GDB 17.0 Wrap Up: Sad Panda

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At least LA should be an easy rebound! Oh wait. Final Score: 4-1 Ducks

This season has been a rollercoaster ride for OilersNation so far. After starting the season like a house on fire, the Oilers have fallen back to earth and are struggling to produce the kind of offence they were getting early in the year. Now that we’ve run into our first rough patch, Oilers fans are left wondering if the team is legit or if they’re delaying the inevitable crash into the overworked pathway of despair. Coming into tonight’s game, the Oilers were on a three-game losing streak (now extended) and there aren’t any gimme games on the schedule, so they were going to have to get back in the win column the hard way. 

The story du jour is that the Oilers have allowed a goal within the first two minutes of the hockey game in five of their last seven contests. While they didn’t allow a goal quite as early tonight, they did allow the first goal once again. The difference, tonight, was that they weren’t able to quickly rebound with a goal of their own as they had done several times before. The Ducks were able to lock the Oilers down and took away their time and space, limiting their ability to get to the slot. That’s not to say that the Oilers didn’t have stretches where they played reasonably well — they did — but they couldn’t score and Talbot didn’t stop enough pucks. Simple as that. When you combine a team that can’t score with a goalie having a rough night then you’re generally not in for a good time.  

I don’t know if I can remember a stretch like this where so many guys were snakebitten at the same time. I’ve seen guys go through dry spells on their own, but to have the whole team go through it at the same time is almost impressive in a way. Right now, they’re like the little engine that couldn’t. Despite leading these games in shots, regular breakaways, mixing up the lines, and all of the power play chances, the Oilers can not put the puck in the net. I don’t know if it’s a case of them lacking confidence, or always trying to make the perfect plays to score goals, but whatever it is going on is not working. The Oilers need to find a way to simplify their game and work their way out of this rut they’re in. 

Wrap it up.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

Spiderman

  • WE MADE IT TWO MINUTES WITHOUT A GOAL AGAINST! Praise the Gord! They still allowed the first goal just over seven minutes in, though. Progress? ?
  • Leon Draisaitl needed a goal and he got one tonight. Leon had been getting chances but has been unable to score, and, fortunately, he broke that streak tonight.
  • Props to Zack Kassian for trying to give his team a boost with his fight against Josh Manson in the second period. Kassian had a great game tonight and was being the kind of pest that the Oilers need him to be. Check out HockeyFights.com to see tonight’s fight and every other Kassian fight as well.
  • Matt Benning has some skills and I like him more as I watch him play. Injuries are the only reason he’s playing where he’s at in the lineup, but there’s a player there. Give him time. 
  • The Oilers once again outshot their opponent, 35-27, but they couldn’t convert more than once. It’s tough to win hockey games when you’re only scoring one per night. 
  • At least we won the Maroon trade.
  • I’m going to say nice things about the power play. I’m going to say nice things about the power play. I’m going to say nice things about the power play. THEY GOT SHOTS AND DIDN’T ALLOW A GOAL THEY ALMOST DID BUT THEY DIDN’T IN THE END! Nailed it. 

THE FACE PALMERS

Aquaman

  • West Coast road trips are horrible. For the past 10 years, waiting for the 8 PM starts that come with the California road games has been like waiting to be kicked in the balls.
  • The Oilers gave up a 2-on-0 shorthanded breakaway in the first period. That’s bad no matter how you slice it. Shout out to Andrew Cogliano for falling without getting much of a shot off. Once an Oiler. 
  • Leon Draisaitl had a goal disallowed for high sticking midway through the first period. I thought it might be close enough that they would call it the Oilers way, but who was I kidding, we never win those. He made up for the disallowed goal later.
  • It wasn’t Cam Talbot’s night. Cam Fowler’s goal was a shot he had to have, and by the time Kesler scored the Oilers were all but out of it. Talbot can bounce back, but I wonder when Gustavsson might get a game to give Cam a breather? Dadbot finished the night with 23 saves and a .852 save%
  • The Oilers didn’t do so well in the faceoff circle, winning only 49% of the draws.
  • I hate Ryan Kesler. Full stop. 
  • Oscar Klefbom had a horrible giveaway on the fourth Ducks goal that resulted in a 4-on-1. Gross.
  • The power play went 0/4 and the penalty kill allowed one goal on three attempts. Not a good special teams night. 
  • Darnell Nurse was -3 on the night which was a team low. Make of that what you will.
  • The Oilers were outshooting the Ducks 29-19 after the second period but only got six shots in the final frame. Not nearly good enough when you’re down by two goals (then a third). 

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
07:13 Anaheim Nick Ritchie (4) ASST: Ryan Getzlaf (13), Corey Perry (10) 0-1

2ND PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
02:23 Anaheim Cam Fowler (5) ASST: Jakob Silfverberg (5), John Gibson (1) 0-2
07:51 Anaheim PPG – Ryan Kesler (7) ASST: Corey Perry (11), Sami Vatanen (7) 0-3
18:14 Edmonton Leon Draisaitl (4) 1-3

3RD PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
09:00 Anaheim Antoine Vermette (3) ASST: Joseph Cramarossa (2), Rickard Rakell (4) 1-4

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  • madjam

    Oilers having a difficult time putting the puck in the net over last 10 games . The KISS approach is not working offensively , and thus low production . What can coaching do to rectify it , seeing as it seems to be a team thing ? Is coaching lessening the creativity of the team ?

    • tileguy

      Actually you may have a point there. The losing streak almost coincides with the team outshooting its opponent whereas the team was losing the shot battle but winning the game early on. Perhaps coach is stiffling their creativity by having them shoot more and that this talented bunch of munchkins should be looking for the tap ins. Keeping It Simple doesn’t seem to work.

