GDB 10.0 Wrap Up: ToronDOH!

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Alright… 79-2-1 is still pretty good. Final score: 3-2 Leafs in OT

Tonight’s game happened to be Connor McDavid’s first trip to Toronto so that brought with it the ridiculous questions of how much it means to him to play in his hometown and blah blah blah. The Toronto MSM even asked him if he could tell the story of his first trip to the ACC to watch a Leafs game and turned that into news somehow. Can you imagine if our media asked everyone that came back to Edmonton about their first Oilers game? No, you can’t, because nobody cares. Although I’m not sure why I was surprised, I Googled “LeafsNation” and “Stamkos” and found 17 articles that came up in the first two pages about a guy that didn’t even sign there. All I can say is that I hope the water in Toronto is laced with hallucinogens because anything less than that would just be sad, wishful thinking.

As for the game itself, it probably started out as badly as it could have for the Oilers and didn’t get all that much better from there. Within the first 90 seconds, Edmonton had a brutal giveaway in their own end that resulted in the Leafs being spotted a 1-0 lead. Fortunately (albeit temporarily), Edmonton seemed to settle themselves down and proceeded to carry the play throughout the remainder of the first period. Unfortunately, the Oilers took a step backwards in the second frame and fell back into playing sloppy hockey throughout the final forty minutes. I know that the Corsi crowd will talk about the shots on goal being positive, but my eyes told me that a big chunk of those shots came from the outside. While it’s impressive that Andersen tossed aside 44 shots it seems to me like a lot of those were easy lobs from the blue line.

What’s annoying about this OT loss is that Toronto is a garbage rebuilding hockey team and, as a result, a team that the Oilers should be able to beat. If you can beat the Capitals and Blues then you should be able to take care of the Maple Leaves. Agreed? Apparently, the Leafs didn’t get the memo that they were supposed to roll over and die because they put up a much stronger fight than the Oilers looked like they expected. Make sense? Good. While the Oilers couldn’t put a six-foot pass together the Leafs forechecked hard and stuck to their game plan like glue. I don’t know what it is about the Oilers that causes them to play down to their competition but that’s exactly what happened. For some reason, they can’t seem to put away teams that they’re supposed to beat. Although this game wasn’t nearly as bad as the one against Buffalo (POINT!) the Oilers still couldn’t get anything going against a weaker hockey club. 

The wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

ChocolateBars

  • Anton Lander scored his first goal of the season. Anyone call that tonight? Anyone? Lander drove to the net and knocked the puck into the gaping net that Fred Andersen left for him.
  • Tyler Pitlick registered his first career NHL assist on Anton Lander’s goal in the first period. Pitlick has played well, so far, in his stint with the Oilers and you have to think he’s making a case for himself with the coaching staff. Here’s hoping he can stay healthy. 
  • Darnell Nurse looks so much more comfortable this year than he did last season. He’s playing softer minutes and learning his craft, and it shows when he’s out on the ice. Darryl looks way more confident out there than he did a year ago. He topped off a great game by scoring a huge game-tying goal (his second) midway through the third period. Atta be Darryl.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins got the assist on Nurse’s goal by winning a big faceoff, staying on top of the puck, and getting it back to Darryl on the blue line. Solid play by RNH. 
  • Another solid but not great night for Cam Talbot. He bailed the Oilers out on more than one occasion and this game could have gotten ugly without him. Dadbot finished the game with 28 saves and a .908 save% 
  • I know this has nothing to do with the hockey game but I’ll never get tired of seeing Wayne Gretzky on Oilers broadcasts. 
  • Matt Benning had a quiet NHL debut and I say that as a huge compliment. Benning moved the puck well, found some chemistry with Darnell Nurse, and did not at all look out of place. A debut to be proud of. 
  • The Oilers went 51% in the faceoff circle. The centres went: Lander 100%, Nuge 62%, McDavid 47%, Draisaitl 46%, Letestu 40%
  • We won the Corsi!

