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.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- 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
- 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…
|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|
|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|
|18:00||CGY||PPG – Mark Giordano (9) Snap shot – ASST: Dougie Hamilton (8), Mikael Backlund (11)||5 – 3 CGY|
BEST OF THE TWEETS
@OilersNation in that situation I feel Schultz should have given Nurse his Stick
— Rory (@beardsbrown) December 28, 2015
— Jake D. (@Baresnake) December 28, 2015
— Chris Lennie (@toomanythieves) December 28, 2015
@OilersNation it’s fun to say Matt Stajan like everyone says Matt Damon
— Charlie Zulu (@Tuker79) December 28, 2015
— Late Fiennes (@MrMikeEaton) December 28, 2015
The oilers suck the Christmas right out of you!
— Ron MacDonell (@rgmacdonell) December 28, 2015
THE NORTH X NORTHGRETZ PODCAST
This week we welcome Chris the Intern back and the boys talk Oilers playoff hopes, the return of Jordan Eberle, Stamkos to the Oilers, and we have a contest to give away FREE STUFF!!