GDB 21.0 Wrap Up: Oilers @ Capitals

Voodoo

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. 

We wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

Santa

  • 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

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  • 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. 

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD
NONE
2ND PERIOD
NONE
3RD PERIOD
13:28 WSH Dmitry Orlov (2) Slapshot – ASST: Tom Wilson (5), Brooks Laich (2) 1 – 0 WSH

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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.  

You can subscribe to the podcast on our Soundcloud, and on iTunes

PREVIOUS EPISODES:

  • Soiled Trousers

    Ten years and a thousand failed rebuilds later and the Oilers are still last. Enough of this tough schedule hot goalie garbage. Winners win and losers make excuses. CrackT and Kblowe should be fired on principle for making this team the joke of the league. What makes me even madder is that greedy dirt bag Katz keeps rolling in the cash because people still pay to watch this gong show.

    • Devolution

      Gong show? Have you been watching these games? The record would indicate a gong show but man are they playing well. They just can’t get over the last hump. As long as they keep playing like they are the wins will come. Knit row is a must win, they have to beat Carolina.

    • Heschultzhescores

      Ya, the schedule has been rough on the oilers for years. Come on NHL, where’s the California Golden Seals when you need them. Oh, wait a minute, we are the modern day version of that team…the biggest difference being the climate they played in.

    • giddy

      7-13-1… I wonder what could it possibly be??? It’s almost like after 6 years of rebuilding people are expecting them to be almost an average team… Crazy!!

  • Van isl Oiler

    What irritates me the most about these losses is that if Mcdavid was in the line up I’m almost certain we would have atleast 3-4 more wins. They are so much better then what their record is and if we had our full line up the results would be there.

    • Serious Gord

      So all these years of rebuild and high draft picks and this teams success hinges on one 18 year old with 12 games under his belt? This is not a dig at Connor, he is awesome, just silly that any and all team success should rely on him.

      • Dwayne Roloson 35

        It doesn’t all fall on MCDavid and its not silly to rely on a generational talent to make your team better. We would have a better record with him in the lineup. He’s just that good.

        2 wins in 8 games since McDavid went down. We all know the problem the oilers have. We all know we can’t win without fixing that problem.

        This still isn’t the year. I still think we will pass some teams in the standings during the next 61 games.

        • hagar

          No doubt mcdavid could have been the tipping point to save a couple losses, but we shouldn’t be worse this year without him than last.

          If we require Connor to get out of last place, then Connor isn’t the answer plain and simple.

  • ComeAtMeDog

    Yak I love just ain’t that good I’m kinda realizing .

    Holy by is behind price as canada goalie for sho

    Not bad tho . We are close to turning the ship . Bring on some lower level teams

  • pkam

    I nominate Yak…For the Goat of the Game…A two on nothing and he gets so excited that he passes the puck way to hard to Taylor and they don’t even get a shot

    • Oilerfool

      What’s funny is if it was hall passing to yakapov it would be yaks fault for not having a strong stick. It was a great pass it just didn’t work out

    • Heschultzhescores

      For the amount of ice time Yak gets, and the amount of ice team he’s had with quality linemates, and considering its now his fourth year in the league, the excuses are over. What does he have, two goals? Brutal.

      Yak needs to score once in awhile, because he doesn’t bring much else to the table. I’m tired of all the Yak City crap and so many in Oilers Nation giving him unconditional support. I want the Oilers to win, and until Yakapov starts producing on a more regular basis, then he’s part of the problem, not the solution, for the franchise to turn in around.

    • Soiled Trousers

      He was really visible on the forecheck and backcheck tonight. Looked like Bergeron.

      Too bad Ebs tripped over his own feet when a broken up breakout pass landed right on his stick in the slot.

    • hagar

      Yak is a runway with no control tower. Oilers are playing a man short every time he’s on the ice.

      Great shooter? I doubt that he could hit the water if he fell out of the boat.
      Trade him for the proverbial bag of pucks and let’s move on.

      So the Katz kid made a bad call but what the hell it was only his first draft so let him make the pick in the seventh round of the next draft ,who knows he could get lucky

  • giddy

    Losing these games just makes me really, really miss McDavid. Imagine if our top two lines were the PurHallSaitl line and the McYakPou line. Then Ebs and Nuge + whoever on the third or however McLellan wants to square it up. Any one of those lines could be considered number 1 trios.

  • Ovenchicken69

    The oilers played maybe their best game all season. Full 60 minute effort against one of the if not the best team(s) in the league. Hall was flying again. So was draisaitl. If this team can play like this every night they have a damn good chance of winning. Holtby proved why he’s in the elite of the elite category. I can see them winning the next 4 games on the road after watching tonight.

  • giddy

    Edmonton played so well and had the chances. I’m pissed at yakapov, if he can’t even score on a 2-0 he is useless. He needs to start scoring. That’s why the oilers drafted him. So many wasted opportunities tonight. Oilers had them for abojt 5 minutes and had several chance. Holtby was good but the oilers need to finish. Frustrating night.