THE FACE PALMERS

CandyCorn

  • The Leafs scored 1:29 into the first period and I really can’t think of a worse start than that. Klefbom didn’t make a great pass and the Leafs intercepted and capitalized. Gross sequence and a brutal giveaway by Klefbom. 
  • How many games in a row do the Oilers expect to rely on Cam Talbot saving their asses to stay in the mix? The Leafs had way too many wide open chances in the third period and the Oilers were lucky that Dadbot was there to bail them out. 
  • The Leafs outworked the Oilers at various times tonight and it showed with the goals that they scored. On both goals, the Leafs were aggressive and it caused the Oilers to cough up the pucks that wound up in the back of their net. 
  • To their credit, it was annoying how effective the Leafs were in defending against Connor despite how hilarious it looked to watch their entire team swarm around him. 
  • To further that last point it was a quiet night for the entire Lucic-McDavid-Eberle line. I was hoping that having the Leafs swarming McDavid would leave more room for the other two and I’m not sure that that happened. If Ebs and Lucic did have more time they didn’t do a whole lot with it. 
  • Power Play = Fart Sound. 0/2 on the night.
  • I will not complain about the refs. I will not complain about the refs. I will not complain about the refs.
  • For the love of Gord can someone please find Jesse Puljujarvi a helmet that fits. I feel like his visor is only protecting his eyebrows.

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
01:29 Toronto Nazem Kadri (4) ASST: Connor Brown (1), Roman Polak (1) 0-1
19:29 Edmonton Anton Lander (1) ASST: Tyler Pitlick (1), Mark Letestu (3) 1-1

2ND PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
03:14 Toronto Ben Smith (1) ASST: Nikita Soshnikov (1), Matt Martin (1) 1-2

3RD PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
08:38 Edmonton Darnell Nurse (2) ASST: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (5) 2-2

OT PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
00:12 Toronto Nazem Kadri (5) ASST: Morgan Rielly (5) 2-3

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  • camdog

    For years Eberle fans have been making him out to be something more than he ever was. Now non Eberle fans are making him out to be worse than he actually is. Reality is he’s somewhere in the middle.

    He’s an above average skilled winger that can produce points, that expects others to cover up for his defensive or physical deficiencies. It’s not bad to have a couple guys of his skill set on the team, but at the same time the coaching staff could send him a message once in a while instead of gifting him minutes that he does not always deserve.

    • RJ

      He is also right-handed.

      Given the value now being placed on right handed players, there is value in his handedness.

      I would also say that he is an above-average RW, but he’s not as talented as some fans and bloggers would say. He had one great season five years ago, but teams have him figured out, and he hasn’t really evolved his game in response. That’s why his point totals and PPG have been dropping every year.

      He’s a useful player, but I’d like him much better at $4m.

  • Hemmercules

    Eberle is struggling right now. He needs to finish a few plays and get back into it confidence wise. He’s never going to be a crash and bang guy but he was watching way too many times last night. Cant wait for it to come to you all the time. Even his passing is off right now. I think he will come around but he needs to step it up effort wise for sure. Move him back with Nuge for a bit and see what happens.

    I thought the Leafs were making the Oil look slow overall last night.

  • McRaj

    Oilers Nation, stop arguing with Drew R. Fan. What else do you guys expect from a guy who would like Drew Remenda. He will never admit Eberle has a bad game, in his mind, he probably thinks Eberle makes McDavid better.

  • Oiler Al

    You live and die with the RUSH. As witnessed last night, it can be shut down very easily.[remember Hall and Hemsky. alot of solo sorties ].In fairness to McDavid, his mates can not keep up with him.

    Oilers need more cycle, ram and jam around the net.
    There was a ton of shots [rare] from the back end last night, and no one in the crease area for deflections.

    PS: Note to PeeWee players,graduating to Midget, please pass on your unused sticks to Eberle.

  • freelancer

    First off, the Oilers are 7-2-1. That’s still fantastic so let’s not let the rain fall too hard.

    That being said there have been a few worrying points that have been consistent over the past few games. I would like to see the lines mixed up a bit going forward.

    Put Eberle with Maroon and Draisaitl. Maroon and Drai have looked great all year and cycling the puck in the offensive zone and creting turnovers but the scoring hasn’t come. Give them a trigger man in Eberle.

    Next I would try Puljujarvi with McDavid and Lucic. That’s not my favourite combination to try but Kassian or Pitlick aren’t suitable options. Keep the Nuge line together as they are playing fine.

    Really this team needs another top 6 RW or a 3C and move Drai to the wing.

