Two major giveaways sunk the Oilers on what could have been a good night. Final Score: 2-0 Predators
I have to say that it’s almost surreal how many Oilers fans are shitting all over Taylor Hall and Todd McLellan already. Fine gems like, “Taylor Hall should be traded” and “Todd McLellan doesn’t know what he’s doing,” have been raining down on Twitter since the opening night loss to the Blues, and it’s ridiculous. Either you, sir, are a moron or you may need to find another hobby or spend some time outside. If you can’t see the improvements that have been made already you haven’t been paying attention. The upgrade in play was on full display tonight.
The Oilers almost looked like a different team tonight than they did in the opener. Their start was significantly better than it was in St. Louis. Not only were they able to sustain pressure in the offensive zone, Nashville didn’t seem have an answer for the Oilers’ cycle early in the game. Nuge and Hall looked far more comfortable together tonight than they did with their respective partners last game. The familiarity was evident and they were able to produce some chances throughout the night. Unfortunately, as much as I liked seeing Hall and Nuge work together, the McDavid/Korpikoski experiment was as bad as the former was good. It’s too wide a gap in skill set and a waste of McDavid’s minutes.
Despite playing well, and getting another excellent effort from Cam Talbot, the Oilers leave Nashville on a two game losing streak. Throughout the night I felt that the Oilers had a good chance at winning this game. The Oilers were ready to play, but two glaring mistakes by veteran defenders Andrej Sekera and Andrew Ference overshadowed an otherwise solid effort. Both players are expected to be leaders on the defensive side of the puck, but instead cost their team the game. There were things to like about tonight’s game, but it was the mistakes that killed the Oilers’ chance at points, and moral victories don’t count in the standings. On the other hand, it’s hard to win hockey games if you don’t score any goals.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- CONNOR MCDAVID! Did you see the little bump he gave Weber in the first period to strip him of the puck? I love the two way game he’s showing already. McDavid started developing some chemistry with Nail Yakupov and it will be interesting to see if that’s a pair that McLellan keeps together. Otherwise it was a quiet night for our beloved Connor. I’m sure the headlines will say dumb things about him that are untrue, but I’ll never get tired of watching him play and will cherish every minute. It’s only a matter of time before he makes his mark.
- Nuge and Hall look better together than Hall looked with McDavid. You could tell that these two have spent time together, and they had some nice chances tonight. They were by no means perfect, but definitely have knowledge of where the other is going to be on the ice.
- It made me so happy to see the Oilers having some success on the cycle. For years they haven’t been able to sustain any pressure in the offensive zone, but they were able to tonight.
- After battling the puck early in the game, Nail Yakupov ended up having a solid night. He was banging and digging in the corners, firing pucks when he had the chance, and giving it to McDavid when he didn’t. I’m hoping Connor and Nail can figure something out because that could be a very nice passer/shooter combination. They looked good tonight in a small sample size.
- The Oilers outshot the Predators 31-26 which in itself is a moral victory, I guess. I’m sure some of the stats nerds are pumped on it. I love you, stats nerds.
- Cam Talbot was really solid again tonight. He made all the saves he he was supposed to make, some he didn’t, and gave the Oilers a chance to win. If he can keep this going all season long the Oilers will have a massive upgrade in net over what they had a year ago. It’s nice not having that sense of panic every time the puck approaches the net. Despite the effort Talbot will have to wait for his first win with the Oilers. Talbot finished the night with 24 saves and a .923 save%.
THE FACE PALMERS
- I have to say that it will be nice when the new car smell is eliminated from the Connor McDavid era with the Oilers. I don’t know how these panels keep finding ways to ask the same question, but I’ll be happy when he’s a part of the team and not every move is evaluated.
- Nashville’s yellow helmets were offensive to look at. Actually, everything about their uniforms is ugly. Whoever made that choice should be fired or file a grievance against the company’s vision benefits.
- I’m not a big fan of playing Connor McDavid with Lauri Korpikoski. That’s like trying to pull a fifth wheel with a Ferrari. Not surprising that it didn’t take long for Todd McLellan to figure that out.
- Benoit Pouliot took a bad tripping penalty in the second period and was lucky that the team was able to kill it off. He has a reputation for taking untimely trips to the box and I hope Todd McLellan will be able to curb that behaviour.
- I’m not sure what Andrej Sekera was doing on Nashville’s first goal. He gave the puck up at the blue line causing an odd man rush and eventual goal. Of all the places on the ice to give up the puck he chose one of the worst.
- Not to be outdone, Andrew Ference made a beautiful pass right to Mike Ribeiro who fed Filip Forsberg in the slot for a goal. Why was Reinhart out of the lineup again?
- I hate the no kicking rule. Yes, Nuge’s goal was called back because of that rule and it’s annoying, but this rule has always bothered me anyway. I think that goals like this should always count if the skate is near the ice. Obviously you don’t want guys going for bicycle kicks out there, but directing the puck in the net with your foot should count. Lame.
- The power play struggled to get much going tonight. No doubt Todd McLellan and crew will be practicing this heavily in the coming days. The Oilers went 0-5 on the power play tonight and that’s not anywhere near good enough.
“Our offence has to get better and a lot has to do with the PP. Our PP sucked the life out of us.” #Oilers Coach McLellan on the 2-0 loss
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) October 11, 2015
- I hate Pekka Rinne. It’s annoying how good he is. The Oilers had some good looks at Rinne tonight but they just couldn’t get anything by him. Rinne stopped all 31 shots, finishing the night with a shutout.
- Did I mention how bad those yellow helmets were? Abhorrent.
|18:52||Nashville||Craig Smith (2) Wrist shot – ASST: Colin Wilson (1)||1 – 0 NSH|
|13:02||Nashville||Filip Forsberg (1) Snap shot – ASST: Mike Ribeiro (1)||2 – 0 NSH|
BEST OF THE TWEETS
Oh man did I ever miss HNIC intro’s.
— Chris Gordeyko (@TheNationChris) October 10, 2015
Predators intro music is Motley Crue, Kickstart My Heart. Remember the year the Oilers intro music was Adele? Good times.
— Rob Tychkowski (@Sun_Tychkowski) October 10, 2015
Remember when you were in junior high and would come back in Sept and one kid’s voice had dropped and he had a stache? Thats so Hall now
— Wanye (@WanyeGretz) October 10, 2015
— Ryan McByks (@IAmByks) October 10, 2015
@OilersNation 1) Cam Talbot is good. 2) Could we try Yak with McDavid please? 3) Why does Kevin keep calling Sekera ‘Anton’?
— dMcQn (@deeshmond) October 10, 2015
I am just glad Oiler fans didn’t turn on the coach before Leaf fans on Babcock.
— Cory West (@Westcory) October 11, 2015
Every shift by every line has been better since Yak and McDavid were put together. YAK AND MCDAVID MAKE EVERYTHING BETTER!
— Woodguy (@Woodguy55) October 11, 2015
like peas and carrots pic.twitter.com/m2HhAg2XG7
— Jeff Chapman (@NewWaveOil) October 11, 2015
Gene Príncipe looks like the worst Megaman villain of all time in that Predators helmet. @OilersNation
— Jon Mick (@Jongolias) October 11, 2015
Different problem, same 0-2 start. #sigh
— Bruce McMcCurdy (@BruceMcCurdy) October 11, 2015
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