GDB 15.0 Wrap Up: Oilers @ Blackhawks

On the bright side, we’re one game closer to McDavid’s return. Final Score: 4-2 Blackhawks

Before the game started I was calling for an Oiler to put up an eight point night against the Hawks, just like Sam Gagner did on February, 2012. Miss Milk told me to stop yelling and get off the furniture, but I wasn’t in the mood for listening. Sure, I had been drinking a little bit, I’ll admit that. Regardless, I was going to stick with my pipe dreams and hope for the best. I felt like the Oilers have been playing well enough to blow a game open, and the defending champs would be the least likely of victims. They were due for an eight point night and it was going to be glorious.

My eight point night didn’t look good early on and it wasn’t just the alcohol piling up that was to blame. When the Blackhawks put a goal away less than a minute into the game I was upset. When they scored a second time before the frame ended, I had the warm fuzzy feelings of my pre-game buzz start to turn on me. I’m not sure why the Oilers seem to have subconsciously decided to shit the bed early on in games, but it’s not working out for them and getting old in a hurry. Although I applaud the Oilers’ much improved play throughout the remainder of the game, I don’t generally advise spotting teams two goals and then deciding it’s a good idea to push back. 

After pulling themselves to within a goal after outscoring the Blackhawks two to one in the third period, the Oilers were unable to completely dig themselves out of their early deficit. Unfortunately the slow-start-comeback-plan backfired once again and the offensive smoke turned into fire too late, preventing the Oilers from completing the comeback. To the Blackhawks’ credit, they were able to capitalize on their chances, and got the saves they needed to win. Corey Crawford stole the show for long stretches of the night whereas Talbot was unable to bail out his team when the Oilers needed a game saver. There were things to like about tonight’s game, but quite frankly I’m tired of writing about moral victories.

Oilers lose. We wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

FindingMoney

  • At least we got to listen to Bob Cole call a hockey game. He’s not what he once was, but I’ve known his voice all my life and it’s always nice to hear.
  • Darnell Nurse continues to impress with the way he has simplified his game. He’s not always trying to jump into the rush, he’s been effective at picking his spots. Not to mention his defense has been sound. Having him in the NHL may not have been the plan but I don’t see a world where they can send him back now. Nurse played 19:40 minutes in all situations tonight and registered an assist on Sekera’s third period goal.
  • After a very slow first period the Oilers were excellent in the second. The Oilers fired 22 shots on net, and if not for Crawford they might have found themselves with a lead and not a two goal deficit going into the third period.
  • Jordan Eberle scored his first goal of the season after banging home a rebound on the power play. Here’s hoping that goal kickstarts his silky mitts for a run of points. The squeeeee is in high demand. 
  • Nugey registered his 200th career point with an assist on Eberle’s first of the season. He played a team high 23:35 TOI. 
  • Andrej Sekera scored his first goal of the season on a big clapper from the point. Oddly enough Teddy Purcell landed an assist on the play meaning the two current goats gets to share a carrot post game. 
  • At least we won the Corsi. Oilers outshot the Blackhawks 36-28.
  • The power play went one for one in its only chance of the night. I think there should have been more power play chances for the Oilers, but maybe that’s just me. 

THE FACE PALMERS

StepInPoo

  • Game two without McDavid. Still hurts.
  • Another bad start against a good team. It’s not exactly a winning combination, as we know. The Blackhawks scored 58 seconds into the first period and the Oilers were chasing from there.
  • This was the second game in a row where the Oilers were only able to muster five shots in the first period. Ugly. 
  • Breakout passes are a huge issue right now. I wish I could tell you how many times the Blackhawks intercepted the Oilers attempt at breaking out of the zones (who am I, Willis?), because it must have been a high number.
  • Is it just me or are the Oilers seriously short on power play chances? You can’t tell me that the Blackhawks only got caught cheating once all night. Shenanigans! Meanwhile the Oilers went to the box four times.
  • Artemi Panarin was the Oiler killer. Two goals in the first 20 minutes and multiple chances for more as the night continued. 
  • Cam Talbot seemed to settle in after the first period only to allow a goal on a stoppable backhander by Patrick Kane in the slot. Earlier in the season we would have seen Talbot stop those kind of shots, and I wonder if his confidence is a little shaky right now. He was only okay tonight which muddies the waters of what exactly is going on in the crease… AGAIN. I’m not saying Talbot was to blame for everything that went in but he certainly needs to be better. Talbot finished the night with 24 saves and an .857 save%.
  • Corey Crawford made all the saves we needed Talbot to make. Crawford finished with 34 saves and a .944 save%.

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD
00:58 CHI Artemi Panarin (3) Slapshot – ASST: Patrick Kane (11) 1 – 0 CHI
17:35 CHI Artemi Panarin (4) Wrist shot – ASST: Patrick Kane (12), Brent Seabrook (8) 2 – 0 CHI
2ND PERIOD
NONE
3RD PERIOD
02:56 EDM PPG – Jordan Eberle (1) Wrist shot – ASST: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (7), Oscar Klefbom (5) 2 – 1 CHI
13:28 CHI Patrick Kane (10) Backhand shot – ASST: Artem Anisimov (3), Artemi Panarin (11) 3 – 1 CHI
18:09 EDM Andrej Sekera (1) Slapshot – ASST: Teddy Purcell (3), Darnell Nurse (2) 3 – 2 CHI
19:54 CHI PPG – Artem Anisimov (6) Wrist shot – ASST: Patrick Kane (13), Niklas Hjalmarsson (2) 4 – 2 CHI

BEST OF THE TWEETS

Who is your daddy and what does he do? Tweet at @OilersNation and @jsbmbaggedmilk during the game for your chance to end up in Best of the Tweets. 

