— OilersNation.com (@OilersNation) November 2, 2016
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 BRIGHT SIDE
- 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
- 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.
|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|
|03:14||Toronto||Ben Smith (1) ASST: Nikita Soshnikov (1), Matt Martin (1)||1-2|
|08:38||Edmonton||Darnell Nurse (2) ASST: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (5)||2-2|
|00:12||Toronto||Nazem Kadri (5) ASST: Morgan Rielly (5)||2-3|
BEST OF THE TWEETS
The guys beside me are having dry ribs on wing night. We get it, you’re rich.
— Ryder (@ryderfm) November 1, 2016
@jsbmbaggedmilk I can hear Gene’s puns… But I can’t see Gene’s puns
— Todd Van Berkel (@ChillyCanadian) November 1, 2016
@OilersNation Lance and Lander ?
— j_Pez (@j_pez) November 2, 2016
— Healthy Scratch (@dougers14) November 2, 2016
@jsbmbaggedmilk Such underrated flow. Probably because of the mullet and moustache era he played in.
— Ryan Byks (@IAmByks) November 2, 2016
— Pestival (@Pestival1) November 2, 2016
@OilersNation that was bad and they should feel bad
— Matthew Kusal (@mcoolsoul) November 2, 2016
— David Smitten (@DavidSmitten) November 2, 2016
GET AWAY WITH AMA TRAVEL
Don’t forget, book your winter vacation or any travel before Nov 13, 2016 and you are entered to Win Back Your Trip!