GDB 49.0: Sabres @ Oilers

NelsonBalloon

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! 

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

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.

We wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Right

  • 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

SwipeLeft

  • 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.

SCORING SUMMARY

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

From NHL.com

Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 11.31.02 AM

BEST OF THE TWEETS

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Do you think you’re hilarious? So do I.  Tweet your nonsensical ramblings to @OilersNation and @jsbmbaggedmilk for your shot at winding up in the Best of the Tweets.

NATIONGEAR RELAUNCH

Pullover

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. 

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

  • O.C.

    Here’s hoping we get that Eichel pick and trade it. We have so many rookies to play next year(Nurse, Drai) we don’t need another one.

    Can that Eichel pick get you a legit Dman? I’m not talking phaneuf, I’m talking OEL? Or of that calibre?

    Trade the Eichel pick and get a legit 1st pairing NHL Dman! Then trade the Pitts 1st pick and get a goalie and maybe we have a chance to not be emberassing!!

    Honestly tho, if it’s the Eichel pick do you really want the red headed step child when you got RNH, Drai, Lander? That pick will have some serious value! You can’t trade McDavid, but you gotta trade the red headed step child

    • toprightcorner

      I will tell you that college guys scare me. It is much harder to compare talent levels when those guys play like 30 games and don’t put up the same points per game totals in the CHL. I beleive he will be a good NHL player but won’t come close to meeting his generational talent moniker. Was not good at all in WTC. Aomeone please show me a successfull college player drafted in the top 5 and met or exceeded expectations.

      If we end up with Eichel, I would trade him to get a elite # dman..players I would look at would be Peitrangelo, Ekman Larsson, Suter, Hedman, Subban, Josi, Seabrook or Karlsson

      Weber would not get traded for that and Giordano (31) and Keith (31) are too old, you need someone you can sign for 8 years and play for 6-8 years of his prime.

      You don’t trade McDavid if you get him, you trade others to make a better team around him.

      • toprightcorner

        What has more value? The Eichel pick or one of the other kids?? I say you take advantage of the draft hype and trade the red headed step child and fill a major need on defense! There’s every chance that Eichel becomes the next Jultz as there is he becomes the next… What? Time will tell, but let it be known that RexHolez does not believe Eichel is “generational”. At some point the oilers have to stop hoping for the future and actually put an NHL team together

        • Zarny

          It’s not completely without merit; but I don’t think you get what you think you get for that pick (ex OEL). You aren’t going to get Ekblad or Doughty or Jones.

          You are of course entitled to think Eichel is not a “generational” player. It’s certainly a buzzword that gets overused.

          But what exactly are you basing that opinion on? The extensive number of games you’ve watched Eichel play? More like it doesn’t fit your narrative and you don’t want him to be so…he isn’t. Which has no merit at all.

          Calling Eichel the red headed step child is just silly. As is suggesting there is every chance Eichel becomes the next Jultz. Jultz has never been even remotely close to the level of prospect or player Eichel is. That is just flat out ignorance on your part.

          I agree 100% the Oilers have to put the rest of the pieces around the young players they have drafted. But the reality is that McDavid and Eichel are likely better than any player the Oilers have drafted…possibly ever.

          At worst, they are another player at Hall’s level and I wouldn’t give that up unless I was getting an older player at that same level back in return which I don’t think you get.

          So, to fill the holes you highlight I would move other young kids. Eberle + Pit’s 1st could get you as much or more than Eichel. There are other options as well. I’d move Draisaitl long before McDavid or Eichel or Hanifin and possibly 2 or 3 other players in this draft.

          Keep in mind…Burke did exactly what you suggest in Tor. Gave up Seguin and Hamilton for Kessel. Tor didn’t win that trade.

  • R U Kidding Me!

    Oilers won against the Sabres. Which actually means they lost.

    Not only does the win mean nothing except hurt our chances at a generational talent but it wasn’t even a convincing win. Just a 1 goal squeaker against what is by far the worst team in the NHL.

    This team does just good enough to mess everything up.

    I hate the Oilers this season.