      Or maybe its just a cultur thing, I dunno, but I’ll keep watching like i always do.

  • PrettyPinkPwnies

    No reason to think at the end of this road trip we wont be 9-9-1 and possibly have dropped from 1st to 4th with the Flames and Canucks nipping at our heels.

  • madjam

    Oilers going thru first low valley of games and production , after a torrid peak to start the season . Peaks and valleys. First loss to a division team this year is not the end of the world – lets keep things in perspective .

  • whateverhappenedtoearledwards

    The Oil were bound to cool off. In the 1st 10 they won a lot of fairly even games due to hot goal tending and pucks going in for them. The worm has turned, goals have dried up, opposition goalies are regularly putting up .950% and Talbot has been no better than average lately.

    Klefbom has struggled for the last number of games. Any merit in flipping him with Nurse? Nurse has been a pleasant surprise and maybe lesser opponents with help Klef.

    Lack of secondary scoring is becoming real concern. Good to see LD get one last night and was unlucky to get the disallowed one (I though it was border line and the call could have gone either way). I’m real concerned about RNH, approaching 20 games and has yet to get a 5×5 goal.

      • whateverhappenedtoearledwards

        He might be, but is in a “slump” at the moment. If something can be done to help him work out of it, maybe its the thing to do. I don’t see this any different than a manager in baseball moving a player in his batting order to help him out.

  • Rob...

    4 on 4, in possession of the puck, and Connor drives the play deep into the opposition zone for a scoring chance. In what flipping universe does the ‘right’ play result in both Oilers forwards being behind the net with the puck headed in the other direction? That goal is on Maroon for not sticking in front of the net and not being able to support his D after the Ducks recovered the puck.

  • OILFANMEXICO

    Hate to say it ,but Imo our defense is letting us down once again. How many goals have gone in because of lost coverage, coughing up the puck at our blueline and not getting it out of our zone. Every time a goal is scored on us you can see the frustration and confidence level of the Oilers decrease. Hence no goals and no quality shots. We are great at shooting the puck on net, but where’s the tip in’s, screening the goalie etc? To me this is our current problem. You may laugh ,but Darren Dregor suggested Flames may trade Dougie Hamilton possible solution for us(good-bye Ebs)? Regardless i hope Chiarelli hasn’t lost sight of our need of a power play RHD, a few should shake loose due to the expansion draft.We need more attitudes like Kassian and Hendricks. Drivers for our bus not passengers.

    • GK1980

      Disagree, the oilers have not allowed a ton of goals against this year. The problem is scoring, they aren’t scoring and so are not winning games. THATS THE PROBLEM.

      Everyone harping on Eberle, how about Nuge? 0 goals even strength this year! That’s not a two way center, that’s a one way defensive center. Disappointed in his offensive contributions or lack there of this year.

  • Phuryous George

    Kassian!!! That guy is bringing the juice all the time. Favorite Oiler right now.

    Someone needs to smack up Kesler’s face. SO smug when he scored that goal.

  • VD

    Hall would look really nice beside Mcdavid right now (= ..

    He would have no prob keeping up with McD’s speed and would put away alot of those missed chances imo

  • XL Lebowski

    I’ve been an Oilers fan since they entered the NHL but for the life of me I can’t figure out what these guys (management) are thinking somedays. Case in point Jesse Puljujärvi. This kid hasn’t stood a chance because the team hasn’t built a culture of confidence for their players, and especially their rookies. This kid should’ve been sent to the AHL right out of camp. Take a look at the top NHL Rookie scorers: Liane, Marner, Werenski, Nylander. All have been handled properly so far, all growing in confidence with every game, every week.
    Wasn’t Puljujärvi a top three rated prospect? The poor kid must be questioning himself at every turn. Not his fault. Can’t the braintrust get it? You shipped out Hall. Yakapov never had a chance. Nugent Hopkins looks lost. The Oilers better hope that Jesse Puljujärvi can regain his confidence and his swagger. When you bring top end young talent to a team and each year these kids start questioning their ability, you have to realize that sometimes its not always the players fault. But this is just another same old same old story. Sorry to bring up old wounds and for stating the obvious…it just hit me when I looked at the NHL Rookie Scoring leaders this morning.

  • @Hallsy4

    Maybe they should sit all of Nuge, Pouliot, EBS, and Lucic for a game. Call up some AHL’ers to send a message. How many games has Puju played? Is it too late to send him down and save the year on his entry contract?

  • JBear

    Why not put Puju on the top line? See how the kid does. I know it’ll be hard and maybe shoot down his confidence but I really don’t see anything going on with him right now. He kind of reminds me of a slightly better version of Draisaitl in his first year. Puju is more of a triggerman than Eberle, who is more of a dangler, which I think makes Puju a greater fit for McDavid. He can’t be worse defensively than Eberle and I think he fights a little harder on the boards. Eberle and Nuge have great chemistry together and Nuge can better compensate for Eberle’s defensive woes than McDavid can.

  • Oilerproud

    Take the good with the bad in hockey. Were you all expecting to win out for the season lol. Oilers got what it takes to taste postseason but every team has these stretches. Funny how most the whining comes from the 20year kids on this site lol. I’ll tell ya this group of oilers are still better than half the league and they will be in a playoff race. You kids should temper your expectations and just enjoy the games because good or bad you should still support your team. To many fairweather fans of Connor and the Oil. Seems to be mostly young adults who likely became fans after we drafted Connor even though they are local. Have some civic pride and support your team through the good and the bad