GDB 43.0 Wrap Up: Panthers @ Oilers


Carried the play. Lost the game. How Oilers of them. Final Score: 2-1 Panthers

If I’m being honest I don’t think that I’ve fully recovered from what happened to the Oilers during the third period of Friday’s loss against the Lightning. The Oilers played well on Friday night, even taking a two goal lead into the third period, only to have the effort stolen by three crazy plays in the Lightning’s favour. Son of a bitch. It rattled me. As a result, tonight’s game had me waiting for something weird to happen. What other crazy nonsense could the hockey gods come up with? There were infinite possibilities. I was ready. I was waiting.

Tonight, the hockey gods served up another chapter in the pursuit of the moral victory playoffs that we’ve been riding for the past decade. I’ll back up. The Oilers started tonight’s festivities like they were still half asleep. They were making Eakins era mistakes, passing to no one, and giving up breakaways to one of the best goal scorers in NHL history. After having a goal called back on a coach’s challenge, the Oilers found themselves down two goals to a team that has been red hot over the last month. But this isn’t the Oilers of years past and rather than default to “roll over and die” mode they actually turned this into an entertaining hockey game.

After starting the game like they were trying to sneak out a fart with food poisoning, the Oilers battled back to within a goal and dominated most of the game. The problem, and it was a big one, was that they couldn’t beat Al Montoya a second time to get this game into overtime even though they carried the play for most of the night. This loss was the Oilers season in a nutshell: They made some early mistakes, got themselves into a hole, and played well enough to win the rest of the way only to come up short in the end.

If you’re counting moral victories you can add another tally to your board, but I’m tired of ELPH and bored of looking at draft odds. 

We wrap.



  • Another game closer to McDavid. Is the all-star break over yet?
  • I know it didn’t count but Taylor Hall’s disallowed goal was a beauty. Did I mention that I hate the coach’s challenge?
  • Mark Letestu has been a great pickup for the Oilers. He plays tough minutes, just like Boyd Gordon did, but brings more offensive pop. Maybe I’m crazy but Letestu always seems to get one when the team really needs it.  He scored his sixth goal of the season by being in the right spot after a hard working shift by the wagon line. 
  • I don’t know what Todd McLellan said in the first intermission but the Oilers looked like a completely different team in the second period. They were hitting, cycling the puck, and not finding ways to screw themselves. 
  • Speaking of the second period, it was nice to see the team throwing their weight around rather than get pushed around. 
  • Andrej Sekera has steadily improved since his slow start of the season. He is easily the Oilers best defenseman right now, and it’s unfortunate that he’s unable to play all 60 minutes. The Oilers need three more of him. 
  • We won the Corsi!
  • I’m not sure how to rate Cam Talbot tonight. He allowed two goals on the first three shots of the game, but one was a breakaway and the other was from right in the slot. He didn’t allow another goal for the rest of the game, but he only had 14 shots against. I guess I give him a passing grade, because he was reasonably solid when called upon. Talbot finished the night with 12 saves and a .857 save%.
  • Matt Hendricks was an absolute wrecking ball tonight. Check out this shift where he levelled Aaron Ekblad and then got in his second scrap of the game. Courtesy of



  • Remember the stories from about 10 years ago when former management thought Jaromir Jagr was “too old” to play for the Oilers. Seems crazy now. I enjoyed watching him tonight. The guy is a legend and it’s hard to dislike anything about the way he plays the game. He scored on a breakaway after pickpocketing Darnell Nurse at the blue line.
  • Tough break, and a bad giveaway, by Darnell Nurse at the blue line which caused the Jagr breakaway. Nurse has been playing like a rookie lately, and that’s no shot at him, but he has been showing a lack experience over the past week or so. He’ll figure it out.
  • I hate the coach’s challenges and I mean that both ways. Taylor Hall had an absolutely beautiful goal called back over a couple inches. If I was a coach I’d tell my goalies to flop any time someone touched them, and challenge anything that could be offside. The NHL wants to increase scoring, but institutes rules to make scoring them even harder. Lame.
  • Taylor Hall got absolutely levelled by Erik Gudbranson in the second period and not one Oiler stepped up with some push back. Maybe a strongly worded letter will follow?
  • The Oilers went 0/3 on the power play. How many games have they gone scoreless on the power play? Rather than being a weapon, the power power is a demoralizing waste of time. 
  • 19/45 in the faceoff circle. Brutes. 
  • Jultz gonna Jultz.


