GDB 11.0 Wrap Up: Habs @ Oilers

What a comeback! That was emotional. Final Score: 4-3 Oilers

There’s nothing more annoying than a rambunctious Habs fan. The fact that half of Rexall Place was filled with Canadiens fans was irritating enough and that was before they started with their soccer chants. Within minutes I was annoyed at the sound of the mindless murmur that leaked from the face hole of Habs fans. There was nothing that I wanted more than to see the Oilers ruin the night of every single person wearing a red and white jersey. It’s was a humble dream, but it was my dream.

What started out as a hope that all Montreal fans would slink home depressed almost ended up in a search for a white flag to wave. The Oilers were not ready to play tonight, and the Canadiens took advantage. Actually, “taking advantage” is probably the understatement of the night. The Canadiens absolutely ran the Oilers’ show for first 30 minutes and it wasn’t really close at all. It seemed like every time the Oilers gave up the puck the Habs turned it into a scoring opportunity. The biggest problem with that, of course, is that the Oilers gave up the puck a lot early. 

The tides began to turn when Leon Draisaitl was able to squeeze the puck over the goal line late in the second period. Amazingly, the Oilers clawed back from a three goal deficit in the final 22 minutes. The Oilers played with much more tenacity in the final frame, capitalized on their chances, and didn’t look like the same team as they were in the first two-thirds of the game. The most impressive thing about tonight’s win was that they never gave up as the night went on — they kept battling. How many times could we have said that over the last few years?

This was a big win for a team that desperately needed one. The Oilers showed heart, resiliency, and a willingness to stay in the fight even when things looked grim. This was the kind of moral victory that we can all be happy with. Not to mention, tonight the Oilers made a blogger’s dream come true as they sent home thousands of Habs fans with a sour taste in their mouth. I’d bet all of Wanye’s money that Habs fans thought they had a guaranteed win in their pocked after the first period, and taking that away from them is supremely satisfying. 

We wrap. 

THE BRIGHT SIDE

Mansion

  • Darnell Nurse scored a goal in his first game back and Leon Draisaitl decided to follow suit. He scored his first and second goals of the year in his first game of the season. He wanted to make a good impression in his first game back and certainly did that with two big goals, including the game winner.
  • How about Nuge’s puck pursuit on the winning goal? Nugey’s puck lifting skills are pretty slick too, Connor. 
  • Speaking of Nurse, I thought he looked solid again and he was rewarded with an assist, his first of the year. There are moments when I still think he needs to settle down a little bit in his own zone but that will come with experience. He’s going to be an absolutely beauty for a very long time. 
  • Brandon Davidson scored his first goal of the year on an absolute blast from the point. The goal also gave Connor McDavid an assist, extending his point streak to seven games. 
  • I wonder where the people went that said Connor McDavid was a bust when he only had one point in four games? McDavid put up two assists tonight putting his season total to 12 points in 11 games. If he’s this good now, how good is he going to be when he’s 25?
  • Nail Yakupov also extended his point streak to seven games when he got a secondary assist on Benoit Pouliot’s goal.
  • Benoit Pouliot overcame the bad penalty he took in the first period by cashing in his third goal on a perfect pass by Connor McDavid. 
  • The night is finally over for Cam Talbot. He was getting hammered with shots early, and a high percentage of them were from dangerous positions. Regardless of how hard he looks, there’s no Ryan McDonagh around to bail him out. Talbot was able to shake off the first period and shut the door for the rest of the night which obviously helped the Oilers win this hockey game. Talbot finished the night with 18 saves and a .857 save%.
  • The Oilers won 37 of 71 faceoffs tonight for 52%. Not great, but definitely an improvement. 
  • Long live the Carey Curse®! Price can’t get it done in Edmonton. 

THE FACE PALMERS

Shack

  • WAAAY too many Habs jerseys at Rexall tonight. I hope every single one of them got gouged on the price they paid for tickets.
  • Brendan Gallagher was annoying all night for multiple reasons. He’s a solid player and he also plays an irritating brand of hockey. He’s the kind of player that pisses you off when you play against him, but love to watch when he’s on your side. 
  • Offensive zone penalty for Benoit Pouliot – everybody drinks. 
  • Oscar Klefbom gave up the puck at the defensive blue line and it cost the Oilers on the goal by Torrey Mitchell. He has to clear that puck. Giveaways at the line are absolutely killing the Oilers this year, and must be driving Todd McLellan nuts. 
  • Anton Lander got caught puck watching on the goal by Alex Galchenyuk. To his credit, Lander was skating beside his man and probably got a really nice view of the goal. 
  • The veteran players need to be better or upgraded. Fayne, Sekera, Purcell, Ference, and Pouliot all have to lead by example and not many of them can say that they did that in the first half of tonight’s game. 

