GDB 72.0 Wrap Up: Predators @ Oilers

I hope James Neal eats a rotten pistachio.  Final Score: 3-2 Predators

Coming into tonight’s game the Oilers had been shut out in back-to-back home games. Can a stat get much uglier than that? In two straight games, at home, the Edmonton Oilers could not score a goal. Let that sink in for a minute. I mean, it doesn’t take a scientist to figure out that scoring zero goals will generally make winning games damned near impossible. And to do it at home? Twice in row? That’s dirty. Like, eating at a urinal dirty. On the bright side, the Oilers scored some NHL goals tonight, and scoring even one goal meant a massive improvement over what has been happening around here lately. Scoring multiple goals? That’s living the good life, son. 

With goals in the bank, it goes without saying that the Oilers played better tonight than they did against the Coyotes. As it turns out, goals are kind of a thing in the NHL. Not only did the Oilers score some goals, they looked more like the team that had won three straight games only a week ago. They looked like they cared. Now, that’s not to say that there weren’t frustrating elements to this hockey game. Like what you ask? How about the (MULTIPLE!) times when the Oilers scored the go-ahead goal only to allow the Preds to counter within minutes/seconds. I don’t know about you guys but I’m not really into this whole give and take/swap goals kind of relationship. I guess I’m selfish like that. 

At the end of the night, it was those bounce back goals that ended up being the story. For as important as it was for the Oilers to score goals on home ice, it was equally as important to make sure that the puck stayed out of their own net. Tonight’s game was a winnable one, but the Oilers made some glaring mistakes and their goaltender couldn’t bail them out. The most frustrating part of this game has to be how the Oilers gave up two leads within a matter of minutes. They would score a go-ahead goal only to have James Neal tie the game up on his next shift. It’s maddening. I guess you have to give the Oilers credit for finding new and creative ways to leave points on the board. 

The wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

Crown

  • Shout out to Cam Talbot for getting credit for some of Brossoit’s saves early on in the first period. Nice job, Cam!
  • Jordan Eberle scored one of the easiest goals of his career (his 21st) when Connor McDavid set him up for an easy tap in. Beerleague danglers are even putting that one home. It was funny to hear Drew Remenda criticize Connor McDavid’s overpassing almost immediately before he set Eberle up on a tee. 
  • Connor McDavid’s assist on Eberle’s goal was his 36th point of the season in his 35th game. The kid is a point per game player in the first season of his NHL career. If he loses, the Calder trophy should have a “due to games played” asterisk put on it for this year. McDavid finished the night playing the most minutes of any forward with 23:22.
  • I really like Iiro Pakarinen. He’s the kind of player that plays in the bottom six, and can move up in the lineup if need be. I don’t like him as a right wing option with Taylor Hall, but he scored a goal tonight (his fifth) and I guess I’ll just disagree from my couch. That being said, I do like what Pakarinen has to offer and hope Chiarelli keeps him around. 
  • Speaking of the Pakarinen goal, how about the pass from Leon Draisaitl? The big man has some touch. 
  • Jordan Oesterle continues to impress since being recalled last month. Who knows if this play is a highlight, or the beginning of a beautiful friendship, but he’s looking good out there. He played 22:10 tonight. 
  • The Oilers had a good night in the face off circle going 52% (28/24).

THE FACE PALMERS

PaperCrown

  • I feel like a crazy person complaining about the reffing but I swear to Gord it’s true. There were blatant missed calls on the Oilers throughout the night. That’s not to say that there weren’t any missed calls for the Preds, but it seems like the Oilers should be getting way more calls going their way.
  • I know I said I wanted more power plays but the power play is really bad so maybe that’s not the best idea. The Oilers went 0/2 on the night… again. 
  • Taylor Hall played less than 16 minutes tonight. Maybe a little tough love from McLellan?
  • Speaking of the power play, why can’t Andrej Sekera get a shot through to the net? Effing shin pads man. Gregor nails it again.
  • James Neal scored three goals tonight, and two of his goals were scored within minutes (and seconds) after the Oilers scored the goal ahead goal. Neal finished the hat trick (and game winner) off in the third period.
  • That’s the second time in two starts that Brossoit has had a tough time locking things down on the pushback after a goal. He’ll figure that out going forward, but he’ll need to lock it up now if he wants to keep the backup job next year. Personally, I think that another year in the AHL would be the best bet. LB is still young and playing big minutes would likely be best in the long run. Brossoit finished the night with 20 saves and an .880 save%. 
  • I liked seeing Yakupov get a chance to play with Hall and Draisaitl in the third period until it was only for one shift. It’s amazing how little leash Yak gets as compared to some other players. I’ll be sad to see him go, but I’ll understand why it’ll be a happy day for Yak. I’ll miss him. 

