Welp… Final Score: 5-3 Sharks
Seeing the Oilers play a game like this against the Sharks after that blown opportunity against Ottawa was Grebeshkov level of frustrating. Let me explain. The Oilers could have come into tonight’s game on a three-game winning streak with two more points in the bank rather than going up against a team that they’re notorious awful against on the back of a loss. Gord damned Gustavsson. We need these points! Anyway… If the Oilers wanted to get themselves into that top slot in the Pacific Division then they were going to have to get a better start than they did on Sunday, and they were going to need better goaltending. What can I say? I guess I’m a dreamer.
With the way that this game started, I figured that the idea of finishing the night in first place seemed more like a fever dream or a mushroom trip than anything close to reality. Remember when I said the Oilers needed a good start? Didn’t happen. The home side gave up the first goal of the game less than two minutes in and they followed it up by giving the Sharks all kinds of working space to do their thing. As far as starts go, this was Sharknado 4 kind of bad. While Edmonton settled down as the first period continued, eventually tying the game at the 15-minute mark, they were still far too passive and loose in the defensive zone. That extra space gave the Sharks seemingly endless supply of zone time and open looks at the Oilers’ net, an advantage that they cashed in on repeatedly.
At the end of the day, this game was lost as a result of a bad start and an even worse second period. The Oilers didn’t get the lights out goaltending from Talbot that we’ve come to expect, and their mistakes in their own end piled up on them until the comeback was impossible. At times the Oilers looked nothing at all like the team that was supposed to be challenging for first place, but more like the slightly warmed carcass of a highway skunk. The crazy part is that there were also times when the Oilers were able to put the Sharks back on their heels and produce offense like you would expect them to do. Long story short, Edmonton Jeyll and Hyde’d once again whereas the Sharks were consistent for 60 minutes and that was the difference.
I guess first place will have to wait for another day.
Wrap we must so wrap we shall.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Drake Caggiula’s third goal of the year was a big one as it got the Oilers tied up late in the first period (albeit temporarily). The Drake was in the right spot and the right time and used his quick hands to pull the puck forward from behind the goal line and slot it past Martin Jones.
- Matt Benning scored his first NHL goal on the weekend and he quickly followed that up with another. Benning scored his 2nd goal of the year early in the third period and it gave the Oilers some hope for a comeback.
- Oscar Klefbom scored his 7th goal of the season on a quick slapper from the point that beat Jones up high. Klefbom’s goal brought the Oilers back to within one (temporarily) goal and it looked like they were going to pull off the comeback.
- The Maroon-McDavid-Draisaitl line was easily the Oilers’ best tonight. They were producing chances all night long and were the only trio that seemed able to generate any consistent pressure of any kind.
- Andrej Sekera has been a bright spot this year and I’m greatful for him. He’s still playing above where he ideally would be, but he’s doing so admirably. He played the most minutes of any defender with 22:53.
- The Oilers killed off both Sharks power play attempts. The PK hasn’t been as strong over the past few weeks, but they were solid tonight.
- The Oilers outshot the Sharks 36-28 which was a small victory (I’m reaching here) after getting completely pumped on the shotclock the last time these two teams met.
- I’m not happy about how this hockey game played out. Not at all. But the Oilers are still in a playoff spot in January and it’s nice to be angry about the Oilers playing poorly in a big game than it is to be angry about finishing last again. Silver linings, people.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Horrible start tonight. The Oilers allowed the Sharks to take a lead less than two minutes into the hockey game. Things didn’t get much better from there as Mikkel Boedker went on to score to more goals to complete the hat trick. Strange for a guy that had three goals on the year before tonight.
- I hate how much I love Brent Burns. Burns scored his 16th goal of the year by sneaking a quick wrister through traffic and beating Cam Talbot. Burns was a menace all night long, and I couldn’t tell you what I’d give to have a guy with a shot like his patrolling the Oilers’ blue line.
- Matt Benning got a free lesson on Logan Couture’s third period goal. Benning looked for a hit and missed, giving Couture a lane to the net for a goal. Benning has mostly been solid back there but this was one of those moments where he looked like a rookie. I’m sure he’ll be mad at himself for that one.
- Tonight was not Cam Talbot’s night. I’m not saying that all of the goals were his fault, but he wasn’t the same show stopper that we’ve seen over the past few weeks. Dadbot finished a forgettable night with 23 saves and a .821 save%.
- The Oilers were 38% in the faceoff circle tonight. Can’t get much worse. (Nuge 58%, Hendricks 50%, Caggiula 36%, McDavid 25%, Letestu 20%, Draisaitl 18%)
- The Oilers power play couldn’t get anything done on either of their two chances tonight. They did get some zone time, some nice puck movement, and few shots but they could convert.
- Mark Letestu wears the Green Jacket tonight with his -3 in 8:59 on the ice. Almost impressive. Lander was -2 in 3:24.
- No McPoints.
|01:39||San Jose||Mikkel Boedker (4) ASST: Micheal Haley (4), Brent Burns (25)||1-0|
|15:53||Edmonton||Drake Caggiula (3) ASST: Benoit Pouliot (3), Zack Kassian (8)||1-1|
|19:42||San Jose||Brent Burns (16) ASST: Marc-Edouard Vlasic (7), Joe Pavelski (23)||2-1|
|02:24||San Jose||Mikkel Boedker (5) ASST: Melker Karlsson (5), Brent Burns (26)||3-1|
|08:55||San Jose||Mikkel Boedker (6) ASST: Marc-Edouard Vlasic (8), Micheal Haley (5)||4-1|
|00:22||Edmonton||Matthew Benning (2) ASST: Milan Lucic (17)||4-2|
|03:45||Edmonton||Oscar Klefbom (7) ASST: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (12)||4-3|
|05:06||San Jose||Logan Couture (13)||5-3|
BEST OF THE TWEETS
@OilersNation This could just be you coasting and not giving 110%. It’s just a matter of perspective.
— David Smitten (@DavidSmitten) January 11, 2017
@OilersNation it’s ok we didnt want 1st place in the pacific anyways…..?
— Ashley (@littleashley84) January 11, 2017
@OilersNation i screamed SHOOT HEMSKY! at Benning and i know im not the only one
— Pierre Pretorius (@OgrePretorius) January 11, 2017
@OilersNation I’m gonna assume the tractor won. Since a piano has no means of propulsion.
— Lyall Chalmers (@Chalmsey) January 11, 2017
Remenda’s talking about Thornton again… pic.twitter.com/cRnCaeDzji
— Travis Dakin (@TravisDakin) January 11, 2017
— Seannor McDavidson (@JJJ_Jr_Shabadoo) January 11, 2017
FOLLOW THE NATION NETWORK
Love the Nation Network but don’t want to go to more than one place? You’re in luck. Now you can get the best articles from around the Network all in one place. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.