Do we cheer? I’m not sure what to do with my hands. Final Score: 3-2 Oilers
What can you really say about a game between the Edmonton Oilers and the Buffalo Sabres? This game had all the sex appeal of a colonoscopy. That being said, the race for last place is probably going to be one of the most interesting aspects of the season. Right now, Buffalo is in the lead with Edmonton hot on their heels, and Arizona and Carolina destined to join the tank parade. Tonight’s game was crucial to the #Tank2015 cause. It was important that the Oilers be gracious hosts and let the Sabres walk of here with a win. The Oilers were supposed to give the Sabres confidence!
At first, I thought the Oilers were actually going to lose this game. When they gave up the game’s first goal less than three minutes into the first period, I was expecting this night to fall into a tailspin so hilarious that it could only be the plot from an Oilers game. Instead, the Oilers beat a team that they were supposed to beat. Even though Buffalo scored a second goal in the third period to make things a little bit closer, the Oilers were in control of the play for most of the night. Actually, they dominated spurts of the game, multiple times.
It’s hard to know how to feel about a win against a team that truly is a special kind of terrible. On the bright side, the Oilers beat a team that they were supposed to beat. For years it has seemed like the Oilers are always the lowest common denominator in any equation. Quite frankly, seeing how awful Buffalo is I wouldn’t be surprised if they never win a game ever again. They will be very strong contenders in the race to McDavid.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- The 4th line had a hell of a shift on the first Oilers goal of the game. Matt Fraser scored off of a nice forecheck from Luke Gazic (yes, I said Luke Gazdic) and Anton Lander. They repeated the performance a few minutes later on the goal by Oscar Klefbom. Really solid night for that line (against Buffalo notwithstanding).
- Anton Lander’s goal and two assists give him seven points on the year which is a career high. This has been the strongest stretch of hockey that Anton Lander has played as an Oiler.
- Either the Oilers had a solid night on the forecheck, or the Sabres are completely awful in their own end. I have my guesses as to which one is the right answer, but I’ll go with wishful thinking and say that it was a bit of both.
- The Oilers were actually taking shots on the Power Play. #TheNelsonFactor
- Ben Scrivens was solid when he needed to be. He finished with 18 saves and a .900 save%.
- You have to check out Jason Gregor’s NSGDP in the Game Day article from today. I can only assume he found a gypsy to shake down for some wishes because he nailed it. He called both Anton Lander and Oscar Klefbom to score. If you need lotto numbers, hit Gregor up on his Twitter.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Taylor Hall missed a second game with a bone bruise. That shot to the leg DEFINITELY didn’t turn out. Who would have thought? I was kind of hoping he would come back with some kind of stronger robot leg. Maybe next time.
- The Sabres scored the first goal less than 3 minutes into the hockey game. Classic Oilers.
- As much as we’re rough on Nikitin, you don’t want to see a guy get hurt. According to Todd Nelson, he has a shoulder injury and will be out for a while.
- Sportsnet gets a face palm for not being able to figure out the audio in the first period. It was at low volume during the play, but the commercials were at full blast. Dude… seriously. Figure it out. We’re all going to be here for the next 12 years and it would be cool if we could get along. Thank you.
- What happened to Cody Hodgson? There was a time when everyone had such high hopes for him. The dude only has two goals this year? What’s up with that?
- Tonight’s win was not good for the McDavid sweepstakes. The Oilers are now four points up on the Sabres. I mean, if you’re cheering for that sort of thing.
BEST OF THE TWEETS
McDavid Update: Brutal-by-design Sabres emerge from the tunnel at Rexall Place wearing skates on the wrong feet just to make sure. I keed.
— Robin Brownlee (@Robin_Brownlee) January 30, 2015
MAKE SOME NOOOOOIIIIIIISSSSSEE! #sportsnetproblems
— Rusty Shackleford (@AdmiralRusty) January 30, 2015
$5 billion and Rogers still can’t figure out sound.
— Ryan B. (@IAmByks) January 30, 2015
@OilersNation Think that it’s 10 min left in the 3rd when the guys w/the white gloves take McDavid out of the trunk and start shining him up
— David Smitten (@DavidSmitten) January 30, 2015
— Jeanshorts (@JSBMjeanshorts) January 30, 2015
Hey @NHL, Tim Murray is celebrating these Oilers goals more than I am!
— Craig MacTavish (@FakeOilersGM) January 30, 2015
— Brad LaFoy (@bradlafoy) January 30, 2015
— Kevin Radowits (@sportsjunkie007) January 30, 2015
@OilersNation I sense a $6million extension for Lander soon
— danjo74 (@danjo74) January 30, 2015
— Todd F (@TB_Fink) January 30, 2015
@OilersNation There’s always eichel
— Strivedful (@Strivedful) January 30, 2015
@jsbmbaggedmilk would it be fishy if we pulled our goalie to play 6 on 4?
— Love2Ride (@L1VE2R1DE) January 30, 2015
If you make your way over to the NationGear store you’ll notice that things have changed. We’ve got new gear, a new look, and free shipping on all orders within Canada. Okay, so maybe I’m jumping the gun and the relaunch isn’t officially scheduled until February 1st, but I’m excited and Wanye isn’t here to tell me not to do it anyway. Enjoy the new threads, Nation, Edmonton hasn’t been this sexy since Ryan Smyth was picking his teeth up from off the ice in the 2006 Cup run.