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD
06:48 EDM Jordan Eberle (21) Wrist shot – ASST: Connor McDavid (22) 1 – 0 EDM
08:04 NSH James Neal (24) Wrist shot – ASST: Anthony Bitetto (4), Ryan Johansen (35) 1 – 1 Tie
2ND PERIOD
00:31 EDM Iiro Pakarinen (5) Wrist shot – ASST: Leon Draisaitl (30), Mark Fayne (4) 2 – 1 EDM
00:51 NSH James Neal (25) Wrist shot – ASST: Shea Weber (27), Calle Jarnkrok (10) 2 – 2 Tie
3RD PERIOD
04:18 NSH James Neal (26) Snap shot – ASST: Mattias Ekholm (23), Calle Jarnkrok (11) 3 – 2 NSH

BEST OF THE TWEETS

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THE NORTH X NORTHGRETZ PODCAST

This week the boys are joined by Flamesnation blogger Mike Fail! Mike tells us just what exactly has gone wrong with the Flames this year, what he expects for next year and he espouses his love for Taylor Hall! Next we talk about the Nurse suspension and Chris plays a game of rapid fire before we answer your hard hitting Ask The Idiots questions!

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

PREVIOUS EPISODES

      • Namudi

        Your not going to believe me, but he chills with my rich cousin, they came over to my pub about 2 weeks ago.

        I asked him my self, he said they demoted me to the fourth line, and I’m not getting an opportunity. He said my family loves edmonton and so do I but they don’t give me ice time. It’s hurting my career, so I want to go somewhere they will use me.

        You don’t have to believe me but honestly, that’s what happened. So even if they don’t publicly anounce it. I know for a fact that’s what happened.

        • IronX

          I believe anyone that owns his own pub. Are you awesome or what? Where is it ? I’d love to go and chat hockey with you Namu. (Ok if I call you Namu?)

          Now, let’s say I believe you, since I do. It’s very different to go to a bar and tell my buddies “I’m quiting this stupid job” than going to my manager with my resignation on my hands.

          nobody requests a trade this time of the year. Even Drouin is back playing! To what intent would you request a trade now and make everyone sour? You aren’t going to get it and it actually hurts you.

          I bet, Yak is here next year. They will need him for the hole Eberle will leave.

          Now what is Yak doing at a bar??? Professional athletes should not drink, maybe that’s the problem with this team. Too loosy goosy

    • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

      I live in the US now so there is no bright side except that I am still a Canadian. When Trump becomes the Fascist dictator we all fear I can at least move across the border and skip the line of Americans trying to swim across.

  • Rob19

    Put Yak on the point on the PP, if he doesn’t get the shot thru the defender will pay, or at least have second thoughts about getting in front of it next time when 97 feeds him for a 1 timer
    Nothing to lose with this current fluster cuck of a PP

  • OldOilerFan

    I enjoy this site, I like coming on after a game and reading what everyone thought, how this player played or that player and what did ya think of Conners latest move etc. I enjoy the articles, all contributors have got different thought provoking angles on the team we live and die with. Oh I swear at the team too, thrown my remote more than a few times over the last ten years, but they are still my team.

    Then there are blatant idiots who are obviously other teams fans, just trolling and trying to get a reaction. Most times I ignore them, or I’ll trash them. I sometimes think of responding back: I bet you are real killers with the ladies – “ooh you should have seen me troll this blog site.”

    But then I’m just lowering myself to their level. Moderators please rid us of the idiots.

