GDB 3.0 Wrap Up: Oilers @ Stars

NotHappy

There was almost a chance. Final Score: 4-2 Stars

For a team that’s done so much losing in recent memory you would almost think that Oilers fans would be used to it. I’m not saying that losing games is acceptable, but the vitriol that is spewing out of some of you is alarming to say the least. The thing that was most concerning to me, going into tonight, was that the ghosts of Oilers past didn’t come back to haunt us once again in the form of Ales Hemsky. 

As it turns out, it wasn’t just Hemsky we had to worry about. The Oilers just weren’t ready to play tonight. They were grossly outplayed in the first half of the game, and if not for a mostly solid performance from Anders Nilsson they would have been out of the game before it had even truly begun. Mostly solid, of course, because it’s not that Nilsson let in many goals but when he did they were mostly awful. 

At the end of the night, the Oilers were outplayed. They were badly outshot and spent long periods scrambling in the defensive zone. Nilsson gave the Oilers a chance to win, and I thought they might do that when Nail Yakupov broke in alone with five minutes to go. Those hopes were dashed quickly as Lehtonen stopped the breakaway chance and Jason Spezza potted the winner immediately after.

In many ways this was a movie we’ve seen twice before. The Oilers were able to hang around on the back of their goaltender only to have their chance at points vanquished late in the third period. The Oilers need to find a way of converting “hanging around” in the third period into two points in the standings. 

We wrap

THE BRIGHT SIDE

handshake

  • CONNOR MCDAVID SCORED HIS FIRST NHL GOAL! It wasn’t an end to end rush or anything like that, but it was a nice deflection off a point shot. Mostly I’m happy for him to have the weight off his back. I’m also happy for the fact that the media won’t be able to keep whining about his lack of production.
  • I’ll never get tired of watching him play and I’m already worried about the heartache I’m going to feel when he retires. I LOVE YOU, CONNOR! Seeing him absolutely crush Johnny Oduya in the first period was both hilarious (slightly dirty) and beautiful.
  • Speaking of Connor McDavid, I am a huge fan of playing McDavid with Nail Yakupov. Connor needs to have the puck on his stick whereas Yak just needs to shoot it. This could be a great duo for a long time if they can continue to produce chances and points like they did tonight. 
  • Yakupov had a really nice night tonight. He was taking care of his own zone when he had to and producing chances at the other end of the ice all night long. He finished with an assist and what seemed like 4000 shots on goal. I feel bad for how the game ended for Yakupov. He had the game on his stick only to have the goalie stop it and then lose his man on the back check. He had a better night than that play showed, but it was a tough defensive lapse for Yak. 
  • Klefbom unleashed a rocket from the point to score his first goal of the season. It was a nice bit of pressure from the McDavid/Yak/Pouliot line to get the puck back to him at the point.
  • The penalty kill was really good again tonight. Letestu and Hendricks were warlords with the man disadvantage. The Oilers finished off killing all four of the Stars chances. 
  • Anders Nilsson played well for the Oilers tonight except for the first two Stars goals. Those were not goals that should be allowed at the NHL level. Both turds of monumental proportions. This loss is not on him though. Nilsson gave the Oilers a chance to win that they didn’t deserve. He finished the night with 48 saves and a .941 save%.

