GDB 21.0 Wrap Up: Colorado Highs

AMATravelBanner

Three in a row and off to Arizona. Final Score: 6-3 Oilers

After the Oilers walked through the Blackhawks on Monday night, you had to think they were coming into this game against the Avalanche ripe with confidence. The problem with that, one we’ve seen too often, is that the Oilers tend to play down to their competition rather than get up for these games. To beat the Avalanche, Edmonton was going to have to get another solid start, keep getting great goaltending from Talbot, and find a way to keep Colorado’s offensive weapons quiet. Even though they’re last in their division, the Avalanche actually have a better record than the Oilers over their past 10 games and Edmonton was going to have to be ready to play. Unfortunately, the hot start and goaltending weren’t necessarily there, but the goal scorers showed up with bells on. 

Unlike the two wins leading up to tonight’s, the Oilers gave up the first goal to the Avs early in the first period. While that wasn’t exactly the quick start I was looking for, the lead didn’t last long after Ryan Nugent-Hopkins tied the game up just under three minutes later. It was a cycle that repeated itself. Edmonton would have to crawl out of holes two more times as they traded goals with the Avalanche over the course of this game. Each time the Oilers would score a goal and square the game up, they would offer up a gift from their tickle trunk of mistakes and allow Colorado to reclaim the lead. Amazingly, the Oilers were able to tie the game all three times the Avalanche pulled ahead, and ended up overpowering them in the end. But I don’t think that’s necessarily something they want to bank on every game.

At the end of the day, the better team won this hockey game and the outcome that was supposed to happen did happen. The path to get that win wasn’t perfect, but the Oilers showed perseverance and enough resiliency to find ways to keep themselves in the fight. For the first time this season, the Oilers were even able to come back to win the game after being down at the second intermission. That’s something that likely wouldn’t have happened a year ago. As Todd McLellan likes to say, the team didn’t fold their cards in the face of adversity and, despite some costly mistakes, they worked hard and kept at it. In a way, tonight’s win was just as impressive as the blowout against Chicago. While coming back from three separate deficits may not be as sexy as a five-goal massacre over the best team in the West, the Oilers willingness to keep fighting until they were able to bury a weaker opponent was just as satisfying.

That, my friends, was a fun hockey game.

Wrap it up

THE BRIGHT SIDE

Snow Cone

  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins hasn’t had a great offensive start to the year to go along with the fine work he’s done defensively, but he scored a big goal and was all over the puck. The Avalanche took an early lead and Nuge put home a loose puck in the slot to tie the game (his third) midway through the first period. Nuge finished with a goal and an assist.
  • Jordan Eberle is clearly reading the comments section saying he needs to produce more because he scored a big power play goal (his sixth) to tie the game up at two with only 11 seconds left in the first period. He added an empty-netter (his seventh) to kill the Avs dead and finished the night with fewer haters… maybe.
  • Like Eberle, Milan Lucic has been taking some heat around here for not producing enough and he scored a big goal (his sixth). Like Nuge and Eberle, Lucic’s goal tied the game up after the Oilers allowed the Avs to reclaim the lead. Lucic ended up having a huge night, scoring the goal and adding three assists for his second career four-point night. 
  • Is anyone else surprised that Connor McDavid is the one to score the winning goal considering the game he had? The guy was absolutely flying all over the ice and the puck seemed to follow him around as it usually does. Score from behind the net — why not? Nothing is surprising with Connor anymore. Just another casual three-point night for Captain Connor. 
  • Leon Draisaitl extended his point streak to five games with his first-period assist on Jordan Eberle’s goal, and his third period power-play goal (his seventh). Draisaitl has put up offense at a nice clip ever since finding himself in a drought during the Oilers’ losing streak. 
  • The Sekera-Russell pairing was solid again. They were moving the puck out of their zone efficiently, and kept the Avalanche to the outside of the ice more often than not. 
  • Matt Benning absolutely destroyed Nathan MacKinnon in the second period of this hockey game. MacKinnon cut across centre with his head down and Benning blew him up. 
  • The Oilers power play chipped in again with two goals which is encouraging to see in back-to-back games. For a while there, scoring a goal on the power play came along about as often as a solar eclipse. Tonight was a different story. The PP finished at 2/6 and could have had more.
  • The Colorado Avalanche haven’t been above .500 since October 29th, and tonight they had a chance to get there. I’m happy to report that the Oilers actually knocked the Avs back down below .500 and they will have to wait another day to climb above mediocrity.
  • WE WON THE CORSI AND THE GAME! Oilers outshot the Avalanche 41-28.
  • Bring the dads to every game!

