Two wins in a row. The Oilers are in 2nd place in the Pacific. Life is good in OilersNation. Final Score: 3-2 Oilers in OT
The last time the Oilers and Ducks met the result didn’t go well in spite of the Oilers outshooting the Ducks. As a result, Edmonton extended their losing streak to four games and the citizens of the Nation wept with despair. Coming into tonight’s rematch, our boys in blue are rallied for a big win in Winnipeg which saw the offense being spread throughout the lineup and a forward group that seemed to be building confidence. On the backend, Edmonton loses Darnell Nurse to the long-term injury reserve as a result of an injured foot, presumably caused by envious alien creatures (or the Winnipeg Jets). In Darryl’s place, Mark Fayne got into his second game of the season. Well… this was basically his first game considering he got hurt on his second shift the last time he played. Technicalities aside, the Oilers needed their new makeshift to stand tall if they were going to beat the Ducks. The result was a squad that bent but did not often break.
Edmonton started the game well, getting more shots and chances than the Ducks in the first 10 minutes, but they weren’t able to capitalize on their early opportunities. As a result, the Ducks were able to hang around and settle into the heavy, grinding game that they’re known for playing. After finishing the first period scoreless, the Oilers won the middle frame by scoring two goals to the Ducks’ one and they gave themselves a good chance to win the hockey game. Going into the final frame, the Oilers were going to have to play tight defensively, keep their foot on the gas, and find a way to keep Anaheim’s best players off the game sheet. Unfortunately, the Ducks had no interesting in our plans to have them roll over and die. The visitors came out strong in the third period, bullying their way into the Oilers zone seemingly whenever they wanted, and forced overtime on a game could have been over. To make matters worse, the Oilers got a late penalty that bled into the extra time which was nearly a gift for the Ducks.
For as big of a mistake as it was to allow a too many men penalty with under a minute left in a tie game, it was equally as impressive to kill off that penalty and finish the game off with an OT win. Leon Draisaitl set up shop in front of the net and Andrej Sekera found him up beautifully, and the Oilers go home with their heads held high. For far too long we would have seen the Oilers get dry humped up and down the ice against bigger teams like the Ducks and it’s extremely satisfying to see the tides turning. This game was no picnic and the players should take satisfaction in knowing that they were able to grind out a win. The Oilers need to beat teams in their division if they want to get into the playoffs, and those wins are even more important at home. Over the years we’ve seen countless teams roll through Edmonton and finish their visit with two points without having to break much of a sweat. Tonight’s win against the Ducks wouldn’t have happened a year ago, and it’s measuring sticks like this that reaffirm that this team is finally pointed in the right direction.
Wrap we must so wrap we shall.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Drake Caggiula scored his first NHL goal on a nice little wrister from the slot on the power play. Caggiula has been getting some chances lately and it seemed like it was only a matter of time before he got that first goal. I was pumped to see him get it tonight.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins hasn’t had the best season offensively but he scored a big goal tonight. The Oilers and Ducks were tied late in the 2nd period and Nuge sniped his 4th of the season past John Gibson to give the Oilers the lead going into the third period.********
- Leon Draisaitl continues to roll as he scored the OT winner from his office in front of the net. Draisaitl’s 10th goal game from right in the slot off of a beautiful pass from Andrej Sekera from behind the goal line.
- Three-point night for Jordan Eberle as he got assists on Caggiula first, Nuge’s second period goal, and Draisaitl’s OT winner. Eberle made a mistake on Rakell’s third-period goal, but was otherwise good tonight. He needed a big game and he got one.
- Beautiful pass to Draisaitl by Andrej Sekera for the OT winner. The ol’ boy looked like an eastern European Bobby Orr (not really) flying around the net like that. Seriously, though. Great pass.
- Cam Talbot was rock solid tonight, especially in the third period, and he gave his team a chance to win. Talbot stopped the shots you would expect him to stop and some of the ones you wouldn’t, and his performance did not go unnoticed. Talbot finished the night with 31 saves and a .939 save%.
- Matt Benning is one of the biggest surprises of the season for me. He’s stepped in despite no one expecting him to, and he’s played admirably despite being in over his head a little bit. He’ll make a few mistakes while he’s learning the NHL game but he’s been a pleasant surprise regardless. Benning played more than 21 minutes tonight and his confidence looks to be growing.
- Kris Russell made some fine defensively plays tonight, and I know that the fancies don’t like him again but he made some important plays down the stretch. Feel free to debate down below. (Russell had a 27% Corsi tonight)
- Mark Fayne had an effectively quiet game tonight, and I say that as a compliment, which was impressive considering this was only the second time he’s been on NHL ice this season. Fayne played a quiet, solid 12:44 tonight and looked fine by my eye.