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD
09:27 MTL PPG – Brendan Gallagher (5) Deflected shot – ASST: P.K. Subban (10), Tomas Plekanec(6) 1 – 0 MTL
16:56 MTL Torrey Mitchell (5) Snap shot – ASST: Devante Smith-Pelly (3) 2 – 0 MTL
17:51 MTL Alex Galchenyuk (2) Snap shot – ASST: Andrei Markov (10), Brian Flynn (2) 3 – 0 MTL
2ND PERIOD
19:08 EDM PPG – Leon Draisaitl (1) Deflected shot – ASST: Taylor Hall (5), Oscar Klefbom (4) 3 – 1 MTL
3RD PERIOD
06:15 EDM Brandon Davidson (1) Slapshot – ASST: Darnell Nurse (1), Connor McDavid (6) 3 – 2 MTL
10:43 EDM Benoit Pouliot (3) Snap shot – ASST: Connor McDavid (7), Nail Yakupov (8) 3 – 3 Tie
18:58 EDM Leon Draisaitl (2) Wrist shot – ASST: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (4), Taylor Hall (6) 4 – 3 EDM

BEST OF THE TWEETS

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EBERLE MASKS FROM ATB FINANCIAL

HOCKEY MASK EMAILS

Do you want to improve your face by wearing Eberle’s face? I know I do! Feel free to grab the image above and tweet us a picture with the #ATBHomeIce hashtag and you could win some pretty slick prizes! Don’t know how to Internet? No problem. We’ll be giving out Eberle masks at the Pint Downtown this coming Saturday during the Battle of Alberta. 

  • pkam

    Hey Habs, if you don’t want to be embarrassed by the west and go home empty handed, tonight is your last chance to redeem yourself. Remember, don’t let your foot off the gas.

  • S cottV

    It was a pleasure to see a commanding presence on the Oiler blue line, albeit – a little raw and scattered for now.

    Nurse looks a cut above in size, speed, power, and an edge. He catches your eye back there, as being something potentially special and we haven’t seen anything special in the back end since Pronger.

    Drai looked a little out of sorts, but had as many scoring chances as anyone on the ice. Scored two, but – could easily have had 3.

    Cut him slack because he is going to be just fine. Tough to get the last minute call up, play top 6 vs the Canadiens, play an unnatural position – etc, etc..

    The Oilers need both guys in their line up – this year. They are not at a point as an organization, to ice less than their best possible line up, for the arguable sake of patient development.

    Nurse and Drai – don’t look like the kind of players to be ruined with a bit of a rush on NHL experience.

    In their year 3, along with the maturation of the rest of the core, the hopeful addition of a 1D and the very special McD factor – look out because its gonna be awesome.

          • Romanus

            Right, I forgot how every team is just in tough begging other teams to take that player off their hands.

            Jokes aside, if the Oilers are going to trade for one of those guys, I do think the conversation starts with Eberle. But it’s going to come from a team deep on D and light on scoring. I think a guy like Josi could be pried from Nashville.

          • pkam

            Josi is good but he is left handed. Why would we target another LHD instead of Weber or Jones when the Preds are loaded with 3 RHDs?

            The conversation may start with any player but I think it needs to be a centre to get it done. The Preds are not weak at the wings but centres. Do we want to part with Nuge or Drisaitl for Jones or Weber?

          • oilerjed

            Good observation, I wasn’t sure about which side he was on.

            I really don’t think Nuge is tradable. He’s too good a player on too good a contract. It took forever for Edmonton to have a one 2 punch where the top line centre wasn’t a rookie trying to learn his way. Trading Nuge now would be a disaster. And yes, I know Draisaitl is here, but having depth in today’s NHL is likely the most important factor to winning teams.

            I think somewhere around the league there is a top line right shot D available for a package that starts with Eberle. But if that doesn’t happen, and Edmonton waits for a guy like Nurse to rise to the top instead. I might be okay with that also. (See comment about depth).

          • pkam

            I won’t be upset if we can get Jones for RNH or Drisaitl, but I am also pleased with what we have and am willing to wait a year or 2 for the kids to mature (MdcDavid, Nurse, Klefbom, and Drisaitl)

        • oilerjed

          DEFENSE!

          New Jersey needs some help up front but not sure they would give up larson.

          Winnipeg(in the west) might give up Buff if we add a little,(i like this one the most)

          Kulikov out of Florida would be a nice addition as well, fits our need as well as timeline.

          Who do you think he could fetch?

          • oilerjed

            I’m not sure. I’ve banged the Burns drum for a while. But I think that would take a lot more than just Eberle as not only is Burns a top line, physical, point producing, right shot D man with a gold medal on the right side of 30, but he’s also on a really good contract.

            I also like the Buff idea as well, but he’s a free agent next year so I’d rather not trade Eberle if there’s a chance we can just sign him for money.

