GDB 14.0 Wrap Up: Penguins @ Oilers

Net

What did we ever do to the posts? Seriously. Final Score: 2-1 Penguins

All I could think about as tonight’s game went on was that Connor McDavid should have been out on the ice showing up Sidney Crosby. Part of me kept waiting for Connor to get out there and do something special as he has done over the first month of the regular season, but those shifts, obviously, never came. As such, I have a feeling that these next two months are going to crawl by as we wait for the precious to return from his broken collar bone. It’s going to be a long wait and the games won’t be as exciting without him.

The Penguins came into tonight’s game on a five game winning streak and they looked like it. The Oilers couldn’t get much going early on and the Penguins ended up maintaining puck possession throughout most of the first period. If it weren’t for a successful coach’s challenge the Oilers would have found themselves in a hole going into the second frame and deservedly so. McLellan used his first challenge of the season to successfully have a goal reversed because the Penguins had entered the zone offside prior to scoring. I’m still not sure how I feel about coach’s challenges but it was nice to have one go our way.

The Oilers played much better in the second period. They were actually able to develop a cycle, gain a few chances off the rush, and found a way to keep themselves in the game. As the game progressed the the defense were often jumping into the rush which put pressure on the Penguins, forced them to make quick reads, and wound up rewarded with a goal on a rocket from Oscar Klefbom.  I’m not sure what Todd McLellan said to the team in the first intermission but I can only assume a few clipboards flew across the room. Whatever he said seemed to work as the Oilers improved drastically as the night went on. 

Despite a better effort in the final 40 minutes of the game it was the Penguins power play (and several goal posts) that ended up being the difference. The Penguins were able to cash in the winner off of a deflected shot by Phil Kessel on their fourth power play of the night (the Oilers had two). Even though the Oilers’ PK has been good so far this season, giving teams like Pittsburgh too many cracks at it can only mean trouble. If that wasn’t bad enough the Oilers hit more posts than Gordon Bombay when he squared off against Wolf Stansson. I guess we could give the Oilers marks for effort for the final two periods, but that won’t give them points in the standings. 

We wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

ReturnoftheJedi

  • It was nice just seeing Jordan Eberle back on the ice. Having him back in the lineup doesn’t make me forget about Connor McDavid but it definitely softens the blow. And how about that beard!? Mercy!
  • Oscar Klefbom unleashed a howitzer of a shot over Zatkoff’s shoulder for his second goal of the season. Benoit Pouliot and Nail Yakupov picked up the assists on the play showing that they can, in fact, register points without Connor McDavid. At least it’s a start.
  • Taylor Hall is very good at hockey. He didn’t put up any points tonight but he was a driver for the Oilers. He’s exciting to watch right now. 
  • Todd McLellan used his first coach’s challenge on the season to challenge an offside against Patric Hornqvist which ended up cancelling out a goal. The challenge worked in our favour this time around but I still think it’s strange that a coach can question something that happened minutes before. It will take a while to get used to these things. 
  • Anders Nilsson showed that he’s not ready to be declared as the backup goalie in Edmonton. He played very well tonight finishing the game with 31 saves and a .939 save%. It will be interesting to see who McLellan decides to go with when the Oilers face the Blackhawks on Sunday. 
  • Leon Draisaitl is playing with a lot of confidence right now and it’s showing in his ability to handle and dish the puck. He nearly tied the game up late in the third period on a nice little rush that ended up with Draisaitl hitting the post. 
  • The Oilers went 52% in the faceoff circle (33 of 63)

