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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  • Lucas McDavid

    Unfortunate loss. It didn’t look like they were playing as well tonight as they have in the past.

    Also, I’m REALLY PISSED that Lucic didn’t punch some faces in (specifically Kadri)

    Ah well. ON TO NEW YORK! #79and2and1

  • Oilfaninvan

    Nuge needs someone from McDavids line to help him get some second line scoring happening, McDavid needs someone from another line who will put the work in to get chances (let’s face it-not that hard to gets points with Connor if you can remotely finish), and Draisaitl needs to find some consistency out there if he thinks he can be a second line centre one day.

  • Oiler Al

    Babdick is no dummy…. how to beat the OIL… STOP McDavid and Kahdri did an amazing job, and scores 2 goals a top of it.

    In the meantime Eberle,Pouliot,Lucic, and Maroon dont even break out in a sweat. Coasting around, sweeping the ice all night long. No support for #97 from his linemates.

    So much for getting bigger players to create some room. Lucic and Eberle were AWOL, all night long.

    Maybe the defense isnt the problem any longer.

  • Cowbell_Feva

    Kadri should have had his head removed on 3 different occassions. Constantly giving 97 cross checks and slashes behind the play and a nice slew foot in the 1st.

    The cheesy toss into the boards well after the whistle was laughable but I wish Lucic would have dusted that stupid look off his ugly face then and there.

    To make me even more irate was the blatant free hand out holding on the OT winner. I wanted to jump through he TV. I’ve always hated Kadri and tonight confirmed it with me.

  • Garnett

    i don’t want to seem like and Eberle hater. but a few games in the press box would do him some good. his head is clearly not in the game. i’m not willing to write him off, but clearly he needs to get the message that the way he’s been playing has no place on the Oilers. Maybe in years past, but not now. i know he’s capable of much better. do i expect him to engage physically or back check, no. At no point in his career has he proven that’s what he does. and he wasn’t drafted based on those skills. he’s here to score and put up points. that’s basically it. he needs to start getting back to that and fast.

    • If he pots 30-40 goals per year, I would cut him some slack on his obvious shortcomings. We pay him to score , so if he isn’t, then he isn’t much use to us at all. Connor always draws two or three players, so Eberle should have lots of room, but you will always find him looking around for where it is safe and he wont have to take or make a hit to make a play instead of getting himself open. Kassian has earned a chance to be on the top line. Eberle has earned his chance to sit in the pressbox. He will be the next one out of here.

  • MissYouMcDavid

    We fired 40 plus shots against a terrible goaltender with questionable rebound control. I strongly believe we need to crash the net harder and flood the slot and crease with bodies. There were too many rebounds being picked up by the opposing defense or just slipping through the slot with little threat.

  • Dan 1919

    Well at least baggedmilk’s articles are improving. Seriously, the hockey content was actually well done and an an improvement over the usual heavy comedic blogs.

    Not that I find them bad, this was just better.

  • OldOilerFan

    I dont think anyone is hating Eberle, but i think a lot of ON is saying and i agree: his effort has been not great lately. You are a veteran on the team, youre recognized as a leader with the A, you are playing with the greatest player, but he was invisible tonight. compare that to the Nuge, been playing great. Hasnt put up big points but his effort is there. Opposing Coaches would grab the Nuge in a heartbeat.

  • I think Kassian has earned a chance on McDavid’s line. Reuinte the PouNugEbs line. The 3 always work well together and Ebs needs to get his game back so this is a no brainer. I’d like Pitlick to play in the top 6 but him and Lander work too well together to seperate. Defensive pairings should stay the same and I think we should give Cam-bot some rest. He may not look like it but he will eventually break down if he continues to be relied on this heavily.

    • Namudi

      Wtf are you smoking. The only line changes need are flip Mcdavid and drai. That’s it

      Ebs drai loooch
      Maroon Mcdavid jp
      Third line is playing lights out right now
      fourth line is sick

      That’s all that’s needed

  • since79

    Ebs is awlays pedestrian until January. Too bad that usually is about the same time were out of the playoff picture. Kinda coincidental? Playoff teams have players that usually compete ALL season!

  • D'oh-ilers

    I can’t even remember the last time the Oilers had a 10 game stretch where they went 7-2-1. Wish they’d gone to 8-2-0, but it wasn’t meant to be tonight. 2 goals on their last 83 shots on net. Good grief.

    Regardless, I was happy to see Lander pick up a goal tonight. Took him 61 games to reach 3 points last year, only 9 games this year. Progress!

    Here’s hoping to more success in the next 10 games!

  • madjam

    Oilers 7-2-1 after first ten games and that certainly is more than anyone expected . Team still has areas that need improvement if they are to try and carry on that torrid pace . Team should get better as season goes on , but first ten games gives reason for optimism going forward . We now can compete with anyone , where in previous seasons that was not always the case . We’ll see how they hold up over some staunch competition in next ten games . Last year remember , their were no easy clubs for us as we were one of the worst clubs in league . Every team is still a challenge for us , their are no easy teams we should beat unfortunately from last years performances . No need to take anyone for granted ON Enjoy the victories we do gain this year .

