GDB 47.0 Wrap Up: Oilers @ Panthers

We’ll talk about the hockey game, but first a shout out to Glenn Frey. The guy was a legend. RIP. Final Score: 4-2 Oilers

The last time the Oilers and Panthers met it ended up being a lot more exciting than anyone likely expected. There were fights, hits (clean and otherwise), great goaltending, and the time of bad blood you would only expect from a rivalry — not from two teams that only play twice per year. The major story from that game was, of course, what would happen with/to Matt Hendricks after crushing Aaron Ekblad from behind in their last game. Hendricks was suspended for three games and Ekblad hasn’t played since. 

I was expecting (read: hoping) for some of the physicality and bad blood to carry over from the last game. I wanted to see how the Oilers would respond to a big, strong team and see if they could handle it while still trying to play the game responsibly. Aside from the Hendricks/Ogre fight early on, this game was more mellow than the last. Though tonight’s matchup wasn’t as physical as the first meeting, it was still pretty fun to watch (Nuge injury, and parts of the third period aside). The Oilers were able to compete with a very good hockey team, and close out a rare win on the road. That’s not to say that they didn’t give us a scare. 

The Oilers still almost found a way to lose this game, in the third period. I don’t know why it happens, but taking a lead into the third frame seems to be like kryptonite to the Oilers. They handle the puck like a high school kid trying to unsnap his first bra. They fumble with it, make mistakes, seem frustrated, and tread dangerously close to embarrassing themselves. The Oilers are still learning to close out tight games, and beating streaking teams like Florida is what they’ll need to do with regularity if they’re going to make progress in this league. They found a way to make it happen tonight, and registered two important points in the standings. 

Unfortunately, they also lost their best two-way forward. 

Wrap it up. 

THE BRIGHT SIDE

Audi

  • Only 16 days left until McDavid.
  • Taylor Hall needed a goal and he got one (his 17th) in the first period when he roofed one on Montoya. Hall wasn’t done there as he put up his 18th on a screened wrist shot in the second. 
  • How about the balls on Matt Hendricks? He knew he was going to have to fight tonight, and he had to do it against an angry ogre in Erik Gudbranson. The big Panther defenseman looked like a Sasquatch that was trying to kill his next meal, but Hendricks held in there and took his lumps like a champion. The Oilers could use five more of him.
  • Jordan Eberle’s goal (his 11th) was a result of a beautiful passing play by Pouliot and Nugent-Hopkins. Nuge started the play with some puck thievery and waited out the Panther defenseman to set Eberle up on a tee. As we’ve come to expect, Jordan Eberle’s hands are money in front of the net. 
  • I know you guys will say that I’m president of the Nuge fanclub (which I am), but how many pucks did he steal off Panther sticks tonight? Guy was Danny Ocean out there before he got hurt.
  • Cam Talbot was lights out once again. He made some of the biggest saves of the night in the final few minutes when the Oilers really needed him to shut the door. The Panthers were buzzing and Talbot was able to stop the bleeding. He finished the night with 31 saves and a .939 save%.
  • Teddy Purcell had a great game. He always seemed to be in the right spot and as a result put up three points on the night (a goal — his 10th — and two assists).
  • Iiro Pakarinen was levelling Panthers all over the ice. He was a wrecking ball, and I liked it. 
  • The penalty kill was great tonight, killing off all four Florida attemps. 
  • Tickets are on sale for the Nation ski trip to Jasper! Get yours before they sell out.

THE FACE PALMERS

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 3.11.48 PM

  • Benoit Pouliot loves taking bad penalties. It’s kind of his thing. You know how Cindy Crawford’s beauty mark was kind of her thing? Bad penalties are Pouliot’s beauty mark.
  • Nuge left the game after blocking a shot with his hand. He didn’t return to the game, and you could see the pain on his face. Broken hand? I’d bet on it. Let’s see how the ‘trade Nuge’ crowd like the Oilers’ depth at centre with Nuge out too. It’s a shame, he was having a great game. #PrayForNuge

  • Other teams can actually break the puck out of their zone. The Oilers only seem to be able to bank it off the boards and hope for the best. 
  • Quinton Howden hadn’t scored a goal in 15 games, but he got one tonight. Seems about right.
  • The Oilers nearly coughed up the lead in the third period. I don’t know why the Oilers seem to hate taking multi goal leads into the third period, but they always seem eager to cough them up lately. Tonight was a close one. 
  • McLellan sat Anton Lander (their best faceoff guy) in favour of Luke Gazdic tonight and Gazzer didn’t play many minutes in the third period. When Nuge went down it sure would have been nice to have that extra centreman in the lineup. 
  • The refs were giving out some pretty lame penalties all night, and I don’t think I’m making things up. Though I am slightly intoxicated I still don’t think I’m seeing things. How did Florida get four chances while the Oilers only got one?
  • Speaking of the power play, the Oilers negated their only chance by taking a too many men penalty. 
  • Gregor nailed all three of his game day predictions in this morning’s GDB. Not only did he get all three, he even predicted the score. I’m going to hear about this one forever.

