GDB 28.0 Wrap Up: Sabres @ Oilers

WE’RE GOING STREAKING! Final Score: 4-2 Oilers.

How hilarious is it to see Jack Eichel get salty about the Connor McDavid questions? When he was asked about whether or not he was disappointed that he wouldn’t be facing off against Connor McDavid tonight he answered with, “It doesn’t mean anything to me.” While I do think that it’s true that Jack Eichel doesn’t think about Connor as often as I do, I find it hard to believe that he wouldn’t have wanted to show up the Precious in their first meeting.  

Although I was sad we didn’t get to watch Connor make Jack look average, I told myself that I would try to enjoy watching a great young player anyway. I mean, I’m a bigger person than one that gets bitter, right? I can watch Jack Eichel without feeling a bigger hatred towards the Philadelphia Flyers/whoever made the ice so slippery/the guy that should have been hired to bubble wrap up the end boards, right? The answer turned out to be no. Seeing Eichel play (and score) just left a sour taste in my mouth. Sour because I wanted to see the McDichel showdown, and sour because we’re still weeks away from having Connor back. I am an old crotchety man.

On the bright side, seeing the Oilers handle a team that they should beat (IMO) soothed the sting of missing my beloved McDavid. For once, the Oilers actually rose to occasion, when playing a lesser team, rather than falling to their level. That’s not to say that the Oilers’ level is all that much higher than the Buffalo Sabres’, but I do see them as a beatable team. If the Oilers are going to show that they’re actually better than their record, beating rebuilding teams like Buffalo is a must, and they were able to do that. I’m not saying that it was a perfect game, but the Oilers found another way to win and the streak continues.

My friends, we’re looking at the three game losing winning streak. 

We wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

cheeseburger

  • Jack Eichel is no Connor McDavid. 
  • Nuge and Eberle both had great games tonight. On Eberle’s goal (his fifth), Nugey was a puck thief in the corner, made a perfect pass, and Jordan finished it off. Hopefully seeing these guys produce can shut up some of the trade enthusiasts. I doubt it, but a blogger can hope.  
  • The Hall-Draisaitl-Purcell line was on fire tonight. They each registered two points apiece and could have had more with the way they were producing chances. 
  • Leon Draisaitl was dominant in the faceoff circle, and it was mostly against Ryan O’Reilly. Draisaitl won 59% of his draws tonight. Great effort in the circle. Speaking of faceoffs, Nuge had another solid night on the dot, going 53%. 
  • Teddy Purcell continues to do more with less inches. He scored his fifth goal of the season off of a deflected Taylor Hall wrister. 
  • Luke Gazdic uses the force to score goals without shooting. 
  • I never thought I’d be so excited to see Brandon Davidson. He played 20:11 and was +1 on the night.
  • I loved the Wayne/Walter coverage that Sportsnet had between periods. Canadian treasures, the both of them. 
  • Third straight win for the Ders. I’m sure he would have like to have the Eichel goal back, but he was rock solid again tonight. Nilsson finished the night with 32 saves and a .941 save%.
  • Oilers went 1/1 on the power play, but should have had more opportunities.
  • I loved the “Connor’s Better” chant going out at Rexall. Hilarious. Well played, citizens. 