FACE PALMERS

Punch

  • It’s not even new news but it’s still odd seeing Ales Hemsky in another jersey. This is Hemsky’s second season with the Stars and every time I see him touch the puck I feel like he should still be giving up at OUR blue line. The memories live on, I guess. Hemsky was buzzing all night long and finished the night with an assist on the game winner by Jason Spezza. 
  • Taylor Hall has got to lose that toe drag. He tried to pull it out again tonight with the exact same result as every other time he tries it. STAHP IT!
  • In the Wrap Up I wrote about how Benoit Pouliot needs to stop taking dumb penalties. Well, he took a tripping penalty in the offensive zone again tonight. He was lucky again in that the Stars were unable to score with the man advantage, but he’s playing with fire and he should know that by now.
  • There is not really much point in having Connor McDavid and Nuge on the same power play unit. Both are quarterbacks out there and there’s only one puck. To me splitting them up would mean two very good passers on two separate lines rather than having them battle for touches.
  • Brandon Davidson had a rough start to this game. He struggled with the puck and sometimes turned easy outs into minute long adventures in the defensive zone. He settled in a bit as the night went on, but he’ll have to be much better than that if he wants to stick in the lineup. 
  • Slepyshev was a non-factor again tonight aside from the missed breakaway chance. I’m not sure if there is someone on the Condors better suited for the role he’s filling right now, but I wonder if the Oilers make a change with him soon. At best he’s been unnoticeable. 
  • Justin Schultz didn’t have a great night defensively. Too often he was soft on the puck and couldn’t make the easy exits needed to generate offense. Schultz has played much better to start the season but tonight was not a good night. 
  • The third pairing was a mess as a whole. Gryba looked slow and Davidson looked overmatched. 
  • The power play struggled again tonight, though, to be fair, they only had one chance. 
  • Jason Spezza had a big night for the Stars. He scored the winning goal with five minutes left as he slipped into a hole in coverage and finished off the hat trick into the empty net shortly after.

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD
17:48 DAL Jason Spezza (1) Wrist shot – ASST: Mattias Janmark (1), John Klingberg (2) 1 – 0 DAL
2ND PERIOD
02:42 DAL Jamie Benn (2) Wrap-around – ASST: Jyrki Jokipakka (1), Tyler Seguin (2) 2 – 0 DAL
10:55 EDM Oscar Klefbom (1) Slapshot – ASST: Benoit Pouliot (1), Nail Yakupov (1) 2 – 1 DAL
12:18 EDM Connor McDavid (1) Tip-in – ASST: Andrej Sekera (1) 2 – 2 Tie
3RD PERIOD
15:30 DAL Jason Spezza (2) Wrist shot – ASST: Antoine Roussel (2), Ales Hemsky (3) 3 – 2 DAL
19:03 DAL EN – Jason Spezza (3) Wrist shot – ASST: Kari Lehtonen (1) 4 – 2 DAL

BEST OF THE TWEETS

Tweet your nonsense at @jsbmbaggedmilk and @OilersNation for your chance at landing in the best of the tweets. Talk to me Twitter.

SEASON OPENER TEES ARE ON SALE

Who’s coming down for the Season Opener Party at @pintedmonton tonight? -bm #1AD

A photo posted by OilersNation (@officialoilersnation) on


Want a season opener party shirt but couldn’t make it to the party? You’re in luck. We’ve counted, sorted, and organized everything we have left and thrown them up for sale on the NationGear store. Be warned, once these are gone they are never coming back so don’t wait to buy one if you want one. As always, a portion of the proceeds will go straight to Earth Group in an effort to help provide life essentials for needy folks around the world. 

  • mr_nihilism

    Just imagine if the Oilers did not get McDavid. Ouch! I wonder if people would still be making excuses for Hall’s goofy ass.

    Does anyone know how many shots he ha last night? I know none of them were quality but it’ll be something for his bunnies to hang on to.

    • OldOilerFan

      Hall’s got > 300 NHL games in, he should be playing smarter absolutely. Nice shoot in when we pulled our goalie for an extra attacker – right to one of the better puck handling goaltenders in the league! Stopped whatever chance we had right there. Mclellan saw it too!

      • paul wodehouse

        GDB 3.0: In Search of Offence without Hall

        FOR MUNCHIE>That’s what I was given to understand when the JASON GREGOR FAILED TO UPDATE that Hall would play…19 minutes…with two SOG…good work &

        THANKS FOR KEEPING ME IN THE LOOP SPARKY!!!

        fyi: game not televised in the east but thanks again

          • paul wodehouse

            …double M

            when it comes to Hall you and me are on the same page … in his defense I will say that the media did NOT help his cause when he arrived as the savior…I admit I fell into the great Tyler Taylor debate (who didn’t) and actually went with #4…maybe just maybe he steps it up to get what was, at one point, his team to the promise land.

