Moral victories don’t pay the bills. Final Score: 1-0 Capitals.
The last time the Oilers played the Capitals it wasn’t really much of a game. The Caps were so clearly the better team that you almost wondered how they were even playing in the same league — and that was WITH Connor McDavid in the lineup. Back in October, the Oilers made too many mistakes and the Capitals torched them to a 7-4 loss. What scared me was that somehow tonight’s lineup featured an even younger defensive six than what they had at Rexall Place.
If the Oilers were going to have any chance at winning this game they were going to have to play a damned good road game. Early on, it looked like they just may do that. Tonight was another night where the Oilers actually started the game like they were expecting to play hockey, a strange sight around here. In years past, the Oilers having a good start start was about as common as a lunar eclipse. I don’t know if I’ve been drinking more than normal, but I think it’s actually becoming a trend! Not only were the Oilers once again able to have a great start, they were actually able to maintain their level of play throughout the majority of the night.
Tonight was the first game all year where the Oilers went into the third period in a scoreless tie. If they were going to win they were going to have to find a way to beat Holtby and they were going to have to limit the Capitals offensive zone time. Although the Oilers did play well in the third period they just couldn’t beat Braden Holtby. The chances were there, but the goals didn’t follow. At the end of the day Holtby really is the story of this game. As much as I know you guys don’t want to hear it the Oilers deserved better than what they got. They should have won this game.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Darnell Nurse just keeps getting better and it’s hard not to get excited to watch him develop. I said it on the podcast (below) and I’ll say it here too: if Garth Snow wants Darnell Nurse as part of the Hamonic deal then I’d want Chiarelli to do nothing. This guy is a stud.
- The Oilers had another really good start. The Capitals are a solid hockey team and the Oilers carried the play through the first 20 minutes. The Oilers outshot the Caps 13-7 in the first period.
- It was good to see Klefbom come back after taking the stick to the face.
- It’s a sad day when outshooting teams is an actual highlight. Oilers outshot the Capitals 33-30.
- Anders Nilsson looked solid tonight, and he gave the team a chance to win. With the way Nilsson seems to have taken hold of the net I wonder when the next time Talbot will see the crease. Nilsson finished the night with 29 saves and a .967 save%.
- The penalty kill was great again tonight and killed off all three Capital chances.
- At least we won the Corsi? (54/43 according to War-on-Ice)
THE FACE PALMERS
- Day 20 without Connor McDavid. It’s only been 20 days… seriously.
- I almost missed the start of the game due to this stupid snow that’s happening right now. I know that has nothing to do with the game but I felt it was worth mentioning.
- The Oilers needed their power play to score on the four minute advantage and they couldn’t get it done. The Oilers went 0/3 on the power play in a night where they desperately needed it to score.
- It didn’t help that those four minutes came as a result of Oscar Klefbom taking a stick to the face and so he couldn’t man the point. Klefbom did return to the game later, and he was very lucky. Backstrom’s stick was basically on his eyeball.
- How annoying was Holtby on that four-man-advantage in the second period? Guy looked like Dominic Hasek out there. Either that or the Oilers were shooting directly at him (also possible).
- Actually, I hate Braden Holtby.
- How many one goal losses have we seen this season (the answer is nine)? The Oilers have to find a way to win some of these. The Oilers deserved to win this game and it’s annoying that they did not.
- Anyone have a goat we can sacrifice? I didn’t want it to come to this.
|13:28||WSH||Dmitry Orlov (2) Slapshot – ASST: Tom Wilson (5), Brooks Laich (2)||1 – 0 WSH|
BEST OF THE TWEETS
Hey Connor, it’s Mess… let’s not make this awkward… do you have Leon’s number?
— Rob Tychkowski (@Sun_Tychkowski) November 24, 2015
Somebody needs to cut 4 inches off Yak’s stick…. @OilersNation
— Con-Air McDavid (@ConAirMcDavid) November 24, 2015
— Stephanie Turner (@oilcountrygurl) November 24, 2015
@OilersNation having Holtby in my fantasy team really doesn’t make it better!!
— Joshua Field (@eljosho12) November 24, 2015
— Cam (@azoilfan4) November 24, 2015
@OilersNation totally making the moral victory playoffs and great odds for the moral victory Stanley Cup.
— Brian MacKay (@Tooq) November 24, 2015
Talk to me Twitter. Hit me up on Twitter at @jsbmbaggedmilk for your chance at ending up in the GDB Wrap Up.
THE NORTH X NORTHGRETZ PODCAST
Every Monday we release a new episode of the North x NorthGretz podcast where we talk about what’s happening around the Nation, behind the scenes at Nation HQ, and the adventures of Chris the Intern. In Episode 4 the boys take a look at the Oilers goaltending controversy, Leon Draisaitl’s hotness, and Chris the Intern even offers Jeanshorts some dating advice.