Should have had two, but lucky to get one. Final Score: 3-2 Sharks in OT
Coming into tonight’s game, the Oilers had a chance to head into the Christmas break in first place in Pacific Division. If they lost, the worst that could happen is that they’d wind up in second place. Let that sink in for a minute. As much as we like to complain (and we will continue to do so), this is the best spot the Oilers have been in at Christmas in years. That fact alone is both hilariously tragic and cause for celebration. Needless to say, tonight’s game had huge implications and would’ve been a nice boost going into the Christmas break. That said, getting a point out of tonight’s piss poor effort is still a win considering how terrible the first 40 minutes were.
Even though it was obvious how important this matchup was, the Oilers didn’t look like they had much interest in playing hockey throughout the first 40 minutes. Unless Edmonton just recently decided to become strict disciples of the rope-a-dope strategy then I’m not sure that playing dead for two periods was the best overall strategy. Frankly, the Oilers looked a lot more like the turd laying wood choppers from the Eakins era more than they did a team that was challenging for the division lead. If it hadn’t been for Talbot then this thing wouldn’t have even been close. Dadbot held his team in the game and gave them a chance they didn’t deserve. That said, Mr Hyde disappeared in the third period and Dr Jekyll reemerged, finding a way to tie the game up on two occasions in the final frame.
In all honesty, finding a way to get this game into overtime and getting a point out of it was a Festivus miracle in itself. The Oilers played like moose turds and still managed to steal a loser point. Loss aside, I still can’t be too mad going into the break with the Oilers in a playoffs spot. I remember what it was like to be out by Halloween, and just the fact that they’re still in the mix can give me some satisfaction. Maybe it’s the rum speaking but I’m happy that we’ve still got playoff dreams and I’m taking that into the break. I say that we go out on a high note. I want to wish all of you and your families a very Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays, or whatever it is that you’d like me to say right now. I hope everyone gets a chance to relax a little bit, eat too much, drink too much, and do all of the things that make Christmas a special time of year. All the best, Nation.
Like presents, we wrap.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Cam Talbot was lights out tonight and it allowed the Oilers to stay in the for way longer than they probably deserved to be. Dadbot got peppered by shots and the Oilers would never have gotten this game to overtime. Talbot finished the night with 28 saves and a .903 save%.
- The Oilers needed a big goal, and it was the captain that gave it to them. Connor came charging down the ice and threw the puck on net, getting a friendly deflection off of a Sharks defender for his 13th goal of the year. McDavid follow the goal up with a big assist on Patty Maroon’s tying goal later on in the third period.
- Patrick Maroon just seems to know where to be when he’s playing with Connor McDavid. Maroon scored a huge goal (his 10th) in the third period to tie the game up shortly after the Sharks took the lead. If I’m Todd McLellan (and I could be), I wouldn’t separate those two for the rest of the year. Bonus points to Maroon for the amazing cellies anytime he scores.
- If Matty Hendricks is playing his final games as an Oiler he sure as hell doesn’t want to go down quietly. Hendo scrapped a gigantor in Brendan Dillon and hung in there admirably. As always, you can check out Matt Hendricks’ complete fight card over at HockeyFights.com.
- Not to be outdone, Zack Kassian scrapped for the sixth time this season. Kassian has been angry over the past few games, and you just knew he was going to fight after Hendricks stepped in for him in the first period. As always, you can check out this fight on Kassian’s fight page over at HockeyFights.com.
- The Oilers PK was busy tonight against a very good Sharks power play, and they were solid on 3/4 chances. The PK was especially good when Kassian took the double minor in the second period.
- It’s December 23rd and the Oilers are in a playoff position. Merry Christmas.
THE FACE PALMERS
- You may be asking yourself why there is a Ford Escape in the Bright Side section of this Wrap Up. Well, the tireless SUV in the picture above is actually Chris the Intern’s Escape. His lovely fiance went out to jump in their vehicle to go to work and when she got there the passenger side rear wheel was gone. I want to apologize here, publicly to Chris for laughing when he told me. The story was ridiculous and I couldn’t help it.
- Slow start for the Oilers tonight, and the Sharks were able to generate a few odd-man rushes for some excellent offensive chances. They were lucky that Talbot was ready to play or things could have been worse.
- Zack Kassian took a bad double-minor in the second period. He got one for roughing which was questionable, and then doubled down with a cross-checking penalty as the cherry on top. Fortunately for Kassian the Oilers were able to kill off both penalties, but he didn’t see the ice again after he was out of the box.
- Oscar Klefbom had a brutal pinch on Kevin Labanc’s third period goal. Sexbomb got lost in the neutral zone and the Sharks came in on a clean 2-on-1 and made no mistake of burying the chance. Fortunately, the lead didn’t last long.
- Lucic was not good in the OT period and I was surprised McLellan put him out with Connor. The cherry on the sundae was when Looch and Connor flew the zone in OT allowing Labanc to walk in alone for the winner. Kass played only 6:41 tonight and that’s only because of that double minor.
- Taylor Beck played 4:12 tonight. Why was he put in the lineup instead of Puljujarvi exactly?
- Anyone else think that it’s time to recall Lander and send Caggiula down to Bakersfield? Can’t just be me.
- The power play was awful tonight and really didn’t get anything going in any of the six chances they had. The PP could have been the hero tonight but the reality was that they, at best, killed 12 minutes off the clock. Not good enough, especially when you consider how strong the PP has been recently.
|00:31||San Jose||PPG – Joe Pavelski (12) ASST: Brent Burns (18), Joe Thornton (21)||0-1|
|06:17||Edmonton||Connor McDavid (13) ASST: Andrej Sekera (13)||1-1|
|08:21||San Jose||Kevin Labanc (5) ASST: Logan Couture (10), Joe Pavelski (20)||1-2|
|08:45||Edmonton||Patrick Maroon (10) ASST: Connor McDavid (29), Eric Gryba (1)||2-2|
|03:22||San Jose||Kevin Labanc (6) ASST: Logan Couture (11), Brent Burns (19)||2-3|
BEST OF THE TWEETS
— Ross Murray (@ERemurray24) December 24, 2016
Kassian’s worst attribute: he can fly off the handle and do crazy shit
Kassian’s best attribute: he can fly off the handle and do crazy shit
— Higgs-Distortion (@Higgsdistortion) December 22, 2016
@OilersNation It looked like he threw a piece of steel wool up against the window.
— Ryan (@IAmByks) December 24, 2016
Can’t wait to hear explanation how two clearly separate calls against SJ for hooking up McDavid morphed into just one. That’s brutal.
— Robin Brownlee (@Robin_Brownlee) December 24, 2016
@jsbmbaggedmilk to be fair the SN guys assumed the oilers fans had all fallen asleep after that crap 2 periods.
— mike sinclair (@MeekerBeastman) December 24, 2016
@OilersNation no no no, his spirit and confidence must be broken 1st
— OilLeak (@OilLeak26) December 24, 2016
When the Oil make the playoffs by like 6 points nights like tonight add up believe that
— Wanye (@WanyeGretz) December 24, 2016
NATIONGEAR BOXING DAY SALE
If you’ve always wanted NationGear but have only ever been able to afford 80% of it then you’re in luck. Starting at 12:01AM (MST) on December 26th, absolutely everything at www.NationGear.ca will be 20% off. After you’ve taken a moment to let that sink in I want to follow up with another hard-hitting factoid. The 20% off sale is a one day only affair and if you’re looking to Nation-sexify your wardrobe then this will be the time to do it. Set your alarm clocks, Nation, because we’ve only got limited supplies.