THE FACE PALMERS

Snowball

  • Nathan MacKinnon scored his first career goal against the Oilers in his seventh game against them. Darnell Nurse went for a hit, putting himself out of position, and the Avs broke in on a two-on-one, resulting in MacKinnon’s goal. The hit by Nurse wasn’t worth giving up his position to make. A mistake I expect Darryl to correct with experience.
  • Twice the Oilers were able to pull themselves out of a hole only to give up the lead again (the third time they ended up with the lead). They would pour on the pressure only to get robbed and have a dangerous chance go back the other way. Unfortunately, Cam Talbot wasn’t lights out and couldn’t cover up every mistake that went back his way. Fortunately, the offense was able to get the goals they needed to win anyway. 
  • Why did Matt Benning get a penalty after the MacKinnon hit? I know he was grabbed by an Avs player but there was no fight, so what was the penalty for? Lame call. Seriously weak. 
  • How does Gabriel Landeskog speak better English than I do? 
  • It wasn’t the best night for Cam Talbot, but he stopped enough pucks to win the game and that’s what matters. Dadbot was a little bit shaky early in the game, but locked things down as the night progressed. Talbot finished the night with his league leading 11th win, 25 saves and a .893 save%. 
  • Oilers went 44% in the faceoff circle. In the end, it didn’t matter, but it’s something to work on. 
  • 8pm starts always suck, but they’re even worse when the team you’re playing is in the same time zone as you and it isn’t even Hockey Night in Canada. Shout out to everyone living out East that stay up to watch the late ones. 
  • The reffing was completely weird and I say that on behalf of both teams. There were phantom calls and weird makeup calls all night and I don’t think they really knew what was a penalty and what wasn’t. 

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
05:50 Colorado Nathan MacKinnon (5) ASST: Mikko Rantanen (5), Patrick Wiercioch (6) 0-1
08:45 Edmonton Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (3) 1-1
17:19 Colorado Rene Bourque (6) ASST: Nathan MacKinnon (10), Fedor Tyutin (5) 1-2
19:49 Edmonton PPG – Jordan Eberle (6) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (9), Milan Lucic (6) 2-2

2ND PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
12:56 Colorado Rene Bourque (7) ASST: Tyson Barrie (7), Mikko Rantanen (6) 2-3

3RD PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
00:32 Edmonton Milan Lucic (6) ASST: Connor McDavid (17), Adam Larsson (3) 3-3
06:25 Edmonton Connor McDavid (9) ASST: Milan Lucic (7) 4-3
07:30 Edmonton PPG – Leon Draisaitl (7) ASST: Milan Lucic (8), Connor McDavid (18) 5-3
19:45 Edmonton EN – Jordan Eberle (7) ASST: Patrick Maroon (4), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (8) 6-3

BEST OF THE TWEETS

Talk to me Twitter. Tweet at @OilersNation and @jsbmbaggedmilk for your chance to land in the Best of the Tweets.

BLACK FRIDAY

Black Friday Insta1

Tomorrow night, we’ll be launching a brand new Blackout Collection just in time for Black Friday. We have four new designs ready to beautify your body, sexify your life, and make your peers green with envy. But beware this warning, quantities are limited so waiting to buy something will likely cause you to miss out. Procrastination will not be your friend this time around, my friends, and if you want to get in on these limited edition designs I encourage you to have set your browser of choice to www.NationGear.ca tomorrow night at 12:01am. The NationGear Blackout collection is only here until run out. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

  • Connor McFly

    Seeing the Oil after 21 games I am thrilled to see them forechecking hard and initiating much of the physical play in both ends of the ice.

    Like the old saying says, ‘it is better to be the hammer, than the nail’. I predict they will face fewer major injuries as this season progresses with that style of play. The extra beef on the hoof hasn’t hurt either.

    • nrXic

      Yeah a few teams have been using it over the years, I’ve always thought the Oilers should as well, but then again it’s a slippery slope.

      But I’m sure it’s great for new fans, and it’s a practical thing, IMO.

      Whether it’s a bell or something copyright (Nintendo is really unfriendly in this regard, actually), I feel like it’s actually useful.

      I’m trying to convince the Flames presentation crew to put a fart sound every time they make a line change. They don’t seem too friendly to that idea so far.

    • 1983 and This Year

      Yeah, you rarely hear audio during play. I took it to mean they had just eaten a mushroom and grew from 4 to 5 people. That and the sound guys had completely given up.

    • pkam

      We fans can say whatever we want about the player, but it shows that the coach feels confident to put him on the ice in the last minutes to protect a lead.

