GDB 40.0: Hattrick Maroon

AMATravelBanner

Sometimes it’s nice to steal one. Final Score: 4-3 Oilers

If the Oilers were going to get themselves back into the win column they sure as hell were going to have to put in a better effort than they did two nights ago in Columbus. Although, now that I’ve said that I’m not sure that they could have come out worse than they did on Tuesday. Anyway, in tonight’s game, Edmonton got the start they were looking for after Pat Maroon opened the scoring by being in the right place at the right time and cashing in a beautiful feed from Connor McDavid. Unfortunately, that first goal seemed to give the Oilers a cue to take their foot off the gas, allowing Boston to get back in it and almost takeover the game outright. 

As the game progressed through the second period, both teams had settled into their game plans and the opportunities to create chances (sort of) balanced out a little bit. The obvious difference drew from the fact that the Bruins are a much more experienced hockey team. Even though they’re not the same Bruins they once were, they still don’t seem to make the same kind of sloppy mistakes that always seem to cause headaches for the Oilers. For the first two periods, the Bruins made better choices with the puck than Edmonton, and they were able to hang onto the puck and generate offense as a result. The Oilers would have clean looks at exiting the zone but they couldn’t put six-foot passes together in order to make it happen. That didn’t seem to happen for Boston.

Despite the mistakes and being outshot for 40 minutes, the Oilers went into the third period with the game tied and a chance to win. Lloyd Christmas once showed me how having a chance can be all the hope you need. As we saw tonight, it’s funny what can happen when you give an NHL team a chance. After struggling, at times, to produce quality any scoring chances throughout the first two periods the Oilers popped two in the first half of the third period. They would need both of those goals to keep the Bruins at bay. Impressively, the Oilers never looked back after stealing the lead and they found a way to close out a win that didn’t seem like to happen just a period or so before the final buzzer. 

Sometimes it’s nice to steal one.

Like chicken, we wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

Pizza

  • I love Patrick Maroon and I don’t care who knows it. The big man set a career-high in goals (12th, 13th, 14th) tonight and he did it with style. Maroon scored three big goals, one in each period, and propelled the Oilers to this win. If that wasn’t enough As always, you can see all of Maroon’s fights on his fight page over at HockeyFights.com. Basically what I’m telling you is that Pat Maroon was hot fire tonight. Fin. 
  • Speaking of Maroon, I was happy to see him back alongside McDavid. From the first day that he got here he’s always seemed to know where to be to play with Connor, and I hope he never leaves his wing again.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was rewarded with a goal (his eighth) after driving to the front of the net as he scored by having Matt Benning bank the puck in off of his tummy. Nugey was reported to have an ouchie but we covered it with a smiling sun bandaid and he was good to go. Jokes aside, it was nice to see Nuge driving to the net and getting greasy in the crease. They can’t all be goals off the rush and RNH was willing to take the garbage out and sweep the porch in tonight’s hockey game. 
  • Two McPoints tonight! I don’t know how many times Connor has set up linemates in a perfect area to score only to have them whiff or miss the net entirely. Although he’d never say so it must have been nice for Connor to have someone beside him in Maroon that usually seems to find a way to cash in on his chances. 
  • As we’ve come to expect lately, Cam Talbot was great again. When the Oilers’ play fell through the Earth’s crust and into the fiery pits of bubbling magma below us Talbot was there to bail them out and keep them in the game. Talbot finished the night with 33 saves and a .917 save%.
  • I know it’s not a great stat but Adam Larsson was +2 tonight in 22:14 of ice. He was a quiet rock back there even though he only played the third most minutes. 
  • The penalty killers did a great job tonight, especially at the end of the game. Even though the Bruins scored on the 5-on-3 advantage they weren’t able to get another despite having PP time left on the clock. The PK killed off 2/3 tonight and none were more important than in the final minutes.
  • Thanks Tuuka Rask for being really mediocre tonight!

THE FACE PALMERS

FloorPizza

  • Tough luck on Boston’s first goal by Colin Miller. The puck bounced back behind Talbot and he caught it just as the biscuit had crossed the line by millimeters. If we didn’t have high def cameras then I’m not sure that we would have been able to see it cross the line. Where were the 90s when we needed them?
  • Patrice Bergeron scored in the second period. As much as that’s a problem it wasn’t THE problem. Bergeron had 45 minutes to walk in alone and roof a perfect shot from the slot and there was absolutely no one around him.
  • I am not a fan of the Oilers still using the Steve Staios’ breakout from the early 2000s. They will win draws cleanly back in their zone and the only play the D ever come up with is to rim it around the boards. 
  • I guess the refs were mandated to call Prison Rules for tonight’s game. I honestly couldn’t tell you how many missed calls there were but there were plenty of them, and I say that for both teams. 
  • It’s hard to knock the power play considering they only had one opportunity. Frankly, that’s more of an indictment of how shitacular the reffing was. Either way, the Oilers didn’t score on the power play. Now you know.
  • The Oilers got roasted in the faceoff circle tonight, winning only 41% of the draws. 
  • Jesse Puljujarvi only played 3:27 tonight so my question to you is HOW IS THAT HELPING HIS DEVELOPMENT?
  • The Oilers were up by two goals and down by a man late in the third period. Benoit Pouliot felt like that was too easy. Taking a tripping penalty and putting the team down by two was much better. 
  • If not for the score, Gregor would have nailed his GDB predictions perfectly. Ridiculous. Don’t worry, Nation, I plan on tracking him down and stealing his tears. We will find the source of his power. 