03:22 FLA Jaromir Jagr (15) Wrist shot – ASST: NONE 1 – 0 FLA
07:04 FLA Jonathan Huberdeau (6) Wrist shot – ASST: Aleksander Barkov (15), Brian Campbell (12) 2 – 0 FLA
12:32 EDM Mark Letestu (6) Wrist shot – ASST: Lauri Korpikoski (5), Matt Hendricks (5) 2 – 1 FLA


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Tickets are available here.

  • Van isl Oiler

    What I thought was interesting is that right after the game ended, it was pointed out that the Panthers are the first team to win 12 in a row after missing the playoffs the year before. Isn’t that interesting? That’s the kind of grade A broadcasting you get from Sportsnet. These are the kinds of things I really wanna know about pro hockey…don’t you?

    Who the hell comes up with this crap?

  • Van isl Oiler

    Lets put Jultzy on waivers, then sign me to the league minimun and I’ll go stand behind the icing line and fire it up the middle. Voila, I just saved the Oilets 3.4 million in cap space. Friggin genious!!

  • Van isl Oiler

    My god it irritates to hear such crybaby fans. Eats put on our big boy pants okay?

    Watch Matt Hendricks hit on Ekblad again!!! You may never see such a wicked statement again. Unbelievable. Run our star and your young gun will be knocked senseless – they showed Halls hit but wouldn’t show Hendy demolishing Ekblad. That message was the best I have seen. Hendricks is a keeper.

  • Van isl Oiler

    In about 10 more games the Oilers will be totally out of it.

    The pressure will be off and they will play .700 hockey for rest of season.

    Management will think all is well. Management will change more players in the bottom 2 lines and the 5th 6th and 7th defensemen and declare all is well, thinking they will play .700 next season.

    The core will once again be intact. Next year another non playoff team

    Mark my words……. we have seen this almost every year

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      Totally agree. Don’t know why you have so many “trashes” when you speak the truth.

      They talk about certain players being “core” or “untouchable”. No playoffs for soon to be 10 straight years. Time for a reset. No one is core save Precious.

  • rnj

    For the people still going on about how the Oilers are crap, and we need to do XYZ to change things.. the Oilers are:

    1) First overall in number of man-games lost to injury

    2) First-overall in high quality player man-games lost to injury

    If we just had a lot of injuries to unimportant players, or a low number of injures to key players, it’d be a different story. But we’re first overall in both. This team is much better than they seem, and they don’t seem all that bad. Without the catastrophic injuries this year, it would’ve been a play-off year (and still might be).

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      Sorry but your man game lost is a weak argument. Mcdavid and yak alone will not win you games and Klef can only do so much. Plus he is not a number one d man. The truth is this is just a bad team that needs to be fixed. People are still hung up on that 6 game win streak when really it was the goalies playing lights out hockey. Time to make some hard changes at the deadline or draft. It’s the d that needs to be fixed. I hate to say it but if this team had Calgarys dman we would be at top contending team and l am not a fan of Calgary.

    • Serious Gord

      EDM has been among the league leaders in injuries almost every season for about a decade. It seems long overdue that fans and management accept that this is not a fluke – that there is a one or more issues with this team that are causing that.

  • R U Kidding Me!

    If the PP wasn’t so bad, a lot of these close losses would be wins.

    It’s time for this PP to be made into something great, just as we saw last year with coach Nelson. Heck, give the guy a call and pay him a consulting fee, he had these guys doing pretty, pret-tay good on the PP late last season.

  • R U Kidding Me!

    Oil worked hard and competed tonight. I am pretty sure I heard Nicholson and Chiarelli talk big about competing for a playoff spot and having meaningful games in February and March. Not with this make-up they won’t. There are too many players on the roster who coildn’t score a goal if they were allowed to pick up the puck in their hand and throw it into the net.

    Connor returns = Lander gone. B’ bye now. Where the hell is Chiarelli anyway. He has not made one single effort to address the roster weakness.

    Looks to me like Nicholson and Chiarelli are ‘all hat no cows’. I’d say they have written yet another season off. Same sh*t different pile.

      • HardBoiledOil 1.0

        The next change should be to can Chiarelli’s sorry butt and hire Dale Talon. He has built the Chi-hawks and now the Panthers. Big, fast strong and talented. The Panthers are going to be a force to contend with comparable to any team in the west. Mark my words. Chiarelli threw darts in Boston and Dallas will be hanging Chiarelli’s banner in their rink for sending them Seguin. Next season my ass.

        • pkam

          Dale Tallon definitely built the Blackhawk and the Panthers.

