Everybody… tank your body. Everybody… tank. Your. Body right. Final Score: 4-1 Jets.
As I sat down to watch tonight’s game, all I could think of was how there are only nine games left until we start the yearly recharge. In nine games, 16 teams that aren’t the Oilers will be making a run at the Cup while OIlers fans plug in their metaphorical batteries. We’ll all watch the playoffs wishing that the Oilers could attend such a party, and the rest of our time waiting patiently for the draft. It’s on draft day when Oilers fans finally have a chance to feel like something positive could be happening. It’s all we have at this point. Those times are just around the corner, my friends. The yearly tradition of a summer recharge is almost here.
Tonight’s game started out as many have before it. The Jets scored an early goal on the heels of a turnover, and the Oilers went chasing from there. Unfortunately the Oilers spun their wheels more than chased. That’s not to say that the Oilers played particularly poorly, but the Jets were able to cash in their chances while the Oilers were not. Looking at the scoreboard you probably wouldn’t have expected the Oilers to outshoot the Jets, but they did. Unfortunately for the Oilers, Pavelec turned almost everything aside whereas they didn’t have the same fortune.
At the end of the day, the Jets were the better hockey team tonight. Winnipeg won the game as they should have. They took it to the Oilers in all three zones of the ice. When they had the puck, they pressured the Oilers with shot attempts. When they didn’t have the puck they were running the Oilers over. The Jets are playing some tight hockey right now, and you can see why they’re a team that’s likely on their way to the playoffs. I guess what I’m saying is that tonight’s game is a better measuring stick for the Oiler than that blowout win against the Leafs.
Looking at the Oilers schedule they close out the season against the Western Conference. Although they’ve been better against the West under Nelson than they were under Eakins, there are no easy games going forward. If the Oilers are going to take this season’s version of tanking seriously this might be a good time for some callups. The Sabres and Coyotes aren’t helping us with any wins, so the Oilers may have to take this into their own hands.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- The goal horn went off when the Jets scored. If that’s not tanking I don’t know what is.
- Depite what Cory Hirsh thinks, I think Taylor Hall fits on this team. He played much better tonight than he did in his first game back from injury. Even though he didn’t score, Hall was producing chances all night long which is more than most can say tonight.
- Nugey extended his point streak to six games as he scored his 23rd goal of the year in the third period. If nothing else, this season has shown us that Nuge just might be the one that the Oilers end up building around. At 21 years old, the sky is the limit for this kid.
- Twitter was fun tonight! After Cory Hirsh’s ridiculous “he’s not developing” comment about Taylor Hall we started doing a #TaylorHallCharacterProblems hashtag and it was hilarious. Likely more entertaining than the game.
- Speaking of Taylor Hall, he played much better tonight as it seemed like he was able to shake off some of that rust. He was producing chances all night long, and assisted on Nuge’s goal which gives him two assists in two games since being back from injury.
- Another step in the McDavid direction. Well… if Buffalo and Arizona can figure out how to win ever.
THE FACE PALMERS
- The Jets took an early lead as Drew Stafford walked in alone after intercepting the puck at his own blue line. Klefbom passed the puck to where he though Justin Schultz would be, and Scrivens couldn’t bail him out.
- Frankly, the Jets outplayed the Oilers early in the first period despite having similar shot totals. The Oilers played better towards the end of the period, but it was another start they need to improve on.
- In the first intermission, Corey Hirsh said that the Oilers should trade Taylor Hall because he’s not developing. HE HAD 80 POINTS LAST YEAR! Unbelievable.
- Nikita Nikitin is not a top four defenceman. Frankly, the good teams are wondering how the hell the Oilers are paying him as much as they are. It makes me wonder about the vision plan in the Oilers head office. Could a benefits problem be the cause of this mess? Nikitin played over 25 minutes tonight. Think about that for a second.
- Tonight wasn’t a great night for Ben Scrivens. That being said, it’s not like he was working with much out in front of him. One thing is for sure, the Oilers will need better goaltending and defence if this team is going to move anywhere in the standings. Scrivens finished with 20 saves and an .833 save%.
- The power play wasn’t able to bail the Oilers out tonight as it went 0/3.
- Blake Wheeler took a puck to the face late in the first period. I don’t care which team has a player get hit you don’t want to see that.
- Buffalo had the lead going into the third period and ended up losing in regulation. THEY. CAN’T. DO. ANYTHING. RIGHT. You too, Arizona. Don’t think you get out of this.
BEST OF THE TWEETS
I believe I just heard the Oilers broadcast say that MacTavish sees Schultz and Klefbom as their top pairing next year.
— Dustin Nielson (@nielsonTSN1260) March 24, 2015
— Brett Field (@fields1096) March 24, 2015
Anton Lander uses his face to draw a pair of roughing penalties.
— Rob Tychkowski (@Sun_Tychkowski) March 24, 2015
— Douglas Dyck (@dougers14) March 24, 2015
— TheTowelBoy (@TheTowelBoy) March 24, 2015
@OilersNation That was the McDavid horn.
— Jesse Ferguson (@jesseferguson) March 24, 2015
He refuses to rock his body right. Nor does he care that Backstreet is back alright. #TaylorHallCharacterProblems
— baggedmilk (@jsbmbaggedmilk) March 24, 2015
— Jake D (@Baresnake) March 24, 2015
He takes a cart full of groceries through the express checkout #TaylorHallCharacterProblems
— Jeanshorts (@JSBMjeanshorts) March 24, 2015
He refuses to Wang Chung tonight.
— Cory Dakin (@Corydakin) March 24, 2015
— Shaun Ali (@shaunathan) March 24, 2015
— Adam Connelly (@chaseman0430) March 24, 2015
— RC (@Riotsedge) March 24, 2015
THE PHOTOSHOP CONTEST
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 – what that means is up to you. The deadline to enter is March 27th, and if you have an entry you can email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.