  • Zamboni Driver

    Honestly this season cannot end fast enough for a plethora of reasons, but there is no doubt the best thing will be when Yakupov is gone and the myth of the “wicked onetimer” can die the pathetic death it deserves.

    Seems like a nice guy. Is bad at hockey.

  • Spydyr

    A few weeks back I suggested LB play his last year before being waiver eligible in the minors getting lots of starts.Saying it would be better for him in the long run than riding the pine in the NHL. Many disagreed.Not so many disagree now it seems.

  • @Hallsy4

    Can anyone provide an example when yak scored on a wicked one timer or rocket snapshot? I can’t think of one off the top of my head. Maybe one of those looks good in practice type things. Trade the mall.

  • JimmyV1965

    I think we should all cross our fingers and hope Schultz can turn around his game right away in Pittsburgh. That will surely raise the trade value of Yak as a reclamation project.

  • Freewheeling Freddie

    The oilers have five d men out,tough to win.I am getting nervous about Klefbom a staph infection could be career ending.Chiarelli is incompetent not.He will make the necessary changes.I expect a fairly major housecleaning.Broissoit is not redy for the show.He has much work to do.

    • Seanaconda

      Klefbom has been practicing again so hopefully the infection is done with. They may just keep him out for the rest of the season to avoid injuring the ankle he had surgery on. But if he’s skating again that’s a good sign he should be okay.

  • EZ76

    Russian and Turkish building companies spend 3 years to turn sub-tropic Sochi into the capital of Winter Olympics. 3 years

    Azeri and Turkish builders spend 1 year to turn Baku into the place for European Olympic games. 1 year

    10 years Edmonton city waiting for…. 1 building? Not Olympic Sports Complex, not bunch of new luxury hotels. 10 years for 1 place? In Canada? Are you serious?

    What kind of wicked games the team management is playing with the fans and the Edmontonians? Think, dudes

    About game. Nothing new, nothing interesting. I guess that was same porridge like before. Guess because i didn’t watch about 15 last Oilers’ games. Without any regrets, that wasn’t a great loss

    • Devolution

      First, so what?

      Second, I lived in Baku during that period and I can tell you three things. It took a lot longer than a year, people were killed during the construction because of poor safety standards and the construction was so bad those places will crumble before 5 years.

      To the best of my knowledge the Edmonton arena is on time, on budget, will stand for 50 years and nobody was killed building it.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Every Oiler fans revenge will soon be upon us when they win the right to draft Austin Mathews. McDavid and Mathews will be a fine start to renovating the roster this summer. Outsiders will love to hate Oilernation yet again.

    We all knew where this team would fall short before the year began. Even with the supposed culprit (near .920 goaltending) adressed, the abyss remains. It’s been another difficult season to endure but i’m satisfied Chiarelli was almost too patient before starting to make the obvious additions and subtractions. A few of the coming changes will not be popular with the masses.

    Oiler pride still lives….Burns, Hamonic and Provorov please Peter.

  • CanaDave

    Professional athletes shouldn’t drink? That’s more insane than calling Chiarelli an incompetent for not using jedi mind tricks to get other GM’s to trade for players that are heartless, gutless, and have no business in the NHL.

  • monsterbater

    -Opens GDB wrap-up
    -Sorts comments by Most Trashes
    -Sees multiple Verdad3.0 comments per usual after a loss
    -Logs off

    Turns out Verdad is Spanish for Truth. Somebody thinks very highly of themself

    • Seanaconda

      Also a common spanish/filipino (well common enough that I know people with it) last name as well. He is prob just full of himself tho. But it could be his/her surname and that’s less obnoxious hahah. If my last name was something cool like truth I would prolly use it as an url not gonna lie.

  • madjam

    Oilers have the usual poor man games lost due to injuries . Did league send out a memo to other teams not to run them anymore ? Strategy is still to run our team , and especially young ones , as they have always been bothered by it . Having bought in some more grit has had little effect on other teams continuing to run our young stars . Second strategy was to do same to our defence basically and pin them deep . Other teams are making us play a game our so called stars are not fond of , or very good at . A better defence will also lead to a better offence and possession .

  • McRaj

    I am at a loss for words. This losing has gotten too much. I usually propose ideas of trading the core for other major pieces but now I’m saying just trade them for a sake of a trade.

