GDB Wrap Up 44.0: Welcome Home, TayTay

Make It Rain

Big Sexy 2.0 with three points and the game winner. Back the Brinks truck up, Pete. Sorry, Taylor. Final Score: 3-2 Oilers in OT

I know the Oilers and Devils played each other last Saturday, but that still didn’t make tonight’s game any less strange for me. Obviously, this was the second time in a week that we’ve watched our former star try to make toe drags happen against the Oilers but that hasn’t made it any less odd to watch. Plays like when he backchecked to strip Connor of the puck made me remember how fast he is. I’m not mad about the trade anymore, but it’s going to take few more spins before meetings against Taylor Hall become the new normal. We’ll get there. Get over it, I know. 

As for the game itself, the Oilers picked up right where they left off in Jersey. Edmonton was all over the Devils throughout the game, but, as we saw last weekend, producing chances and beating Corey Schneider are two completely different things. The Oilers had plenty of shots and chances throughout the first period but they couldn’t find a way to beat Schneider. As the story always goes, the Devils were able to capitalize on one of the limited chances they got and the visitors found themselves up a goal after 20 minutes. While Andrej Sekera was able to get a goal early in the second period to temporarily tie things up, New Jersey scored a second marker late in the period to give themselves a lead going into the final frame.

Heading into the third period the Oilers didn’t have to really change much of what they were doing. From the drop of the puck, they were heavily outshooting the Devils and the only reason the visitors had any chance at all was because of Corey Schneider. Without him, the Devils would have been a lifeless corpse waiting for the final buzzer. Edmonton nearly outshot New Jersey by a margin of 2:1, but even so it was starting to look like one of those nights where the opposing goaltender would steal it. That was until the white hot Pat Maroon tied the game midway through the second period. As he’s done lately, Big Rig threw the team on his back and he went out there and scored an ugly goal that got the game to overtime. From there, Connor and Leon got to work.

We wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

HallOilers

  • The Oilers were down a goal until ol’ man Sekera walked in from the blueline and beat Corey Schneider cleanly down low. Sekera’s fifth goal of the year came only 16 seconds into the second period, and it was a goal they desperately needed to break the Schneider curse. Sekera had another solid night, and he is having a great year. 
  • I don’t think there are enough words in my vocabulary to accurately describe my love for Pat Maroon. The Big Rig scored another huge goal tonight, tying up the game at two late in the third period. Maroon’s team leading 17th goal couldn’t have come at a better time. 
  • Leon Draisaitl was money in the bank tonight. Big Sexy 2.0 finished with three points including the game-winning goal in overtime. It’s almost too bad he’s having the kind of year he is because this next contract is going to cost a fortune. Big Sexy 2.0, we salute you. 
  • Speaking of Connor, he put up two more assists tonight, becoming the first player in the NHL to hit 50 points this year, and he did it only hours before his 20th birthday. Happy birthday, Connor. Oh captain, my captain. 
  • Adam Larsson quietly got himself an assist against his former team tonight. Larsson played only 16:34 but he was mostly effective and played the quiet game we’ve come to expect. 
  • Kris Russell was angry and Kyle Palmieri’s face paid the price. Maybe it’s because Russell is tired of blocking shots? Maybe he hates the Carbon Tax? We’ll never know for sure, but what I do know is that you can watch the scrap on Russell’s fight page over at HockeyFights.com.
  • Zack Kassian brings the kind of crazy (I mean it in a good way, please don’t hurt me) that the Oilers haven’t had for a long time. Every good team needs a wildcard. At first, I missed the elbow/high stick/whatever and I thought Kassian lost it to try and mix things up or something and I my mind was blown. Then I saw the replay…
  • You don’t see it often, but Ragin’ Nugent-Hopkins came out a couple times tonight. In the first period, Jordan Eberle got hit in the numbers (he turned a little bit) and Nuge was the first one to fly in there. I like chippy Nuge. 
  • Shout out to the Nation for giving Hallsy a welcomed return in his first game back from Edmonton. Well, until the whole elbow Kassian in the face thing. More on that later, but I wanted to give a shout out to the fans for respecting a good soldier that was here during a dark time. Welcome back, Taylor. 

