Connor McDavid has 115 points in 45 games. Let that soak in for a minute. Final Score: 4-3 Jacket in the shootout.
The last time the Oilers and Jackets played the Oilers were, for a second game in a row, able to claw their way back from a deficit. They ended up losing that game in a shootout despite some balls and effort needed to tie things up after a dreadful start. Frankly, that last game against Columbus would have been a text book version of ELPH had they not registered a point in the standings, but that’s a story for another day.
Tonight’s game started oddly in that the Oilers let in a goal on Columbus’ first shot of the night, but completely dominated the first period afterwards. Unfortunately, dominating the play doesn’t mean jack on the scoreboard as the lone Columbus goal held firm for 20 minutes. In the second period, the Blue Jackets elevated their level of play, and their ability to create chances. The bump in play allowed Columbus to extend the lead to 2-0, but the red hot Oilers power play kept them in it.
Just as the Blue Jackets were able to score on the first shot of the game for the second time in a row (against the Oilers), the Oilers were able to dig their way out of an early hole. Not only they did the Oilers climb back into the game, they ended up with the lead late in the third period (I mean they didn’t close, but they DID have a lead briefly). That drive to get back in the game is one of the things I’ve really noticed since the Todd Nelson era started. Earlier in the season the Oilers might have rolled over to die if they went down by two goals let alone get the game to the shootout.
Tonight, the score did not accurately portray who was the better team. The Oilers deserved the win, but deserving to win doesn’t get you two points in the standings.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Despite letting in a goal on the first shot, the Oilers outplayed the Jackets throughout the first period. They controlled the puck, and outshot the Jackets 14-4 in the first 20 minutes.
- You have to love having microphones so close to the ice sometimes. There was a pretty sweet F-bomb dropped in the first period. Always a classic. Always a crowd pleaser.
- Derek Roy scored a his 10th goal on the power play on a perfect pass from Benoit Pouliot. McElhinney didn’t have a chance on this one.
- Yakupov scored his 12th goal on the power play off an apparent bank pass off the end boards. Yak also assisted on Roy’s goal extended his scoring streak to five games.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored his career high 20th goal on an amazing little dangle and pass from Jordan Eberle. Those two have been lighting it up for the past month or so. According to Sportsnet, Nuge and Ebs are #1 and #2 in the NHL in scoring since March 8th. I’m not sure why they chose that date, but there you go.
- Anton Lander continues to impress in his latest call up. It’s amazing how we had to wait until a guy was 24-years old before he finally started to figure things out. Wait…that’s not surprising or amazing at all. Development works? Pfft.
- Andrew Miller didn’t get much ice time in his first NHL game, but he actually got some good looks on net. Actually, he almost put one home on his very first shift. Who knows where he’ll end up, but he has to be happy about that NHL debut.
THE FACE PALMERS
- The Blue Jackets scored on their first shot of the game for the second time in a row against the Oilers.
- I can’t help but feel for Todd Nelson. The media keeps pumping his tires and talking about how well he gets along with the players on an individual level. It’s going to be a pretty solid kick to the nuts if he doesn’t get the full time gig in the summer.
- This was not a good night for Justin Schultz. He looked completely lost, and I mean that in an “even more so” kind of way. He’s losing Norris votes by the day.
- Mark Letestu hadn’t scored a goal in 18 games before tonight. Luckily the Oilers are always willing to break such slumps. A more generous host there is not.
- Curtis McElhinney tried his best to help the Oilers in their pursuit of the precious. He finished with 44 saves and a .936 save%.
- Ben Scrivens also seemed to be doing his part for Camp McDavid. He let in a few weak goals tonight that he should have stopped. Scrivens finished with 17 saves and an .850 save%.
- It has nothing to do with the hockey game but I laughed pretty hard when Mike Milbury said the Sharks should send Joe Thornton down to the AHL. It was a hearty laugh indeed.
- These Bettman points are killing me, MAN! The Oilers are now in 28th place – 1 point up on the Coyotes.
BEST OF THE TWEETS
That’s the kind of period that originally made me think “the score isn’t always indicative of which team played well”
— Woodguy (@Woodguy55) March 19, 2015
— Jake D (@Baresnake) March 19, 2015
Shoot from everywhere Yakupov is my favourite Yakupov.
— Ryan Batty (@ryan_batty) March 19, 2015
After scoring on their first shot of the game, it takes three second period shots for the Blue Jackets to make it 2-0 #Progress
— Rob Tychkowski (@Sun_Tychkowski) March 19, 2015
— Religious Bacon (@Edmonton_rookie) March 19, 2015
— James Rothwell (@rothwell_james) March 19, 2015
@OilersNation Looks like Yakupov has finally found his spirit animal in Derek Roy
— David Smitten (@DavidSmitten) March 19, 2015
Unfortunately the Oilers never make the playoffs so Eberle is growing his draft lottery beard instead. #HereComeTheOilers
— baggedmilk (@jsbmbaggedmilk) March 19, 2015
— Tia (@0tag0) March 19, 2015
That was the longest 1.2 seconds of my life.
— Rascal Gas (@rascalgas) March 19, 2015
@OilersNation THESE BETTMAN POINTS RUIN EVERYTHING!
— Zachary Bliss (@Zdbbliss) March 19, 2015
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