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.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- 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
- 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.
|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|
|14:26||COL||Nick Holden (3) Slapshot – ASST: John Mitchell (2)||3 – 0 COL|
|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|
BEST OF THE TWEETS
After seeing a McDavid poster in the grocery store, 10 YO daughter says, “Dad why do the Oilers have ∗all∗ the best players?” #loveher
— Easy T (@SenatorTheo) December 20, 2015
@OilersNation Soooo tonight’s strategy is dump and chase?
— Ryan McByks (@IAmByks) December 20, 2015
He already tried that, but Schultz missed hitting the Sun. https://t.co/dVBpKMp9WM
— Late Fiennes (@MrMikeEaton) December 20, 2015
When Holden was growing up the Oilers were just starting Rebuild 1
— Matt Henderson (@Archaeologuy) December 20, 2015
Sekera has shed the goat horns I put on him at the beginning of the season
— Travis Dakin (@TravisDakin) December 20, 2015
— David Smitten (@DavidSmitten) December 20, 2015
So what the hell? Are we fighting for a playoff spot, or tanking to get out 1st overalls to match the cup wins? I’m confused.
— Cory Dakin (@Corydakin) December 20, 2015
— Camper Dave (@David_Arsenault) December 20, 2015
Talk to me Twitter. Hit me up on Twitter at @jsbmbaggedmilk for your chance at ending up in the GDB Wrap Up.
RETWEETS FOR THE EDMONTON FOOD BANK
— Cornerstoneins (@cornerstoneins8) December 18, 2015
Our friends at Cornerstone Insurance will be donating 25 cents for every retweet the above tweet gets from now until Tuesday at 11:59pm. The goal of the campaign is to raise as much money as we possibly can for the Edmonton Food Bank and we could use your help. If you have a Twitter account jump on it and give the aforementioned tweet an RT and help us raise money for a great cause.