GDB 51.0 Wrap Up: Oilers @ Sharks

That was emotional. Final Score: 5-4 Oilers in the shootout.

I hate when the Oilers play games on the West Coast.  Especially when those late games are on school nights.  Actually, that’s not true.  I just have a strong dislike of going to bed angry after an Oilers game.  Because of this, sometimes I have to give myself a cool down period before turning in.  That means that I could be going to bed well past midnight depending on how terribly the Oilers played that night.  The thought of it bums me out.

Well… the Oilers won, but they did it in one of the most annoying ways possible.  They had a two goal lead going into the third period and they coughed it up in less than a five minute span.  It was Saturday night all over again.  You can’t make this stuff up!  If nothing else, watching the Oilers find new and creative ways to give themselves the best chance to lose is a train wreck that I can’t turn away from.  Most troubling, I can’t believe how quickly the Oilers cave if the opposition scores a goal in the third period.  They may as well fulfill the metaphor and literally lay down on the ice and give up.  That being said, the Oilers were able to come back from their own mistake on a late goal by Justin Schultz.

On the down side, it looks like Taylor Hall will be left the lineup as quickly as he reappeared in it.  Both he and Benoit Pouliot left the game with foot injuries in the 3rd period.  Hopefully neither player will be out long, but now it’ll be a big test for the rest of the roster.  Guys like Yakupov will be getting more minutes, and they’ll have to carpe some diem and seize the opportunity.  If there was a bright side it would be that if Hall and Pouliot are out long term the Oilers may have made a huge tactical move in the McDavid sweepstakes, but that’s a story for another day.  At the end of this night, the Oilers came away with a win that they almost threw away and we don’t have to go to bed angry.  

We wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

CandiceSwanepoel

  • I was happy to see Taylor Hall was back in the lineup, but I was hoping that he didn’t rush back.  Then he left in the third period, and didn’t return.  Not good.
  • Jordan Eberle’s first goal of the night was a thing of beauty.   That kid has got some slick hands, and when he’s rolling he’s dangerous.  He made a nice shot fake on his second goal.  Jordan Eberle is definitely playing with some confidence right now.
  • Nail Yakupov had a great sequence before assisting Derek Roy on his fifth goal of the season.  Yak stole the puck in the corner and made a nice little stop move before setting Derek Roy up on a tee.  Great play.
  • Justin Schultz’s tying goal was on a seeing eye single.  Good things happens when they shoot the puck so it’s always shocking how it doesn’t happen more.
  • The Hendricks-Gordon-Klinkhammer line was solid again tonight.  That line is almost a throw back to the old days when the Oilers were known for a little less skill but a little more hard work.
  • Viktor Fasth was solid when he was needed.  He finished with 33 saves and a .892 save%.  I think he played better than the stats say.
  • Todd Nelson has already tied Dallas Eakins’ win total for the year.  Granted, that is only 7. 🙁

THE FACE PALMERS

MamaJune

  • The game started way too late for my liking.  I demand that all West Coast fans get off work earlier so that the NHL can schedule these games at a time that are convenient to me.  Thank you.
  • Both Taylor Hall and Benoit Pouliot left the game with foot injuries.
  • Joe Pavelski always seems to roast the Oilers.  He scored a goal off his foot on a beauty passing play by the Sharks power play. 
  • Jeff Petry had another solid night.  He’s not part of the problem, and I’ll be sad when he’s gone.
  • Having a shootout go as long as it did was really boring, I have to say.  I’d rather the NHL go to a 3 on 3 type thing.  That being said, shout out to Rob Klinkhammer for ending it.
  • The Oilers seem to hate holding onto third period leads.  I thought we were in for a carbon copy of Saturday night’s game against the Flames.
  • The third Sharks goal shouldn’t have counted.  There was blatant goalie interference but I guess they had used up their quota on calling it.

SCORING SUMMARY

Scoring summary from TSN.ca.

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 11.35.19 PM

Shootout Winner: Rob Klinkhammer

BEST OF THE TWEETS

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NATIONGEAR, BABY

CraigsOnIt

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  • TheBirdOfAnger

    Just going to call it now: Klefbom is going to be so sick in the future.

    Also, I don’t give a poop if you’re cheering for losses; wasn’t this game actually sick??? #ELPH. Hate to say it but it is what it is.

  • sportsjunkie007

    Vegas odds on Klinkhammer scoring the game winner? Slightly better than the odds of Seahawks throwing the ball from the 2 yard line.

    What a crazy couple of days.

  • Burnward

    Oilers…finding news ways to win a lose every game. Simplicity and a full 60 is not possible is it. Either way, way too pull out the victory after losing hall and pouliot. Love where RNH and Eberles game has been at the past couple of games. Keep it up.

  • dougtheslug

    Like alcoholics, Lowe and Katz became addicted to the draft lottery, and built this team to lose so they could get high off drafting first overall, without realizing what it does to players’ minds after a few putrid seasons.

    Conditioned to lose, this team has to learn to win. It is painful to watch. But maybe Julian has them started down the long road to recovery.

    One game at a time.

  • MattyFranchise

    Clearly Nelson can coach these guys. Enough already. MacT keep your eye on the ball and do something soon so we can stay in the hunt for number 1.

  • MattyFranchise

    Okay, it’s a minor point but I notice that every game site lists Aulie as having missed in the shootout, when of course he did not take a shot. He was not the player who shot after Fraser, that was Hendricks, who is number 23. I believe Aulie is number 22. I bet that is never officially changed. Sorry, but those kind of mistakes bug my butt.

  • Oilers4ever

    Baggedmilk… find a corner at work you can catch an afternoon nap at. 800 or 830 west coast games won’t change. Thats 7 or 730 there. No different than our start times in Edmonton. Suck it up buttercup and stop whining. 🙂

  • Spoils

    A few questions to ask the nation:

    Is this forward group good enough to run with next season?