  • Anton CP

    1. Leafs can score, they were just not good defensively. Andersen is finally playing like the money Leafs are paying him.

    2. McDavid has an off-night, even the best player will have one of those night. Heck, Crosby was off for the entire first half of the season. The homecoming may take some focus away from him.

    3. The entire team of the Oilers are just taking the game a bit too casual. Lots of broken plays and icing the puck way too often. Last time the Oilers lost to Sabres were the same, they lack intensity against the “supposedly” weaker opponents.

    4. After 10 games that they are 7-2-1 which is by far better than anyone expected. If they can collect 5~6 points from this 6 games road trip then they will still fair well enough. The entire November schedule is brutal, only 5 out of 15 games are actually at home. I’m hoping that the Oilers can collect 15 points from November then they will be still ahead of the expectation.

  • Everyone’s extra pissed cause we lost to the leafs and our saviour got burned by the guy that was giving it to him all night. Relax boys, don’t turn on Sportsnet and TSN for a day and alllll will be better. The easterners will have their day in the hay and we’ll be playing the Rang’ers!

    Bottom line is we got a point and theres 4 more games left.

    Remember the last game against the leafs at the ACC? 24 save shutout from Garret Sparks? yeah…I’d say we’ve improved.

  • Finnish Oiler fan in Edmonton89

    One theory for Jesse Puljujarvi’s helmet size
    (this is based on my own experience playing hockey)

    I like to wear a smaller fitting helmet with the chin strap done as tight as it can go.

    reason being is when I’m playing I don’t like the helmet wobbling around on me in game.

    I feel like JP is probably the same way

    seeing how most Finn’s have a very minor form of autism, it probably just really bothers him to be playing and having his helmet sway side to side or nod down in position during the middle of a play.

    Just a theory, please no bully…

  • Muddy

    How on earth with the likes of Lucic, Maroon, Nurse, and Kass do we get pushed around? McDavid was literally bullied by half their team – didn’t Luc promise no one was going to mess with his line? What else do they have to do to get under your skin? Make mom jokes? And seriously Maroon grow back your beard – you had a 100 points with it and 3 without.

  • Reg Dunlop

    Two losses and the Nation blows a gasket. What will it be like when the oil lose their next 10 straight? Don’t think it’s possible? Check out the sched, our hot start is about to be wasted.

  • Ebs and Nuge led the NHL in points after the All-Star game when Nelson was head coach. They’ve spent years playing together. Personally, I think that should be a priority pairing.

    Blame the individuals all you want, but hockey is a team sport and line combinations mean a ton. I’m still crediting Matthews’ early success to having decent chemistry with his linemates.

    I’d move Kassian up to the first line, myself. He has a pretty good release, pretty good hands, can make defenders pay and is more uninhibited than Lucic in facewashing an opponent that goes after his team-mate. Kassian can win battles.

    I’ll admit that you’re front loading that line with size, but having two guys that can win puck battles for McDavid is the sort of front loading you want.

    Nuge and Ebs seem like a good pair for a second line that can make do with a bit of space that easier QoC gives them. Ebs is no longer against the top 2 D of the other team, I think he’ll fare better.

    Ebs has had a large number of games with McDavid and I think another player needs a shot. Furthermore, I’d do it for Eb’s sake, because he looks like he’s struggling. No shame in playing with the Nuge on the 2nd line, and I think there’ll be instant chemistry.

  • DonEnrico

    So Landers game as a fourth line winger ended with a goal and being 100% in the dot?

    I would say it´s hard to demand more from a fourth liner…

    Remember a couple of years ago, when all the discussion was “is playr X or player Y going to be on our fourth line” and right now we actually have one that works out ok?

  • Ron Burgundyz

    Come on man, way worse candy out there than candy corn. Put up an apple with a razor blade or this year’s personal winner the home-baked, un-wrapped cupcake.

  • OILFANMEXICO

    It’s really easy to see why we lost two in a row. Losing board battles again and the power play is atrocious. Our D-men need to move sideways(like Nurse’s goal), so the shot can’t be blocked as easy. IMO we need more agitators in front of the net also. A goalie can’t stop what he can’t see and it’s hard to stop tipped pucks. That should be Lucic’s office.

  • camdog

    Stupidest comment on here is about lines 2-4 not scoring enough. Lines 2-4 have more goals than 2 teams in the entire league and they don’t get prime time minutes. From an offensive perspective the issue, just like last season is the Oilers powerplay it needs to be better.

  • Sean17

    That “play” by Klefbom on the first goal may have been the worst of his career. I know it’s the worst I’ve ever seen.

    Agree with others. Nuge was best player for oilers