The Leafs won this tank battle, but the war is far from over. Final Score: 4-1 Oilers
I’m sure the entire NHL was waiting with bated breath for this one. Two of the worst teams in the league with two of the most angry fan bases in the lead – it’s perfect! Frankly, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see some kind of kumbaya break out between the fans of both teams. I pictured a snow globe of falling jerseys filled with different colours and sizes. The ice would have looked like a mosaic of ineptitude. That being said, I wanted the Oilers to win. McDavid had to wait, losing to the Leafs is offensive to all the senses.
The plan started well as the Oilers came out like the house on fire that we’ve always expected from a Michael Bay movie. For once it was the Oilers scoring within the first minute of the 1st period as opposed to falling into the ditch that they’ve created. As gross as it is to watch Leaf fans invade our barn, it was sure nice to watch them sit there miserably after overpaying for tickets. In fact, the mass exodus of Leafs fans in the third period might have been the highlight of this season. I’d like to think that Oilers season ticket holders wouldn’t so readily sell their tickets to the scourge of Leafsroaches, but I also appreciate their willingness to blindly overspend.
Strangely, the first period ended up being the most exciting part of the game. Even though the Oilers had a sizeable lead, I spent the last 40 minutes waiting for the wheels to fall off. Fortunately, the wheels stayed on long enough for the Oilers to coast to victory. Normally, I might have been irritated by a win in the sense that it takes us further away from the precious, but those tank rules don’t apply when it comes to the Leafs. Nothing makes me much happier than watch a majority crowd of Leaf fans walking out of our house dejected and feeling dirty. The sadness? I feel the precious slipping away.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- The power play is on fire right now. They went 2/2 tonight, and continued the improvement since the Dallas Eakins era ended.
- Benoit Pouliot scored his 15th goal of the season on an absolute clapper of a shot. The puck was deflected by Eric Brewer on its way to the net so I guess the “once and Oiler, always an Oiler” applies here. Fast forward 5 minutes and Benoit Pouliot scored a nearly identical goal on a slap shot from the left side. I was pulling for him to finish the hat trick, but unfortunately tonight was not his night. Pouliot is one goal off from his career high of 17.
- Jordan Eberle continued his hot streak by scoring his 19th goal on the power play on a quick wrister from the right hand side. He also added two assists on the night on the Lander and first Pouliot goal.
- Speaking of point streaks… Nail Yakupov extended his point streak to 4 games with his assist on Pouliot’s 2nd of the night.
- I keep pulling for Anton Lander, and it’s nice to see him prove that the patience was worth it. At the ripe old age of 23, Anton Lander seems to be figuring out what it’s going to take to keep him in the NHL. It’s odd to think that he was on waivers earlier in the year.
- Boyd Gordon was 75% in the faceoff circle tonight. He’s the kind of glue player that keeps the Oilers together. The Oilers could use more guys with the kind of balls that Gordon shows on a nightly basis.
- Ben Scrivens was on top of his game. He saw the puck, stopped the shots he was supposed to, and some of the shots he shouldn’t have stopped. This was the Ben Scrivens that we fall in love with. He finished the night with 28 saves and a .966 save%.
THE FACE PALMERS
- WAAAAAY TOO MANY LEAFS FANS AT REXALL PLACE! It happens every time they’re here, and I wasn’t surprised, but it still makes me feel ill.
- I was almost jealous of how impressive the Leafs’ tank game was in the first period. Frankly, it’s impressive.
- Despite dominating the 1st period the Leafs were able to control the play for big chunks of the 2nd period. Scrivens was able to shut the door, or the Leafs might have been able to get some traction on a comeback.
- So many Leafs fans and not one jersey hit the ice. It would have been kind of hilarious.
- James Reimer wasn’t nearly as fun as Jonathan Bernier. Bernier finished with a .250 save%. That’s amazing. Reimer was nearly perfect in relief stopping 27 of 28 shots and finishing with a .964 save%
- Tonight’s win brought the Oilers into a tie with the Arizona Coyotes for 28th place. Bad news for camp McDavid.
BEST OF THE TWEETS
— Strottie (@ShaunTrottier) March 17, 2015
Oilers – Leafs. Somebody is 60 minutes away from their worst loss of the season.
— Rob Tychkowski (@Sun_Tychkowski) March 17, 2015
Chris Simpson doesn’t even know how to pun.
— TheTowelBoy (@TheTowelBoy) March 17, 2015
— John Hayes (@john_e_rockstar) March 17, 2015
— Francesco Sabiti (@mercury869) March 17, 2015
.@OilersNation I have nothing…
— The Leafs Nation (@TLNdc) March 17, 2015
— Rick Weidemann (@RPW_1832) March 17, 2015
— Tay C (@cronenberg_tay) March 17, 2015
— Zachary Bliss (@Zdbbliss) March 17, 2015
In a game that was nothing we won everything @OilersNation
— Andrew Mardon (@Gravy_24) March 17, 2015
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