      • @Hallsy4

        I wasn’t able to watch most of the game, but on paper, scoring an empty netter when your’e already up 2 is such an EBS thing to do! Haha they all count though and I don’t mean to criticize EBS for scoring a goal. If he was on the ice with a 1 goal lead I believe would show more than a 2 goal lead with 15 seconds left, however. That’s what Hendo is for though, and as long as it’s a win he doesn’t care who gets the credit, and I don’t either.

          • @Hallsy4

            EBS is who he is. I don’t like or understand a lack of effort ever, but I don’t hate EBS, and he’s obviously skilled, and seems like a nice guy. This is the Scouting report on EBS in his draft year, from Willis’ article yesterday

            “Strengths: Great sniper’s touch. Knows how to find scoring chances. Quick hands. Will take a hit to make a play. Weaknesses: Casual player – effort level is never there. Tends to stick to the perimeter. One of the best natural goal scorers in the draft. I’d like him a lot more if he ever broke a sweat. Skating seems alright, but almost never uses what speed he has. I’ll say one thing for him, he’s not scared. I’d rather have a lazy player than a scared one. Summary: Light a fire under him and you might have a 1st/2nd line scorer.”

            After reading this, and watching EBS since he was drafted, all I’m saying is that in a 6-3 win, it really suits EBS to score a PP goal and empty netter with 15 seconds left, up by 2 already. Goals are goals, and I’m happy for him. I hope it helps his confidence, but he will never be the horse that carries a team to the playoffs. He’s been “Casual” since he was 17, it’s not changing.

          • Hemmercules

            He is who he is. He’s a smaller guy so you wont ever see him play a physical game. That quote basically tells us he probably wont ever change. As long as he keeps getting around 60 points a year I’m ok with that.

            He looked pretty good last night, fighting for pucks and playing hard for the most part. Seems like he does go to tough areas and plays hard sometimes but not consistently throughout the game. People tend to focus a lot on what he doesn’t do. He gets caught floating a bit for sure but his bread and butter is getting to open ice for scoring oppertunities, not mucking it up in the corners.

            Contract wise I can’t blame him for making that money. The Oilers gave it to him in classic overpay fashion in a time where nobody wanted to play in Edmonton. Like to see him around 4.5 or 5 mil instead but whats done is done.

          • @Hallsy4

            Yeah true. His contract doesn’t bug me that much actually, it could be way worse…. Didn’t Petry sign for about 6 Million a year?!? There’s a lot worse contracts out there than EBS

  • Pouzar99

    It’s too early to say who the Oilers will not protect in the expansion draft, or whether they will go with 4 D men and 4 forwards or 3 D man and 7 forwards. They do not have to protect McDavid, Puljujarvi, Caggiula, Nurse or Benning. They will defintely protect Klefbom, Larsson and Sekera and if they add one it will surely be Davidson, hoping they can get Russell in free agency. That would mean Lucis, Draisaitl, Eberle and Nuge would be protected. I suspect Maroon, not Pouliot, would be the likely player chosen because he is younger, cheaper and arguably better.

    If they take the 3 D option then they can protect Maroon, Puliot and likely Kassian. In that case Davidson would be the almost certain choice. Of course there could be roster changes before the season ends and a lot depends on how Davidson performs when he returns from injury. There is one other possibility. They could make a deal with the GKs to give them a draft pick, say their second, in exchange for the Vegas guys taking someone else instead of say, Davidson and Maroon. Other teams have made such deals in expansion drafts before, so who knows?

  • XBinX

    @slats-West

    Is it Heaven Mr. Nurse? No, it’s Colorado”

    Whoaahhh easy tiger!!! What does that suppose to mean?? R u referring to what I think ur referring to? Shame on you man

  • OILFANMEXICO

    It’s great to be optimistic however, i find the more we say “Let’s go streaking!” and start to brag we tend to jinx our mighty Oilers and they lose another 5 straight IMO. I for one am going to stay silent and cheer like hell in front of my T.V. and not brag online here or Facebook ect.

      • OILFANMEXICO

        It’s been even longer for the fans that got to see the five cups being won. I miss those days, i’m just becoming superstitious (a bit) and find the more we brag the more we jinx our Oilers(never fails) 😉

        • geoilersgist

          I’ve been brewing hard this year. This team is different, they are still much better than past teams that it is worth enjoying the ride.

          I was host old enough to witness the last two cups. 2006 was awesome but I want my kids to enjoy the oilers. The way they cheer for mcdavid has me giddy.

