GDB 34.0 Wrap Up: Oilers @ Avalanche

This streak is undoing the last one. Final Score: 5-1 Avalanche

As I was getting ready to watch the game I thought back to the day that Sam Gagner scored his first hat trick which came against Colorado. I remember thinking that the Oilers were on their way to making it back to the playoffs. The next season would be different. The pain was almost over. Unfortunately, Sam Gagner’s hat trick came in Colorado over six years ago. How depressing is that? Rebuild 1.0 was an emotional time. It was a time of hope. It was a time where we didn’t yet know any better.

Unfortunately, tonight’s game made it look like not a whole lot had changed from the days of rebuilds past. Far too many of the Oilers were guilty of coasting along, and not being fully engaged. Apart from the Hall/Draisaitl/Purcell line there wasn’t really much going on for any other Oilers line in terms of grade “A” scoring chances. Regardless, any scoring chances ran into the wall that was Semyon Varlamov tonight. When you combine a lack of balanced offence with a poor performance from Anders Nilsson, you’re not exactly whipping up a batch of success. Instead, the Oilers turned a winnable game into a flushable one. All in all this has been a disaster of a road trip, and we’ll have to hope they go into the Christmas with a win on Monday. 

With another loss on the books the Oilers, once again, find themselves falling behind the Pacific Division leaders. We’re already seeing how every one of these meaningful games (in December) matter, and losing streaks won’t help. We need points and lots of them. Needing wins to stay in the playoff race, rather than losses to secure draft position, is a new situation and I’d kind of like to see it continue. It’s a new kind of stress that we’ll need to get used to, but it’s a stress that we’ve been waiting on forever. 

We wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

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  • Another day closer to Connor McDavid. 
  • It’s been a long time since we’ve had a Pou. Benoit Pouliot returned to the lineup tonight for the first time since he got levelled by Phaneuf in Toronto (eight games). First a Pou shows up. ConYak is up next. 
  • The Oilers had a decent start tonight, but they could not get a puck past Varlamov. 
  • The Hall-Draisaitl-Purcell line was very good. If it had not been for these three the Oilers’ offence would have been practically invisible. 
  • Andrej Sekera continues his rebound from the early season struggles that had citizens across the Nation adorning him with goat horns. Sekera scored his fourth goal of the season on a beautiful shot from the high slot. 
  • I thought Darnell Nurse had a solid game. He played over 23 minutes tonight and was only -1 despite having the toughest assignments. I don’t care about moral victories, but seeing Darryl progress might just be a silver lining.
  • We won the Corsi. 
  • I imagine that Monday night will be another chance for Cam Talbot to show that he wants the #1 job. I don’t really care either way, I just want someone to stop the puck.
  • We’re another day closer to the Christmas break and the World Juniors tournament. 

THE FACE PALMERS

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  • Brandon Davidson went down in the third period after getting cross checked in the ribs and falling awkwardly into the boards. 
  • Is Oscar Klefbom’s bone healed yet? How about now? The Oilers need him back in a hurry. 
  • Justin Schultz couldn’t have looked any worse on the first Colorado goal. The puck came back to him at the blue line, he missed it, and Blake Comeau buried the puck on a breakaway. Justin Schultz is making Nikitin look good.
  • Although I am happy to see Benoit Pouliot back in the lineup I didn’t miss the way he always seems to get penalties at the worst possible time. 
  • Tonight wasn’t a great night for Anders Nilsson, but not all of that is on his shoulders. For instance, Nilsson allowed a goal on the first shot of the game, but it came on a breakaway. That being said this was a night that Nilsson will want to forget. He finished the night with 24 saves and an .828 save%. 
  • Varlamov was rock solid for the Avalanche. Despite being heavily outshot Varlamov gave his team the goaltending they needed to win the game. He finished the night with 39 saves and a .975 save%.
  • The power play allowed more goals than it scored tonight. So there’s that. 
  • Nick Holden is from St. Albert and scored against the Oilers. I assume his parents sent him a gift card to fill up his truck with gas.
  • Jarome Iginla hadn’t scored in the month of December until the Oilers came to town. Slump busters forever. 
  • Oilers got pummelled in the faceoff circle 32/24. 