THE FACE PALMERS

AttackoftheClones

  • When I was a kid my brother broke his collar bone after falling off the bed. I laughed at him mercilessly and I feel like Connor McDavid’s broken clavicle is my fault as a result. Feel free to blame me in the comments section, I deserve it. 
  • Pascal Dupuis was taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure before the game had started. Not sure what the issue was but you don’t want to see guys missing games because they’re in the hospital. All the best and a speedy recovery to Pascal Dupuis. 
  • Brutal start by the Oilers. The Penguins outshot them 15-5 in the first period, and it’s these type of starts that have been plaguing the Oilers for years. It must be driving Todd McLellan crazy. 
  • Phil Kessel scored but he shouldn’t have, in my opinion. The puck hit Brandon Davidson’s hand on the way to the net and deflected in past Nilsson. Lame goal, hot dogs. Okay so maybe I’m just being salty that he scored the winner. Fine. 
  • The Oilers hit the post four or five times tonight. Brutal puck luck. The hockey gods appear to be toying with us and we may have to sacrifice something. 
  • Andrej Sekera lost a winnable battle in the Oilers defensive end that led to Sprong’s second period goal. Be better, MAN. Thank you. 
  • Speaking of defenseman: does it bother anyone else that Darnell Nurse is arguably the best d-man on the team? I understand that is a credit to Darnell but I feel like there are some veterans that should be embarrassed about that. 
  • Zatkoff…. ZATKOFF! He was lights out tonight. 

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD
NONE
2ND PERIOD
00:45 EDM Oscar Klefbom (2) Slapshot – ASST: Benoit Pouliot (5), Nail Yakupov (9) 1 – 0 EDM
09:06 PIT Daniel Sprong (2) Snap shot – ASST: Matt Cullen (4), Sergei Plotnikov (2) 1 – 1 Tie
3RD PERIOD
09:45 PIT PPG – Phil Kessel (5) Snap shot – ASST: Kris Letang (5), Sidney Crosby (5) 2 – 1 PIT

BEST OF THE TWEETS

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NATIONGEAR UPDATES


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NationGear Instagram account for details.   

    • bradleypi

      Yup. Schultz should just quit hockey eh?? It’s not like he doesn’t have 60 more career points than Klef or anything….. yep the last 9 years have surely been jultzs fault for sure!! Yeesh….

    • Soiled Trousers

      DE ruined organisational momentum and esprit de corps which had been built up over 4 years,he was part of an evil group of unscrupulous bandits several of which are still here ,Katz did an 85% job of cleaning house.

      I am ok that Katz made many heads up pro-active moves to turn his ship around…I can even accept him keeping his Buddies around K-Lowe and Mac-T…..but the suppression which catalysed their promotions was never remediated,no reparations were actioned by Katz and no efforts were made to do so.In fact just a few months ago the EXACT SAME DYNAMIC of suppression WE SAW 8 YEARS AGO RECURRED….it happened again exactly as it did historiclly….so the catalyst of the Oiler Curse is still firmly in a position to influence the Teams future by covering up its past even today.Yes many faces have changed but some of the most evil IMPACTS are still around.

      Bobs internal audit was UNDERMINED and he did not ever get to the tap-root of the problem which was not players or Coaches it was a lack of an NHL level PROCESS—K-Lowes was garbage .DE was simply an extension of someone elses personality and intentions frustrations and failures…a front-man….willing to do dark deals.

      K-Lowe has never been face-to-face with the “cure” who instigated Bobs Audit and by proxy cleaned up Oiltowns mess and put him where he is today,IMHO about to spearhead Quebecs new NHL team,something which was predicated and planted 6 years ago by his Remediator.There arent many places you can promote a Pink Elephant to quietly now are there….you know what they say….proper planning prevents piss poor performance.Mi cas su casa now huh,see what we did there?

      Cornering the root cause of the Oilers chronic disease was like trying to catch a Greased Pig…..anybody ever done that?….I have,literally.It can be done but only by using 100% Intuition and Anticipation.

      Justin Schultz has every right to be a smooth quiet effective D-man in the NHL,his skillset is obviously there and he will fit into many NHL Processes impactfully,the Oilers have been dragging around empty Velvet Crown Royal Bags for over a decade now,the lust for a nasty tough D-man was so strong Pre-Nurse that expectations leaked through onto Justin Schultzes canvas….he was NEVER EVEN CONSIDERED as a dominating physical d-man by the Oilers who NEVER had that expectation of him,IMHO he has MET and is exceeding the Oilers original expectations of him.