THE FACE PALMERS

HallDevils

  • Travis Zajac gave Brandon Davidson a free lesson on the first goal of the game. Zajac gave Davi a quick outside-in move that gave him an open lane to the crease. From there, Zajac made no mistake on a nice feed from Palmieri and the Devils had the early lead. 
  • Steven “Mankini” Santini scored his first NHL goal after deflecting Taylor Hall’s shot. Allowing a guy’s first NHL goal is a time-honoured tradition around these parts, and it was nice soul-sucking to see it continue tonight. 
  • That elbow by Hall on Kassian was a garbage play and I thought it was hilarious that Kassian didn’t even end up getting a penalty after dropping his gloves and punching TayTay in the face. Zack Kassian, of all people, got a free punch. Hall said after the game that it was a dumb play on his part, but it was an ugly one at the time. 
  • Tough night for Brandon Davidson. He played only 12:17 after his man ended up scoring both New Jersey goals. To be fair, the second goal was a deflection. 
  • Jordan Eberle can’t buy a goal right now. He hit the crossbar in the second period and I swear that’s about the 6000th time that he’s hit a post/crossbar over the past couple weeks. The guy needs a bounce. 
  • The power play went 0/3 but that’s not because they lacked chances. Unfortunately, they just couldn’t cash in on any of the opportunities. 
  • Corey Schneider was all kinds of annoying again, as he basically carried them into overtime. 
  • Oilers went 48% in the faceoff circle. Still an area that needs improvement. 
  • I would have no idea how to make prison toilet wine. I don’t know when I’d need that skill but it might be good to know for camping or something? I’ll work on it.

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
18:06 New Jersey Travis Zajac (9) ASST: Kyle Palmieri (15), Michael Cammalleri (12) 1-0

2ND PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
00:16 Edmonton Andrej Sekera (5) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (21), Adam Larsson (6) 1-1
19:09 New Jersey Steven Santini (1) ASST: Taylor Hall (17), Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau (7) 2-1

3RD PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
12:36 Edmonton Patrick Maroon (17) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (22), Connor McDavid (35) 2-2

OT PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
01:50 Edmonton Leon Draisaitl (16) ASST: Connor McDavid (36), Oscar Klefbom (9) 2-3

BEST OF THE TWEETS

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

FOLLOW THE NATION NETWORK

NNLogomark-03-02 

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 FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

  • gongshow

    When Kassian skated out to pick his gloves and stick up from the penalty box and then headed back to the bench, there wasn’t a peep or even a glance from anyone on the Devils bench.

    That and Nuge jumping in without blinking when Eberle took one in the numbers.

    And Quincy mucking it up with Shlepy and Lucic shutting things down without saying a word.

    And Maroon just being an unmovable beast in front of the crease.

    Damn, this is real team toughness. Different personnel this season but also completely different swagger. I think I’m falling back in love.

    • OilBlood

      Haha how many times did we witness liberties being taken with Hall from an opposing team and nobody stuck up for him.

      I guess his jersey teammates feel the same way about him as his former oilers hmmmmm wonder why……. lol

  • bazmagoo

    I thought Kassian was going to get an instigator, fighting major, and game misconduct for the Hall incident. So when it was an Oilers power play after I was surprised, good on the refs for calling the cheap shot.

    Big game Saturday, G’oilers!

  • Lyxdeslic

    I can’t be the only person who noticed Maroon totally did Taylor Halls goal celly when he scored. The ice swipe fist pump is a classic Hall celebration. Even if it wasn’t intentional I absolutely loved that Maroon did that!

  • Wintoon

    Perhaps the reason that the referee gave Hall 4 minutes for high sticking was because he ‘butt-ended’ Kassian in the face and that was why he was bleeding and so ticked off.

    If you look at the replay closely you may see what I am talking about.

  • Cowbell_Feva

    It was nice watching Hall made terrible decisions with the puck time after time, but not wearing an Oilers jersey.

    His lack of testicular fortitude still amazes me. You’d swear he was wearing #13 with a Flaming C given how soft he is.

    Still waiting for all the prognosticators revelations to come true for Fallsy to become a leading scoring in the league out East. Maybe he is an above average left winger that gets his share of points, but gets injured frequently and still has many warts to his game….just like when he was an Oiler??

    The fact Maroon rubbed his cele in his face and Kassian fed him a solid left kind of tells me what I always thought. He wasn’t a well liked teammate here. Good luck in Hubokin, or however you spell it.

  • Petrolero

    The way I see it hall had one last piece of business left to take care of for his former team and he was the only one who could do it. He finally made kassian pay the piper for what he did to Gagner. Now I don’t feel dirty cheering for the kassmanian devil and hall is officially the enemy. We can all move on. Thanks Hall.