THE NATIONGEAR POP-UP STORE


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. 

NationGear Instagram account for details.    

  • Rob...

    I understand that we have no confidence in our D’s ability to handle the puck but I will never understand being in possession of the puck and choosing to dump it into the offensive zone instead of passing back to the D to keep possession and initiate the next drive. We are crippling ourselves at least 6 times a period due to this stupid philosophy.

  • Gooilgo

    Yikes, another year in the crapper I think. Nobody should expect the Oil to really beat Chicago but this was another game with more of the same death march to out of the playoffs.

    What confuses me a bit is we say we are moving forward but we keep playing duds like Fayne, we don’t have intensity, goaltending is still weak, pairings are still an experiment etc.

    Is Cirelli a true NHL GM or the bum that doesn’t understand talent (Tyler etc.)? For many years every oiler fan knows what issues exist with this team but I sure don’t see the management talent doing anything to fix it.

    Getting tired of drafting kids on a make work project, get some friggin Real NHL talent please.

  • The Oil made Chicago work for it which is a marked improvement for recent games played in that barn. Most notably Crawford…. he was really good.

    I though Klefbom gave the Hawks far too much respect at key points in the game and did not trust his own great skill set. That second panarin goal was just….. bah.

    • Kevwan

      Yes.

      And Talbot is not the problem.

      They won’t hold other teams to one goal or less. If they can’t score more than 2 goals per game they aren’t going to win many games.

      How many shots in the second? How many goals? There’s one of the problems.

  • A-Mc

    This 1 win of every 3 is like a bad taste in your mouth that just wont go away..

    Looking at the roster, i’d think we would have enough tools to get the job done more frequently but that does not seem to be the case. I’m not sure what to do about the team, but then again – im not the one making the decisions.

    In PC i trust!

  • OILFANMEXICO

    Five games to go before Chiarelli said he would evaluate the team fully. We will see if he cleans house or waits till trade deadline day. A lot of experts are saying he will not sit on his hands. Can’t wait to get all the dead weight off the books. I hope it’s sooner than later as we need help NOW.

  • Al Theeathoone

    Is this the “fast start” we were all told McLelland always gets his teams off to at the beginning of the season? Where is the high powered high scoring power play we were told McLelland and his posse would bring to this team? Where’s the defensive “structure” we were told to expect? Where’s the grit, the playing hard, the blah blah blah…

    Where is the evidence for the improvement we all expected from this so called experienced NHL coaching staff? Where’s the coaching staff AND MANAGEMENT that was going to change the culture of this team and get them trending upwards?

    McLelland came in here with almost exactly the same know it all, know everything attitude that Eakins did. Like Eakins his “I’m gonna teach these kids how to play hockey” philosophy isn’t working with these players AGAIN. He’s Eakins 2.0 only with a lot more yelling on the bench and yelling and swearing at the players in practices.

    Let’s face it – the man has been “OUT COACHED” in every game so far this season and clearly NOBODY ON THIS TEAM IS BUYING IN.

    It’s the “Coach’s job” is to get their team ready to play.

    Losing to the Flames in the last week of Oct. exposed McLelland big time. Clearly Hartley out coached McLelland. Bob Hartley got his team ready to play the game. McLelland didn’t. Hartley didn’t win coach of the year last year because he had the best game plans or had some magical previously unknown hockey system that the rest of the NHL for some reason didn’t know about. He instilled a “get ready for the game, we can beat any team, never give up, attitude” into the Flames players, causing two thirds of them to play way above their skill level leading to a highly successful season.

    McLelland let a fragile team with the worst defensive record in the league, a team that couldn’t score, couldn’t keep the puck out of their net, and facing another loss that night that might have ended their playoff hopes for this year – scored 5 goals and embarrassed us in our own barn? HUGE SEASON ALTERING FAIL.

    Just relax – sit back and think how good this Oiler team could be if their coach could get this team as inspired to play each game as Bob Hartley is able to do in Calgary with much less talent. Really – just think about that.

    Stop blaming the defense and wishing that the Oilers had a stud defense man. Stop blaming individual players like Nikitin, Ference, Schultz, Yakupov, Purcell, Fayne, Gryba, Lander and all the others you constantly believe are causing the Oilers to lose. And now it’s all Talbot’s fault? Do you really think our other Goalie will do any better with these coaches?

    How much better would each of those players be if they could be convinced they could beat anybody at any time – like the red heathens from Southern Alberta (who are now looking at us from their rear view mirrors AGAIN) seem to be able to do?

    The Oilers need THE PROPER COACHES FOR THIS TEAM. Is there anything more clear than that?

    Where is that coach? Who is that coach? I have no idea – but I am not getting paid millions of dollars annually to “pretend” that I do know.

    Your move Nicholson.

  • Kevwan

    They’re 4-3 when scoring more than 3 goals.

    1-7 when scoring 2 or less, which isn’t surprising. Disappointing though, is that they’ve scored 2 or less in 8 of 15 games.

    Edmonton is where goalies go to die.