      The Oilers now only have room for one slick offensive d-man,the roster has to COMPENSATE for this one man so he MUST ALLOWED TO PRODUCE high level offense….he must be set up to succeed.Justin Schultzes skillset makes him this man and he only fails if he refuses to take high risk high reward process supported chances….everyone has to remember WHY HE WAS BROUGHT HERE…..and support him optimally WITHIN THE PROCESS.JS is tailormade to fully ignite the Oilers offense but IMHO he was only used properly to date by Krueger and Gagner.How effectively Mac-L can build a solid one-focus consistant KISS Stand-Up defensive group will dictate how impactfull Justin schultes contrasting pushes will ultimately be.

      If you dont want to weave Justin Schultz into the offense….then move him somewhere where he can do so because he is a highly skilled offensive D-Man with NHL pedigree.

      Justin fits if he is the only one….if the entire defense is Stand-Up tough and sets a primary cerebral muscle-memory in the opponents beanbags ,and JS is allowed to be a consistant and stark CONTRAST to them,only then will he begin to bloom offensively and impact game outcomes with regularity.

      When Yak is encouraged by Process to be an energetic catalyst he can produce elite level opportunittys for his linemates,when he is not the puck magnet WE DRAFTED HIM TO BE…we lose and he loses….Nail needs pucks coming and going off of HIS stick so his jitterbug style can be optimised,when there are lots of pucks following him and going through Nails hands a 5on5 looks like a PowerPlay.He was special when he was drafted #1 overall and he has lived up to his billing +,he brings skill backed-truculence and energy at the NHL level in spades.Yak WAS used optimally for a time,but recently the Process was adjusted and then Conner was injured and Nails usage was changed. Mac-L needs to go back and look at the tapes when Nail was lighting it up and pay attention to the pucks hearbeat and see where it was going when those points were being produced,you will see that when Yak is the relay point in a non-structured o-zone he produces elite level scoring chances at a higher rate than everyone save Nuge,he flat-out uproots defensive structures on his own with his constant movement and now very good positioning.

      What DE did was screw the pooch on every level which required emotional inputs….he was an automaton emotionally,much to restrained and held back,watching him Coach was like watching him fight as a Player..no emotion..in there heads up but with no emotion,everything penned in and festering with no slow acting pressure-release valve to keep things stable leading to anerobic decisions and consistant unstoppable disconnects instead of aerobic ones.He couldnt learn how to fit the personalities and emotions and perspectives of his men onto his stylistic template….this disconnect was terminal…and DE consistantly dramaticlly mis-cast his players,he forgot he had a stable full of #1s not Redneck tough kids…he didnt ask ONE player to change their colors he DEMANDED 5 OF THEM DO IT AT THE SAME TIME to support his own gameplans evolutionary template which showed a serious defensive-structure over-dependancy and zero patience.

      Justin Schultz is past the DE era of Doom as is the entire roster….the NHL is a fast flowing river and you must stay afloat or you disappear under the surface silently and quickly.Justin and his teammates all seem to be driving forward nicely now….however a lot of others have been rightfully dragged under by the NHLs evolutionary currents,finally I might add.A couple are still hanging in there clinging to rocks and tree roots,we saw one during intermission the game Conner was hurt in,but this is a short-term battle mother nature always wins,either you end up FAR UPSTREAM SEPERATED FOREVER FROM YOUR ORIGINAL GROUPING and survive or you stay under and feed the fishes.

      Conner McDavidskys arrival ensures the DE era of Doom is a frown turned upside down FOREVER,only someone like Conner could overshadow and remediate the Doom we all experienced.We CAN justifiably say it was worth it now.

      • dougtheslug

        I love the way I can exercise my index finger by vigorously scrolling down through NAS’s posts. It’s just about the only exercise I get on lazy Saturday morning.

