Take the point and run. Final Score: 3-2 Predators in the shootout
This is a huge weekend for the Oilers. Not only are they playing two games against teams they should be able to beat, but they’re both Western Conference teams that are chasing them in the standings. Tonight’s game against the Predators was the first time these two teams have met this season, and it was imperative that the Oilers get a good start and great goaltending if they were going to have a chance. The Preds are another team that has been Edmonton’s kryptonite over the years but, with the Western Conference tides turning, tonight was as good of a time as any to scrub the turds from out of their sheets.
Unfortunately, the Oiler didn’t get the kind of start they were looking for and it looked like there might be turds on the Nashville sheets from the jump. Edmonton took a couple of penalties within the first few minutes and that gave the Predators plenty of opportunities to head a head start on the hockey game. Luckily for the Oilers, Cam Talbot showed up ready to play and was able to cover up his team’s mistakes for as long as his sleep-deprived dad body would let him. The most frustrating part of the night came from the fact that the Predators were playing their second game of a back-to-back set and they were easily the sharper of the two clubs. The fact that the Oilers were able to get into the third period with the game tied was nothing short of a blessing.
With the game tied going into the third period, the Oilers had a real opportunity to steal a game that they didn’t deserve. Unfortunately, Edmonton didn’t offer up much more of an effort than they had all game, and the Predators didn’t seem to get the memo that they were supposed to be tired. Not only did the Predators outplay the rested Oilers in the final period, they dominated most of the night, closed things out with a win, and leave Alberta with four points and a clean sweep. Frankly, the fact that the Oilers got a single point out of this one was a blessing. No moral victories here, at least not from my couch. Talbot stole his team a point on a night when they probably didn’t deserve one.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- After falling behind by a goal, the situation looked grim for the Oilers until Matty Hendricks scored his 2nd goal of the year less than a minute after Nashville opened the scoring. As you’d expect, Hendricks was driving to the net and was able to sneak the loose puck through Rinne into the net. I don’t know how long Hendricks will be an Oiler for, but he played a big role tonight.
- How can you not love Pat Maroon? The guy does absolutely everything you want from a forward and he does it at a bargain price (with Anaheim still paying some of the bill). Maroon got in a first period scrap with Austin Waston and, as always, you can see this fight over at HockeyFights.com.
- Milan Lucic absolutely pummeled Cody McLeod’s face in the second period. As much as Maroon’s fight was pretty close this one really wasn’t and, as always, you can check out the fight on Lucic’s fight page over at HockeyFights.com. The big man wasn’t done, though, as he absolutely crushed a Predator behind the net and scored the game-tying goal (his 11th) on the power play.
- Cam Talbot was the only reason the Oilers were tied at donuts after the first period. As we’ve come to expect, Dadbot was lights out again tonight and he gave the Oilers a chance to win when they didn’t really deserve one. Talbot was the best Oiler once again and finished the night with 42 saves and a .955 save%.
- MCPOINT! Connor got his 40th assist (Leon got one too) on Lucic’s game-tying goal in the third period.
- The power play was okay but not great tonight. The Oilers did, however, score the game-tying goal that sent the thing to overtime on the power play, an effort that looked much better than the other three.
- It’s still annoying that they didn’t win but at least we’re all pissed off that the Oilers missed out on a game because we need the points rather than complaining that they lost because they’re terrible again. Silver linings? I’m trying to be positive here.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Not a good start for the Oilers. They took two early penalties (Maroon hook, Benning flipped it over the glass) and weren’t really able to settle in until the period was half over.
- The Oilers were being outplayed like crazy in the second period and it wasn’t overly surprising when Viktor Arvidsson opened the scoring. Talbot could only stop second chances so many times before the Predators cashed one in and that’s exactly what happened.
- Ryan Ellis’ third-period goal wasn’t an overly hard shot but it was screened by Brandon Davidson in front of the net and it beat Talbot up high. Davidson waved his hand at the puck, missed, and it seemed to throw Talbot’s tracking off.
- Davidson didn’t really play much after screening Talbot and actually ended up with only 11:57 on the night.
- Anybody else think McLellan went with a weird choice in Patty Maroon on the shootout? Before tonight, he had only ever had one other shootout attempt and it was a miss. Strange choice.
- Got absolutely slaughtered on the shot clock in regulation with the Predators leading 27-17 after to periods. They game finished with the Preds leading 44-32 and it really wasn’t close.
- They got killed in the faceoff circle too, winning only 41% of the draws.
- Way too many penalties for the Oilers tonight. I know a couple of them were bad luck (flipping the puck out) but there were still too many opportunities given to the Predators. Not to mention, killing all those penalty minutes kept a lot of the offensive guys on the bench.
- It seems like the NHL rulebook is more of a suggestion than an actual thing that refs are supposed to follow. Too many men? Bah! That’s cool. Slashes and hacks? No problem.
|17:12||Nashville||Viktor Arvidsson (11) ASST: Filip Forsberg (17), Ryan Johansen (24)||1-0|
|17:53||Edmonton||Matt Hendricks (2) ASST: Zack Kassian (10)||1-1|
|06:55||Nashville||Ryan Ellis (8) ASST: Ryan Johansen (25), Matt Irwin (6)||2-1|
|15:31||Edmonton||PPG – Milan Lucic (11) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (24), Connor McDavid (40)||2-2|
|Edmonton||Missed – Mark Letestu|
|Nashville||Goal – Ryan Ellis|
|Edmonton||Missed – Patrick Maroon|
|Nashville||Goal – James Neal|
BEST OF THE TWEETS
Hendricks with the false flag fight to distract the refs while Lucic pummels McLeod @OilersNation
— morkalork (@morkalork) January 21, 2017
— Douglas Pynn (@DouglasPynn) January 21, 2017
— The Towel Boy (@TheTowelBoy) January 21, 2017
@OilersNation keeps the top line fresh for the 3rd…?
— Shaun Ali (@shaunathan) January 21, 2017
“I didn’t feel like it.” – Referee
— Ryan ? (@IAmByks) January 21, 2017
@OilersNation at least the Oilers won the fights
— JB (@El_PadrinoJB) January 21, 2017
I’ll take the point
— Matt Henderson (@Archaeologuy) January 21, 2017
VOTE FOR TEAM NUGE!