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
- 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
- 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.
|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|
|12:56||Colorado||Rene Bourque (7) ASST: Tyson Barrie (7), Mikko Rantanen (6)||2-3|
|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
— Carmen Chinery (@geology24_7) November 24, 2016
@OilersNation Nuge’s dad is going to let him sit in his lap and “drive” the car the rest of the trip for that one
— David Smitten (@DavidSmitten) November 24, 2016
@OilersNation here comes the Remenda lecture on what they did wrong ?
— Mega Tron (@rocknrolltruckr) November 24, 2016
Benning just killed a man in front of his father.
— VisuallyBetter (@Isuckatpicking) November 24, 2016
@OilersNation take another night off Pouliot
— Mr.GT (@ThatTALLGemini) November 24, 2016
Remember that time we were bitching about Lucic and he heard us and then he apologized and went and got 4 points? Good times.
— Travis Dakin (@TravisDakin) November 24, 2016
— David Smitten (@DavidSmitten) November 24, 2016
Interesting stat @OilersNation A team that holds a playoff spot by American Thanksgiving has a 77% chance of making the playoffs.
— Jason Moellenbeck ® (@Oil5Time) November 24, 2016
— Nathan (@Oiler_fan_4life) November 24, 2016
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