  • btrain

    Kadri is gifted two goals against the Oilers but this entire page is all about Eberle? About how he didn’t angle a guy properly when he was covering the point. How about McDavid’s soft coverage of Kadri in OT!

    Not to call out McDavid, as I am sure that will be unpopular. Lets just say, Crosby doesn’t allow that goal to happen so the kid still has room to grow. The point is that there is plenty of blame to go around. McDavid will learn from that and likely not let it happen again. People should be more concerned with the handful of exact same goals that the Oilers defensemen are allowing. Buddy stands between two opponents and has pass go threw them from behind the net to wide open guy in the slot. This is how both regulation goals were scored last night, how Yak scored, the goal the other night against the Sens. Sure, Eberle needs to be better, but so do many guys. The positive thing is that they still walk away with a point and they are still in great shape.

  • @Hallsy4

    I’d change some lines up. No one is getting anything going except McDavid. Will be nice when the Drake’s back assuming he can play 3rd line Center, gives more options with moving Drai up to the wing. COuld he play RW with McD? If he has in the past, how’s it gone?

    • Arod

      It is not time to put Pitlick on McDavid’s line. It’s time to keep Pitlick on the 4th line with 4th line minutes where he has been holding his own. It may be time to switch some of the lines around but in no way is it time to put Pitlick on McDavid’s line.

  • S cottV

    With the better start to the season and McDavid – the Oilers are gonna get special attention from opposition hockey clubs.

    Playing the Oilers has become an event.

    Number one goalies, determined line and d pair matching, extra coaching attention to pick at our weaknesses, the whole bit – that is a lot different than in the past.

    While this will make the team stronger / better in time, there will be an adjustment period – that may not reflect as well as we would like, in short to mid term wins and losses. We don’t really have our act together – enough at this point, to counteract the attention we’re gonna get.

    The extra attention toward McDavid, does not bode well for Eberle and maybe even Lucic.

    Eberle can’t physically absorb some of the playoff like heat from McDavid and Lucic can only absorb it – if – he can get to the necessary places quickly enough, which isn’t gonna be often enough.

    I think it will become apparent that Eberle – for sure, is far from an ideal compliment for McDavid. Eberle will have to fight through way more flak, than he is equipped for and or has the stomach to gut it out through. McDavid is gonna need a trigger guy, that can do more than make an occasional nifty stick handling / pass play, while otherwise flying under the radar to get into a shooting position. This is particularly true – when Lucic also has limitations to overcome.

    I would try Puljujarvi in the role but is likely a stretch for him.

    Another option – put Drai on McD’s right wing.

    Drai could switch off with McD on centre duties on the fly and in the process – make McDavid harder to cover.

    Nuge seems to be holding his own in the middle with Pouliot and Kassian.

    • Arod

      I agree completely with your take on Ebs. Drai in the long run could be the ideal fit with McDavid. He plays and thinks the game fast enough and he can snipe when he needs to. He’s also got the presence to play against 1 pairing dmen.

  • Randaman

    The simple truth of the matter is that besides a handful of players last night, they sucked.

    Nobody can deny that. They looked nothing like the team of a week ago.

    Kaadri should have been on his ass more than once. Reilly should’ve been on his ass as well.

    Talbot was ordinary, Benning looked nervous, Eberle looked uninterested as usual.

    • oilerjed

      Are you nuts?

      The Oilers carried the play for almost the entire 1st and 3rd periods!

      Out shot the leafs by 15 shots plus 2 posts and only lost in OT because of a missed call.

      Destroyed them in scoring chances. At what point did they suck?

  • oilerjed

    I really liked Nurse last night…

    1 Goal

    6 shots

    5 Hits

    2 Blocked shots

    Damn it would be nice if he has a breakout year and the Oilers manage to have possibly 3 quality homegrown dmen in the line up.

  • McPucker

    Toronto was a better team last night.

    Oiler’s have some fast skaters but they aren’t a fast team. Until they get their passes on target they will continue to struggle.

  • fran huckzky

    Poti, Petry, Schultz, Eberle/ Why must the experts on this site always have a whipping boy? After Eberle is gone whose turn will be next? Sometimes I feel ashamed to be a part of this group.

  • whateverhappenedtoearledwards

    Idon’t get all the negativity here. My buddy Dallas tells me the team is heading in the right direction with two kick ass corsi’s in the last two games.