ELPH? Is that you? Final Score: 2-1 Wild.
When the Oilers last lost to the Coyotes on December 23rd I thought we were done with Devan Dubnyk. I thought we were done giving him chances to embarrass us for the year. How sad Devan Dubyk must have been… fortunately for him, a trade with the Wild gave Dubnyk tonight’s game and two more chances to humiliate the Oilers this season. Oh, how the fortunes smile for Devan Dubnyk! We could use a goalie like that. *sigh*
Dubnyk aside, there’s nothing better at shaking off the All Star break rust than a game against the Minnesota Wild. I wasn’t even talking about the player’s rust. I was talking about fan rust. We had all had a nice little break without having to watch the Oilers shoot themselves in the foot somehow. We all deserved a break. Then, to bring us back, the NHL schedule makers curse us with a game against the NHL’s version of snorting a sleeping pill. The Oilers couldn’t even get to double digits in shots until the game was halfway through. If boring had a fancy stat this game would have killed it for 40 minutes.
On the bright side, a lack of shots both for and against meant that we had a tight game going into the 3rd period. After Boyd Gordon tied the game 1-1, in the 2nd period, the Oilers had a chance to break the 2014-15 Dubnyk curse. Unfortunately (or should that be predictably?), the Wild were able to cash on a lazy Oilers back check for the winner (by “lazy back check” I actually mean non-existent). In fact, Charlie Coyle had so much time to skate in alone on Viktor Fasth that he decided to score from behind the goal line. As far as mailing it in goes, the effort by the Oilers on the Wild’s winning goal was at a record high. Well done, boys.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- I love seeing Boyd Gordon score. The guy works so hard, he deserves everything he gets. Another hard night at work for Boyd Gordon and Matt Hendricks.
- Viktor Fasth played solid all night. He finished with 27 saves and a .931 save%.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is developing into a fantastic hockey player right in front of our eyes. He does a lot of little things (defensive steals, clever passing, commitment to defence) that will make him a very good hockey player in the near future. He was one of the better Oilers again tonight.
- I honestly believe that Justin Schultz played well tonight. Yeah, I said it. He made some smart jumps into the play, and looked like he may have actually remembered to be a defenseman. Say what you want, that’s an upgrade for him.
- I appreciated Todd Nelson giving Nail Yakupov a chance to get back in the game after that brutal mistake in the first period. If that mistake had happened on Dallas Eakins watch, Yakupov wouldn’t have seen the ice for the rest of the game. The players coach label is starting to make a little bit more sense.
THE FACE PALMERS
- There were three shots combined, in the first eight minutes of tonight’s game. Even the Corsi people thought this was ridiculous.
- Nail Yakupov had a brutal giveaway on the Minnesota’s first goal. He tried overhandling the puck and things went as badly as they possibly could have. To his credit, Yak played much better for the rest of the night. He absolutely crushed Nate Prosser in the 3rd period. He also made a really nice pass to Teddy Purcell on a 2-on-1, but ol’ Teddy shot the puck 40 feet wide somehow. Same story happened again with Justin Schultz a few minutes later. It was a nice bounce back night for him after an early mistake.
- Brutal giveaway by Jordan Eberle on the second goal for Minnesota. Actually, the giveaway was bad, but the complete disregard for back checking was worse. That’s mail it in territory for Eberle, on that one.
- Brutal call by the ref against Nail Yakupov with less than a minute left.
- Devan Dubnyk is 4-0 against the Oilers this year. He finished the night with 23 saves and a .958 save%.
- MIN – Nino Niderreiter (15) – Asst: Justin Fontaine (9)
- EDM – Boyd Gordon (6) – Asst: Matt Hendricks (6), Oscar Klefbom (4)
- MIN – Charlie Coyle (6) – Asst: None
BEST OF THE TWEETS
— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) January 28, 2015
What did Nelson even mean when he said Hall’s leg didn’t “react” like they wanted it to?
— Jeanshorts (@JSBMjeanshorts) January 28, 2015
— Jake DesRoches (@Baresnake) January 28, 2015
— Scott Empson (@ScottEmpson) January 28, 2015
— Johanna Lauren (@allsystemsjo) January 28, 2015
— David Smitten (@DavidSmitten) January 28, 2015
@OilersNation Is it because our penalty kill song is “Killing In The Name” by RATM?
— Ryan B. (@IAmByks) January 28, 2015
— Tyler Yaremchuk (@ty89yar) January 28, 2015
You’ve missed this opportunity at Internet glory, haven’t you? You’ve missed your chance to shine brighter than the sun, and be glorified for the hilarious quips that your fart out on the regular, haven’t you? Luckily, your fix is back. Tweet at @OilersNation and @jsbmbaggedmilk for you chance to wind up in the Best of the Tweets.
How did I spend my afternoon? I thought you’d never ask! After getting the GDB set to launch, Jeanshorts and I made our way down to Gateway Screen & Press to get ready for the NationGear relaunch. What does that mean? We’re redoing everything. We’re changing the way the store looks, we’re changing the way our gear looks, and we’re doing it all on February 3rd – write this down.