GDB 49.0 Wrap Up: Oilers @ Stars

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. 

We wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

Tacos

  • 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

Bugs

  • 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. 

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD
01:23 DAL Jason Spezza (16) Backhand shot – ASST: Johnny Oduya (11) 1 – 0 DAL
2ND PERIOD
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
3RD PERIOD
16:57 EDM Nail Yakupov (4) Wrist shot – ASST: Benoit Pouliot (12) 3 – 2 DAL

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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

  • Steveland Cleamer

    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 a sacrifice to the hockey gods. Chris will be missed.

    – Will he though? Will he really? I’m sure his mom will miss him, and you guys will miss taking pot-shots at him, but I think that will be the extent of how missed he will be.
    Really who else can poorly pull off a hard hat outside of him????

  • Derzie

    Why do the top 6 forwards when they are on offence their feet are moving like greased lightning but when they play defence it looks like their feet are moving in wet cement??? That 3rd Dallas goal was a good example of the winger doing just that. He was moving very slowly if at all and waving his stick with one hand like he was in a parade or something. The point shot might not make it through that easy with more pressure.

  • Turned on Game center and it wasn’t locked out. Turned off briefly and came back, it was locked out. I really hate gamecenter.

    At this point I’m not getting too upset as it’s now gone beyond the team can’t win and is in last. Now it has officially become, the team is injured.

    Sure all teams get injuries but this is crazy now. No Davidson, Nuge, McDavid, and Klefbom?

    Compare those four to any four players on any other team, take them out of the line up and it’s pretty much expected they won’t win either.

    • hagar

      I found an interesting site, http://www.mangameslost.com.

      It shows the Oil have lost the most man games this year as we all know. It also shows an assessment of how impactful the lost mangames are (eg. having McD out for half a year would be more impactful than say Landner). The Oil are runaway leaders here as well.

      Also they show that the Klefblom injury has been the most impactful defenceman injury in the league this year.

    • MorningOwl

      last year flames were missing their top three centers AND their best defenseman… (replaced by Engelland!)and still made the playoffs… this injury stuff is a load of crap. all teams get injured… yes, you are missing a first overall pick, but you still have more first overall picks playing than any other 5 teams combined.

    • hagar

      McD and Hall were together the 3 or so games at the start of this year without a lot of success. Some observers felt that as both Hall and McD need to be the player with the puck driving the play, they didn’t fit well together. McD really took off when he was with Yak and Poiliot.

      • hagar

        Hall was not the same player at the beginning of the year as he is now. Two totally different players.

        Oh, and Mcdavid was just starting the nhl game. The first 3 nhl games is not a great sampling.

  • MorningOwl

    suggestions out there that the Oilers should consider trading their next first round pick to Arizona for Oliver Ekman Larsson…

    EDMONTON JOURNAL: (cut and pastes from Specters rumors) If the Oilers win the 2016 NHL draft lottery in April, Jim Matheson believes they should offer up that pick to the Arizona Coyotes for defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Matheson suggests the Coyotes could use that pick to select Arizona native Auston Matthews, projected to be the top prospect in the 2016 NHL Draft.

    SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matheson admits he’s spit-balling on this one. It’s an interesting scenario. Would the Coyotes part with Ekman-Larsson, their top defenseman, for a shot at landing a marketable local player with star potential in Matthews? Envision Matthews centering a line with rising young stars Max Domi and Anthony Duclair. It could be a marketing dream for the Coyotes. However, Ekman-Larsson’s departure would leave a huge hole on the blueline that would be difficult to fill.

    As for the Oilers, if they do win the draft lottery again (which will certainly piss off fans in every other NHL city even more than it did when they won last year’s lottery), I think they’ll shop that pick for a young top-two defenseman. Unless they address that need via another trade by moving out one of their top young forwards, I don’t think they’ll have any choice.

    thoughts?

  • bleedingcoppernblue

    I do think it’s really impossible to judge this team on this season as they have had one or more (generally more) star players out for the entire season and have endured a ridiculous schedule through it all. I think despite the fact that no media experts are crediting this as a viable excuse for this team we will see a better glimpse of the future after the all star break, although the Nuge injury really hurts at this stage. So many one goal losses would have been significantly reversed with some better health. NO team in the league could have overcome the quality and quantity of injuries our team has endured!