Closer than I expected! *waits for high five, slowly lowers hand* Final Score: 3-2 Stars
Did anyone else get a bad feeling about tonight when you read that the Stars have been slumping and they just so happen to be playing the Oilers? There are no better slump busters than the Edmonton Oilers. Haven’t scored in months? Swing by Rexall. Need a home win? Here come the Oilers. First NHL goal? Edmondonation. Needless to say, I was having a hard time getting excited about watching this hockey game. Frankly, I would have rather been trying to download porn with dial-up Internet.
After working up the courage to finally turn on the TV, what I saw was a game that was actually closer than I would have expected considering the lineup the Oilers iced. Edmonton was clearly outmatched by a better team, but they kept finding ways to hang on and keep themselves in the game. Considering the injury problems the Oilers have (add Brandon Davidson to the list), I’d say that competing against the Stars, and keeping it close, is better than most of us would have expected, right? Did they win? Of course not. But the fact that they were not completely dominated despite having a skeleton roster is kind of amazing. Considering how bummed out I was about even watching the game, I’ll take a moral victory.
Don’t get me wrong, this game was by no means perfect — just better than I thought. The Oilers still lost and I’m not going to polish the turd that was another loss or the Oilers’ road record in general. They needed to win this game to keep pace in the Pacific and they didn’t do that. It’s as simple as that. Despite the Stars’ recent struggles, they are still a better hockey team than Edmonton is with the roster they had available. To make matters worse, Brandon Davidson left the game to add to what has been an absolutely ridiculous string of injuries. Life as an Oilers fan is emotional.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- One game left until McDavid.
- They scored a power play goal? THEY SCORED A POWER PLAY GOAL! Teddy Purcell came out firing on the Oilers’ second PP and he was rewarded for it with his 11th goal of the season. It’s amazing how getting shots sometimes results in goals on the power play!
- Speaking of Purcell, I liked his game tonight. He had all sorts of chances and he could have easily had another goal with a little bit of luck. As the deadline approaches I can’t help but wonder what Chiarelli’s plan for him will be? Leave your best guess in the comments.
- After being called out by Todd McLellan, and demoted to the fourth line to start the game, I thought Nail Yakupov responded well. Not only did he score (his fourth of the season), he didn’t seem to be trying to do too much with the puck which is when he starts to get himself in trouble. He played a simple game and shot the puck when he had the chance, something he’s never shy about doing.
- Cam Talbot played well tonight despite allowing three goals. He made a bunch of big saves that allowed the Oilers to hang around in a game that they may not have deserved to be in. Talbot finished the night with 32 saves and a .914 save%.
- I like the way Iiro Pakarinen plays the game. He skates well, he hits, and he ‘s not afraid to go into the dirty areas. I like him in the bottom six.
- The penalty kill was perfect again tonight.
- At least Hemsky didn’t score?
THE FACE PALMERS
- Brandon Davidson left the game in the second period and did not return. The strange thing is that they couldn’t find any footage of where he possibly would have gotten hurt. The injury curse continues, and I’m willing to kill all the interns we have as a sacrifice to the hockey gods. Chris will be missed.
- Matt Hendricks took a slapshot to the nuts. I don’t really have to say anything else.
- Pouliot hasn’t played centre since junior but he had to do it tonight. How’s that centre depth going?
- Speaking of centres, the Oilers went 27 of 65 in the faceoff circle for a 42% success rate.
- I like Eric Gryba but he has a hard time passing the puck out of the zone if he’s being rushed. It’s a ‘rim it around the boards’ situation 100% of the time.
- Why can’t the Oilers clear their zone in general? I see other teams do it. I know it’s possible.
- Anton Lander may never score again.
- Jason Spezza scored his fourth goal of the season against the Oilers. Gross.
- Jamie Benn walked both Leon Draisaitl and Taylor Hall for his goal.
|01:23||DAL||Jason Spezza (16) Backhand shot – ASST: Johnny Oduya (11)||1 – 0 DAL|
|13:16||DAL||Jamie Benn (27) Wrist shot – ASST: NONE||2 – 0 DAL|
|17:04||EDM||PPG – Teddy Purcell (11) Wrist shot – ASST: Justin Schultz (6), Taylor Hall (29)||2 – 1 DAL|
|17:19||DAL||Jyrki Jokipakka (2) Tip-in – ASST: Cody Eakin (11), Jason Spezza (22)||3 – 1 DAL|
|16:57||EDM||Nail Yakupov (4) Wrist shot – ASST: Benoit Pouliot (12)||3 – 2 DAL|
BEST OF THE TWEETS
@OilersNation yak gets yelled at for not playing defense…..Schultz gets 25 mins for not playing defense
— Jalal Teliani (@JalalTeliani) January 22, 2016
@OilersNation “Thank god.” – Goal posts everywhere
— Ryan McByks (@IAmByks) January 22, 2016
@jsbmbaggedmilk Burn down Rexall, flood Commonwealth and we play the rest of the games outside!!
— Rick Weidemann (@RPW_1832) January 22, 2016
— Ben (@benoliver_1) January 22, 2016
— Minnia Feng (@minniafeng) January 22, 2016
Really needed Nuge/Klefbom/McDavid/Davidson out there tonight. #Oilers
— David Shortt (@AdMan0828) January 22, 2016
Talk to me, Twitter. Hit me up on Twitter at @jsbmbaggedmilk for your chance at ending up in the GDB Wrap Up.
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.
- Episode 2 – Where Are The Guests Bro?
- Episode 3 – Chip Wars 2015
- Episode 4 – Neon Leon
- Episode 5 – Ya Jinked It!
- Episode 6 – Nation Battle Royale
- Episode 7 – The Brownlee Christmas Spectacular
- Episode 8 – Return Of The CTI
- Episode 9 – NxNGretz Holiday Special
- Episode 10 – An NxNGretz New Years
- Episode 11 – Is There A TV Doctor In The House?