I really hate the Minnesota Wild and the boring garbage hockey horse they rode in on. Final Score: 4-3 Wild
Does anyone else think it’s odd that the Oilers play one road game in Minnesota only to return home for a Thursday game against Montreal? I assume the schedule makers are just throwing darts at a calendar in terms of scheduling because that’s the only thing that makes sense. Travel schedule aside, the Oilers had a game to play against a Minnesota opponent that has not been overly kind to our beloved heroes in recent memory. To make matters worse the Wild still play that boring brand of hockey even though Jacques Lemaire hasn’t been around in years.
Tonight, the Oilers looked like they weren’t ready to play and it cost them early. The Wild were all over them, and the pressure left the Oilers scrambling to gain any traction. Luckily for the Oilers, they were able to weather the early storm (and deficit) and claw back into the game. After tying the game up in the second period the Oilers were able to keep the Wild at bay and looked more comfortable than they did early. In the rebuilds past, the Oilers would have likely folded and gone home after being down by two goals early in the first period, but things seem to be changing around here, albeit it slowly.
After taking an early lead in the third period the Oilers were unable to find an answer for the Wild’s cycle down low and they paid for it in the end. The Minnesota Wild were very effective once they got the puck settled down in the Oilers zone, and the visiting team eventually broke after bending for so long. On the bright side, the Oilers’ offense is starting to hit its stride, but getting possession of the puck is still an issue. It goes without saying, but the Oilers will continue to struggle until the defense improves. In the Western Conference teams live and die by their defense, and right now it’s just not good enough.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Connor McDavid and Nail Yakupov are hot fire together. They both extended their point streaks to six games with their first period assists on the goal by Taylor Hall. I swear to Gord that I am going to run out of words to accurately describe how amazing Connor McDavid is at playing hockey. Someone buy me a thesaurus.
- Did I mention that Connor McDavid is amazing?
- Taylor Hall continues his excellent play despite what the haters think. He scored his fourth goal of the year on the power play off of a nice play by ConYak. Hall later made an even nicer play on his assist to Pakarinen.
- When Rob Klinkhammer went down Iiro Pakarinen filled in on the top line with Nuge and Hall and looked good in the process. He scored his first goal of the season off a beautiful dangle and dish by Taylor Hall. All world play by Hall, and a great finish by Little Buttcheeks.
- Darnell Nurse settled in nicely in only his third NHL game. The knock on ol’ Darryl was that he was a bit scrambly sometimes but he looked good tonight. He didn’t try to do too much, played a steady game, and made excellent passes to get out of the defensive zone. Having mobility on the backend opens up a whole new world in OilersNation, not to mention the Nurse bomb he dropped on Dubnyk for his first NHL goal.
- Can we all agree that Cam Talbot was a monster pickup for Peter Chiarelli? On the first two Wild goals Talbot was screened and the second two goals were a result of poor defending against the cycle. He was solid throughout the night (the stats won’t show how good he actually was) and gave the Oilers a chance to win. Talbot finished with 24 saves and an .857 save%.
- The North x NorthGretz Podcast kicks off next week! Follow myself, Jeanshorts, and Chris the Intern as we explore all the best of the Nation Network in 35 minutes or less. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and on Soundcloud. New episodes will be up every Monday so plan your lives accordingly.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Brutal start by the Oilers. You can’t spot a trapping (read: boring) team like the Wild two goals less than 10 minutes into the game. Also worth noting that you can’t give up two goals in under a minute either.
- Every time I see Devan Dubnyk I can’t help but wonder how things would have gone if MacT didn’t throw him under the bus before his last season as an Oiler had even started. Granted, it all worked out in the end (McDavid), but it was tough sledding for both the Oilers and Dubnyk through the 2013-14 season. Regardless, it annoyed me to see Dubnyk get the win tonight.
- The Oilers really had no answer for the Wild’s cycle tonight. Whenever they established themselves in the Oilers’ zone the defense struggled immensely to break things up.
- Ryan Suter had two goals all year, last year. He had two tonight. I call shenanigans!
- Speaking of shenanigans, what’s up with the Oilers sticks tonight? During the third period alone I could have sworn that they broke a half dozen sticks. I know Darnell Nurse is a beefcake, but Nugey? Shenanigans.
- With the Oilers having injuries on the back end they need veterans like Sekera and Fayne to step up and play bigger, tougher minutes. Body position is very important and on the first goal their bodies were positioned right in front of Cam Talbot.
- I don’t know what game the refs were watching but I find it hard to believe that they only saw three infractions all night (two PPs for the Wild, one for the Oilers). Matt Dumba connected with a headshot on Lauri Korpikoski in the first period and didn’t even get so much as a glance from the officials. Did the Oilers get the replacements for these past two games or what?
|07:25||MIN||Ryan Suter (1) Wrist shot – ASST: Jason Zucker (5)||1 – 0 MIN|
|09:30||MIN||PPG – Marco Scandella (1) Tip-in – ASST: Thomas Vanek (3)||2 – 0 MIN|
|11:09||EDM||Taylor Hall (4) Wrist shot – ASST: Nail Yakupov (7), Connor McDavid (5)||2 – 1 MIN|
|04:41||EDM||Iiro Pakarinen (1) Deflected shot – ASST: Taylor Hall (4)||2 – 2 Tie|
|03:38||EDM||Darnell Nurse (1) Slapshot – ASST: Oscar Klefbom (3), Benoit Pouliot (4)||3 – 2 EDM|
|08:43||MIN||Ryan Suter (2) Tip-in – ASST: Mikko Koivu (5), Nino Niederreiter (2)||3 – 3 Tie|
|09:26||MIN||Charlie Coyle (3) Backhand shot – ASST: Thomas Vanek (4), Justin Fontaine (3)||4 – 3 MIN|
BEST OF THE TWEETS
The Wild have a lead, which means they’re about to play some unwatchable hockey. @Oilersnation
— Jeff Martin (@HEATcomic) October 28, 2015
McDavid is still the most fun you can have with your pants on. #Oilers
— GettingBetter (@Isuckatpicking) October 28, 2015
— FatherCream420 (@theclaymax) October 28, 2015
Have you had your first (serious) “could Connor McDavid win the Art Ross?” thought yet?
— Justin Bourne (@jtbourne) October 28, 2015
You can break walnuts on Pakarinen’s jaw and humbleness.
— Woodguy (@Woodguy55) October 28, 2015
@jsbmbaggedmilk I don’t know why McLellan didn’t put Ference out there to screen Dubnyk. Surely the anxiety would cause flashbacks
— +@¥/_0R (@IAmTaylorSim) October 28, 2015
— OilersNation (@OilersNation) October 28, 2015
Talk to me Twitter. Tweet at @OilersNation and @jsbmbaggedmilk for your chance to land in the Best of the Tweets.
ConYak is a beautiful partnership, no? I can only assume that these two had their DNA intertwined before either was even born to be able to find each other on the ice as well as they have been. Maybe it’s fate? Regardless, ConYak could be one of the most impressive duos the NHL has ever seen! To celebrate this new (and sexy) relationship we have released this ultra sexy ConYak tee, complete with double headed centaur so you know we mean business.
As always, a portion of all sales will be donated directly to Earth Group in an effort to provide life essentials for needy folks around the world. Not only will you be stylin’ in your new ConYak tee you’ll also be contributing to a very worthy cause.