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
01:08 Edmonton Patrick Maroon (12) ASST: Connor McDavid (30), Leon Draisaitl (20) 1-0
07:16 Boston Colin Miller (3) ASST: Austin Czarnik (7), Torey Krug (21) 1-1

2ND PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
10:43 Boston Patrice Bergeron (8) ASST: David Pastrnak (8), Kevan Miller (1) 1-2
13:09 Edmonton Patrick Maroon (13) ASST: Eric Gryba (2), Connor McDavid (31) 2-2

3RD PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
00:14 Edmonton Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (8) ASST: Matthew Benning (7) 3-2
09:02 Edmonton Patrick Maroon (14) 4-2
17:04 Boston PPG – David Krejci (9) ASST: Patrice Bergeron (6), Brad Marchand (22) 4-3

BEST OF THE TWEETS

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

GET AWAY WITH AMA TRAVEL

Beach-Vacations-logo 

Craving sun, sand, and surf? Book your beach vacation with AMA Travel this winter before space runs out! All-inclusive packages from under $1,000. View Beach Vacation Packages

  • Keepyourstickontheice

    Which is the better Chiarelli acquisition, Talbot or Maroon? Talbot is more of a game changer and will win us games we should not, but damn is Maroon more valuable than what we paid to get him, let alone what we pay him.

    Thanks Anaheim!

  • BornInAGretzkyJersey

    Had one of those irrefutable moments of love after Patrick scored and my woman remarks, “Hope he gets an assist, so he can get credited for a ‘hat trick Maroon!'”

  • BorjeSalming-IanTurnbull

    Jordan Eberle – Jesse Puljujärvi – 2017 first round pick

    to the Coyotes for OEL – Domi

    or would you trade Dr.Drai for OEL? Maybe

    If you could get OEL to play with Klefboom or Larsson? Tre Kronor

  • Finnish Oiler fan in Edmonton89

    Is it possible to know if Edmonton placed a claim for Nieto?
    Since the bottom of the league Avs claimed him, was there several teams interested that lost out? Maybe Edmonton being one of them ?

    Or do you think they just passed to stay at 48 of 50?

  • RJ

    I wonder when an ON blogger will call out McLellan for his giant ego.

    Conventional wisdom suggests that a player’s development would be best served playing in actual games. Puljujarvi could have been playing 18-20 minutes a night for Bakersfield, and playing on the top line, the PP and the PK.

    He only played 12 minutes a game last season, so letting him get used to more ice time would help him.

    But no he will be better served hanging out with McLellan all season even when he’s not playing at all or he plays 3 minutes a night. Because McLellan is so great Puljujarvi will develop just being around him.

    • Oilerchild77

      I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell you this, but no one’s going to join in on your negativity-laced crusade against the best coach this organization has had since Glen Sather. You’re on your own here.

      Besides, McLellan isn’t the only one who gets a say in which players stay up and go down to the minors. His boss has more say in that department, not to mention the player and agent, who might not agree to a reassignment.

      • Devolution

        This exactly. There could be a hundred reasons that they are choosing to develop Puljujarvi that way, none of which we have any insight into.

        We know two things:

        1) The Oilers staff wants to win as much as the fan base does and

        2) The Oilers staff knows way more about both hockey and the situation than we do.

        We just have to trust that they are doing the right thing.

        • S cottV

          There is some shorter term thinking, surrounding the pressure to win.

          You wish it was more in balance – or in other words, that we were winning as the by product of doing the right things over time.

          Puljujarvi is not looking good with minimal ice time and subjected to different line mates, left right and center. He looks like the very picture of discombobulated out there.

          This whole blender to the lines, must be very frustrating for those who are falling through cracks on the deal. Seems like a whole lot of focus on keeping McD on top of NHL scoring, or – almost like in panic mode to manufacture offence.

          I really wish McL was putting more emphasis on stable team play – and in the process letting more stabilized lines find chemistry and or solutions toward being effective – offensively and defensively.

          Sure – you hit an apparent jackpot, like Maroon last night – but, overly mixing creates underlying problems and overall performance issues. To be effective in a 2 way sense, requires 3 man units to work things through, gain a sense of relative strengths / weaknesses, to understand each other – etc. So – there may be a price being paid from the chaos created, in search of offence.

          I’d rather see us search for things like a way to reduce unnecessary turnovers and a whole host of other team oriented issues. Maybe – we wouldn’t have to worry so much about manufacturing offence, so – we can steal 2 points here and there.