- The power play contributed again tonight which was nice to see. Not only did Caggiula get his first NHL goal, but the Oilers find themselves with a power play that’s heating up. The Oilers PP finished the night at 50% going 1/2 with the extra man.
- Milan Lucic wanted to get the boys going in the second period so he dropped the gloves and got into it with Jared Boll. Check out the fight over at HockeyFights.com.
- I missed hearing Louie DeBrusk calling Oilers games. It was a nice change to get the big man back for tonight’s broadcast.
THE FACE PALMERS
- The Oilers took a 2-1 lead into the third period and weren’t able to keep the Ducks off the scoresheet. I expect, as the Oilers continue to mature, that they won’t be giving up leads in the third nearly as often as they do now. Part of the learning curve.
- I’m looking forward to whenever it is that Ryan Kesler retires. He’s been annoying the Oilers for far too long and I will be thankful when his reign is over. I guess he can consider that a compliment. Anyway, Kesler scored if anyone cares. On the bright side, we’re one day closer to that retirement.
- What the hell happened to Darnell Nurse’s foot that landed on the long-term IR? Lower-body injury my ear. Turns out he almost broke his foot, and while it may not be broken he’ll still be on the shelf for weeks. Not good. I thought we were friends, Winnipeg.
- Rough third period for the Oilers. To their credit, they didn’t allow more than the one goal but there were times when I was holding my breath. Cam Talbot held them in the game during the final 20 minutes and they should be giving him props when they go for drinks tonight.
- The Oilers have had the luxury of a wonderful penalty kill this season, but it can’t be perfect all the time. The Ducks went 1/2 on their power play tonight, and you know that the Oilers’ PK will want to be perfect again tomorrow night.
- Speaking of the penalty kill, the Oilers took an awful too many men call with only 44.4 seconds left in the game. Terrible time to forget how to count.
- Corey Perry hasn’t scored a goal in 17 games after tonight’s game. I was worried that the goalless drought would end all night long, because, well… you know.
- The Anaheim Ducks are in the top three in the league at faceoffs but you wouldn’t have guessed it tonight. The Oilers kept themselves on par with the Ducks for two periods until losing in in the third. Edmonton finished the night winning only 44% of the draws.
- Connor and Milan Lucic both had their extended point streaks end tonight. No worries, here’s to both of them starting another one tomorrow.
- Matt Hendricks fans won’t be happy to hear that his name might be out there in trade talks, as per Elliotte Friedman tonight.
|05:17||Edmonton||PPG – Drake Caggiula (1) ASST: Patrick Maroon (5), Jordan Eberle (11)||0-1|
|09:28||Anaheim||PPG – Ryan Kesler (9) ASST: Ryan Getzlaf (18), Cam Fowler (9)||1-1|
|13:35||Edmonton||Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (4) ASST: Oscar Klefbom (6), Jordan Eberle (12)||1-2|
|09:42||Anaheim||Rickard Rakell (10) ASST: Ryan Getzlaf (19), Corey Perry (15)||2-2|
|03:16||Edmonton||Leon Draisaitl (10) ASST: Andrej Sekera (7), Jordan Eberle (13)||2-3|
BEST OF THE TWEETS
“the Oilers should be a tougher test tonight.”
Going to take a while for me to get used to sentences like that.
— Travis Dakin (@TravisDakin) December 4, 2016
@OilersNation cogliano streak reference. Drink!
— El Cola Grande (@kingofcolas) December 4, 2016
@OilersNation I hope you missed the space and slepyrelentless is some new nickname haha
— James Robertson (@robertzone14) December 4, 2016
Larsson’s hair is criminally underrated
— Matt Henderson (@Archaeologuy) December 4, 2016
@OilersNation gonna be a lot of fun when he’s doing it before playoff games… teams are going to go nuts.
— Ryan Brower (@RBrower1) December 4, 2016
My hair is so soft and mangeable
— Jose Canseco (@JoseCanseco) December 4, 2016
— Seannor McDavidson (@JJJ_Jr_Shabadoo) December 4, 2016
Nuge would not be denied. pic.twitter.com/AvFGOqcb7i
— VisuallyBetter (@Isuckatpicking) December 4, 2016
— David S. Pumpkins (@Baresnake) December 4, 2016
A GOOD OL’ HOCKEY GAME
- When: Friday December 9th with doors opening at 2pm (the game starts at 6pm).
- Where: West Edmonton Mall at the Mayfield Toyota Ice Palace
- Who: Edmonton takes on Minnesota
- Why: Because we love to party
- What else: We’re going to have prize giveaways all night long
- How much to get in: FREE!
Huge thank you to everyone at West Edmonton Mall, The Brick, Vimy Hockey, Donnan, 1st RND, TSN 1260, Eddie Bauer, The Bear and everyone else that worked so hard to help us get this event off the ground. Your hard work is appreciated, and I can’t wait for December 9th to get here. It’s going to be a fantastic night.