Mathematically eliminated. Final Score: 3-2 Avalanche
Before the game started, all I could think about was how the Oilers could hit 30 wins for the first time since 2012. Yes, there was a lockout season in the mix but that’s still a sad and good-gord-you’re-awful type of stat no matter how you look at it. Hitting 30 wins in an NHL season isn’t even anything special, and that’s a massive understatement. Consider this: there are more teams in the league with 30 wins than there are without. Before tonight’s games had started there were only six teams that had yet to hit the 30 win plateau. For the Oilers not to get to that mediocre benchmark in the last four years? That’s a special kind of terrible.
Unfortunately, win number 30 will have to wait for another day as the Oilers came out flat, and fell short, against a shorthanded Avalanche team. This should have been a winnable game but the Oilers failed to deliver. The Avs were missing both Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene, but they were still able to generate enough offense to beat the Oilers. To make matters worse, tonight’s loss (on Fan Appreciation Night, no less) mathematically eliminated the Oilers from playoff contention. Not that missing the playoffs again is surprising, but that doesn’t make it any easier to see the news be made official with stupid fancy math.
Now that I think about it the sadness of a decade out of the playoffs is starting to sink in. It’s pretty crazy to think that we’ve all spent 10 years of our lives hoping for better when it comes to a hockey team. We’ve been hoping for a return to glory and that special time of year when it’s perfectly acceptable to drunkenly high five every stranger you see wearing Oilers gear. The playoff run of 2006 seems like a lifetime ago, and it’s a miracle that we’re all still here. I’ve had four different jobs and spent two years travelling the world during that time span. Some of you probably have babies as a RESULT of that playoff run and are now seeing them only a hop and a skip away from being teenagers. That’s madness.
The Oilers could not be any luckier when it comes to their supporters, and it would be wise if they would remember it from time to time.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Connor McDavid is a chance machine and the Oilers are going to have to make sure that he plays with guys that can finish. He was lucky to keep his point steak alive as he got a pass on Nuge’s goal with under 10 seconds left in the game.
- Matt Hendricks matched his career high three game point streak when he scored his fifth goal of the season early on in the third period. As you would expect, Hendricks banged home a loose puck a few feet out from the net. You have to love when this guy scores a goal.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins absolutely hammered home his 11th goal of the season as Connor McDavid set him up on a tee. That’s three goals in his last three games for Nuge.
- Jordan Oesterle keeps getting better and better as his recall with the Oilers goes on. I think he’ll still spend the majority of next season in the AHL but it looks like the Oilers may have found another diamond in the rough that his the Oilers’ post 1st overall draft record. He played 22:31 tonight.
- Laurent Brossoit had a better start tonight than he did in his last start against Nashville, and an infinitely better start than the one in Columbus, but it still wasn’t enough to get him his first win. He looked calm in the net, and he made the saves you would expect an NHL goalie to make, but he couldn’t make those extra saves needed to win this game. To his credit, it’s tough to win when the team in front of you only scores two goals. He finished with 22 saves and an .880 save%.
- Zack Kassian picked up an assist on Matt Hendricks’ goal which was a point that he desperately needed. When he wasn’t chipping in offensively he was throwing his body around tonight, and that’s what he’s going to have to do if he wants a future with the Oilers. Solid game by Kassian tonight.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Fan Appreciation Night was a flop. Not overly surprised.
- The Oilers were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs tonight. At least making it to mid-March before being eliminated is better than December.
- The game was 10 minutes in and the Oilers had only registered three shots on net. The Avs give up a lot of shots and to only get three to start of the game isn’t good enough.
- Are you surprised that the power play was bad? No? Moving on. I guess the four goal outburst against St. Louis was like hitting a jackpot on a scratch ticket. The Oilers went 0/4 on the PP tonight.
- The Avs power play scored and the Oilers’ didn’t. Special teams goals matter and the Oilers waste nearly all of their chances.
- Colorado started more shifts with the puck than the Oilers as they won 53% of their draws.
- Colorado blocks a ton of shots and the Oilers couldn’t seem to get anything through. Case and point was the shin pad assassin himself, Andrej Sekera, when he couldn’t seem to get anything through on the power play.
- The Avalanche swept the season series between the two teams. They’re not nearly good enough to do that.
- Matt Hendricks played a team low 8:52 despite scoring a goal which makes you wonder how hurt he is and what he’s playing through.
|01:19||COL||Gabriel Landeskog (18) Backhand shot – ASST: Carl Soderberg (35), Shawn Matthias (15)||1 – 0 COL|
|11:31||COL||Tyson Barrie (13) Slapshot – ASST: Mikkel Boedker (30), Gabriel Landeskog (30)||2 – 0 COL|
|02:53||EDM||Matt Hendricks (5) Wrist shot – ASST: Mark Letestu (13), Zack Kassian (5)||2 – 1 COL|
|09:09||COL||PPG – Blake Comeau (11) Tip-in – ASST: Erik Johnson (15), Francois Beauchemin (25)||3 – 1 COL|
|19:52||EDM||Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (11) Snap shot – ASST: Connor McDavid (26)||3 – 2 COL|
BEST OF THE TWEET
@loxyisme He speaks like he’s trying to perform an act of ventriloquism.
— Matt Henderson (@Archaeologuy) March 21, 2016
You have to respect Maroons courage to wear 19 and step into the tiny tiny shoes once filled by Schultz
— Wanye (@WanyeGretz) March 21, 2016
— David Smitten (@DavidSmitten) March 21, 2016
sorry did Mark Spector just say something about a pornstar from Finland or
— Kady (@KadyDH) March 21, 2016
@OilersNation McDavid got a point. We’re done here.
— Gerard Murray (@GMurray237) March 21, 2016
THE NORTH X NORTHGRETZ PODCAST
This week Chris The Intern and Jeanshorts struggle through colds to bring you thoughts on all the Oiler powerplay goals, who would be protected during the expansion draft and whether or not they’d re-sign Zack Kassian. Next Baggedmilk plays a game with Chris that will make everyone feel old, before all life’s mysteries are answered in another round of Ask The Idiots!
- Episode 10 – An NxNGretz New Years
- Episode 11 – Is There A TV Doctor In The House?
- Episode 12 – Making An Interner
- Episode 13 – Guilty Pleasures
- Episode 14 – All Star Weekend
- Episode 15 – Disaster In Jasper
- Episode 16 – Contagious
- Episode 17 – Story time with Pat Hughes
- Episode 18 – The Trade Deadline
- Episode 19 – Clean N’ Jerks
- Episode 20 – Battle of Blogberta