Third period leads are the Oilers kryptonite. Final Score: 3-2 Lightning.
For some reason, Sportsnet opened the game by showing a graphic of the NHL’s goal scoring leaders. Steve Stamkos was 2nd on that list, only 1 behind the leader. For the rest of the night, I couldn’t help but feel like the Oilers charity grab bag was going to make a difference in that goal scoring race. Need a goal? The Oilers are there for you. Stamkos scoring goals against a team that allows many of them? Plausible, my friends. It was a rational fear.
As expected, the fear of Stamkos scoring was realized. Fortunately, Stamkos goals didn’t rain down like hellfire. Instead, the hero of the night for the Tampa Bay lightning was Ondrej Palat. Palat, a 7th round draft pick, scored two goals in the 3rd period to complete the comeback for the Lightning. As usual, it was a few sloppy mistakes and turnovers in the defensive zone that allowed the Lightning back in it. On the winning goal, Justin Schultz covered the empty corner beautifully, which left Ondrej Palat wide open in the slot. These are the same mistakes that keep killing the Oilers over and over again. Who’s surprised? *crickets*
On the bright side, tonight’s game was close enough to keep us all entertained, and also satisfied those of us in the #Tank2015 movement. Not to mention, the game was over by 8pm so that left ample opportunities to do anything else with your life that isn’t as soul crushing as being an Oilers fan. Tonight’s loss keeps the Oilers at only 10 wins on the season, and at the end of the day all they have left to play for is pride.
Like a tortilla, we wrap.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Benoit Pouliot scored another 2 goals tonight. He’s been on fire since coming back from the broken foot. He’s on a 4-game goal scoring streak right now.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has apparently made skates from those magic shoes from the Sandlot. He was flying on the shorthanded goal by Pouliot.
- Great start for the Oilers against a very good Tampa team. The “good” guys led the Lightning in shots by 10-5 after the first period.
- The Pouliot-Roy-Yak line was the best line for the Oilers tonight. Yakupov had a lot of chances tonight, and it’s nice to seem him performing well with actual NHL line mates. I’m telling you… don’t give up on this kid.
- Beautiful tip by Justin Schultz on the first Stamkos goal. Even better coverage of the empty corner on the 3rd (and winning) goal by Palat.
- ELPH is alive and well.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Steve Stamkos nearly has as many goals (26) as any Oiler player has points. (Taylor Hall has 29)
- Jonathan Drouin was a healthy scratch for Tampa tonight, but I didn’t hear much about how they were ruining his development. Just sayin.
- Nikita Nikitin was completely lost on the 2nd goal. I have to say, Nikitin is the Babe Ruth of Goats around here. Aren’t we lucky that we get another year of him?!? *sigh*
- Sloppy defence led to another 3rd period collapse. Turnovers on turnovers on turnovers.
- Buffalo lost again tonight which means that this fall for McDavid is going to be a hell of ride. Whoever finishes last, and is guaranteed either McDavid or Eichel, will likely come down to the last few games of the season. The race for last is going to be just as interesting as any playoff race, come March/April.
- I forgot to mention that Devan Dubnyk shut Buffalo out.
- Tough night for Scrivens. He finished the game with 16 saves on 19 shots, and an .842 save%. That being said, great shots by both Stamkos and Palat on his 2nd goal. Tough to stop either of those.
BEST OF THE TWEETS
I counted. 17 passes before the Oilers took their first shot on that power play. They might want to look at that. Just a thought.
— Rob Tychkowski (@Sun_Tychkowski) January 16, 2015
Quinn is either sick or the Oilers have completely sucked the life out of him.
— Derek Blasutti (@dawgbone98) January 16, 2015
Note that all Oilers WERE involved in that scrum!
— Oil Country (@loc8ingoil) January 16, 2015
— K J Kent (@HankSensei) January 16, 2015
Poo’s becoming pretty regular hey? Scoring wise I mean.
— Ryan B. (@IAmByks) January 16, 2015
— Paul Almeida (@AzorcanGlobal) January 16, 2015
Niki Nikitin makes me sad.
— Lowetide (@Lowetide_) January 16, 2015
— Darryl Randolph (@CopyDarryl) January 16, 2015
— Matt Dammann (@MattyDammann) January 16, 2015
— Jason Nihill (@jnoiler) January 16, 2015
MEME CONTEST WINNER
I present to you, your Meme Contest winner! Obviously, the sad truth featured in this meme struck a chord with the voters. I can’t imagine why that would be? *sigh*
Anyway, big shout out to Jordan Reinbolt for the submission and taking 1st prize in the Meme Contest. Well done, sir!