    Is getting a new goalie and shoring up the D the only thing required?

    • TheBirdOfAnger

      I would think so, but more importantly some confidence and to hit the ground running or it would be everything all over again next season. I love our goalies but they just aren’t consistent enough; that being said I’d trust them more if our d improves. i’d be willing to give them that chance though. I like the whole Fasth as our away goalie and Scrivens as our home man.

    • Buzz Killer

      It’s getting hard to argue the coaching wasn’t an issue, and that makes it tough to project for next year.

      A top pairing D is a must, especially after the team loses Petry. I’m glad Klefbom and Shultz are finding chemistry, but if they are handed 20+ min a night again next year, this team will see more of the same.

      Kilnkhammer has shored up what has been the Oilers best line all year, so hopefully they can simply keep that in tact and avoid injuries.

      I also don’t think the addition of Roy and Lander can be underestimated. It immediately changed two lines struggling to find leadership and offense, and created two lines that have clearly defined roles and expectations, with the acceptable talent level to achieve those goals.

      If they resign Roy, and finally get a top pairing right side D to help mentor Nurse, then yes I think this group could be competitive.

  • Buzz Killer

    Eberle’s goal was POTWeek. Yakupov/Roy have serious chemistry on the ice.Yak’s game improved as soon as Roy arrives. Roy’s experience has paid huge dividends in terms of Yaks development.

    Trading Roy at the deadline is the smart move as he is a UFA. But is there a handshake deal between him and MacT come July 1st?

    The way BG-MH-RK are playing as a line it would have to be ridiculous offer to MacT to trade either BG or MH.Rob klinkhammer has been a revelation. He skates,hits,fights and just plays hard. He is exactly what the fans long to see in their 4th line energy line. Since his arrival he has been a huge addition. His play will demand a looksee this summer from MacT as a UFA.

    Fasth was solid in net last night. The issue is becoming to head. The issue being who will the Oilers keep come trade deadline day? Scrivens or Fasth?

    Would I trade the say 3rd overall pick for OEL or the 4th? In a heartbeat. If we pick 2cd its a different banana. If I get a shot at Eichel it would cost Arizona OEL and something else and even then it would have to something along the likes of Henrik Summuelson or Max Domi.

    40 shots on goal last night 10% shootong average. More of that please.

  • TheBirdOfAnger

    Agreed. Keep KlinkHammer. Guys got an all around great last name, hits everything, isnt afraid to drop the mits and put on quite the lethbridge accent and did a solid interview post game last night. We need more guys like that. Even if the offense isnt going to come the the way that 4th line is playing is not an issue for the Oilers right now.

    And I really like the turn around of this team. The compete level is up every game and the “are you kidding me…” errors are starting to go away. Even getting decent goaltending as a result of not leaving those two poor gents out to dry everynight.

    NOW why could we have not done this from September instead of going 7-30 and whatever we did to star this off..

    To little to late boys, now we are just shooting ourselves in the foot.

    Should have kept Eakins and Arco. Ride the strink trai until it takes you where you want to go.

  • 99CupsofCoffey

    I loved watching Roy get ready for that pass. Stick up for the one-timer, all confidence. That’s what the Oilers have been missing. And Yak’s skating continues to amaze me.

  • 99CupsofCoffey

    Nice pass by Yak, but Roy was a beast on that shift. After being hopelessly pinned down in their own end, Roy single-handedly broke free and dumped the puck out, chased it down himself in the offensive zone, got to the front of the net, and called for a pass.

  • tileguy

    Weird that a veteran centre is helping Yak’s production. He’s not scoring in bunches, but as I’ve always said he is an underrated playmaker and now has someone to finish.

    Shame about Poiuliot as that line looked like it had some good chemistry.

    I still believe the shopping list is the same as it’s always been heading into this summer, and no amount of high draft picks is going to change that:

    Top Pairing D (preferably right shot)
    Second line C (Doesn’t have to be Malkin, just someone with veteran experience)
    Number one goalie. (If Calgary can do it, so can we.)

    If we have to trade one of our wonder wingers to get one of these pieces, so be it, but it seems to me all these pieces are available for money.

    Boychuck, Roy, Niemi. However, given the double 11 mill contacts kicking in next year, maybe Seabrook shakes loose. But he’d have to resign here.

    For the rest of the season, I look forward to seeing if Yak can get his numbers up, see if Nelson can keep this going, see if Ebs can hit 20 plus goals and 60 plus points, and finally if Lander has finally found a way to put up points in the NHL in a supplementary role.

    • Buzz Killer

      Do you think they are deciding if they want to resign him and maybe buy out Scrivens / keep the tandem, or do you think they are trying to up his value before the trade deadline.

      • 99CupsofCoffey

        It’ll be interesting to see if Fasth starts on Wednesday vs the Penguins. Scrivens was benched after his 2-0 shutout turned into a 2-4 loss. Fasth & Co tried hard to do the same, but Schultz of all people managed to get the game into OT, & Fasth was good in the SO.

        I’m not a fan of this 2-goalie “if you screw up you’re benched until the other guy screws up” system.

        • 99CupsofCoffey

          Me neither, but it’s better than trying to choose between two bad options. Instead of who is going to be the best, the Oilers for the longest time seem to be trying to pick who isn’t going to be the worst. And that is not positive.

      • Buzz Killer

        Good questions, I’m not sure at this point, I think their (goaltenders) play down the stretch will determine what happens. They’ve certainly had some great moments but far too infrequently, the consistency is the issue, but some of that is driven by the defensive play. I suspect one of them will remain though.