That was some fine ELPH, boys. Some fine work indeed. Final Score: 6-4 Penguins.
When the Oilers started this road trip against Chicago I had planned on calling this the “Tour of Death: March 2015” but I didn’t go through with it because of how well they played against the Blackhawks. A few days later, the Oilers dropped the turd of all turds as the Hurricanes came roaring back from a three goal deficit with six goals in just over 20 minutes. You never know what you’re going to get with this team! The Oilers are like a box of chocolates where 3/4 of them are filled with hippo shit.
As the game went on I was more entertained by the idea of how many people got home from work, turned on the TV, and swore audibly once they realized the score than I was about the game. Frankly, the first half of this game would have been better had I been listening to it on the radio rather than watching it because it would have only been a violation of one of my senses. There were times during this game when watching and listening to this one was too much… just too much.
Luckily for Oilers fans, when Marc-Andre Fleury is net you just never know what will happen. Unbelievably, the Oilers were able to tie the game up on four straight goals. To me, the Penguins looked like they took their foot off the gas, but that’s a minor detail at the end of the night. I watch hockey for the excitement, and for a little while this game was exciting! If you had told me, in the first intermission, that the Oilers were somehow going to turn a 4-0 deficit into some ELPH I would have laughed in your face.
In the end, the Penguins were able to secure the win and those of us buying McJesus Scratch Tickets® go to bed happy. Having the Oilers lose in regulation leaves them only three points ahead of the Sabres with one game in hand (by “in hand” I actually mean the opposite – the Oilers have played one more game. Remember, this is a race for last). And don’t start with me that I shouldn’t be cheering for losses, because I’ve had enough of that. Sure, there’s “pride” on the line but that little ding to the ego won’t matter when McDavid is putting up 110 points in 3 years.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- What a comeback! That game was way more exciting than I ever expected it would be.
- I like getting losses out of the way early. Now I can catch up on Workaholics and It’s Always Sunny!
- It’s been a while since the Oilers gave up a shorthanded goal so it was kind of like catching up with an old friend. A little bit nostalgic, ya know?
- I was happy to see Anton Lander score (his fifth) and continue producing some offence in the NHL. The big knock on him was that he can’t produce offence, so just maybe the Oilers might have a player there.
- Eberle and Nuge continue to produce chances and offence. Eberle scored his 17th goal of the year by chasing a loose puck in the crease. It’s weird how good things happen when you go to the net.
- Speaking of Nuge (he had two assists tonight), he just keeps getting better. Not only was he putting points up, he was also mixing things up physically. I almost thought Nuge was going to scrap with Letang there for a minute! Most impressively, Nuge is still showing that he cares even though the losses are piling and that’s more than you can say for some of the other players on this team.
- Derek Roy was a mini monster out there tonight. He was all over the ice, and the puck seemed to follow him. First, Benoit Pouliot scored (his 14th) on a seeing eye pass from Roy on the power play. Then Derek Roy gets the tying goal by having the puck bounce in off his leg. When things are going your way, they really go your way.
THE FACE PALMERS
- I don’t think the Oilers could have started this game any worse. The Penguins had two goals before the Oilers even had two shots on net.
- When tonight’s game started, Sidney Crosby was only five points back of the league lead. For a minute, I thought he just might pull it off. He finished the night with a goal and two assists.
- Brendan Sutter had so much time on his breakaway the rest of the Penguins were able to have a cheese fondue. Did I mention that it was a shorthanded breakaway? Not to mention Jultz completely mailing it in on the back check.
- I really don’t know how Jultz’s agent is going to justify giving him a raise in the offseason. I’d love to see him say he deserves it with a straight face. Schultz gets caught mailing it in way too often, and it’s really disheartening considering how much MacTavish seems to love him. He needs to figure it out, or someone needs to figure it out for him.
- Was anyone really surprised when David Perron scored? No, of course not. *sigh*
- Scrivens got pulled in the second period but I can’t tell if it was because of his play or simply a mercy pull to change things up. Frankly, the Oilers started this game so poorly that I’m not sure how many of those four goals can be blamed on Scrivens. Bachman played well in relief, finishing with 19 saves and a .905 save%.
BEST OF THE TWEETS
@OilersNation did you even have time to realize it was short handed?
— Jason Wombold (@RealFakeDiesel) March 12, 2015
— Roman Laumea (@RomZ_85) March 12, 2015
— Evan Erickson (@evanerickson_) March 12, 2015
Giving away the puck at the blue line and then coasting back the final 50 feet on the Sutter shorty is going to cost Schultz Norris votes.
— Robin Brownlee (@Robin_Brownlee) March 12, 2015
— Ryan B. (@IAmByks) March 13, 2015
— Rip Van Winkle (@bhlazo) March 13, 2015
— Jeanshorts (@JSBMjeanshorts) March 13, 2015
@OilersNation This ELPH is top shelf.
— Jessie (@JessieMcPhee) March 13, 2015
— Carolyn S (@fusspot39) March 13, 2015
@OilersNation Crosby endorses McDavid!!!!
— SDF (@xtremeskier) March 13, 2015
CRASHED ICE, BABY!
If you don’t have any plans for Friday and Saturday, you do now. Crashed Ice is coming to the city and the finals, for the season, are coming up on Friday and Saturday. If you haven’t driven past the course (at the Shaw Conference Centre) yet, take a few minutes to check it out. The course is pretty gnarly and will surely cause some mayhem for the contestants. As a spectator, I fully expect to see some hilarious crashes and some fully grown men regretting every choice they made that led them to this point. Did I mention that it’s free to check everything out? I’ll let that soak in for a minute.