    • whateverhappenedtoearledwards

      With the next 2 vs the mighty Yotes and then the Buds, there are reasons to be optimistic that 3 in a row can grow. I know the Oil have not beaten the Yotes since before dirt was invented, but that has to change some day.

  • Jay (not J)

    I enjoyed the game last night but I loved the 3rd period. These aren’t Hall’s pushovers anymore, these are McDavid’s Oilers and they are learning to play on an entirely different level. It’s frustrating to see them give up that first goal again and again, but it is heartening to see them get the second one. Their developing end of period killer instinct is something that other teams had better start preparing for. Not an attribute that one would associate with the Oilers over the last 10 years. Good times, good times.

    • camdog

      That team of yester year was Kevin Lowe/Craig Matavish’s pushovers, filled with Pylons on defence and on the third and fourth lines.

      That said it’s been over 10 years since I’ve seen an Oiler team keep a pace like that in the third period. I know it’s only been 3 games of this, but this team skates a lot better than I thought they would going into the season.

  • Makaveli

    I was also confused when Benning received a penalty after the hit on McKinnon…. he did nothing but turtle to avoid getting beat up… yet he gets a penalty??? Then again as many commented, the refs had a hard time deciding what was a penalty and what wasn’t… the 2 calls on Iginla were extremely week…. then again this is the NHL and they didn’t think Folingo over embellished the phantom high stick.

    BTW, I love 8pm starts to hockey games. I have two young kids so bedtime and puck drop never conflict with each other!

  • A-Mc

    Every time the Oilers win a game, the next mornings drive to work has me thinking about how much money I’m going to have to spend to get tickets to the first Oiler Home playoff game.

    Seriously…What do you guys think the tickets will be priced at? $300 for a nose bleed? I’m expecting something like that, but there’s no way i can miss our first playoff game after the drought we’ve had.

    #LookingAhead

  • Rust In Peace

    From over on HF boards:

    “No, they haven’t. Oilers may be deeper but Avs are deeper at the top. McDavid alone is not the huge difference-maker yet (still too easy to abuse defensively) and honestly, I think even outside of their star player group (I don’t call Lucic a star in Edmonton) Oilers are a bit worse than the already depthwise weak Avs.

    Edit: I expect Edmonton’s stars to be better than the Avs’ ones as soon as in two years but right now the Avs have more very good players than Edmonton has. And Colorado has the best player of the two teams in MacKinnon (again, all zones matter and McDavid makes far too many mistakes defensively). This – of course – will change soon.”

    LOLOLOL

  • Time to Ride

    The thing that was very apparent last night was the number of hits the Oil were inflicting on the Avs. By the third period it seemed to have taken its toll on the Avs defence especially and they weren’t able to maintain the pace. I can imagine the Avs sitting completely bagged in the dressing room after the second period fearing McDavid and the boys are going to really turn it on in the third. Scary.

    • The older I get, the better I was...

      Totally agree with this. Another indicator is the low number of shots the other teams are getting in the 3rd period lately. They try and stay with the Oilers but by the 3rd period they are spent. I LIKE THIS.

  • A) Stating the obvious, but McDavid is really, really good. You know what is really, really scary? He is only GETTING BETTER. He hasn’t grown into his ‘Mans’ Body yet. He will get stronger, faster and quicker. He will be like the 6 Million $$ Man on Ice. (for you old timers know the show) You can see how McDavid has improved from last year, especially on Defense and Checking. Wow.
    B) I had to go out last night for Family Obligations and I DVR’d the game..it was the Remenda broadcast. D’OH. However, it was worth watching anyhow.
    C) I am about to eat some Turkey, Dressing, Pie, Cold Whole Milk..and repeat this until I puke.
    D) Happy Thanksgiving from Oklahoma to my fellow Oilers Brethren!!! GO OILERS, Dammit!!

  • Total Points

    I remember an interview that McDavid had in the summer when a reporter asked if he would be ready to be the capitain of the Oilers

    He said “I am not a 18 year old kid anymore”

    i am sure glad that he is 19 years old.

    Cant wait util he turns 20

  • Oilerz4life

    Pretty encouraging to think that most losses were due to injury. Kind of looking like the Oil are a D or two, and maybe some more depth of front away, from being one of the best teams in the NHL.

  • Derian Hatcher

    This is my favourite part. Seeing the team actually compete (for the most part), and when they give up a goal or two, they actally show some resiliancy and do not fold like a tent from the dollar store.

    No, actually my favourite part is watching McDavid wind up with the puck with his legs chruning like the roadrunner cartoon character. My wife says grown men should not squeal like a teenage girl and scream “HERE HE COMES B^TCHES” at the TV.

    I tell her to shut up (with my inside voice).