    Also Eberle needs his old stick, his finish is way off.

    • camdog

      I agree with Ebs getting back his old stick.

      As to the Gagner incident Ference made Kassian pay the piper in 2014. It was about that time where Ference was calling some players on the team for their lack of Leadership…

      • S cottV

        There’s probably some hints to the past room from McD’s comments after the NJ road game, re adversity turning into a me show.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OF6Z7uelF3o

        No doubt in my mind that Ference was mostly targeting Hall for his lack of leadership, back in those days. There were many clues to that effect and Ference strikes me as being a pretty intelligent guy.

        Still you have to fault the organization for what has happened over the past several years.

        Katz, Boys on the Bus nepotism, Lowe, MacT, Eakins, the Swarm, drafting, player assessment, trades, player development, one and done rushing, on and on – and you’re gonna get fragmentation of leadership in the ranks.

        No doubt – Eberle and Hall descended into me first mode, to pad their points with games out of reach from the get go, or shortly thereafter from the puck drop. They inflated their points at the expense of being more mindful toward the good of the hockey club.

        It’s manifested in the high speed – high risk – rush style that generated additional points for them and – as much or more points for the other team in counterattack offence. They mostly left themselves wide open and weren’t all that interested in back tracking / checking. It’s we’re probably gonna lose anyway – so, lets rack em up and bust it wide open.

        Ference being a leader and d man – directly felt and knew what was going on. OK – while you guys are looking after yourselves, you’re making our goalies and our d men look like complete fools back here. We gotta clean up your counter attack messes left and right, you don’t do anything but foolhardy one and done rushes, so – we never get or retain possession in the o zone, so – that maybe us d guys can actually touch the puck in the o zone every now and again. We’re losing games by 2 or 3, instead of by 1 or 2 – or perhaps even could be salvaging a few more wins, if only you guys would stick to it longer – before going me first.

        Not to say its easy to score in the NHL, but it is relatively a lot easier to score, when you are not worried about the flip side of the game. One of the reasons – Eberle isn’t scoring as much any more.

        • Oiler Al

          Come on Scott,often you have valid points of view, but your daily opperssive slant on Eberle is getting about as tired as the Hall, trade.Not saying Eberle plays perfect hockey, but you must be liking Lucic, who is supposed to be a great possesion guy, but isnt.

          PS. Padding points is one way of getting $6 million dollar contracts.Dont see too many $6 million players banging pucks along the boards all night long.

          • S cottV

            Lucic has to play with other guys who are prepared to play o zone hockey.

            We are getting better in general, at o zone hockey but its still not fully developed and are too many weak link players, that don’t fit the style and or haven’t bought in yet.

            Example – McD and Drai are skill players that can both rush it and pin it into the o zone.

            Eberle is a rush player – period. He cant contribute enough to the style and shouldn’t be playing with Lucic. One weak link – and o zone hockey doesn’t work. We got more than one weak link, not to mention the overall 5 man process needs perfecting.

            So – we picked up Lucic to move toward his style, but we haven’t developed the structure around him – to support it. I have some confidence that McL has finally started to push the o zone agenda, probably – because the team has been able to practice in the past few weeks for a change.

            We have not (and yes thankfully) seen the best of Lucic (or Kassian) yet. Get him the right guys and right practiced perfected system – and you have set yourself up for an “I told you so”.

            At some point Drai is gonna need to play 2C for the overall good of the hockey club. Drai with Lucic makes sense. Kassian like with more offensive upside would make sense on the right side. We don’t have that guy.

            They need to be giving Puljujarvi – cycling and puck protection lessons in Bakersfield, so he can become a skilled possession winger – for McD or Drai.

            That leaves the need for an Iginla like RW in trade – to complete top 6.

            Kassian needs them to get Khaira up here, so he can get it going, in 3rd or 4th rotation.

            That would leave Eberle – in the way.

        • camdog

          Padding of points for young players started before Hall and Eberle were Oilers, with Sam Gagner. I know it’s common to say it’s the player’s responsibility to do this and do that, but in the general scheme of things the Oilers organisation failed a great number of hockey players.

          As to Eberle he’s still getting his chances, his shot just isn’t there right now. And he is playing a better overall game than he was 2-3 years ago, just like Hall is.

          • S cottV

            Agreed re the organization.