    Bright spot, Nilson is out man right now.

  • Heschultzhescores

    This roadtrip was going to include a loss, and this was it.

    They’re gonna win the rest and end up 4-1-0 on this trip. If they don’t, I’m sending cheeseburgers* to everyone here!!

    *cheeseburger may be of emoticon variety

  • S cottV

    Would have to agree that for the money earned in that game, Eberle provided the least value.

    He really does look to be a non factor.

    Some think he can return a quality d man?

    No.

  • S cottV

    Would have to agree that for the money earned in that game, Eberle provided the least value.

    He really does look to be a non factor.

    Some think he can return a quality d man?

    No.

  • Heschultzhescores

    The fist makes my knees tickle on a regular basis. But after a loss like this it’s just straight up annoying. Stop it, it’s not funny. Trash away idiots

  • giddy

    I think Hall was more than surprised on that play, Yak and Hall dont pass to each other. But you gotta give the game to Holtby, this game could have been 7-0 for the Oilers. Holtby was unreal.

    • Mooseroni

      Why is it that the Oilers always play against a hot goalie.

      Against Chicago Crawford game saver on Hall. Many other examples.

      Are our forwards that bad or what is going on?

      • hagar

        If the excuse is that the goalies are always better than they should be when we lose, then I would lean towards the team not being good enough.

        I truly get the feeling that wins could and should be happening, but maybe the league is simply improving faster, or at the same pace the oilers are, and while we see the obvious improvements, the improvements aren’t enough to win?

        • Serious Gord

          “maybe the league is simply improving faster, or at the same pace the oilers are”

          Great point. I hadn’t given that that much thought but I think there is a lot to that.

  • S cottV

    Oilers played a good structured road game.

    They deserved better.

    Coaching staff looks to be starting to get their stuff across.

    Needed Yak to get one or an assist on the 2 on 0.

    Over jerking on things. You don’t throw that nuclear pass in that situation. Show some composure and keep it alive for a possible return pass.

    Easy to say for us but if you’re supposed to be a high end guy, that puck should have been buried and we don’t even get a shot.

  • Soiled Trousers

    I know the Oil are once again sitting all alone in 30th but it is such a different experience watching the team over the last few weeks. For the last 7 or so seasons, I would leave Rexall or turn the TV off in a state of disgust for having wasted my time and money.

    Recently, I feel like every game is winnable and there is both a noticeable effort put forth and the semblance of some team systems. Reverse some bad puck luck, some blown and bad luck calls and the record wouldn’t look so bad.

    Dare I say they are visually better?

    Brighter days are coming.

  • Serious Gord

    Kind of boring game to watch but in a good way.

    The oil seem to be buying into the coaching – playing a pretty disciplined and effective defensive game. The caps really didn’t get a lot of scoring chances and needed a perfect shot to get the goal and the win.

    That noted the offense was inept and looked out of sync. Did anyone else notice with the goalie pulled hall tried to carry the puck into the wash zone against four defenders rather than chip and chase? I wouldn’t mind once or twice but he seems to do it so often.

    Best looking dead last team in a generation or more.

  • Soiled Trousers

    Why is our club so firmly committed to losing ? We are not getting better than anyone . Hopefully getting McDavid back will at least make rest of year a little more tolerable .

    • hagar

      They are at 80-85 percent the last ten games, and by my eye 98 percent this game..

      It’s just not enough.

      Our best performances are competitive losses against good teams.

      Hats off to Todd for what he is doing with what he has.. you would need to be blind to not notice the difference.

      I saw a look in OV’s face tonight that made me feel good about the way the team played. He honestly had a look like he couldn’t beat up his little brother.

      It was close, but not enough.

      It just isn’t there, but it is going in the right direction.

  • giddy

    Different script with the same result. When are we finally going to climb out of the basement? Until then, we’ll remain the joke of the league.

    I know we’re making improvements but c’mon. With the talent we’ve assembled, its beyond embarrassing to be stuck where we are.

  • Stack Pad Save

    I don’t know why you are all hating on Yakupov after todays game. At least he generated scoring chances, he hit, he turned pucks over for the Oilers and he didn’t have any monumental give aways.

    Hall almost single handedly handed the game to the Caps on a give away at his own blue line when he was the last man back.

    Eberle was non-existent, non-factor….terrible.

    I am no Yakupov fan, in fact I would trade him in an instance for just about anything. but this one wasn’t on him.

    • Danglishish

      Yak supporters keep saying “he’s a finisher, that’s what he brings to the table.” But he looks like a terrible finisher. 2 on 0 with Hall and can’t get a shot off?

      The thing that Yak is best at on the Oilers is making a dangle at the offensive end blueline and drawing the rest of his line offside. He does this at least once a game. This is something you learn not to do when you’re 10 years old. Love the guy but I’m done defending him.