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD
01:12 COL SHG – Blake Comeau (5) Wrist shot – ASST: Carl Soderberg (17), Erik Johnson (6) 1 – 0 COL
16:49 COL PPG – Tyson Barrie (4) Wrist shot – ASST: Nathan MacKinnon (19), Gabriel Landeskog(17) 2 – 0 COL
2ND PERIOD
14:26 COL Nick Holden (3) Slapshot – ASST: John Mitchell (2) 3 – 0 COL
3RD PERIOD
02:58 EDM Andrej Sekera (4) Snap shot – ASST: Taylor Hall (21), Leon Draisaitl (19) 3 – 1 COL
07:05 COL Jarome Iginla (9) Wrist shot – ASST: Alex Tanguay (7) 4 – 1 COL
16:31 COL Jack Skille (4) Wrist shot – ASST: Cody McLeod (3), Tyson Barrie (17) 5 – 1 COL

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  • BabyNugeMonitor

    Oilers are saddled with passengers like Schultz, Nikitin, Ference, Gryba, Korpikoski, Lander, and Letestu. These supplemental players that do not make a difference or bring complimentary qualities to the young core. Sadly, as supporters, we’re in for more letdowns and lost opportunities for the remainder of 15-16 and it will continue to be frustrating to watch Edm lose games they should win.

    It’s tough to blame the netminders when the defense is so abysmal. Nilsson and Talbot both seem to be prone to the odd howler but they face so many high quality shots against…jury’s out until Chiarelli finishes cleaning up MacT’s dirty diapers that still litter the roster.

    Getting rid of the roster’s dead weight will be addition by subtraction. Healthy scratch Schultz the rest of the year – that disinterested, noncompetitive schlep is pucking awful.

    Lander is what he is. AHL all-star, NHL healthy scratch.

    And the reason why kids like Nurse, Davidson, and Klefbom have to “play up” the depth chart is because Edmonton has lit money on fire by giving it to the likes of Schultz, Nikitin, Ference, and Fayne. The old boys club are atrocious evaluators of talent – its why we’ve been stuck watching this dong show of a team for the last decade.

    I’ll lay off all the players who demonstrate they care and play hard. And trust that PC is seeing the same less than mediocre performances. Cleaning up the roster between now and 16-17 season is #1 priority.

  • bazmagoo

    Bad game for the Oilers. To all the people clamouring to trade Eberle today I want to ask one question. Do you really think that is wise before seeing him play one game with McDavid? It’s not. They could be magic.

  • bazmagoo

    I have a feeling Schultz will be shipped at the trade deadline for a 2nd round pick as a rental player. He’s not Chiarelli’s type of player and Peter likely won’t want to qualify him at $3.9 million. Bye bye Justin.

  • bazmagoo

    Bad game for the Oilers. To all the people clamouring to trade Nuge today I want to ask one question. Do you really think that is wise before seeing him play one game with McDavid? It’s not. They could be magic.

  • mithaman

    Schultz didn’t play well but that first goal was Nuge’s fault. Bad saucer pass in-tight to Schultz who was in a vulnerable position with a winger attacking the point. That’s a risky pass and you better make sure it’s right on the tape if you make it.

    • bradleypi

      Wow! One person who actually saw what I saw. Thank you! Out of the whole oilersnation we are the only 2 that saw that. Sure hope you aren’t trolling me! Hahaha!

      • ChillyPepper

        I thought the same thing. I re-watched it twice, before posting this, and think it was a bad pass to Schultz. He really had no chance to get to Comeau and Soderberg was already 3 strides into it before the puck even went past Schultz. I mean Hall just kind of stood there while Comeau took off… And I am a huge Hall fan, but he could have tried… Even a smidgen.