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD
05:50 EDM Taylor Hall (17) Wrist shot – ASST: Teddy Purcell (17) 1 – 0 EDM
17:52 EDM Jordan Eberle (11) Wrist shot – ASST: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (22), Benoit Pouliot (11) 2 – 0 EDM
2ND PERIOD
04:19 EDM Taylor Hall (18) Wrist shot – ASST: Teddy Purcell (18), Leon Draisaitl (25) 3 – 0 EDM
3RD PERIOD
02:45 FLA Reilly Smith (13) Snap shot – ASST: NONE 3 – 1 EDM
05:35 FLA Quinton Howden (4) Wrist shot – ASST: Shawn Thornton (1), Brian Campbell (13) 3 – 2 EDM
18:32 EDM Teddy Purcell (10) Snap shot – ASST: Taylor Hall (27) 4 – 2 EDM

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THE NORTH X NORTHGRETZ PODCAST

This week Jason Gregor joins us to talk about the latest stretch of Oiler games, the debut of Zack Kassian, power play woes and potential trades in the near future. Then we play a spirited round of Ask The Idiots where we talk Making A Murderer, Gregor gives his dating advice and we find out what Chris The Intern’s favourite colour is.

As always you can follow North x NorthGretz on FacebookTwitter and Instagram, and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes

PREVIOUS EPISODES

  • Anton CP

    Speaking of no country for old men, Matt Hendricks certainly has some ‘thick bark on him’. The guy is going to be in demand come the trade deadline with displays of character like he showed tonight and virtually every night. I hope Chiarelli hangs onto him despite his age/hard miles of rough road. I hope he rubs off on some of the Oilers who seem less ‘engaged’. Wherever he plays he brings all he’s got every night.

  • Anton CP

    With Nuge out, how long until we hear the “anti-trade” dudes say “the oilers haven’t played a game wit their full line up”…. And now we might have to wait until March and there are no trades in March!
    We are screwed, not having Nuge and not getting anything for him is going to be devastating, should have traded him last week.

    • Seanaconda

      With nuge injured it makes the argument that you should have three capable centers pretty effective. . Edit . you know cuz players get injured sometimes …

      • HardBoiledOil 1.0

        the thing is….can you justify paying Nuge $6 mil/per to be your 3rd center? as things stand right now, Nuge wasn’t going to play ahead of McD when he comes back or ahead of Leon. that’s a lot of money to pay a guy who likely won’t be one of your top 2 centers!

        • Seanaconda

          You play one of the centers as a winger. If they are all ever healthy. You could roll 3 centers 20 min a game too if you wanted I guess and till drais and mcdavids elc’s end it’s no big deal

    • a lg dubl dubl

      Maybe in September, if no trades happen before then.

      The Gods sure like toying with the Oilers. “You can have all the top draft picks, but you’ll never have a full line up because of injury, HAHAHAHHA”

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    So Kane was back in 50 some odd days after his collar bone. It’s been 70+ days for McDavid. I’m not a medical expert, but at this stage of McDavid’s healing, would an extra week really matter?

    I mean will his collar bone be significantly stronger after the all star break than it is now? Now that Nuge is out they could really use the kid.

    • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

      Honestly, I’m still OK with them sitting him. McDavid is the future of this team, I’d rather take the extra couple weeks and be sure beyond a shadow of a doubt.

        • camdog

          Because he’s getting into game shape and practising.

          If the regular season would have had another 20 days in it, Kane wouldn’t have come back for another 10 days at the minimum. All players come back earlier for playoffs. Kane and the Hawks took a huge risk last season, a risk that all teams and players take when the playoffs start.

          Word is Yak rested an additional 10 days because Klink came back to early and re injured his ankle. The Oilers are trying to stop rushing the kids back, trying to change the culture of the team.

        • Dwayne Roloson 35

          McDavid is on the road trip because he is practicing with the team. Getting his timing together, and taking contact drills.