            Leadership comes from the very top and it was trickle down bad. Some improvement with PC as GM – we think.

            It will be interesting to see if Eberle can play stable hockey and still produce points.

            Truth is – he ain’t going anywhere soon at his price tag, and – like I said before, we don’t have a lot of RW options in top 9 right now. So – he’s gonna have time to prove it.

            If the team moves toward a strong mix of rush and o zone hockey, I just don’t see Eberle as a good fit for that.

            It would be great for Pouliot – Nuge – Eberle to start lighting it up, without too many GA’s in tow.

            It would open up some options – in a number of ways. So – I’ll root for him. Honestly…

  • ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Here’s the thing about Hall: almost exactly when he was traded to the Devils he said the one thing he wanted to do was to prove to the Oilers that they made a mistake trading him. That was the one thing he wanted: prove that the Oilers were wrong.

    He didn’t say the one thing he wanted to was help his team win a Stanley Cup. He didn’t say he wanted to help his team mates, and he didn’t even say he wanted to play the best hockey he could.

    So how’s he doing? After just over half a season each with their new teams, Justin Schultz and Taylor Hall are tied in the scoring race.

    Hall might want to pick a different goal for next season.

  • Ales Hallsky

    Typical Hallsy, his teammates come to stick up for him as he turtles and tries to skate away leaving his teammates to do the dirty work. Good riddence…

  • Oiler Al

    Mclellan,keep the same line up for Saturdays game.
    All four lines were pretty solid.Liked the new inserts to the line up. Slepy has a nose for the net;

  • nrXic

    Draisaitl with the GWG shows you how wrong I was about Bennett being a better draft option. Nevermind the fact that Draisaitl has DOUBLE HIS POINTS…but Drai has 2 game winning goals under his belt. Bennett has nada.

    There’s something to be said about scoring at the right time. Showing up when it matters.

    Drai was at the end of his shift, and already drove the net once and backchecked…

    I was like Jim Ross when he decided to skate up with McDavid, “BAH GAWD…HE’S GONNA DO IT! HE’S GONNA DO IT!” My legs would have been on fire.

  • Oilcounty88

    We need to move past this Taylor Hall discussion of whether the team would be better with him today. Its impossible to judge what the Oilers would be doing in the standing had the Oilers decided on keeping hall and making different moves. The Oilers are a vastly different team than they were last year. Klefbomb missed most of last season with the staff infection, Larson wasn’t here, Russell wasn’t here, Benning wasn’t signed. We have a completely different looking back end that is a significant upgrade from the previous season.

    That’s not including major additions in Lucic & Cag plus having a healthy McDavid for the majority of the season. The oilers have been lucky this season with no key injuries to core players. (i.e McDavid or Talbot)

    There’s more to the Hall trade than just trading for a defenceman. The oilers got a good player with a great value contract which is going to be critical when they have to sign Drai and McDavid to long term extensions that we can guarantee won’t be cheap. Might cause a player like Eberle to be a casualty of the cap as a result. Oil don’t need major additions at this point they need to keep the core together and plug the holes like all good NHL teams.

    • Harry2

      It is very possible to know where the Oilers would be. If they didnt address their defence in big way they would be on the outside looking in.

      No one else in the line up besides Mcd or LD would have got us a player with an impact like Larsson.

      Loved the trade then and lovin it even more now.

  • OriginalPouzar

    Did we ever need that Hattrick Maroon goal last night.

    It was looking like one of those games where we were clearly the better team but the opposing goaltender steals the game – thank you Patrick – thank you for allowing Leon and Connor to work their magic in OT.

    Big to win it in OT (as opposed to the shootout) to get a ROW.

  • OriginalPouzar

    The Oilers defence is quietly up to over 70 points on the season – on pace for 133 over the 82 games.

    I’m not sure where that stands in the league, my guess is middle of the pack, however, its a huge increase over last year where the defence had 102 points for the year.

    Great job by the defence as a group.

  • Will

    Okay, I understand the company that owns the Leafs, also owns Sportsnet, but to even try and say Mathews is one of the best players in the NHL, given he’s almost 30th in scoring, is ridiculous.

    He is a great player,but Toronto is 5th in the Atlantic and 21st in the league. He’s not even a ppg player.

    As for the game last night, nice to see the win and another scrappy game. I still maintain goalies are saving their best performances for when they play the Oilers. Glad the team can help out the Flames and ensure they play tired teams and back up goalies.