  • Derzie

    Reinventing the Oilers started at the top. New GM & Coach. New supporting staff. Some new players. Jettison the obvious misfits (Nikitin+). The next step is to implement the coach’s system. Anyone who thought it would magically turn the Oil into a playoff team was drunk on kool aid. The d, on paper, is all world bad. The last few games the forwards have spent every waking moment helping the D and the team has bled shots and scoring hard to come by. That said, it is very unfair to assess the performance of the forwards given the huge d deficiency they are being asked to support. It is also unfair to expect the no-longer-young Oiler core of 1st overalls to flip a switch and magically know how to win. They have known nothing but being thrown in the deep end by a terrible management team and getting their lunch eaten night after night. It is part of their DNA now. That won’t change overnight. In some cases it may not ever change (Hall?). The realistic goal for this year is to identify a core. A goalie, top D pair, top line. For 16-17 and 17-18. And go from there.

  • Hemmercules

    If the last 9 years has taught me anything, its to be be very cautiously optimistic with regard to the Oilers. I’m not overly surprised so far. Changing gm, coaches, goalies and multiple players every summer wont yield instant good results. Once again, it will take time, broken record type stuff. I was just happy to be able to celebrate a couple goals last night.

    Losing out on Hamilton and then having Eberle go down was a huge blow the the fortunes of the team. I say bring up Drai and Nurse sooner than later and get it over with.

    3 games in is crazy pre mature to be talking 2016 draft picks, not even as a joke. It will suck pretty bad if I have to tune the Oilers out by the end of November again though.

  • On Thursday Oiler fans will be wearing ORANGE to celebrate a new sweater.It is “important” apparently for the Oiler Management to change the climate of losing and fan wallet dispair with an ORANGE JERSEY.This has to be one of the most CREATIVE marketing efforts for the team in years.
    The Federal NDP are happy to see the Oilers have caught the ORANGE WAVE before the National Vote.
    Will the PM appreciate an ORANGE JERSEY?
    Is ORANGE enough to score a few goals!

  • Nures and Draisaitl again, must be just seething down on the farm right now. If we’re gonna lose anyway, hell bring em up. They can only be part of the solution given the current situation.

    Also, how Oilers is it that when we get average to above average goal tending, the forwards and defence are terrible.

    And then likley when that gets turned around and the team starts scoring goals, I can imagine the goal tending will be crap.

    For a team that golfs as often, you would think they know how to put all three areas of their game together consistently.

    • They’ll probably not bring them up until end of November , when season is basically over and they have shown they are dominating in AHL . That way they also help avoid the extra bonuses they might also have gotten by being here from the start . With only 4 home games in November , and our slow/poor away record , we could easily be out of contention by the end of November or sooner . Looks like first twenty games will be an assessment process to view what has to change player wise , seeing as they do not know given the new circumstances they are under .

      • Ya, you’re probably right. I think those guys given how hungry they both are right now could provide some lift for the team. They will make mistakes, but Nurse’ skating and mean streak, combined with Draisaitl’s puck possession and passing, gives the team a different dynamic.

        If I were McLellan, I’d be shifting Klefbom up to the top line with Sekera. Then I’d throw Nurse on a line with Schultz and play Schultz less in a more favourable zone situation. I find Nurse always plays better when paired with a rover cause it pretty much forces him to calm his game down.

        Then on the bottom pair, instead of Gryba, you could do Reinheart and Fayne. Rienheart, Klefbom, Nurse, and Fayne are all big guys.

        Up front, well Shlepyshev probably needs to be sent down in favour of Draisaitl. And while this may sound crazy, I’d try and get Drai onto top line RW.

        For one, he can win draws where as Nuge looks like he’s struggling. This also means Pouliot plays with McDavid and Yak which was a great line last game.

        That send Purcell down to the third line with either Hendricks or Korpikoski on the left side to hopefully give Lander some jump.

        At any rate, just like last year, I still don’t think fans have actually the best make up of the Oilers as of yet, even though better pieces are there for the coach to deploy.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    I’m not sure why we made the coaching change………except that all the professional writers were wetting their pants with the though of another better, older guy from Sask named Todd.