        I don’t know what you wrote, NAS, but never change, son, never change.

        • Soiled Trousers

          @Dougtheslug….spooky trivia….did you know that Wayne Gretzkys middle name is Douglas and Mark Messiers middle name is also Douglas and that one of Messiers sons is also named Douglas ?

          Impressed that I “Doug” that trivia up for everyone?

          • Soiled Trousers

            Everything is just a lead-in RU.

            For you we saved the best trivia of all…. NAS and his Grandfather also carry the name Douglas .

            “Doug”theslug
            Wayne “Douglas” Gretzky
            NewAgeSys”Douglas”…
            Mark “Douglas” Messier
            “Douglas” Messier/Marks son
            NewAgeSys Grandfather”Douglas”…
            “Douglas” Messier/Marks Father

            Hot Diggity Doug huh?

            R U Kidding Me!

            Nope.

            Even cooler did you know Waynes Maternal linege is English and his Paternal lineage is Slavic/Ukrainian and his Fathers name is Walter and his name is Douglas …also that…NASs Maternal lineage is English and his Paternal lineage is Slavic/Ukrainian and his Fathers name is Walter and like Wayne also he has the name Douglas?

            Wayne Gretzky,NAS,and Mark Messier as well, all have Maternal lineage from Merry Olde England.

            Theres more ,its just plain spooky.We are saving the rest for the book/TSN Special we are working on.R U Kidding Me?you are on the list for a signed 1st Ed.1st Print copy ok?

        • dougtheslug

          Dont give up yet…the Oilers are finally getting near the top of 1/3 the Cores evolutionary curve…they WILL play over .500 hockey until McDavid returns and then will push for the Playoffs.

          We know why we have lost games now,Mac-L IS adjusting, we were missing process based tactical contact and it cost us 4 games minimum,however remember we had issues winning individual puck battles which we fixed,we had issues wih positioning being on the right side of the puck without it and we fixed that,we had issues with shot selection and management we fixed,we had issues with the forecheck we fixed,he d-zone has been solid from day one,KISS like it needs to be,we had issues with defining and understanding shot volumes and their intentions and we fixed that so we werent simply creating low% shots on net,we adjusted Halls game and made him physical and made him give up more pucks,we supported Yaks game by making him a catalyst line manager for a bit then recently backed off?,we got Nuge shooting the pucks more being goal hungry, Mac-L IS getting more out of everyone.Nurse is looking good so is Reinhardt and Sekera is coming round,Leon Draisaitl is being allowed to compete and win icetime and he just might amaze everyone methinks by STAYING ON THE 1ST LINE.

          Dont throw in the towel just yet.

          I am betting my Gypsy Dollar that the Oilers are a minimum of 2 games over .500 when McDavidsky returns to action.

          • dougtheslug

            If the Oilers aren’t challenging for a spot, there is something wrong with this core. 6 years of ridiculously high picks plus now good goaltending. No more excuses.

          • dougtheslug

            I agree 100%, the EXPECTATION TO WIN CONSISTANTLY IS HERE AND NOW….not on the horizon anymore.

            I digress that there is something wrong with this core and will add there is something wrong with how this core has been UTILISED WITHIN A PROCESS….the process has been 2nd rate until Mac-L arrived,its not really much different in that ownerships MESSAGE is coming through just as strongly as ever,Mac-L is simply more intuitive and able to change and adapt,he hs written his own message within the MESSAGE and it is getting through to his men,this message translation and continuance was an area of progress the Oilers were severely lacking in and which was stunting their organisational evolution..