            Edmonton would become the most horrible place for teams to play:

            Nurse – Buff

            Klefbom – Sekera

            Reinheart – Gryba

            Ugh. That is punishing.

          • pkam

            Just because he’s playing better doesn’t mean it’s good enough. Why have a guy limping in weak writers from the point on the PP? And he still can’t defend. Sure, he’s playing a little better, but he’s still not good enough to be in the top 4 on a good team

          • giddy

            Maybe I’m just peering through rose colored glasses, but Byfuglien and Nurse could potentially blossom into one of the meanest defensive pairings in the NHL. 6’5″ 260 Buff and the ever growing 6’4″ Nurse, both of whom can play a decent offensive game does sound nice.

            Heck, just Byfuglien giving Nurse on tips on how to flat out dummy a guy, then proceed to dummy the other guy coming in for retaliation would be invaluable (He’s done to the Kings, Avs, Blues…).

  • pkam

    Good win for the Oilers, however Montreal did not play well after the 1st period, and Price was not at his best.

    Montreal is a
    ok team with a great goalie. I would rank them # 4 in the East.

    • giddy

      Disagree. Price let in the open net from Drai which came of a sublime feed from Nuge. He let in the point shot by Davidson, but Price was being screened by Yak. He let in the shot from Pouliot who was on a clean break away. And he let one in from Drai which almost didn’t count.

      But he saved that unreal one timer from Hall as he dove across the crease to glove it. Price made some really good saves that game and all the ones that went in were not really his fault.

      I think the Oilers played awful first period, and then woke the hell up. Everyone is down on the Oilers defence, but they limited the Habs to just 18 shots. A lot of that has to do with winning the possession battle and just having the puck more.

      This was not a game Montreal lost, it was a game the Oilers won!

    • pkam

      You are entitled to think where Montreal should be in the standing but who really cares?

      The fact is, the Habs are leading the league at this moment and have shutout two very good teams Rangers and the Blues 3-0, but not only were they unable to shutout the Oilers last night after a 3-0 lead, they were unable to stop the Oilers from coming back.

      Price was not at his best last night? If not because of Price, the Oilers wouldn’t have to wait till the last minutes to beat the Habs. We would have get it done mid way through the 3rd. Price had kept the Habs in the game for the whole 3rd period.

    • Romanus

      I would based only on the fact they are similar players but Jones is further along and likely has the edge in offense.

      But then again I would not because Darnell is part of this new cluster, he was drafted and developed by the team, has history with McDavid, and will fit better with the team going forward than Jones will.

      Also Nurse has more years left on his Rookie contract then Jones so it helps the cap situation as well.

          • oilerjed

            Im saying that Nurse will be better then both. And one of them had better to learn how to play the RH side or they will be moved. I know Sekera has a no movement clause but at 29 is most likely the odd man out in 2 years tops.

          • pkam

            So you expect one of Klefbom or Sekera to move to the right side to fill the hole there when you don’t think either of them is good enough to fill the hole in their natural left side?

          • oilerjed

            Don’t read into what I am saying. Both are good enough on the left side but with Nurse coming along they are going to move down the depth chart or move to the right side.

            Do you think either of them is better then Nurse(or will be in two years?)

          • pkam

            If Klefbom is not good enough to be the top pair defense on the left, how likely will he be the top pair defense on the right?

            If we assume that Kelfbom is good enough to be a #2 D on the left, do we want to move him to the right, or do we trade for a RHD who is better than or at least as good as Nurse to pair with Klefbom?

            It is not whether Klefbom is better than Nurse, it is more about whether Jones will be better than Nurse on the right side.

            If we don’t think Klefbom is good enough for top pairing role, then we have to find another top pair D whether we have Jones or Nurse. And I believe it is easier to find a LHD than a RHD.

  • pkam

    The Flames are going to face some angry Habs tonight. With Hartley apparently on the hotseat the Oilers are going to be in a position on Saurday night to be the hockey stick that breaks that burning camel’s back. After a summer of flamers beaking off about how Frolik and Hamilton were going to make them Cup contenders wouldn’t it be nice to see them firing their coach and throwing in the towel by November?

  • Leaking5w-30

    So when Eberle comes back do we play him on the lander line and finally get the three scoring lines we have been promised for years? Strange to put your second best winger on the third line but if it gets lander and Purcell producing we might have something.

  • oilerjed

    It was far from perfect game, but it was fun.
    Even good swiss cheese has holes in it!

    The come from behind, with 4 unanswered goals has to be a booster to the players more ways than one.They had battle in them ,despite the mistakes and giveaways.

    Love the play from McD to Pouliot and also the pass by Nuge from Gretzky’s office.

    Also Davidson’s blast from the backend is new concept for the Oilers, need more of those.