    The style of play the Oilers are using today ( attack all the time as a five man unit) is entertaining but there is no room for a second play. They seem to be always be ahead of the play, or behind the play………but rarely with the play.

    Good thing we have a Todd as coach…….at least Nelson had them playing as a team.

  • Hemmercules

    Anyone else notice how dejected Mcdavid seemed talking to Gene in that second intermission. He sounded soooo sick of hearing the same old sh*t. He even said how stressful everything has been. I really wish the media would give him 2 seconds off. Its getting old to all of us. Let him play.

  • Nilsson played outstanding. Only reason it wasn’t 8-2.

    Hall looked like he was playing for the Stars last night, and I don’t mean the Molson 3 stars.

    Great to see McDavid get one. Good for him!

    Pure comedy when Gryba sniped Fiddler in the head from behind his net. My only question is where exactly were you intending for that puck to go Eric? Then Moen hitting the post right after…Classic.

    Nice back check Yak.

  • 3 games in and people are already blowing up the team. So many new pieces to work in.

    Give it time. Oiler’s are improving. Sure they’re missing pieces but anyone that though it would all be covered this season is on the kool-aid.

    • bradleypi

      So when? Every summer this roster turns over 50% of its players…. and after the oilers start 0-5 someone comes on here and says the exact same things you just did. And then a month in thd playoffs are out of reach. What exactly does an 0-3 start with only 2 actual goals scored and giving up 50 shots a game tell you where they have improved? We’ve watched this story play out the exact same way for the last 3 years now. If I’m pc I’m scouring the league and I’m willing to trade anyone not named McDavid, draisatl, nurse and talbot. This team has never played like a team and they are starting this year exactly thd same

      • Randaman

        First off it looks to me they’re competing better on the ice than they have for at least the past two seasons.

        Give Tmac and PC some time to see what they have for players. They took over one of the worst teams in the league last year. Made many changes. They’re 0-3 on a tough schedule. 7 points out of first place. 100% on PK. 36 shots per game . . . and they’re not 0-5 yet. 7 points out of first place and ahead of LA in the standings.

        St. Louis at home then Calgary and Vancouver. Let’s see how they look after 6 games. 2-4 won’t be bad. 5-7 through October won’t be bad. All doable.

        • St. Louis at home then Calgary and Vancouver. Let’s see how they look after 6 games. 2-4 won’t be bad. 5-7 through October won’t be bad. All doable.

          You think the Oilers are going to go 5-4 the rest of the month? No chance. I see one win in two games against Calgary and a win over Los Angeles. Don’t like Vancouver much but they’re off to a good start.

          You’re looking at 2-10 or 3-9, tops, for October.

  • bradleypi

    Is there any way to gauge bulk interest better that tickets sales? Probably not, so here is a stat for you.

    I sold 2 – 300 level tickets on the day of the draft to the home opener for $250 each.

    Currently similar tickets for the same game are available for $100 each ($75 USD) on StubHub.

    People are losing interest already and I cant really blame them…

  • Slepy had limited ice time which is largely why he was not noticeable. On a night where we were hurting for aggressiveness on the puck I’m surprised that we didn’t see more of him later in the game.

    Nice to see Purcell finally demoted.

    I have a haunting memory of the game of a play where McDavid curled low for a breakout pass after Gryba took the puck behind the net to slow play (??). Gryba looked right at McDavid open and with a sheet of free ice ahead of him but opted to pass into traffic up the left side that led to a broken play. Just GET MCDAVID THE PUCK.

    Sekera always seems to be shooting right into defending opponents. I hope the coaches work on him getting his shots through.

    Lander should be given a whirl on the top line. He’s fighting tough for pucks as usual and would be more effective than wagon.

  • Randaman

    Jordie Benn’s corsi was 24/1 for 95.5%.

    Not his all star brother, Jamie, but Jordie. He’s most likely playing just so Dallas can convince Jamie to resign for less.

    An 9th defenceman on most teams was 24/1 against a team we all convinced ourselves was different. As we have done for the past number of seasons.

    Let’s admit it, not nearly enough has changed for the better.

    I’m worried this team and we fans still have alot of Karma to pay back before things turn around….