          But he became the Blackhawk GM in 2004 and the Blackhawk became a force in 2009, 5 years after he took over the team.

          He became the Panthers GM in 2010 and now after 5 years the Panthers become a force.

          I guess you are willing to wait another 5 years? If not, I don’t know how Tallon is going to meet your expectation.

          If you are willing to wait another 5 years, why do you expect Chiarelli to finish building a playoff team in less than a year?

  • R U Kidding Me!

    Darnell Nurse – the new Tom Poti?? What a freaking stumble bum. Talk about dazed and confused. How many goals is he responsible for this season. Off to the AHL with him…he ain’t ready. The season is cooked anyway. This exposure of his inexperience could wreck him. The Oil have done this to too many prospects before Nurse.

    • R U Kidding Me!

      “The season is cooked anyway.”

      Surprised? MacT did say that last spring. “Next season will be another developmental year”.
      It actually was that exact statement that had him fired.
      Watch for next season as Oilers may not again make playoffs…

      For a real “rebuild” Chia must trade our next overall pick & the 2nd and a kid or two + a prospect or two for 2 X legit Dmen and a real #1 goalie.
      Yakimov, Yakupov, Eberle our #4 overall & #34 overall.

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      Nurse will be a top D pairing in the NHL for years and will be pivotal in the oilers first of many stanley cups during the mcdavid dynasty. He is playing way too much right now, one decent trade to push all D down one spot will do wonders for this team. It’s up to chia now I guess.

      • HardBoiledOil 1.0

        I’m not so sure about Nurse as a top pairing defenceman. Hope you are right but his decision making and positioning look to be very poor. His physicality can mask things to an extent.

        • CMG30

          He’s a rookie. These are the mistakes that rookies make and learn from. It’s why you have a hard time winning with a D-core made up of rookies. Nothing about last nights game alters his lofty projections.

          Obviously, the situation is not ideal for Nurse’s development, he’s being thrust into a feature role too early. As soon as the Oil are able, a lessening of responsibility will probably be helpful to him.

          Contrast him to a guy like Schultz who’s of an age where he should know better by now.

    • 24% body fat

      Yeah, who’s even heard of the guy who burned him? This Jagr guy, however you say that name, probably couldn’t burn any other defenceman in the league – just Darnell. We should crap on Nurse in his rookie season because that guy with the mullet burned him and never makes anyone else look bad.

      In other news Ovechkin made a different defenceman look bad last night, but he’s one of the best goal scorers of all time so I just accept that it happens sometimes.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    the Oilers should have at least tied the game and put it into overtime before losing and get a brownie point like the Vancouver Canucks seem so adept at doing.

  • Oilers4ever

    Last night’s game told me a couple of things I suspected but didn’t know for sure.

    1. The Oilers star player gets crushed at centre ice and not one team mate steps up to take exception to our star being targeted. They didn’t even get in the face of Gudbranson. This tells me the Oilers are not a “team” and they do not have the balls to play high level hockey.

    2. The second thing I learned is that Gerard Gallant has the Panthers playing Jacque Lemaire defensive hockey like Minnesota used to play. There was only one team playing somewhat exciting hockey on that ice surface last night. That team was the Oilers as they tried to equalize. The panthers played a totally defensive game once they got the lead.

  • Oilers4ever

    This team can kiss the playoffs good bye now. 2-4 on this home stand inexcusable. I don’t care how close the games were. They’re too far behind Arizona now who has games in hand. Same with the Flames and Canucks. Really pathetic how this SHOULD be the same team who won 6 straight. I guess that was their playoff series for the year. Morons.

      • Jay (not J)

        Big if . The games are on the road , the games are against teams that -even though they don’t have the star power that we are supposed to have- are infinitely better than us.
        Oil returns with one big doughnut from the road trip, but amazing moral victories and visually better for the oiler faithful ,

  • Jay (not J)

    Well at least they didnt screw up thre second period.

    However,at the end ….. .857 save% and scoring one goal will not win you many games.

    Sure Talbot dropped the ball and the defense sucked, but at the end our 35 first round picks could only score one friggin goal.;[yet again].

  • Jay (not J)

    Well at least they didnt screw up thre second period.

    However,at the end ….. .857 save% and scoring one goal will not win you many games.

    Sure Talbot dropped the ball and the defense sucked, but at the end our 35 first round picks could only score one friggin goal.;[yet again].

