GDB 36.0 Wrap Up: It’s Still a Festivus Miracle

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Festivus

Should have had two, but lucky to get one. Final Score: 3-2 Sharks in OT

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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. 

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THE BRIGHT SIDE

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  • 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

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  • 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. 

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
No Scoring

2ND PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
00:31 San Jose PPG – Joe Pavelski (12) ASST: Brent Burns (18), Joe Thornton (21) 0-1

3RD PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
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

OT PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
03:22 San Jose Kevin Labanc (6) ASST: Logan Couture (11), Brent Burns (19) 2-3

BEST OF THE TWEETS

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

NATIONGEAR BOXING DAY SALE

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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. 


  • harborman

    Agree with other posters, Lucic and Klef had no business seeing the ice in OT. Huge error in coaching. Also, can we not get anyone to learn how to one time a shot,then set them up at the top of the circle on the power play. We are the wrist shot kings from the prime shooting area.Major fail!

    Lastly, didn’t think Hendo landed that many shots in his scrap with Dillon. However,in that interview with Principe, Dillon’s face showed otherwise.

  • dolenupnorth

    Is it just me or does it seem like the coach doesn’t trust a lot of his guys. I feel that a trade of lander, osterele and another pick or prospect for a true 3 line center would be good for the team! Or if Tmac is all hot for testtube put him as 3 line c with poo and Anton sleppy. But hendo and kassian should be 4th line! Playing like 10 min a night and if the 3rd line was also getting 10 to 12 min that would leave about 20 min for top two lines, and should be a strong top 6.

  • The Future Never Comes

    I put that loss on the coach, Maroon is McD’s best counterpart bar none every time they play together. How many goals has the team been deprived of for not having these two together. But I get it, Chia might be sweating that signing and want Looch on McD’s line to inflate his points so it doesn’t look so bad. Hell Letestu would show Eberle up on that line to, makes simple smart plays and shows up every shift.

    • Harry2

      So McLellan only managed to get 9 shots on net in 2 periods?

      More like McLellan is the reason they got a point. He whooped their buts into gear in the 2nd intermission im guessing.

  • Seriously Bored

    Merry Christmas oilers fans. We may have lost but I think there will be plenty more wins in the future. We still get to play vancouver, calgary and colorado a few more times.

  • How great is this that finally Edmonton and Calgary both chirp each other and we aren’t both at the bottom of the league. I’m still hoping that the flames trend down and us up by seasons end, but at least there’s meaningful competition!!!

  • @Hallsy4

    Time to TRADE POULIOT, NUGE and EBS. 16 million right there not helping. Move Lucic off McDavids line and replace him with Maroon. Pay someone who actually helps the team win! Mclellan should be dismissed as well for having Lucic out in OT. He’s a decent 2nd or 3rd liner, who will be nice to have in playoffs, but its just so obvious that his skill set is not meant for 3 on 3.

  • @Hallsy4

    I’d guess big changes are coming in the next 2 seasons. I’ll be suprised if any of EBS POU and NUGE are still here. Only one I can see maybe is NUge, but he needs to smarten up.

  • Oiler Al

    Again Talbot gets em the one point, nothing wrong with that .You know when you get out shot and dont have to even clean the ice on Sharks end of the rink for the first two periods, it wasnt a great game.

    HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL.

    A HUGE THANK YOU TO ALL THE O N WRITERS-BLOGGERS FOR FEEDING US ALL THINGS OILERS DURING THE YEAR.

  • whateverhappenedtoearledwards

    I would like to see Klef be given more limited and softer minutes. Look what that has done for Jultz. Maybe Davidson/Larseen and as a top 2 pair and Klef and Gryba/Benning and the 3rd pair.

  • Oh hey, I’m glad the guy who shall not be named but apparently works for an hourly wage got the derogatory joke about the ball valve, must’ve asked someone at camp about it to get it.

    One repeated matchup DeBoer seemed to want was the Nuge line facing Thornton, Pavelski and Marleau…often facing Burns. That’s a tall order.

    While Talbot saved their butts a few times, I’m thinking Nuge & Ebs 5v5 play isn’t THAT bad.

    Oiler games are tightening up. They’re becoming more like a playoff game in terms of checking and space given (not in terms of intensity, not even close).

    On the road, these guys are usually targeted by the opponent’s coach to face their toughest line. If they can’t score, I can forgive that by not being a liability vs the league’s best forwards in these tight games.

    If I were to get on their case, I’d focus on the Powerplay. Both are capable of more, and need to up their intensity during those moments. With this in mind, I think every Oiler fan has a right to expect more from them, definitely.

    Pouliot is a different story. He played 10 minutes against easier competition, he should look very effective out there but he isn’t. Players like Drake, Hendricks, Pitlick, and Kassian are looking decent against 3rd/4th line opponents. Pouliot looks ineffective more often than not.

    Have a fun and safe holidays everyone.

  • bazmagoo

    For all the hate Lucic seems to get these days, he is 3rd in scoring on our beloved Oilers. Fair enough he’s not spectacular viewing but he gets the job done. I’m a big fan of seeing him in Oiler blue, well worth the $.