GDB 37.0 Wrap Up: Oilers @ Flames

I miss the Christmas break. Final Score: 5-3 Flames

After last night’s game all I could think about was how much trouble the Oilers had breaking out of their zone. Rather than making the simple play the Oilers often found themselves trying to force passes through the middle of the ice. The Canucks feasted on mistakes at both blue lines and those mistakes prevented the Oilers from generating much in the way of offence. To beat the Flames the Oilers had to eliminate those mistakes, or in the very least minimize them. That didn’t happen.

With the way the Oilers started out it looked like they hadn’t learned much from last night’s game at all. They were sloppy, and spent substantial time in their own end early on in the game and didn’t get much better. That being said, the Oilers weathered their rough start and capitalized on their chances to take an early lead. Unfortunately, that lead ended up being the high point of the night for the Oilers as they allowed four goals against, including a shorthanded marker, in the second period.

The Oilers gave Nilsson a mercy pull (in my opinion) after the second period in an attempt to shake things up, but it didn’t matter much in the end. The only difference being that the Oilers continued to play spotty defence in front of Talbot rather than Nilsson. With the way that the Oilers coughed up pucks tonight it’s almost hard to believe that the visitors were once in possession of two separate two goal leads. To lose by two goals after that is embarrassing but I guess that’s life with this defence.

It doesn’t matter how many horses you have up front when you can’t get the puck out of your zone. Until the defence improves the Oilers’ place in the standings won’t.

We wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

VanHalen

  • After having a bad night against Vancouver, the Pouliot-Nuge-Eberle line was much better tonight. Their line opened the scoring on a broken play, with Eberle lobbing a backhand towards the net that Pouliot was able to get a stick on (his 6th of the season). They followed that first goal up with another, a few shifts later, as they were able to get a cycle going down low in the Calgary zone with Pouliot finishing it off (his 7th). 
  • The Hall-Draisaitl-Purcell line continues it’s roll with another goal in the second period. Leon Draisaitl intercepted the puck in the defensive zone and relayed the puck to Hall and then to Purcell to finish off the breakaway (his 9th). This line has to be one of the most dangerous lines in the NHL right now. 
  • Cam Talbot was okay in relief stopping six of seven shots. 
  • Tonight was another good night for the Hendricks-Letestu-Korpikoski line. They’ve been playing solid defensively and always seem to find a way to chip in a few chances. 

THE FACE PALMERS

Cherone

  • I don’t know how to feel about these Scrivens for Kassian rumours that keep swirling around. On one hand, Scrivens isn’t in the plans anymore and getting something for him is good asset management, and Kassian does have potential to be more than he has been. On the other hand – I never forget. 
  • Can the power play get any worse? The Flames literally scored on a 3 on 1 shorthanded break. HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN? Just throw away the PP blue print and burn it with gas. The Oilers were, again, scoreless on the power play going 0/1 on the night. 
  • Despite being pulled in the game I don’t think all four goals that Nilsson allowed were his fault. Some of the defensive decisions made in front of him resulted in seemingly endless second chances for the Flames. To put it another way, if the team in front of you allows 30 shots in only 40 minutes it’s not like the goalie got much help. Nilsson finished the night with 26 saves and an .867 save%.
  • The Oilers were getting pushed around all over the ice. Hell, they were even getting run over by guys like Sam Bennett. Embarrassing. Maybe the Kassian crazy wouldn’t be such a bad thing after all?
  • Nikita Nikitin is a train wreck. I never EVER expected that I would be excited to see Brad Hunt again but Nikitin makes that possible. If Chiarelli gets anything for him by the trade deadline we should rename a school after him. 
  • That being said, I’m not sure who was worse – Schultz or Nikitin. Both awful. Both directly contributed to this loss. 
  • Calgary dominated the special teams battles tonight going 2/3 on the power play AND scoring a shorthanded goal. 
  • Calgary should always be forced to start the game shorthanded for forcing the entire TV audience to look at those heinous jerseys for at least two hours. Not to mention the Calgary broadcasting crew…

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD
16:21 EDM Benoit Pouliot (6) Tip-in – ASST: Jordan Eberle (4), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (16) 1 – 0 EDM
18:11 EDM Benoit Pouliot (7) Tip-in – ASST: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (17), Jordan Eberle (5) 2 – 0 EDM
2ND PERIOD
03:10 CGY Johnny Gaudreau (16) Wrist shot – ASST: TJ Brodie (14), Joe Colborne (9) 2 – 1 EDM
10:21 EDM Teddy Purcell (9) Wrist shot – ASST: Taylor Hall (25), Leon Draisaitl (22) 3 – 1 EDM
12:52 CGY SHG – Matt Stajan (2) Wrist shot – ASST: Markus Granlund (1), TJ Brodie (15) 3 – 2 EDM
16:47 CGY PPG – Mark Giordano (8) Slapshot – ASST: Dennis Wideman (15), Jiri Hudler (15) 3 – 3 Tie
19:28 CGY Johnny Gaudreau (17) Wrist shot – ASST: NONE 4 – 3 CGY
3RD PERIOD
18:00 CGY PPG – Mark Giordano (9) Snap shot – ASST: Dougie Hamilton (8), Mikael Backlund (11) 5 – 3 CGY

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PREVIOUS EPISODES

  • srbuhr

    Really disappointed from 2 losses this weekend, coming off Xmas Holidays, this team should be pumped to try to beat Canucks and Flames. Both division foes.

    There’s no urgency or heart in the Oilers players in both games. Canucks has some injuries and Flames players are smaller but they play hard and they were hitting Oilers all over the ice.