  • CMG30

    I find it hilarious that once again no one sticks up for Hall and people ask why? It’s simple, he’s an arrogant ass and even his own teammates won’t stick up for him. He IS the problem in the room and where has your savior been for the last number of weeks Gregor, Fraser and all the rest of you Taylor Hall apologists! Too funny!!! He can get us a #1D though if Chai gets off his butt.

  • Spiel

    Wow dirty hit by Hendricks.
    Left his feet (charging), from behind, and head contact. Glad to see the NHL is having a hearing on that hit. Then Hendricks gives a thumbs up from the penalty box… LOSER!

    In contrast, clean hit by Gudbranson on Hall.

      • Rob...

        Everything is legal until it isn’t, just ask Scott Stevens. The hit on Hall may have been legal (as of today), but was in some ways more predatory than the hit on Ekblad. How long before the legality needs to include questioning whether it was a ‘reasonable expectation of being hit’ combined with ‘knowingly placing yourself in a vulnerable position’? The Ekblad hit is somehow superbad because it’s against the boards, but Hall hit is A-OK. Yet, I’d say Ekblad did put himself in a vulnerable position, knowing he was going to be checked against the boards. I’m fine with Hendricks getting the phone-hearing. I’m not fine with a top 3 left-winger league-wide getting targeted for that sort of hit by a player who knew what the result was going to be. If they don’t start soon, Gudbranson will become another Kronwall, and the league will suffer because of it.

        • BubbaZanetti

          Gudbranson’s hit on Hall was perfectly legal.
          That’s what defenceman are supposed to do, or at least until the NHL bans body contact because God forbid someone gets a bruise.
          Hendricks hit was probably a boarding penalty but I’d gladly take the two minutes for a player that knows how to play the game.

          While I’m at it, seems like the goaltending is doing ok, good physical play at least from the bottom six and couple dmen….but how about the offense, or lack of ?

          I tried but to hell with it.
          Need more Hendricks.
          Need less Eberle and a few others ??

          • Rob...

            What I’m saying is that the risk of concussion in the Hall hit is equal to the risk of concussion on the Ekblad hit. I’m saying that what is legal now (and I didn’t say it was illegal) will eventually be made illegal.

          • BubbaZanetti

            I agree.
            I like both hits.
            Hockey is a full contact sport.
            Always has been and hopefully will remain full contact sport.
            Unfortunately in a full contact sport players will get injured.
            I also don’t agree with players rushing to a teammate’s defense after a CLEAN hit.
            I enjoyed last night’s game, physical, some emotion, intensity, even a couple of scraps.
            Keep it up, and replace Eberle with Khaira !

          • MorningOwl

            omg are you serious??? hall literally ran blindly into the hit – how would you make it illegal. those gold and blue glasses are making your opinions look silly… this hit will never leave the game, it is the epitome (look it up) of a clean hit and a player not protecting himself by taking a suicide pass. blame the guy who made the pass, but the hit itself could have been way worse if the player hadn’t let up on poor little fragile hall.

        • MorningOwl

          why are you defending a sh*tty hit?

          typical whining edmonton fan who thinks the league and the whole world is out to get them… cries about a normal play into the board against McFragile, yet is OK when his own teams goon tries to destroy a genuine star of the game. god you make oiler fans look as bad as vancouver fans.

          you see guys here promoting the idea of intentionally hurting players like gaudreau, but cries when the league doesn’t “protect” their players… like seriously! OMG!

          What ever happened to “Oiler domination to follow” and “dynasty” i guess hockey gods don’t like edmonton’s whiny losing attitude/.

          • Rob...

            I’m not defending a crappy hit. Way to ignore the “I’m fine with Hendricks getting the phone-hearing” even though you quoted my post.

            Let me explain something else to you:
            “Oilers domination to follow” is a tongue in cheek exclamation made by people who are using a hyperbole (look it up) to express joy over any small positive they see in a team where the negatives drastically outweigh the positives.

            I don’t like you Jeff. You troll a fan website of a team you hate. Don’t expect to be treated with warm hugs and a soft touch.

          • MorningOwl

            the hit on hall was perfectly clean, not the same kind of hit at all… in fact the guy that hit him could have made it worse because hall took, as grapes calls it. a suicide pass, but the other guy kept his elbow down and actually looks like he let off a bit given halls vulnerable position.

            thank you for not liking me… that is actually a relief given your recent examples. Not being liked by you is a badge of honor, says i’m doing something right.

          • For Pete's Sake!

