Both Buffalo and Arizona lost tonight. It’s a restless night for Camp McDavid. Final Score: 5-4 Oilers in OT.
When I first looked at the schedule to see what time tonight’s game started at I couldn’t help but feel nervous. I mean, the Oilers often find new and creative ways to drop turds on national TV that I think my nervousness is almost warranted at this point. With the way this game started, I figured we were in for a wild night as defence and goaltending seemed to be more of a suggestion than a requirement throughout the first 20 minutes. After falling to the Flyers 3-1, the Oilers were able to once again climb back to tie things up. The first period was a wild one to say the least.
Unfortunately, the 2nd period wasn’t nearly as interesting as the first. I’m sure that having the teams play a little defence made the coaches happy, but it wasn’t nearly as entertaining as whatever was going on in the first third of this one. McJesus sweepstakes aside, having meaningless games in March turn into a tire fire is what keeps things interesting around here and I’m all for it. Unfortunately, at this stage of the season I would prefer that the games end with a regulation loss, and that’s not what happened tonight. I don’t care what you think of me for it either – look at McDavid’s point totals and tell me how these meaningless points are helping.
That being said, this was one of the most entertaining games that the Oilers have played on Hockey Night in Canada all year. The play was back and forth, the Oilers won, and actually all of the mistakes sort of added to the excitement. For the first 20 minutes of tonight’s game the Oilers and Flyers treated HNIC viewers to some throwback play from a time when defence and goaltending didn’t matter. It was exciting, and that’s all I’m looking for as the Oilers play out the stretch. Unfortunately, these wins are bittersweet as they take us further away from a generational talent in McEichel. Such is life as an Oilers fan.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Taylor Hall, it’s been a while since we’ve seen your beautiful face. Welcome back! Now, don’t start lighting the world on fire we’ve got a McJesus to win (not tonight). Tonight was Hall’s first game as he missed 23 of the last 24 games.
- Nugey added to his career high in goals as he scored his 21st by jumping on a loose puck in front of Emery. He added the cherry to his big boy sundae as he scored the winner (22nd) 2:46 in OT. Nuge is a warlord, and I think we’re going to see this kid go supernova very soon.
- Eberle also continued his point streak as he scored his 20th goal on a beautiful passing play from Benoit Pouliot. Eberle charged the net and made no mistake on the tape to tape pass from Emperor Pou. Nuge also got an assist on the play giving he and Eberle multi point nights.
- Despite the tough start, Scrivens made some huge saves down the stretch to not only keep the Oilers in the game but help them win it. How many of us would have thought that was going to happen when the score was 3-1 Philly. Scrivens finished with 27 saves and an .871 save%.
- The Oilers didn’t lose in the shootout after coming back to tie things up!
- The Oilers won on nation TV and everyone saw it. Win!
THE FACE PALMERS
- Scrivens may not have let in the first shot of the game, but his first goal against was an absolutely stinker. NHL goalies stop that puck, and I think even Scrivens would agree with that. That being said, the rest of the first period didn’t go much better for Scrivens. Aside from the 3rd goal, that he had no chance on, this was not a great start for the Oilers goaltender. I did like Scrivens’ slashing penalty in the 2nd period. The guy sticks up for a teammate by swinging the lumber – you’ve gotta respect that.
- Taylor Hall looks like a guy that’s missed 23 of 24 games. He had some expected rust that he’ll need to shake off to say the least. That said, he still had moments of being Taylor Hall (you know what I mean) so I can’t imagine that rust lasts long.
- The Claude Giroux line was unstoppable for the Oilers defence tonight. That line was producing chances and goals all night long, and the defence had no answer for them.
- Ray Emery did not help the Oilers tank tonight. He finished with an .853 save%. Gross.
- Nikitin. What else do I have to say? If he’s a Top 4 defence than I think I am too.
- Both Buffalo and Arizona are tanking at a very high level right now. This could be bad news, friends. The precious is still in sight but this battle is going to come down to the very end.
BEST OF THE TWEETS
@OilersNation I’m predicting Glenn Anderson scores the winner late in the 3rd in tonight’s game.
— Chad Ganske (@chadganske) March 22, 2015
— Dylan (@drfnsuperstar) March 22, 2015
I wonder why the regular folk are more mixed about Nikitin than MacT?
— Matt Henderson (@Archaeologuy) March 22, 2015
@OilersNation I wanna hear if there was a Chris VandeVelde tribute video. Unsung hero!
— Josh Leonard (@Redundant_Lenny) March 22, 2015
It’s happening. The #OilerCoaster
— MrsLethal (@MrsLethal) March 22, 2015
Ray Emery came in at .894. Ben Scrivens at .897. That’s setting the bar low, but neither one will match that tonight.
— Robin Brownlee (@Robin_Brownlee) March 22, 2015
Yakupov’s laying-in-the-weeds approach is fun to watch. Reads play, finds open spot, waits for puck, lets fly. #Oilers
— John MacKinnon (@rjmackinnon) March 22, 2015
@OilersNation What is a 3rd line center doing on the ice in OT?
— Brian Turcotte (@brianturcotte) March 22, 2015
20 WINS!!! THEY DID IT!! IN A RECORD 72 GAMES!!! CONGRATS OILERS!!!
— Jeanshorts (@JSBMjeanshorts) March 22, 2015
@OilersNation that interview! Papa Nelson needs to go help Lil nuge blow his nose.
— Mark Holmes (@MarkHolmes1326) March 22, 2015
I love it when things don’t suck. #Oilers
— Ryan B. (@IAmByks) March 22, 2015
What’s at the end of the Oilers rainbow? You tell me. What’s at the end of the Oilers rainbow is the theme for this month’s photoshop contest. The deadline to enter is March 27th, and if you have an entry you can email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.