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.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- 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
- 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.
|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|
|09:45||PIT||PPG – Phil Kessel (5) Snap shot – ASST: Kris Letang (5), Sidney Crosby (5)||2 – 1 PIT|
BEST OF THE TWEETS
— Jonathan Torrens (@TorrensJonathan) November 7, 2015
— GettingBetter (@Isuckatpicking) November 7, 2015
Was anyone watching when J. Shannon described Gryba as the offensive foil to Reinhart? I FEEL LIKE I’M TAKING CRAZY PILLS! @OilersNation
— Soren Riise (@sorcat44) November 7, 2015
— Ryan Jespersen (@ryanjespersen) November 7, 2015
@oilersnation how long until Mcdavid gets back again? It’s been like forever
— Gerard Murray (@GMurray237) November 7, 2015
— David Smitten (@DavidSmitten) November 7, 2015
Coming soon to the Pint Downtown (date unknown just yet) will be a pop up store where you can purchase all your favourite NationGear designs without having to wait for Chris the Intern to ship them. On top of the mobile store we will also be launching a bunch of new designs (including hats/toques) coming very soon.