THE FACE PALMERS

BrusselSprouts

  • 15 games without McDavid. 
  • Jack Eichel scored on a shot that the Ders stops nine times out of ten. Seeing him score annoyed me more than I thought it would. That being said, Jack Eichel is going to be a special hockey player. The kid has wheels, power, and hands that always give him a chance to make something happen. I can’t wait to see the first McDichel showdown in March.
  • I understand why Taylor Hall was getting frustrated – he wasn’t getting any calls going his way – but he’s too good a player to be having multiple trips to the penalty box. The Oilers needs him on the ice. 
  • There is no snake bite like the Anton Lander snake bite.
  • After this season, Mark Fayne has years left on his contract and he was sitting in the press box tonight. This wasn’t the first time Fayne was a healthy scratch so it will be interesting to see what Chiarelli decides to do with him going forward. Draft trade for pick(s)/minor prospect? I can see it.
  • Can I go on record to say that I hate coach’s challenges? After the refs reviewed Luke Gazdic’s goal to ensure there was no kicking motion Dan Bylsma challenged the play for interference. It was a ridiculous waste of time. I can’t wait to see this rule cost someone in the playoffs. I’ll tell you one thing, if I were an NHL goalie I’d flop any time an opposing player got anywhere near me. 
  • The refs called the game with the consistency of a shart. They missed calls all over the ice, and I mean that both ways. Taylor Hall got steamrolled in the second period and he didn’t even have the puck.
  • We’re 28 games into the season and the Oilers are now 4-0 when leading after two periods. 

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD
06:58 BUF Jack Eichel (9) Backhand shot – ASST: Brian Gionta (7), Jamie McGinn (7) 1 – 0 BUF
09:36 EDM Teddy Purcell (5) Deflected shot – ASST: Taylor Hall (17), Leon Draisaitl (12) 1 – 1 Tie
16:06 EDM Jordan Eberle (5) Wrist shot – ASST: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (12) 2 – 1 EDM
18:55 EDM PPG – Taylor Hall (11) Wrist shot – ASST: Teddy Purcell (10), Justin Schultz (2) 3 – 1 EDM
2ND PERIOD
13:22 BUF PPG – Ryan O’Reilly (9) Backhand shot – ASST: Zach Bogosian (2), Carlo Colaiacovo (4) 3 – 2 EDM
17:43 EDM Luke Gazdic (1) Wrist shot – ASST: Oscar Klefbom (8), Anton Lander (2) 4 – 2 EDM
3RD PERIOD
NONE

BEST OF THE TWEETS

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NATIONGEAR FOR CHRISTMAS

NeonLeon

Do you want your loved ones to continue loving you post Christmas? If yes, you’d better decorate their closets with NationGear from the beautifully redesigned NationGear store. Take, for example, the Neon Leon shirt shown above. Are you telling me that your man (or lady) torso wouldn’t look 30-255% better draped in this tribute to Big Sexy 2.0? I didn’t think so. 

  • Petrolero

    When the Oilers are chasing games ice time becomes limited for bottom players. But when they are in command guys like gazdic get a chance and good things happen.

    Feel so bad for lander though.

    Last year oilers didn’t win 10nganes till January 7th. There is still hope and finally there is solid improvement from the last 4 years in the win loss column.

    I hadn’t thought about it until I read some one else’s comment but wow, the Oilers have so much depth right now at forward and defence, almost anyone who’s has stepped in has held the fort.

    It has been a long time friends, let’s just sit back and enjoy it while it lasts.

  • bradleypi

    The first goal was leons fault but he is forgiven cause he’s the man. Hallsy played unreal, Purcell too. Worth thinking about keeping teddy on the cheap for 3 1st lines

  • Serious Gord

    One thing not talked about much and that is very different from last year is the at home record.

    It is stellar so far this season – 7 wins out of 13 – 15 points of a possible 26 and a massive chunk of the teams total of 24.

    The faceoff and shift change advantages – tmcs ability to influence the game – really are making an impact it seems.

    Fan support is there when the effort is.

    • hagar

      An extension of the choosing when to play well?

      It would make sense that a team with more potential than they show at times, gets a kick in the but via crowd noise?

      I am not saying that every team in the league doesn’t appreciate the crowd support, but more so that a fragile team like the oilers rely more on motivation than most.

      That may come from playing teams they shouldn’t beat, it may come from a fan base that kicks them into gear?

      Pure hockey speculation here.

    • Take away the first 4 road games. And what do you have? A 500 team. And how many years does it take a generational player to have success? It wasn’t going to happen in a few games. And he has been awesome but not even playing right now. And no Eberle for weeks. Young defence. Improving goaltending. Let’s be patient.