    Florida is top in Atlantic division, they were bad few years ago too. With aging Jagr, small Dman Brian Campbell and young Ekblad and bunch of no names but they are winning. Luongo and Montoya playing well in net.

    Most teams don’t have top Dmen in lineups, Dallas has young resurgence Klingberg playing well from nowhere.

    Oilers players need to look themselves in the mirrors and start working out in gyms. Play tougher and start hitting back. They are not kids any more, Chicago won the cups with Kane and Teows at Oilers top picks age right now.

    With playoffs spot within 2 wins away, Oilers are letting it slipping away.

    • tileguy

      I know we all remember what Kassian did to Gagner, but how can you watch theses games and not realize we need some toughness in the lineup?
      Our 4th line brings nothing on a nightly basis; might as well try and be a little meaner.

        • The Last Of Barrett's Privateers

          Maybe so. It seems like Chiarelli is pulling a Slats here – giving a troubled guy a second chance.

          I realize this doesn’t help out horrendous D-corps, but man it’d sure be nice to see some nasty play once in a while.

      • hagar

        Unfortunately, KasSian is not tough. I watched him suck during his stay in vancouver and he doesn’t play physical hockey. He plays cheap, and somehow thinks his offensive prowess makes up for it. It doesn’t. Worst player in the league. Maybe his rehab as changed his attitude and mentality…

    • supra steve

      Desperation move. Kassian is a cancer. True hockey fans among you will be embarrassed by his antics . You really don’t deserve this.

      From a Flame fan.

  • tileguy

    Funny how all you hear from the Coil faithful is how Sam Bennett couldn’t do a pullup..yet he rag dolled and bullied your team from whistle to whistle.

    Who’s laughing now???

  • In Chia I Trust

    What a terrible weekend. Especially last night’s game. I think McL is an excellent coach and if he’s forced (by lack of better choices) to start Schultz in the third hat shows how bad the defence is. I was pondering Kassian during the game. I don’t know how well he skates but I’m glad he’s coming. It won’t stop Bennett, it won’t stop the Flames giving little shots to our little guys but he will give those little shots out and will give courage to the team. We are too soft.

    Kelly Hrudey was born here I think – why does he love the flames so much?

    • MorningOwl

      Hrudy did nothing but gush about edmonton all night – what are you whining about? was he not supposed to balance his praise out a little and say a couple nice things about calgary also? why so upset?

    • DoubleDIon

      Because they play hard and don’t actively try to suck for half a decade. No media person outside Edmonton has any respect whatsoever for the Oilers organization. It’s not just the CBC or Hrudey. Teams that don’t try to compete should not be respected or talked about in a positive light. You guys are to hockey what the 76ers are to basketball and the Browns are to the NFL.

  • cberg

    I haven’t watched the game yet. Caught bits. With my defending Shultz yesterday, it sounds like the haters got some good ammo last night.

    1- I hope it wasn’t as bad as it sounded, though I did see the pass to Gaudreau.

    2- Even if it was, much of the Jultz hate is unreasonable.

    I’ll post something later if I get a chance to watch the game.

  • Dwayne Roloson 35

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but, the Oilers have the best forward line in hockey, forwards who can’t do no wrong, and only lose because of Schultz and Nikitin?

    Were both Justin and Nikita on, at the same time, during the 3on1 shorthanded goal?

  • ZIN21

    The oilers powerplay has given up more goals on than it has scored over the last 5 games. I’m sorry, but that it absolutely embarrasing at any level of hockey above peewee…what happened to Jay Woodcroft being a powerplay genius? It’s so infuriating seeing the same garbage over and over. You would think that after giving up odd man rush after odd man rush they would keep 2 men high on the PP. No, instead they keep throwing out the same idiot Jultz to man the blue line and continuously fail to keep pucks in. Meanwhile the forwards don’t give Two craps about back checking with their flybys. Say all you want about shaky goaltending and bad defense but the powerplay has lost us many recent games. Cost us in New York, Colorado, and tonight letting the momentum shift back to Calgary. Woodcroft is failing at his job, time or mclellan to take over and start from scratch. It starts with jultzy watching from the bench.

  • Ol_OneNut

    I went to the game in Calgary and got to see things from a different prespective. It was interesting to say the least.

    One take away for me is that Justin Schultz has regressed so far that soon he wil be the Benjamin Button of the NHL………even simple passes now seem to be a challenge for him. The power play was so ineffective until we figure things out we should just forfeit all PP ……….. we seem to do better short handed.

    When a first year player ( Bennet) runs our key players and no one responds, that says it all. If the kid was a giant, I could see this but I doubt he is bigger than RNH.

    Our third line looked solid all night and had no issues penetrating the offensive zone.

    It’s time to Sen. Justing Schultz to the minors……..we should expect nothing in return. I’m not sure why this coach keeps giving him the ice time ……….what are we showcasing? Each time he touches the puck something bad happens.

    Brutal!

  • Dwayne Roloson 35

    I like Kassian, was kinda hoping the flames would claim him. I remember him being a menace with Vancouver and scoring lots against the flames. If he gets his off ice stuff under control, I think Oil fans will like this guy. But who knows.

    I also think if the Oilers could just get one legit top pairing D-man, it would go a long way. They should build their team around Mcdavid, Draisitle, Hall, possibly Nurse, and shop Eberle, Yakopov, and TNH to find a top paring D-man.

    Need to get rid of some of the core cause they are not getting it done. Draft Lots of D and stomach a rebuild for 2 to 3 more years, and I think you guys will finally turn things around.

    Wouldn’t mind seeing a Flames-Oilers playoff round. Srew these California Teams.

    GFG