Until proven otherwise I will believe that the Blue Jackets are all witches. The streak lives. Final Score: 3-1 Columbus
I know I said this the last time these two teams met but when the hell did Columbus get good? How did this happen? Someone explain it to me. They were a lottery team last year and now they’ve turned the ship around to the point where they have only five regulation losses on the year? C’mon. I’m not buying it. Until someone can absolutely prove to me that there hasn’t been some witchcraft or deal with the devil that resulted in the Columbus Blue Jackets acquiring some kind of turbo button that no one else has access to. It’s either that or we have to start looking the possibility of whether or not they’re doing something like filling the opposition’s dressing room with a sleep-inducing gas of some kind. I’m not saying that’s happening, but I’ve had no one tell me that it’s not happening.
With the way this game started, I really didn’t think the Oilers were going to have much chance of ending Columbus’ winning streak and (obviously) my hunch wasn’t wrong. The Blue Jackets grossly outplayed the Oilers in the first period, and if it hadn’t been for Cam Talbot’s general brick-wallness then this game would have gotten out of hand in a hurry. Frankly, Dadbot was one of the few players to show up for the actual start of this hockey game and was likely the only reason that the Oilers were able to stay in it as long as they did. While the Oilers did improve as the game went on they really weren’t able to generate much in response to the home side’s continued waves of pressure. CBJ spat hot fire for forty minutes and the Oilers had their goaltender to thank for keeping the deficit to one goal and giving his team a chance in the third.
Going into the third the need for the Oilers to play better was obvious, but they also needed to find a way to stay out of the penalty box. The Jackets have the #1 ranked power play and after seeing them torch the Oilers for two power play goals it was pretty obvious as to why that’s the case. That wasn’t meant to put blame only on the PK team, Edmonton’s special teams were a hot mess on both sides of the coin. Neither the power play nor the penalty kill was very good for the Oilers and Columbus won the special teams battle outright. As it turns out, the two CBJ goals with the man advantage were the difference in tonight’s game and were the case and point for the importance of a strong power play. In the end, the Oilers’ struggles on special teams was only a drip in the bucket of disappointment that was this highly anticipated matchup.
Edmonton didn’t put up much of a fight and the Blue Jackets’ winning streak was never really in doubt. Subpar effort. Expected result.
For the first time in 2017 – we wrap.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Oscar Klefbom scored a big goal to tie the game up at one midway through the second period. The Blue Jackets were all over the puck before Oscar Klefbom followed up on the play and fired a puck home from the slot for his 6th goal of the season.
- Cam Talbot was easily the best Oiler tonight, and he gave his team a chance to win even though they probably didn’t deserve it. Dadbot was easily the busier of the two goalies and had it not been for him the Oilers would have needed a touchdown to get back into it. Talbot finished the night with 32 saves and a .914 save% on a night when he didn’t get much help.
- Connor McDavid as an Oiler is just as wonderful in 2017 as he was in 2016. Mmmm Connor.
- This game was feisty early on and I liked it. The first period had a few big hits and all that did was stir up the angries. I still don’t know how to react when I see the Oilers mucking it up after the whistle because it’s been so long since that’s been a thing that happens.
- In the second period, Pat Maroon flew into the corner and crushed Brandon Dubinsky. To his credit, Dubinsky got up and got into Maroon’s and the two fellas started chuckin’ em’. As always, you can check out this fight and all of Maroon’s fights on his fight page over at HockeyFights.com.
- The Oilers won 54% of the faceoffs tonight. (Letestu 75%, Nuge 65%, Hendricks 60%, Draisaitl 44%, McDavid 33 %)
- The game ended early enough that we don’t have to go to bed angry.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Not a good start to this hockey game. The Blue Jackets ran the show for extended periods and the Oilers needed Cam Talbot to bail them out on too many occasions.
- Unlucky bounce on the Columbus power play goal credited to Nick Foligno. The puck took a friendly bounce off of both Russell and Sekera and wound up in the net, giving the Jackets an early lead. Unlucky way to get down to a hot team. Then again, hot teams always seem to get those bounces, don’t they?
- William Karlsson’s goal (another power play goal) came as a result of the Jackets working harder than the Oilers on the boards, and capitalizing on that extra zone time. The Oilers had a chance to clear but they couldn’t get the puck out of zone and the Jackets made them pay for it.
- Absolutely horrible giveaway by Benoit Pouliot on the Jackets’ third goal of the night. He had the puck on the boards, he had time, and he passed the puck absolutely no one in particular and Foligno walked in alone and scored. Brutal. I was actually surprised that McLellan continued playing Pouliot after that one.
- Two power play goals for the Jackets tonight on four chances. You could see how much confidence they have with the man advantage by the way they always seemed to be in the right position and their passes were always on point.
- The special teams sucked in general with the power play going 0/3 and the penalty kill allowing two goals on four chances.
- Puljujarvi took a bad penalty that led to CBJ’s first goal of the night. Jesse didn’t have control of his stick and he got himself tied up with a Blue Jacket resulting in a holding penalty for his efforts. He needs to be better, and that fact is magnified considering his general lack of scoring. Why ? is ? Puljujarvi ? still ? here? ?
- The Oilers were horrible at the blue lines throughout the first forty minutes of play. They either gave up the puck as they were trying to leave their own end, or as they were trying to enter the attacking zone, and the Jackets didn’t need their help finding the puck.
- The Oilers were outhit 17-10 despite Columbus always having the puck. How does that work?
- I will not complain about the reffing. I will not complain about the reffing. I will not complain about the reffing. I will not complain about the reffing. I will not…
- Outshot 35-22 and I was surprised the Oilers got to 22.
|12:32||Columbus||PPG – Cam Atkinson (18) ASST: Zach Werenski (19), Alexander Wennberg (26)||0-1|
|05:39||Edmonton||Oscar Klefbom (6) ASST: Patrick Maroon (7), Jordan Eberle (18)||1-1|
|10:43||Columbus||PPG – William Karlsson (6) ASST: Brandon Saad (19), Seth Jones (10)||1-2|
|02:45||Columbus||Nick Foligno (13)||1-3|
BEST OF THE TWEETS
@OilersNation I always think he’s one of Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane’s deputies.
— Joe Martin (@jamthefed) January 4, 2017
@OilersNation Does it count if Remenda cheers for Gagner?
— Ryan Adam (@radam100) January 4, 2017
— VisuallyBetter (@Isuckatpicking) January 4, 2017
@OilersNation The refs trying to screw the Oilers in every which way.
— Jordan Wall (@Walljordan) January 4, 2017
@jsbmbaggedmilk Agreed. He should definitely be sent to the Kelowna Rockets.
It worked great with Draisaitl.
…and I live in Kelowna
— Kevin Resolutions (@sportsjunkie007) January 4, 2017
Scrolling through angry Oilers loss twitter looking to pick a fight like pic.twitter.com/hoP23vvfYY
— Ryan ? (@IAmByks) January 4, 2017
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