  • It’s amazing what comes to mind when your team of choice for the last 35 yrs wins 3-in-a-row. It has given me hope in the past only to have it deflate over and over again. The Oilers have caused me considerable angst for the last 25 years for sure. I’ve crushed more pints of Rocky Road ice cream than what could ever be deemed as healthy while in a state of despair.

    There is likely to be no one point in this season where any Oil fan can sit back and feel relief. This is going to be a rollercoaster ride to the end. I just hope the team can keep progressing so that when McD and the others return we might see a run to the end.

    Go Oilers.

  • Very important Victory for the Boys. Mentally and physocally. Although they got outshot again. If they can get the D under control would be awesome. Great work in the front. Nice scoring. Well done. Nilsson safed their asses again on the baxk end. Hope he sticks around for the years to come.

    • For Pete's Sake!

      You’re right, they should play Gazdic with McD when he gets back.

      There’ll be no more tag-team board slams on McD with Gaz backing him up.

      But Yak can still be on the line. Gaz should just stand about ten feet wide of the net so that when Yak shoots Gaz can redirect all those ten foot wide shots on net.

      Perfect!

  • Edsez

    Two observations from last night’s game …

    Good work by Khaira on the boards creating the loose puck on the Eberle goal

    Tara Slone is all kinds of yummy … she can ride my zamboni any day

  • stonedtodeath61

    Being an outsider that has not had to suffer trough this rebuild I can speak as a non bias observer and I must admit that No. 54 Khaira? along with Nurse, Gryba and to an extent, Davidson all create more room out there for the skilled guys. I think this team has more high end skill than is needed to win a championship (now that the goaltending isn’t a total cluster f#@k.) What this team has been missing is the other 14 players that can open space and give time to the skilled guys. The bottom six needs work but when you can still compete in the NHL without half of your top six, something is going right. One question and I am not being an ass but whats up with this Anton Lander ? He gets little to no abuse yet I don’t see why he is on the ice. Not physical, doesn’t produce offensively, no world class speed, who is he, is this just a really bad 28 games? Anyway, nice roll starting to build, good luck oil and would love to be playing you guys in June some year soon. Sens fan.

    • Anton CP

      Lander was on the brink of the end of his NHL career, not by injury but of his lackluster plays. He suddenly has some good performance during the interim coach Nelson but it mostly due to the close relationships between two in AHL. Only thing that can be said about Lander is that Nelson knew how to keep him motivated but it seems disappeared after Nelson left.

      Once McDavid return to the line up that Lander will highly unlikely be on the active roster anymore. He is at the first stage of elimination of the end of NHL career at age of 25 soon and I don’t think that he will survive beyond it. He will either likely be on the minor league rosters or back to Sweden.

    • tileguy

      We knew that all along, we just called it men against boys, but now some of the boys are starting to grow up, others will get sent to the orphanage in exchange for some bullies, like Juju. Pete’s on it.

      • stonedtodeath61

        Thanks, all I know of him is what I have seen through this season and from what I’ve seen, he would be getting eaten alive on our blogs if he was a Sen. He would replace Cowen, lol. Every club has it’s whipping boy. I do see a ton of improvement in the oil in a mere 28 games with a new management, coaching staff, systems and what I believe is 9 new players.

  • The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

    BradleyPi is a trans-gendered Flamer fan down on his luck. Any donations this Christmas to help him get a life are greatly appreciated.

  • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

    This Streaking thing is good for the team. As a 9 year old I tried it once in 1972 at 1am in the morning. It did not go so well when I accidentally locked myself out of the house. I have had a issue with that word since then. Maybe if the Oilers keep this up I can heal emotionally.

  • OILFANMEXICO

    Still can’t wait to get Ference, Nikitin, Scrivens etc. off the books. Then, we can use that money to add players that will be a useful part of our team(we cold easily afford a 7 million defenceman with that $$). Way to go boys keep the wins coming!