          It’s 3 more games without McDavid, even if McDavid is 100% for once the Oilers are being ran by an NHL group and for once they are sticking to their plan by not rushing a player (especially a player as important as McDavid) from an injury.

          Stick to the plan. 3 more games.

    • Dwayne Roloson 35

      His bone may be healed but it’ll be better for him to strengthen his shoulder after not using it for a while. Waiting for the all star break wil be more beneficial.

      No point in rushing him back so we can miss the playoffs. This isn’t the year.

  • Anton CP

    Let the parade to the injured list begin starting with nugent than Shultz eberle and everyone else that was expected to be dealt where’s eall the charts on this it been happening for the last 10 years if anyone’s noticed !!!!! Come down to the trade deadline mysteriously the ones expected to be dealt all of a sudden start getting hurt look check it out you chart master losers

  • S cottV

    Like it or not, it is going to take 2 to 3 more years – to pull everything together for the Oilers.

    Sure – some progress in the meantime, but I’m talking about playing .700 hockey and being a contender in the playoffs.

    There are too many holes in the roster and we have key young players that need to become experienced veterans. Foremost are McD, Leon, Nurse, this years first rounder and any other key young players brought in through trade before next season.

    The cap and timing are also contributing factors, that requires additional rebuild time.
    Time has passed for the Eberle, Hall, Nuge and Yak – era rebuild. Collectively – they are not strong enough and things are not in place surrounding them, to declare an end to the rebuild.

    PC doesn’t own the reasons for why the rebuild has taken far too long. The smart play is to get things in place and declare an end to the rebuild when McD and LD – as veterans, will be ready to really deliver.

    So chip away at the glaring holes in the roster, with an eye toward bigger / harder to play against and peaking in 2 to 3 years.

    3C, 4C, #2 RHD, #4 RHD are priorities at this point.

    Depending on what his attitude is really like, I see Hall as the only potential keeper from his era. “If” – the attitude isn’t all that good, then he should return a very nice piece.

    Nuge, Eberle and Yak – need to bring back talent to fill some of the bigger and harder to play against holes in the roster.

  • Dan 1919

    You have your number one center [ on the PK], blocking shots yet:

    Sekera, Nurse, Davidson,Gryba, our defense core, blocking “zero” shots last night.

    McLellan, that’s the price you will pay for making dumb calls on player deployment.

    PS; If I was Nuge I would get out of the way and let the D-men do the blocking like they should be.

    • S cottV

      Not to be overly critical on a split second decision, but you wonder why Nuge would turn his glove open to the shot?

      With McD out – I agree that McClellan ought to be kicking himself for over use of Nuge in PK.

      You can cover for Letestu and Lander – with Hendricks.

      No covering for Nuge with McD out.

      The key to not overly having to block shots on PK is being in the shooting lane and close enough to the shooter, where there would be concern for a block that leads to a breakaway. Part of it – is having the PK smarts and quickness to be in the right place at the right time. You motivate your PK guys – to move their @sses, by suggesting that they are then less likely to get dented by the puck.

      The other part is PK strategy. The more you tend to compress your PK alignments toward the net, the more you set up your PK guys as sitting ducks.

  • Wow, it’s like I’m watching Friday Night Lights int he comments section. Why don’t we just call Nuge Boobey Miles and cal McLellan coach Gains.

    Here I’ll start. “Dang man, why’d he have Booby on the PK? He played em all night long! There was no damn reason to have em out there! If you ask me coach gains deserves to die! Also why didn’t he teach Nuge to not turn his hand towards the shot if he has em blockin shots. It’s just stupid. These are highly trained professional athletes who have been learning this game all their lives, so yes of course it falls on the shoulder of the coach that in a split second play Boobey got injured on a freak accident of a play. An while I’m at it, just remember coach Gains has a track record of not teaching his players how to protect themselves. Just go back and look at the McDavid injury and try and tell me that aint coach Gains fault.”

  • Jay (not J)

    K where’s the new articles today? It’s 11 oclock and I’ve run out of shade to throw at the Canucks on Sportsnet (all of my content gets disabled anyway – horrible site!)

  • Parkarin I think played his best game of the season. Post game interview Hendricks was touting support, and he mentioned Gadzic.

    I think/hope the Kassian addition just made the muckers on Oiler roster better. When Hendricks got here he was aggressive and didn’t back down, but he was basically left to fend for himself. Then the addition of Gryba added some good size.

    Maybe the addition of Kassian just tipped the scales enough that the Oilers will start physically supporting each other and become a tougher team to play against.

    It’s a small sample size but it’s looking to me like that, so far.