GDB 76.0 Wrap Up: Oilers @ Avalanche

Barons win. Avalanche lose. Final Score: 4-1 Oilers

When the Oilers played the Avalanche five days ago they were able to jump out to a three goal lead within the first 10 minutes of the first period. The Oilers were able to hang on to that lead thanks to some solid goaltending from Ben Scrivens. Going into tonight’s game the Oilers would once again be hoping to ride on the back of Richard Bachman’s strong play from three nights ago. The irony of having their goalies steal wins is that these wins are coming at the worst time – the precious is slipping away.

Tonight’s game didn’t have the same excitement of the one five days ago. Tonight’s game looked like the type of game you would expect from the 22nd and 28th place teams. Even Twitter refused to be my crutch to solve any lulls in excitement. Either people have finally thrown in the towel on Oilers entirely, and refuse to tweet about the game, or we now know who skipped the game to watch the Bieber roast. The beliebers probably thought that we wouldn’t notice they were missing, but I noticed and they’ve been outed.*

As tonight’s game played out, I couldn’t help but wonder how much more fun winning would be had the Oilers been able to do some of it in October and November. It’s been so long since the Oilers have had anything to play for at the end of a season that I’m starting to forget what it’s like. Instead of excitement and a playoff push, we’re getting wins that result in meaningless points in the standings. Some very solid Oiler efforts, late in the season, are being tarnished by the complete cluster funk that was the first half of that same season. I love seeing wins, but they’ll never be enjoyable while people are arguing about draft position. 

*I totally plan to watch the Bieber roast.

We wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

Beer

  • I don’t have enough time or skill to write about how great a story Brandon Davidson’s 1st NHL goal was. He battled for his life and won only to make it to the NHL and on the back of hard work and determination. To see him score tonight was fantastic in so many ways.
  • Speaking of Brandon Davidson: If you can find Jason Gregor I urge you to shake him down for some lotto numbers, gypsy tears, or something. The guy called that Davidson would show up on the score sheet (he said it would be a penalty, but I’m still giving him partial credit). 
  • Justin Schultz actually Jultzed a Colorado defenceman when he scored his 6th goal of the season. Schultz gingerly knocked the Avs d-man off the puck to walk alone and tuck the puck in on a nice little deke. Normally those kind of goals go the other way on Schultz so it was a little bit alarming to say the least.
  • The Purcell-Roy-Yakupov line was producing chances all night. They didn’t score, but they were pressuring the Avs defence all game long.
  • Nikki Nikitin gets an extra helping of goat carrots as he scored his 4th goal of the season on a strange bouncer into the empty net.
  • Taylor Hall added a second empty netter to get his 13th goal of the season.
  • Speaking of those two empty netters, Andrew Miller racked up a couple quick assists on both of those goals. Miller has six points in six NHL games since being recalled from the Barons.
  • Richard Bachman was rock solid again for the second game in a row. He finished the night with 29 saves and a .967 save%. 

THE FACE PALMERS

EmptyBeer

  • Ryan O’Reilly would be a fantastic second line centre for the Oilers. Dare to dream? 
  • How does Gabriel Landeskog speak better English than I do? Damned public school system!
  • I’m sure Todd Nelson’s kid is a very nice kid, but did Sportsnet really have to interview him in the second intermission? Is that what Oilers games have come to? Is Katz’s kid up next for a little face time?
  • This whole Todd Nelson thing confuses me. If the Oilers wanted an interim coach, and knew they were going to look for a new coach in the offseason, why didn’t they just throw the interim tag on Craig Ramsay? I thought that’s what he was there for?
  • The Coyotes and Sabres played tonight and that could have meant ground earned in the McJesus sweepstakes. Instead, the Oilers continue to win. I mean, I love when the Oilers win but not right now. Maybe they could try it in October for a change? That would be cool.
  • Rob Klinkhammer had to play centre tonight. What does that tell you about the Oilers’ depth at the position?
  • The Oilers are only three points back of the Leafs, and I don’t know what to do about it. I can’t cheer for the Leafs to win, but I also don’t want the Oilers to pass them in the standings. So many teams with their tank game on point!
  • The precious is slipping further away by the day.

SCORING SUMMARY

From TSN.ca

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  • Oiler Fan 16

    The loser oilers can’t even do that right. It’s a little late to be winning boys and every time you do the draft prospects get worse. Of course our “crack” scouting team will find a way to screw that up anyway since they couldn’t tell the difference between the Mona Lisa and last year’s calendar picture. Just keep losing. The season is done. Renewed optimism starts for real in October. That is if they actually take it seriously enough to show up for an honest day’s work (or should I say an honest hour’s work).

  • toprightcorner

    Nice goal by Schultz but what the heck is he doing being the first Oiler to leave the zone with Purcell behind the net? This p[lay makes him look good when he is actually bad!

  • Phuryous George

    I’m no Nikitin fan, I’ve whipped that goat just as much as anybody on this site. To quote the movie Beer League, he’s ” atrocious and unwatchable” However, it was nice to see him smile once this season. He actually looked like a human being instead of shambling bundle of nerves. I imagine that’s the type of smile you see on the face of a refugee when the internment camp they are in gets liberated and someone hands them a chocolate bar and a UNICEF blanket.

  • pkam

    Stop blaming the management for the wins. if you want to blame, then blame Nelson.

    Our defense is made up of one AHLer in Davidson, one #7 in Aulie, one that everyone here wants to buyout in Nikitin, another one that majority here wants to trade in Schultz, and two young defensemen both have less than 80 games.

    We not only call up our 3rd string goalie Bachman to backup Scrivens, he is our starter in the last two games.

    2 of the 3 on our best line are out on injury. Our 4th line is now centered by a winger Klinkhammer between an AHLer Fraser and an enforcer Gazdic.

    The 2nd line is centered by a small player who was waived and cleared before joining us.

    And our 3rd line is centered by a player who was thought by the majority here to be a career AHLer just a few months ago.

    How can we blame the management for not doing a good enough tanking job? But this depleted team keep winning, and they even shut down the most dynamic duo Seguin and Benn. Who should be blamed other than Nelson?

  • 99CupsofCoffey

    It was nice to see the Edmonton defense not getting run through the backboards. I don’t know analytics but it seemed to be Edmonton spent more time in the o-zone than they normally. Some good fore checking.

    When the Oiler’s are moving the puck up the ice quickly and under control, it gives the opposition less time to be physical. (Or maybe it looked like they were moving the puck better because Colorado wasn’t physical?). Either way the Oiler’s didn’t look as small as they have in many previous games.

    Bachman was solid. Made some saves. I don’t think he’s faced the firing squad like Scrivens has (might have a lot to do with rebound control). Defense has been much better at keeping the play on the outside.

    It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out the next few games.