That last minute was a series of unfortunate events. Oilers lose in overtime. Final Score: 4-3 Sabres in OT
The last time the Oilers and Sabres played it was that horrific Sunday night in October when the wheels fell off our wagon, too many goals were scored, and Edmonton fans left our shiny new arena with anger in our hearts and rage beers in our bellies. Frankly, the Oilers looked gross in their first tussle of the year between these two teams and I automatically expected Edmonton to be better. Well, not that they could have been much worse than they were in that 6-2 loss, but you know what I mean. How could they not give a better effort than the last time? Regardless, the Buffalo Sabres are a beat up hockey team and one that the Oilers needed to get two points from.
With the way this game started, I was thinking we were going to be in for another long night from the jump. Despite being ripe with injuries, and playing in the second game of back-to-back nights, the Sabres were the ones that ran the show early on. Buffalo used their advantage to score the first two goals by working hard, firing the puck towards the net, and actually looking like a team that was ready to play. I’m not sure what was up with the Oilers, mind you. Have you ever taken nighttime cold/flu tablets during the day only to discover that you took the wrong ones by mistake? That’s what the Oilers looked like in the first period. They looked like they were battling through a NyQuil buzz and their motor skills couldn’t seem to catch up. To their credit, Edmonton played much better in the second period but it’s not as though they had a high bar to clear. That said, full marks goes to the Oilers for not folding up the tent and going home when the rain hit early. They improved throughout the middle portion of the game and found a way to get themselves out of the two-goal hole that they dug in the first period.
When the Oilers took a tie game into the third period it seemed like they had a decent chance to win this hockey game. At first, I thought that the Sabres being tired from last night’s hockey game would play into Edmonton’s favour. They made more mistakes, took more penalties, and the Oilers were able to find time and space to do their thing. Unfortunately, part of their “thing” also seemed to include lazy defensive coverage and bad penalties at the worst possible times. The Oilers had this game wrapped up with under a minute to go, with two points in the bank, but they managed to allow the tying goal and take a questionable penalty that gave the Sabres the winning power play goal all within a matter of a few shifts. That’s a tough way to end a hockey game, no? Quite honestly, it’s disappointing that the Oilers couldn’t close out a game against a tired, injured Sabres team that is below them in the league standings. Sure, it’s great to get a point but these are the games where they need to get two. If they Oilers want to make the playoffs this season then they’re certainly not doing anything to help themselves by losing games to teams like Buffalo… TWICE!
Wrapping it up like Christmas.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Jordan Eberle scored himself a greasy power play goal (his eighth) tonight. There was a loose puck near the Sabres net and all three forwards crashed the cage, with Drake Caggiula literally ending up in the net. Eberle put the puck home and queued the second-period mini comeback.
- Milan Lucic made no mistake as he finished off a beautiful passing play started by Drake Caggiula and polished by McDavid. The big man was caught looking on Gionta’s first-period goal and he made amends with his tying goal (his eighth) in the second.
- Leon Draisaitl scored a huge power play goal (his 11th) in the third period which temporarily gave the Oilers a 3-2 lead. Draisaitl and McDavid have had some nice chemistry over the past few games and tonight’s collaboration just furthered the point.
- Have you guys seen the movie the Sandlot? I feel like McDavid has a pair of those magic shoes inside his skates. The kid is lightning and I’m still not sure how it’s humanly possible to be moving so fast despite the fact that it looks like he’s gliding. Does not compute for me. The captain had another solid night and finished the game with two more assists in the bank. Friendly reminder that Connor leads the league in points and he’s an Oiler.
- Drake Caggiula had himself a night, putting up two points on the board and getting himself involved all over the ice. Drake ended up playing some shifts with Connor and didn’t look out of place.
- The power play was big tonight, scoring two goals on four chances. The Oilers need to tighten up other areas but that’s the kind of PP production that would be nice to have on a consistent basis.
- Oilers won the Corsi, outshooting the Sabres 37-26.
- I have to admit that I feel bad for Jack Eichel. The kid will be forever compared to Connor McDavid because of where he was drafted but the contest really isn’t that close. Eichel is a very good hockey player, but he’s no Connor. Anyone disagree?