          • camdog

            The coaching focus has always been on getting Lucic to perform on McDavid’s wing. If the focus was entirely on getting McDavid to remain in top of the league in points Lucic would have been pulled from that line permanently in November. It’s tough to be an NHL coach when the Gm just gave 6 million to a player that isn’t fitting like the GM expected.

            Maroon on McDavid’s line has always worked, it’s not hitting a jackpot, we’ve seen it work numerous times before.

          • S cottV

            I don’t disagree in part but would submit there is more to the whole process of short vs longer term Coach focus, to consider and or debate for the fun of it.

            I would prefer way more emphasis on stable team oriented systems of play, like we have recently seen from teams like Columbus and San Jose. I would give up a few more wins today, for a lot more wins in the future. Winning because of an excellent 23 man coordinated effort, following a systematic game plan – which allows for the break through of high skill plays to be made by the likes of McD and Drai.

            As an example – I would think that Tort’s priorities have been different to that of McL’s over the past year. Effort – is not the only thing separating what is happening there and what is happening here. Torts is clearly working on the development of a solid – stable – well managed 23 man game.

            As for Lucic – I agree a mismatch with McD and certainly with McD – Eberle.

            Lucic makes more sense with Drai and a guy like Kassian, if only – he could generate a little more offensive prowess. You have to keep the puck in the o zone to be able to take advantage of what Lucic can bring. It takes 5 guys playing systematically smart and hard to keep a puck in the o zone. Eberle – is one major weak link in a process like this. We don’t have the collective system, effort and the right manpower to pull it off and to my point above – this is one area where I question McL’s focus.

          • camdog

            The Oilers system play took a downturn when Nurse got hurt. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that when your defence is playing as good as Columbus or San Jose’s that your systems play looks superior. Yes the Oilers defence is improved, but they don’t have a Brent Burns or a Seth Jones.

            As to Lucic, his points per 60 at even strength is bad, really bad. Over the years many have blamed coaches for players success/failures I don’t know if it’s that simple. What I do know is that the coach has given Lucic more opportunities to succeed than any other player on this team.

          • whateverhappenedtoearledwards

            I agree that the timing of their recent drop off in play (although not a drop off in results) aligns with Nurse being out, but I think it also aligns with Klef’s struggles. Last night he only played a well deserved 13ish minutes. Oil defence is much improved but still very thin on top end dmen.

  • camdog

    Generally speaking their isn’t a formula for bringing in young Europeans that are top 5 picks. For many players it’s not just the different game they have to learn but they also have to learn a language and a culture. It’s tough. Generally I wouldn’t be happy with the development path that the Oilers have put Puljujarvi on, but the same approach was used for Leon and it worked there.

    I’d be shocked if he doesn’t end up in Bakersfield for a couple of months, when he’s ready. I wouldn’t be surprised if Pakarinen some how plays into the equation.

  • CMG30

    Other than winning the lotto, Maroon and Talbot have been PC’s best moves and by a wide margin.

    Not going to blow too much sunshine however, as he still continues the Oilers tradition of making just as many unforced errors.

    Then again, a 50:50 split is still an improvement in the GM dept.

  • 99CupsofCoffey

    Pouliot, Pouliot, Pouliot.

    *sigh*

    I saw it coming a second before his trip.

    “Up by two goals? Man in the box? Hey, i’m gonna trip this dude at center ice. Ha! I got ‘im! Oh, i have to sit in timeout now? Oh.”

    -Benoit Pouliot

  • @Hallsy4

    I’m always hard on EBS but I’ve noticed he’s quietly been a plus 4 over the last 4 or 5 games. If he can be a plus player on the 2nd or 3rd line that’s big for the team.

    • 99CupsofCoffey

      I saw a bit of grittiness from Ebs last night i hadn’t seen in a while. I hope he’s understanding that he needs more to his game than just being able to shoot the puck.

  • whateverhappenedtoearledwards

    This game was a good reflection of the Oil over the last 10 games. They were definitely the 2nd best team on the ice (outshot, out corsied, out scoring chanced) but superior goaltending and “timely” scoring (i.e. other goalie did not play well) gets a result. The Oil are 6-2-2 in the last 10 (115 point rate), but I remain nervous.

  • Everything McDavid has done to this point shouldn’t be a surprise. However, he still makes say, “What the hell..” The assist he made to Maroon was truly magical. Maybe 2 other NHL’ers could have made that pass. a) You have a Chara and his 7 foot reach and Bergeron behind you checking. b) McDavid simply steps his foot over Chara’s stick like he is stepping over a fence. C) Kicks the puck to his stick, controls it and makes a back handed pass to a crashing Maroon…My lord and he is just turning 20.

  • ricardo2000

    Anybody collecting hats for Maroon’s hat trick? Or Letestu’s Gordie Howe trick? Or Kassian’s, AKA Kaos (screw the refs, i’m counting his goal in Phoenix). Or McD’s early season hat trick?

    I’m hoping OilersNation or Jason Gregor can organize a collection, perhaps at the Pint on 109 street. Then a fan with tics can deliver them at the first home game.

    I put the player’s name and number on the bottom of the bill so they can be sorted out.