            And yet on Flamesnation in a recent homage to Robin Regehr, one of the dirtiest players of the last decade, several FN regulars happily celebrated the fact that he regularly laid hits on Ales Hemsky that would definitely be illegal in today’s NHL.

            You’re a troll Jeff. Admit it and get lost.

          • For Pete's Sake!

            I’m an Oiler fan, but I will always love Regeher. He was tough, not dirty.
            The fact that he laid it down on that waste of skin that’s Ales Hemsky just makes me love him more.

          • For Pete's Sake!

            I call BS on your claim that you’re an Oilers fan after a statement like that.

            Ales Hemsky was one of the leaders on a team that almost won a Stanley Cup in 2006.

            He was a finesse player but he was also tough as nails and never afraid to go to the hard areas of the ice to get his team a goal.

          • For Pete's Sake!

            Hemmer was soft. Should I remind you he was also in here in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012….
            What did he lead us to?
            I would have a Regeher a million times before I have a Hemsky and that is not me being a bad oiler fan. It’s just me not being an idiot.

          • For Pete's Sake!

            Hemsky wasn’t “soft.” Unlike some 6 million dollar forwards playing on the Oilers today, he did go to the hard areas to make plays.

            And he paid for it often at the hands of Regehr and others.

            Ryan Smith also played on some of those losing teams. Are you going to call him soft as well?

          • For Pete's Sake!

            The only oiler I hate from our past is Hemsky.
            Horcoff a bit only.

            As for today’s 6 mill prima donnas… I agree with you , time to trade for a Regeher kind of player! 🙂

          • For Pete's Sake!

            Ok – since we both agree on the NOW , I will concede that Hemmer wasn’t the worst thing in the organization…. Hell…. The way things are going the worst is yet to come….
            Cheers brother

          • RedMan

            Totally! Hemsky was amazing and neve r gave an inch… he may have lost the physical battle more n8ghts than not, but never hesitated to go to the hard areas. Soft he wasnt.

          • MorningOwl

            I actually like it when, on FN, people call each other out on homerism. I’m guilty of being a homer once in a while, and get a good laugh when it is spotted and called.

            I guess you don’t like homer’s being called out here – strictly sticking to one world view. whatever; others are just enjoying the rivalry and good natured laughs at each other.

            the Hemsky/Reghehr battles were amazing though, you have to admit that for years this was the one constant, exciting elements about a hockey match for two teams that otherwise did not have a lot excitement going on. Remember how Robyn said on live TV (HNIC After Hours)that it was personal, because Hemsky had crossed checked him in the face, and after that it was personal. frickin awesome!

            but to somehow equate that mutually combative battle to this situation and connect nonexistent dots to create a silly theory that it was dirty or illegal because it would be by today’s standard says you’re taking it a bit personal it seems. who cares? 😉

          • For Pete's Sake!

            Jeff, Hendrick’s hit on Ekblad may not have been legal, but for Oiler’s fans it doesn’t matter because for once, an Oiler stood up for his teamate.

            When a guy fights to stand up for his teamate, that’s not legal either but we still cheer it because it shows character.

            Something the Oilers have significantly lacked for many years.

            Are we “homers” on ON? Of course we are, we’re Oilers fans.

            We certainly don’t need Flames fans lecturing us because we support our team.

            Admit that you’re just trying to stir the pot here today.

        • Spiel

          The Hendricks hit on Ekblad was illegal in ways that have long been illegal. It was not about head contact or a player making himself vunerable.

          1) Hendricks left his feet to make the hit. That is charging.
          2) Hendricks sees only Ekblad’s numbers but makes the hit anyway. That’s checking from behind.

          The argument that Ekblad should have seen him coming is poor. No one expects to be rammed in to the boards from behind at full speed. Kids have been taught for years that checking from behind is illegal and dangerous. Hendricks knows better.

          In contrast, the Gudbranson hit on Hall was nothing close to a penalty. Contact was through the body, shoulder to chest, feet on the ice, hands and elbows down. Hall took a bit of a suicide pass.

          • Klam

            The problem is Ekblad knew full and well Hendricks was coming. Ekblad did nothing to prepare himself to get hit. As a player you can not just let yourself be run over. This simple notion is taught all the way up through the levels on how to accept body contact.

            The only argument I could see is Ekblad knew he was playing the Oilers and they never hit so he thought he could make the play.

            Hendricks came in hard but Ekblad could have easily shrugged that off. Ekblad chose to try and make the pass instead of taking the hit. There is some responsibility on Ekblad. Hendricks was committed from the circles, and that could be called charging, but was not called on the ice.