GDB 77.0 Wrap Up: Oilers @ Ducks

TANK ONNNNNNNN. Final Score: 5-1 Ducks

These California trips are always brutal for the Oilers. Not only do we have to watch the Oilers lose but we also get a reminder of just how far behind this team really is. The Anaheim Ducks have depth that the Oilers just don’t have, nor are they close to having, so I wasn’t really surprised by the way this game started and played out. Even at the best of times the Oilers struggle with the Ducks. With a depleted lineup that looks more like the Barons roster than a NHL roster? Forget about it.

As sad as it is to say, seeing that this was the 77th game of the season almost brought a sense of relief. These lottery seasons are really starting to bum me out, and frankly I don’t have many more ways of saying the Oilers suck. I don’t want to write about how bad they are. I want to write about watching drunk a-holes on Whyte Ave. I want to gather the Internet around in a circle to hear the tale of how I stole the zamboni and crashed it into the Oodle Noodle to make myself a Hot Box. THAT would be awesome. These “because we have to” games suck.

If it weren’t for Twitter these past few seasons would have been unbearable. Nights where the Oilers get pummelled have become so common that we don’t even seem to get angry about it anymore. If anything, making fun of the Oilers on Twitter has been more fun than the majority of the games over the past few seasons. That’s a sad state of affairs. Until management realizes that bringing back 80% of the roster is probably not a great idea then getting lit up by teams at the top of the standings will be in next year’s forecast unfortunately.

Tonight’s game was a simple case of Goliath crushing David without having to put up much of a fight. The best team in the National Hockey League beat the third worst – I don’t think anyone is too surprised. What was surprising was that this was the sloppiest the Oilers have played in a little while. Todd Nelson seems to have the team playing a tighter style of hockey, and tonight’s tank shining may have just been a throwback to the Eakins era. At the end of the night the Ducks controlled the play from puck drop until the final buzzer, and were simply too much for the Oilers.

We wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

Beatles

  • Taylor Hall was flying tonight. He has such great speed that he always seems able to back the opposing defence right in on their own goalie. Why some people think the Oilers should trade him is beyond me. 
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins continues to add to his career high in goals as he scored his 24th goal late in the second period. Both Nuge and Eberle have put 17 points in the last 12 games. If this was NBA Jam Nuge and Eberle would be getting some BOOMSHACKALACKA! Thank you.
  • The Hall-Lander-Miller produced chances all night. I wasn’t sure how Lander and Miller were going to fit with Taylor Hall when the line was put together, but they’ve shone since being put together.
  • Twitter was fun! *sigh*
  • Buffalo won again, and the McEichel dream lives! It’s a long shot, but the precious is still in sight.
  • Tyler Bunz can tell everyone that he was on an NHL roster if only for a night. That’s a cool story regardless of whether he played or not.

THE FACE PALMERS

Hanson

  • Ducks fans are so spoiled that it’s annoying. They have one of the best teams in the league to watch on a nightly basis and there were a ton of empty seats in Anaheim tonight. Do you know what we would give to watch a team that makes the playoffs on the regular? Probably our children. That’s what we would give to make that happen.
  • Jultz really jultzed on the second Anaheim goal. I would love to see his face when he has to review that little piece of tape. I mean… if Brett Burns and Dustin Byfuglian can play forward why can’t Schultz?
  • Has anyone else noticed that Nikitin Nikitin isn’t on the top pairing in a defensive group that’s ripe with AHLers? 
  • The power play has been much better lately, but it wasn’t getting much done tonight. The Oilers went through two straight power plays without registering a shot on net. 
  • Tonight was another night where the Oilers went under 50% in the faceoff circle as team. That’s not good enough.
  • Simon Despres scored his first goal as a Duck tonight. NO WAY!?
  • Corey Perry scored his 600th NHL point tonight on his 33rd goal of the season. A milestone? Against the Oilers? Get out of here.
  • AND Cogliano scored on a penalty shot? YOU DON’T SAY!? You’ve gotta love that former Oiler curse.
  • Why do Ducks fan boo Justin Schultz? They should be showering him with praise for leaving. If I were them, I’d organize some kind of parade in his honour.
  • Not surprising when you look at the score, but the Oilers were not good in their own zone tonight. The Ducks were able to pin them in their own end for extended periods of time, and unfortunately Scrivens wasn’t able to bail them out often enough. 

SCORING SUMMARY

From TSN.ca

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  • Spiel

    The “tank talk” is hilarious. There seems to still be some crazy assumption among Oilers fans and media (the line blurs really) that Oilers are in a mode of trying to lose, and that they can flip some magical switch from tank to contend.

    The Oilers are not trying to lose. They have been trying to win for at least 3 seasons, and they have just been getting worse. Nothing changes until there are fundamental changes in the management and building blocks of the team.

      • Spiel

        So, if a team is just awful, are they tanking? Tanking implies losing on purpose. Oilers can’t help but lose, it is in their DNA. Management is still convinced that being an Oiler makes you a winner. The last 10 years scream the opposite.

        Quite the paradox that the franchise with an historic Stanley Cup era 30 years ago is also the franchise about to set an NHL futility record in an era of designed parity.

  • Spoils

    Pretty incredible how well Anaheim closes the gap. Felt like two different worlds superimposed. ducks skating through an international-rink neutral zone, Oilers with ducks in their face the moment they touched the puck

    0 shots on the PP
    pinned in the DZone
    steady diet of odd duck rushes

    How much of that comes from the ducks ability and relentless desire to close the gap?
    Is that coaching?
    Are Boudreau and co willing to take on a trouble player like Despres because they feel their system will make him better?

    To me the game showed it will take more than just better players to reach the top.

    #Babcock-level-coach-PrettyPlease

    • camdog

      The Oiler have 4 forward lines, 3 defensive pairings and a goalie. From my eye the only advantage the Oilers would have had would have been when Hall, Lander and Miller where on the ice. The Ducks, whom were at home, win every other match up, regardless of coaching.

    • The Soup Fascist

      I agree the Oilers were flying the first few shifts. Suddenly the first Ducks shot goes in. Then the second. Game over.

      Scrivens starting the game with a .333 save percentage is a story we have seen way too often. I know the D is not NHL calibre but Ben should feel free to mix in the odd save early in a game. And also either learn to handle the puck or stay the hell in his crease.

      For a guy called the Professor it seems ironic his mental readiness for many starts seems poor.

  • The Soup Fascist

    If the Oilers start the year with Jultz,Nikitin,Ference and Scrivens we can start to debate Austin Mathews abilities and chances at drafting him by Halloween.

    • Hemmercules

      According to the guy that builds the team, what you see is what you get next season. Feel free to start discussing the 2016 draft anytime. By Halloween that topic will probably exhausted already.