            I EXPECT Players to have evolved individually and this by proxy sould translate into more wins and I am counting on this,on each and every man to have made incremental progress that cumulatively pushes the bus forward.I am seeing this so I am not concerned about playing .500 hockey,mac-L has a good enough process and his crew has shown they can adjust it.Now its just a matter of doing homework and building proper pre-game templates and putting in the hard work individually continuing to evolve each mans game within this new process,consistantly setting micro-goals to keep the men all on top of their games over and above System responsibilitys,like Hallsy has recently done by adjusting his personal game,like a lot of young Oilers are learning to effectively do,execute within the System first then adjust their super-skills accordingly after they have established a solid System heartbeat.First get things working in KISS manner,then add fuel to the engines once everything is running smoothly.This could take 2 shifts or ten minutes or 2 periods,but until the System is being executed properly defensively we cannot impactfully add offense.Its up to he Coaches to identify momentum and tactical reality and know when their men are executing System-wise and need to ADD FUEL,when to green-light their creativity.Executing the NHS 2-Minute Drill establishes this cerebral muscle memory or habit,it establishes a temporary benchmark to work from dynamiclly which takes the men from stable to risky anerobicly so they EXPERIENCE it SIX TIMES A GAME .Normally his cerebral muscle-memory excercise only happens 2-3 times a game,this NHS 2-Minute Drill EXPEDITES player maturation by exposing them to a specific dynamic a higher volume of times than ANYONE ELSE IN THE NHL their own ages.

            Yes,I expect results now,but because of the very real-life dysfunction within the Oilers organisational Superstructure which we all witnessed catalyse the fall of a Dynastic olde boys club ,I must in good conscience and fairness make a Pro-Rated statement of expectations which is 4-5 years off the normal timeline.I mulligan everything since 2011 due to organisationa dysfunction and underperformance.

            I expect to be within 5 games of Playoff berth realisticly and ProRated,I WANT AND WORK FOR A STANLEY CUP WIN with my intentions hoping for things to click for this current group which can happen in ONE SINGLE GAME.

          • R U Kidding Me!

            Everyone that trashes newage is so lame he’s been here forever and sure his posts are ridiculous sometimes but he always has hope and at least he days something entertaining instead of so and so sucks trade him. Let him rant hahahah

        • pkam

          Can I ask you a favor? Please don’t quote NAS’s posting, perhaps the post number for reference. Every reply quoting his original post increase the noise to signal ratio by a huge margin.

        • Soiled Trousers

          No its not Jesus… its NAS…everything is OK those arent the Pearly Gates its your bedroom doorway,you can wake up now Sunshine ,its morning sleepy eyes.

          Relax lol , this is an entertainment forum and everything is fantasy based conjecture unless we can link to some external data source that for some odd reason we will all trust more than each other…..when it is no more valid than the site we are on…lol.

          Content breeding content.

          We’re just banging some creative superficial ideas around here for fun.

          The internet is the best thing to hit NHL Hockey in 40 years….and no one has brought the two together optimally yet but we are giving it our best shot.

          I mean where else can you double the bang for your entertainment buck like this…watch entertaining NHL games AND in REAL-TIME banter back and forth fantasy-hockey ideas with your
          peer group from all over world.For free to boot.

          And what the heck sometimes reality and our fantasy FanPosts intersect …even a blind Squirrel finds 2 nuts every morning right? Isnt that how it goes?lol.

  • pkam

    “When I was a kid my brother broke his collar bone after falling off the bed. I laughed at him mercilessly and I feel like Connor McDavid’s broken clavicle is my fault as a result. Feel free to blame me in the comments section, I deserve it.”

    Funny the first thing I thought when I saw Connor get hurt is “how did baggedmilked ruin this for the rest of OilersNation”. Now I know (and knowing is half the battle).

    P.S. Boo baggedmilk.

  • pkam

    I am much prouder of this version of the Oilers than any of the last few years at least they are playing the right way but it sure would be nice to get rewarded with some wins. The bottom six need to make a bigger contribution to scoring even just a little it would make a big difference. Lander looks like he is playing with zero confidence and Letestu has not brought anything to the table here. Nurse, Klefbom, Reinhart and Davidson finally give us some hope for a future blueline. This team is inching its way toward to being a better team at least I haven’t thrown the remote at the TV so far this season.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    The team is playing much better this year. Aside from a weak period here and there (or the game against Dallas), they’ve been in every game until the end. I understand the frustration as the losses have piled up again this year, but I really believe the team has improved.

