Baggedmilk and many Nation readers departed today on the first annual Nation ski trip, and the undisputed leader of the Ryan Nugent-Hopkins fan club asked me to fill in. I doubt I can match his antics, but here goes.
I’m sure BM and all the skiers will be in fine form tomorrow when they hit the slopes after celebrating the Oilers best road performance of the season. Edmonton crushed the Senators.
Final Score: Oilers win 7-2
The Oilers stormed out of the gate with Mark Fayne and Jordan Eberle scoring 41 seconds apart and the Oilers led 2-0 five minutes in. Connor McDavid had two assists in the first eleven minutes and the Nation was roaring with glee.
This game had everything:
Lots of goals.
A big hit by Justin Schultz.
A PP goal from the fourth line.
Highlight reel goals from Jordan Eberle and Leon Draisaitl.
Cam Talbot was solid once again stopping 36 of 38 shots. In his last 17 starts he has stopped 509 of 543 shots (.937sv%) and has a solid 2.00 GAA.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- The start. Oilers dominated the first eleven minutes and took a three-nothing lead.
- Justin Schultz with a great hit on Prince along the boards. Zack Kassian skates over right after to ensure Chris Neil didn’t rough up Schultz. Team togetherness. What a concept.
- Kassian is playing right to the edge, but not going over. He was aggressive, had a great chance in the first period and scored in the second. He is silencing those who doubted the trade. I liked the trade at the time and it looks better by the day.
- Eric Gryba’s point streak is as long as McDavid’s. Gryba had another strong game. Two fights against his former team will earn him big points within the Oilers dressing room.
- The McDavid and Eberle combination. Eberle showed why he is the best pure finisher the Oilers have and McDavid’s presence has lifted the team.
- Tonight was an entire team effort. It was much more than one player leading the way.
- Draisaitl has scored in three straight games, has four goals in his last five, and no one is talking about it. Nothing wrong with having a “quiet” three game goal streak and eight points in his last nine games.
- Brandon Davidson. He has been the biggest and most pleasant surprise on the Oilers. Some wanted him put on waivers at the start of the season, but in his first game back he played a team-high 23 minutes and got rewarded with a lucky PP bounce.
- The blowout allowed McLellan to rest his forwards. Mark Letestu played the most, for the second straight game, at 17:56, and Pakarinen the least at 11:56. McDavid (13:22), Eberle (12:48) and Pouliot (12:18) were the next lowest and they will be fresh for the back-to-back games on Saturday and Sunday.
- I’m on fire with the GDP right now. Hope it keeps rolling. I say we make some SuperBowl prop bets.
GAME DAY PREDICTION: Oilers take advantage of the Senators leaky defence and win 4-2.
OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: McDavid registers a goal and an assist.
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Korpikoski
hasn’t scored a goal since he tallied a hat-trick on December 11th, a
span of 18 games. He doesn’t score tonight, but he picks up an assist.
THE FACE PALMERS
- There weren’t many in a 7-2 win, but Baggedmilk demanded I include some. So…
- Pouliot’s first period penalty in the offensive zone. Needless and lazy. Otherwise a solid game from #67, but he can’t take that penalty.
- The final eight minutes of the first and majority of the second period. The Oilers took their foot off the gas after dominating early. Once they mature and develop a killer instinct this group will be scary.
BEST OF THE TWEETS
7 GOALS?! I WONT BE NEEDING THESE *throws pants at TV in jubilation*
— Wanye (@WanyeGretz) February 5, 2016
— They call me Ben (@Ben_in_yeg) February 5, 2016
@JasonGregor yeah I liked the Kassian pickup. Smart low risk gamble. He’s a bit of a tease but he has the ability.
— Patty Sandpaper Baby (@blackdogpat) February 5, 2016
— Nick Tatum (@NickTatum) February 5, 2016
— BF (@HeadsupHockey77) February 5, 2016
Darnell Nurse…..as seen from the Max McCormick helmet cam… pic.twitter.com/CZA01ZVe68
— Forever Rebuilding (@the_pain_train_) February 5, 2016
— thebear (@barrygach) February 5, 2016
Oilers dominated two teams they should have which is a great sign, and now they travel to Montreal to take on the struggling Habs. Montreal is 5-20-1 in their last 26 games.
Montreal is still the Mecca of hockey, and most players love playing there. Something tells me the Oilers’ top two lines will be fired up to score on Saturday’s Hockey Day in Canada. Don’t forget puck drop is at noon Edmonton time.