    Why? Because not like it can get worse. Yes we have improved in the standings from last year but that in large part is due to goaltending, not the precious core of Hall, Eberle, Nuge. Schultz is gone, yak will be too, trade the other 3 as well, a full house cleaning.

  • S cottV

    I don’t see any reason why Nuge can’t play some left wing, with McD or Drai – switching up on low d zone support, if he happens to be first forward back. Backing up at 1 / 2c in case of injury or to give a different look in the middle from time to time.

    That would leave Hall available as a potential trade chip, to help round out this disjointed roster. Hall would have significant trade value, even allowing for his $6mm salary, some of his weaknesses and association with a losing organization.

    What Nuge gives up vs Hall as a left winger, is probably more than covered off by Nuge’s strengths, which include an ability to collaborate with others.

    Hall does not really collaborate well. He doesn’t approach the conundrum of how do “we” score a lot of goals without giving up as many as we get. There is a lot of “I” in how Hall operates.

    I don’t think its necessarily selfishness that drives this, it’s how he is built – physically and mentally.

    Rarely do you get the full meal deal – in the genetics of things. Hall is blessed with some tremendous physical attributes, but he really didn’t get a complex hockey thinking mind to go along with it. He is best at evens, in situations where the thought processes are simple and he can use his speed and power in rush patterns.

    He struggles at evens when it slows down and you have to think your way through a defensive alignment and use others to help in that regard. It shows on the pp – when things slow down and the answer to the puzzle lies in collaboration with others to beat the pk alignment. The result of this – is a tendency to lack patience and force things that are not a fit for the situation at hand.

    Sure – he gets results in the form of significant points, but really Hall’s style of play gives up and many goals as he gets and the lack of collaboration – has a negative impact on the fostering of team play. I am pretty sure the guys he plays with, get real pissed off when time and time again, he turns it unnecessarily over – among other issues, and everyone has to chase the puck.

    You have to give to get and I think Hall is more replaceable than meets the eye.

  • Speed Junky

    The Oilers are not healthy.

    Just get 4 solid D

    keep the lines together. too much jumping

    no wonder San Jose never won cup

    play 4 and 29 together

    play 97 and 14

    play Nuge and 67

    fill the rest for next season

    Yak is good guy. hope he can score

  • Moog's helmet

    We finished in 28th last year and this year sit firmly in 29th with ten games left so this notion that “we’re better than last year” only makes sense if you’re willing to admit that every other team is also better.

    I actually liked Yak’s game last night. He played mad and it looked good on him. But Todd can see what we all see, every line Yak goes to produces zilch. There’s nowhere to hide a chemistry proof player. Yak is the exact opposite of an elite player in that he makes the players around him worse.

    “But Yak doesn’t produce because he doesn’t get a chance with elite players..” Right. I played C level hockey from Atom to Midget. Why didn’t I make the NHL? Multiple coaches and bad line mates.

  • Derzie

    Seems a bit hypocritical to pick on ol Verdad for being one dimensional. The team is perennially terrible (present season included). Any and all criticisms are worthy of discussion. Threatening to ‘ban him’ because you don’t like the tone or quantit of his posts goes against the spirit of the whole site. Comes across as petty and fragile. Rage on, Verdad. Someday, your ship will come in (or not).

  • btrain

    The entire Oiler’s D, 12 different players, have combined for 86 points. Karlsson has 70 points alone. Sekera, the top scoring defensemen has 25. This places him 51st amongst all defensemen league wide. Looking at two of the other terrible blue lines in the NHL, the leafs have 3 defensemen ahead of Sekera for point production, while the Canucks have 4 between his 25 points and Klefbom’s 12 points. Yes, Klefbom is still second on the team in defensive scoring!

    To not include defensemen when talking about any aspect of the game, is to overlook an integral factor of team success at both ends of the ice. It’s almost too easy to blame the Oilers D, but they are clearly the weak link holding this team back. If NHL D men were guns, and games were fights, the Oilers have been bringing knives to the fight for over 6 years! and not even sharp ones! The core group of forwards could and should be better, but you cannot properly evaluate them given how incompetent the Defense has been over the years.