    We hit how many posts last night? If one of those goes in, we’re having a completely different discussion right now.

    How about Chiarelli picking up Nilsson for Liam friggin Coughlin? Looks like a steal so far.

  • Spydyr

    Did anyone else hear the commentators talking about Kevin Lowe and how happy he is that Davidson is the first defenseman in a long time to come up through the Oilers system to play in the NHL…. Petry hasn’t even been gone a year, go away Kevin

  • Like many games this year the oilers had this game in their grasp. At 5-9 I’m not sure what the hockey gods have against the oilers. Puck just didn’t want to go in last night. Frustrating and they did deserve a better fate. Oilers typically have Chicagos number and I expect the oilers to come out flying Sunday night.

    • R U Kidding Me!

      The Hawks game is an opportunity to correct the Time-line,the Oilers can come out executing a complete Hammer and Anvil focus and DESTROY THE HAWKS NHS modified Adjusted-Hybrid System which is Possesion/Transition based in a one-sided beatdown like we did when Silent Sam scored 8 points and joined Gretzky in the Record books.

      An 8-4 Oilers win,with an Eberle 8 point night would be nice to see.

      Crush em and Rush em fellas,use the Hawks as a springboard to graduate the high collapse defense you have been using into a full on Hammer and Anvil process that establishes itself on or above the blueline and support it with qick-strike offense when you turn and burn right to the bucket with every single takeaway and puck retrieval you get from backchecking and cleaning up pucks after your d-men blow up opponents..

      The “Gap” created when the defense collapses and surrenders the blueline is the same size and creates the same primary impact as the one created when you stand up the playaction slightly above your blueline like 3 feet above it.You choose where to build that “Gap” so why build it in YOUR OWN ZONE when you can build it OUTSIDE of your own zone???

      If Hendricks Stand-Up hit on the opposition blueline is COPIED 100% and added congruently to Mac-ls “process”…you will prevent the Hawks from catalysing their offensive process out of their d-zone exits,preventing them from building the n-zone multi-speed sequences they bleed for.

      Everything Hawks builds from the transition game,own the lines and you shut their Possesion/Transition game down for 60 muinutes.Their puck carrier is ALWAYS greenlit for an extended possesion dance wherever he needs to go by process,so owning the lines removes this terminal catalyst by proxy with no extra cerebral work or adjusting.

      The Hammer and Anvil folks a tailormade Bird-Killer …brought to you by the creator of the NHS Modified Adjusted-Hybrid the Hawks use…..Oilers SMASH!!

  • Team played a decent game defensively,including strong goal tending, however, they did not win!The effort was there, but spent too much of the game in their own zone.

    Although Hall and Draisaitl were awesome, need to finish better. You cant get too far in the NHL scoring one goal a game.[team]

    I don’t buy the “hit the pipe” story, you miss by an inch, you miss by a mile, applies here.

  • R U Kidding Me!

    I don’t like seeing the loses piling up but It’s much better watching this team lose than that disgusting mess we endured last year. And the year before.

    The D is looking better than I anticipated (considering Sekera isn’t as good as I expected). Goaltending has been fine.

    Goal scoring let us down again. Can’t win games scoring only one goal. We’re trending good. Results will come.

  • This time, last season, the Oilers were -21 in terms of Goals For/Goals Against in 14 games.

    This year, the Oilers are -6 in Goals For/Goals Against in 14 games.

    Scoring went up by a goal, but they cut down the goals against drastically, by just over a goal a game.

    I see this as progress. Some of this has to do with better goaltending, but some of this has to do with better structure and better execution.

    I think tonight’s game against the Hawks will be a big test. One that I think the Oilers will fail, but it’ll expose true weaknesses with the team.