  • Hall cowering like a turtle when Kassian retaliated for Hall’s buttend to Zach’s face ended anyone’s sadness for Hall being traded. Right then and there.

    He reminded us what one of the big problems was with the team in the previous seasons. He was the star and so he didn’t feel compelled to stand up for his teammates–and neither did his teammates feel compelled to stand up for him.

    And all of a sudden, the team isn’t a team.

    Now? You have Nuge Against The Machine sticking up for Ebs. Pouliot tussling opposition faces. Essentially, everyone on this team is in it together, sticking up for each other, and putting the fear of destruction into the opposition to not mess with anyone or they’ll be hell to pay.

    And it’s damn exciting and we’re damn proud of this team again.

    • S cottV

      I doubt Kass has experienced any kind of epiphany over it.

      Better not to over think it anyway, we need him just the way he is – with a few more goals.

  • Spoils

    love Taylor Hall, sincerely wish we could have found a way to shine with him. I also wish Yak was on pace to score 60 goals on McDavid’s wing this year. With one last Fleury-celly handed out after a late goal at the Saddledome… in an otherwise meaningless game against a last place lames…


    but we live in the real world.

    and in the real world – the third highest scoring LW in the NHL over the last few seasons turtled after dishing out a slapshot dirty play. in one of the realest hockey towns on the planet.

    “McDavid to Leon, overtime winner!”

  • Seriously Bored

    People here are seriously dumping on Hall because he didnt fight Kassian and acting like Kassian has never took a cheap shot on anyone before?

    He didnt let his teamates do anything, he just tried to keep his face away from krazy kassians fists.

    I think all the people here whining about players not being tough enough have never been punched in the face before.

    Hall is gone people let it go, he is a hockey player not your ex wife.

    • Marshall Law

      This post gives us some nice perspective.

      I can only imagine how unpleasant it would be to get punched in the face by a lunatic like Kassian.

      Those among us who say they would have willingly gone toe-to-toe with a guy who practices MMA in the off-season for the sake of being honourable are full of poop.

    • ricardo2000

      People are giving Hall to much credit. He took a cheap shot at Kaos, and then ran away. When Kaos caught up, he turtled, like the coward, and bad teammate, he has always been.
      IF you were watching, NJ Devil Wood couldn’t even look at Hall when he sat down in the penalty box. They were two strangers in a bus shelter, and someone farted.

  • JBear

    That powerplay. My God they need to change it…

    Pass. Wait for D to adjust. Pass. Wait for D to adjust. Try the centre deflection. Nope. There is no urgency in their plays, no one wants to one-time. It’s really predictable and kept to the outside. During no time do they have the defenders scrambling.

  • Oiler Al

    @ S cottV

    Cycling is a real science in puck possession I am sure takes a ton of practice. It is systematic as well as instinctive [Sedins].It is however futile if for the most part you are not feeding a chance off it. Often with Oilers you have 3 guys below the goal line ,with no one infront of the goal or the slot to make a shot.The way McLellan has been using the blender, hard to develop a good game.

    • S cottV

      Agreed – way more involved than most people think.

      No system is good unless it’s perfected. It was just a few weeks ago, that I was whining about how the Oilers couldn’t put two cycle legs together if their lives depended on it. Now – and I think its been an opportunity to practice, we’re seeing the first shades of it.

      The Sedins and the Kings have been doing this stuff for a long time. We’re a long way from this kind of proficiency, but – I really think its the direction to go. A better way to play.

      Agreed – you have to be able to pull out of the cycle possession and take it to net, but in some ways that’s step 2 and that’s why it takes time. The good news is we have the high skill guys to do that. McL / Drai and that’s one of the reasons that eventually they need to be split up.

      However – don’t underestimate the value of possession for the sake of possession, even while struggling to be able to take it to the net. Darryl Sutter says its the best defence and I agree with him.

      In fact – I think its brilliant, when you really think about it.

  • Oilersrule99

    You know things are going well for the oilers when of the three most consistent complaints on here lately (1. Drew Remendas commentary 2. Arminius being garbage and 3. Jordan Eberles uncanny ability to come as close as humanly possible to scoring without scoring) only one of these has any real implications on the oilers as a team the other is just mildly annoying and as for Arminius ,I refer you back to 2 and well its self-explanatory . At this point I’ve gotta think when Eberle starts scoring again they should come in bunches and this game Saturday would be a great time for him to start .