mike Smith, who has been a very solid starter the past three seasons has a 3.48 GAA and a .884 save percentage behind the same defense.

          Funny what confidence will do to a goaltender. Starting with MacT throwing Dubnyk under the bus in the summer before the 2013/14 season and then getting off to a bad start crushed his confidence. It is clear that Dubnyk can play in this league taking a look at his numbers in 4 of the past 5 seasons.

          • camdog

            95% of Oiler fans knew that DD needed a quality back up goalie last season – Mact was the exception.

            95% of Oiler fans knew that the Oilers centre ice position was doomed for failure – Mact was the exception.

            To acquire the pieces to have this team competitive was do able and any competent/experienced GM would have been able to complete such activities.

            Kevin Lowe’s hiring of Craig Mactavish and then Eakins has lead to 2 lost years. Time for some fans to stop blaming the players that have been put in a position to fail by the Oilers management team. After all DD isn’t playing in the ECHL like a lot of Oiler fans predicted he would be…

          • HockeyYoda

            Real NHL defencemen definitely help. But at what point does goalie coach Sean Burke get credit? He completely resurrected Mike Smith’s career after a brutal showing in Tampa. And now again with Dubnyk.

            Maybe the Oilers should throw some money at Burke for goalie development. Arizona is having money problems and going through another regime change.

  • CMG30

    Where did all those guys calling RNH a bust this last summer go?

    But seriously, good game oil. I did not believe this was the same oiler team that we’ve been subjected to thus far. Somehow Todd found a way to motivate them, if only for 2 periods. ..

    • Derzie

      Nugget still has a long way to go before he is a bonafide 1st line center. When the Kings pushed back in the 3rd period he struggled, just like the rest of the team.

      Watching the Kings shows you how much size, NHL systems, and roster continuity count. Sure, they have some new pieces each season, but the young guys have size, everyone knows the system, and having a stable group of 10 or so players helps to keep things in place. Their transition game was beautiful to watch in the 3rd period, and little details like passing it to the open spot where a teammate will appear is something the Oilers have not done for a while. It was also fun to watch their forwards “miss” passes on purpose coming down the middle so it would hit their teammate on the outside to attack wide instead. As a whole the puck movement from the Kings during 5 on 5 was faster/crisper and more accurate than the Oilers with the man advantage.

          • A-Mc

            So the Speed is there, he just needs to work on the starts: that’s very promising. Often he has looked slow to me but every now and then he blazes past folks. We saw a bit of this last night. Its good to know that he just needs a little work in a couple areas and his skating will be exceptional.

          • BubbaZanetti

            Only problem is when Hall gets up to speed, he has no clue where he’s going or what he’s doing. Fortunately for Draisaitl, there’s more to his game than skating fast, stupid toe drags and crashing into things.

    • Gooilgo

      I don’t really remember anyone online suggesting he should stick around. There was a decent argument between giving him 9 or 0, but those arguing he was ready for more than 9 were at best a small minority.

  • THRNHJE

    That’s about when the sugar high from the donuts, and sweets wore off. The trick is, to have treats ready at the intermission. With out the “chopping wood and carrying water” going on between games. Maybe, the boys won’t be so worn out all the Time.

    I have chopped firewood and tried to play hockey afterword. You are worn out Now picture a dirty faced baby Nuge. Having to walk to the local watering hole. Constantly on the lookout for “Cougars, or Dragons”.

    The fellas say they have been dragged from the local watering hole by cougars. And Ebs once by a dragon! (turns out it was, Ole man Ferrence’s mother.)

    Now you imagine being little Nuge, Formerly baby Nuge, chopping wood and carrying water with that incredible level of stress and fear. All the while going to the rink at night, saying “Someday I’ll play on a real hockey team.Where people give a gosh darn about winning!”

  • Sorry BM didn’t read the article, just got back from the Game, row 7, saw Roy’s perfect pass!!!!!, need to pass out, “OILERS WIN, OILERS WIN (despite blowing it in the 3rd) I repeat : OILERS WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVQgltfGqnA

  • Anton CP

    Maybe it’s just me,but I think the Oilers just sent a message to Daryl Katz,about how they feel about Mac T,Lowe,Howson and Eakins.i don’t think it’s by accident,that the first game without Mac T or Eakins behind the bench,that these guys looked like they were interested in playing a hockey game.

  • Grant

    A win is a win but scrivens had to stand on his head and the oilers got 1 shot in the third. Just a rosy coloured turd tonight but the way this season has gone might as well enjoy it.

    This team has a LOOOONG way to go.

    • Anton CP

      Why what? Why do they still suck? Look, I like when they win, I WANT them to win. Some superstar 18 year old is not the answer. Winning is a GOOD thing people. Haven’t seen Crosby bring the Penguins to a Stanley cup win for awhile, just saying. One guy does not win championships.

      This is 25 years of mediocrity talking but I don’t want the oilers to just win games because of hot goaltending or the opposition playing a bad game. I wan the oil to drive the game, initiate hits, control the boards ect. This is when we can say this team is a success. Other than that it’s just the same old same old.

  • vetinari

    I still dont like our defensive break out it needs to be better and faster because right now it effects how we gain the offensive zone .
    The first man in should always look for the follow up man, our second and third guys in need to trust the puck career to get the puck low and they need to get open as the follow up men as opossed to all three forwords trying to overload and cycle all the time were not that good.

    • A-Mc

      Because he has the same set of instructions as the last head coach.it doesn’t matter who is behind the bench,as long as Mac T is telling them which players he has to use,and which situations they must be used in.you can’t tell me that the 2nd AHL coach in a row,who has also watched this team play for a few years,and is also trying to stick in the NHL,agrees with Dallas Eakins,that Nikitin and Schultz are his top 2 defensemen…. Until Katz gets rid of his 3 stooges in management,it won’t matter who puts on the jersey or stands behind the bench.this team will look the same and perform the same as it has for the last 15yrs (except one fluke season)

  • YFC Prez

    Is Matt Hendricks some kind of closet dangler or does he have the sweetest stick handling skills in practice or something, i don’t understand why he gets put in the shoot out all the time.

  • Andy7190

    Good win for the team at the least. Confidence builder for the Calgary game.

    They played well and stayed with big bad KINGS for two periods, hung onto their shorts in the third and got the two points.

    I taught the Kings would play a tougher, grittier game but Clifford and Nolan were not in the line up.Oilers dished out some good hits, surprise, surprise… keep it up.

    At the end of the day Scrivens made the win possible… outstanding in net.

    That Doughty is a machine. Hope Nurse and Klefbom watch game action of this guy.

  • Derzie

    Although I am not sure Nelson will be staying? I really like his post game comments and demeanour. He really seems genuine, thoughtful and shows respect. I am so glad Eakins is gone, what an arrogant out of touch person.