THE FACE PALMERS
- Another first goal allowed by the Oilers. Evander Kane scored a power-play goal to give the Sabres a lead midway through the first period. That said, it was a pretty questionable call on Kassian.
- Brian Gionta is not a big dude, and he was able to walk right to the front of the net untouched and bang home his sixth goal of the season, and Lucic just watched him do it. Not good enough for the Oilers.
- Evander Kane got some free ice in front of Cam Talbot and banged home his second goal of the game to tie things up with under a minute left. Tough goal to give up for Edmonton. They had a win wrapped up.
- First goal of the year for Rasmus Ristolainen you say? No way. OT winner.
- The first period finished with the shots at 10-5 and the score at 2-0 for the Sabres. Gross effort by the Oilers in the first.
- Adam Larsson took a tough penalty with under a minute left to go and the Sabres scored the winner on the power play in overtime. He can’t be taking penalties that late in a tie game, but I will say that the call was a bit weak.
- Cam Talbot had a decent night and was better than he was the last time he faced the Sabres, admittedly not a hard task to beat. Gustavsson seems to be getting into more games lately, and I wonder if the extra rest for Talbot will help him perform more consistently. While Talbot wasn’t necessarily the problem tonight, he wasn’t a big part of the solution either. Talbot finished with 22 saves and a .846 save%.
- If Mark Fayne didn’t have bad luck then he would have no luck at all. For the second time this season, Fayne apparently hurt his left leg by skating. I don’t have anything else to tell you. Sportsnet played a clip and that’s what it looked like. Ghosts? Could be ghosts.
- Did anyone else think it was weird for Todd McLellan to take that timeout near the end of the game? Seems more like something the losing team would do, no?
- I will not complain about the refs. I will not complain about the refs. I will not complain about the…
- I’m not saying that the PK had a bad night but they weren’t perfect like we’ve come to expect. Is it bad to demand perfection from one of the top PK’s in the league? I don’t know, you tell me. The Oilers finished the night stopping only two of four Buffalo man advantages.
- Oilers got pumped in the faceoff circle, winning only 43% of the draws.
- I’m not at all surprised that the Ders (former Oiler) stopped pucks well against his former team. The former Oiler curse is real and I’ll be damned if we won’t acknowledge it and talk about it.
|10:38||Buffalo||PPG – Evander Kane (2) ASST: Jake McCabe (5), Matt Moulson (3)||0-1|
|13:46||Buffalo||Brian Gionta (6) ASST: Marcus Foligno (4), Rasmus Ristolainen (14)||0-2|
|10:31||Edmonton||PPG – Jordan Eberle (8) ASST: Drake Caggiula (3), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (9)||1-2|
|12:16||Edmonton||Milan Lucic (8) ASST: Connor McDavid (24), Drake Caggiula (4)||2-2|
|09:59||Edmonton||PPG – Leon Draisaitl (11) ASST: Connor McDavid (25), Andrej Sekera (8)||3-2|
|19:31||Buffalo||Evander Kane (3) ASST: Ryan O’Reilly (8), Rasmus Ristolainen (15)||3-3|
|00:57||Buffalo||PPG – Rasmus Ristolainen (1) ASST: Ryan O’Reilly (9), Jack Eichel (2)||3-4|
BEST OF THE TWEETS
Personally I think Eichel is overreacting. I would love to be compared to Connor McDavid. #Oilers
— gordy in 140 (@TheNationChris) December 7, 2016
@OilersNation well for the last decade it’s been more like 10/12. This year like, I donno… 4 in 12.
— Darryl J (@DJordatron) December 7, 2016
@OilersNation and man I love donuts so I can’t stop at one…
— Chris Rogers (@SkaSaxGuy) December 7, 2016
@OilersNation Try being an Oilers fan in Vancouver when it snows like today. I’m just hoping to make it home for the 3 star selection.
— Alex Hajen (@AlexTheLionJH) December 7, 2016
Its a race!
Well, maybe not. pic.twitter.com/Yooc71JLCY
— Woodguy (@Woodguy55) December 7, 2016
*Fondly remembers a time when people said Draisaitl would struggle without Hall* pic.twitter.com/ajBd1bSLvj
— Kris (@TheGuyNamedKris) December 7, 2016
— Paul Langille (@severepaulsy) December 7, 2016
— Dane Britten (@dcbritts94) December 7, 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.