WHEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Final Score: 6-3 Oilers
I’m not going to lie to you guys, I was pumped to see Philly on the schedule this week. The last time these two teams met back in December, they were going at each other with venom and hatred. That’s old school and I like it. Coming into tonight’s game, I was hoping that we were going to see even half of the anger displayed in the first round of the season series. Not to mention, the Oilers blew a sizeable lead in that first game and I was hoping that they could channel their Brandon Manning-related rage into two points in the standings. Any face punchery would be a cherry on top.
With the way the game started, I thought that we might be let down on the rage side of the equation, but at least Matty Hendricks made sure that the Oilers got a good head start on winning the game. The old boy scored for the second straight game and it seemed to give the team a boost, or at the very least, it shattered Neuvirth enough for them to build themselves a two-goal lead after 20 minutes. Rather than sit back and rest on the sweetness of the first frame, the Oilers continued to apply pressure and were able to build on their lead with three consecutive goals. With the offence under control, Edmonton even had time to take care of the much anticipated ‘Manning versus Everyone’ punch up of 2017.
Heading into the third period, I felt pretty good about where the Oilers were at in terms of not only winning the game but, more importantly, how they were able to open the floodgates and end their offensive drought. Much like they did against Arizona, the Oilers found different ways to score goals and get contributions from every line. It’s not overly surprising that the Flyers weren’t able to keep up. Fortunately for Edmonton, tonight was one of those nights where the offence was rolling, Talbot was solid, and they were able to hide and absorb any mistakes that were made. We could complain about giveaways but I’m choosing to look on the bright side. It’s a great night when the Oilers win by three goals, Brandon Manning took a few fist kisses and our boys in blue are hitting the road on a two-game winning streak.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- If we were playing NBA Jam, Matt Hendricks would have his skates on fire because he scored another goal tonight (his fourth). When was the last time anyone expected Matty Hendricks to pump in goals on back-to-back games?
- Leon Draisaitl scored his team-leading 22nd goal by deflecting in a beautiful pass from Matt Benning. Big Sexy 2.0’s line was buzzing all night and I think McLellan is going to keep this trio together for a while.
- Over the past couple games Jordan Eberle has been in on some excellent chances and he was able to convert on one tonight for his 12th goal of the year. Eberle showed off some nice hands in tight as he pulled the puck to his backhand and roofed it over Neuvirth. The puck was in and out of the net so fast that the Oilers weren’t even sure that it was a goal for a moment. Eberle added an assist on McDavid’s third period goal, snapping the slump with a two-point night.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also got off the snide as he was in the right place at the right time when the puck deflected off of his skate and into the net for his 12th goal of the year. Nuge needed a goal and I’m sure he’ll happily take them any way he can get them right now. Like Eberle, let’s hope that their respective goals give them a little bit of confidence. Nuge finished the night with two points.
- Oscar Klefbom continues to improve as the season progresses and that includes putting points up on the board. Klefbom got his 10th goal of the year by absolutely ripping the puck home from the blue line after McDavid set him up on a tee. Aside from the goal, Klefbom finished the night with three shots, 22:10 on the ice, and another sunshine sticker on his resume.
- Once again Connor McDavid took over the game and put up another three points to reclaim the league lead in points from Crosby. I don’t know how many ways I can say that Connor is awesome so I used a Thesaurus. Here we go: amazing astounding, bewildering, breathtaking, extraordinary, impressive, marvellous, spectacular, staggering, startling, stunning, striking, stupefying, stupendous, wonderful, wondrous… you get the idea.
- Cam Talbot won his 29th game of the year in a good but not great night for the Oilers’ starter. Even if he would want any of those three goals back, he was able to get enough run support from the offence where it wasn’t up to him to steal the game. Dadbot finished the night with 33 saves and a .917 save%.
- Shout out to Matt Benning for putting in a solid 20 minutes and getting a primary assist on Draisaitl’s tally
- Shout out to the Oilers’ big boys for making life difficult for Brandon Manning. Like Mark Spector said in the first intermission, the Oilers haven’t had a team capable of protecting its stars like this in a long time and it was nice to see them continue to rally around their captain.
- Speaking of making life tough for Brandon Manning, Patty Maroon tuned his clock in the second period in a spirited tilt. As always, you watch this and all of Pat Maroon’s fights on his player page over at HockeyFights.com. In addition to the fight, Maroon hit the scoresheet two more times with a pair of assists.
“He plays the game hard. I respect that. He responded. He stood in. It was a good fight. Good for him. Now we move on.” Maroon on Manning
— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) February 17, 2017
- The Oilers finished the night at 52% in the faceoff circle. HAZZAH!
- Chris VandeVelde didn’t score. Take that, Universe!
THE FACE PALMERS
- Radko Gudas walked past Milan Lucic for an open lane to the net and he made no mistake when the puck arrived. Lucic was late and Gudas capitalized.
- The Oilers got caught sleeping late in the second period and it cost them a goal. They were trying to break out of their zone but, once again, their own sloppy passing came back to haunt them. Edmonton should’ve been up 5-1 headed into the third period but poor puck management bit them for a late period goal.
- How did the Oilers not get a single power play all night? Philly got three chances with the man advantage and the Oilers didn’t get anything? I really doubt the Philadelphia Flyers were so saintlike that they did nothing to merit a few minutes here or there.
- Drew Remenda praised the Flyers for losing the coach’s challenge because it was a good use of a timeout. Smrt.
- The Oilers got outshot 35-26 tonight and the biggest reason for it was because of the giveaways. The NHL website has the Oilers listed with 33 giveaways tonight compared to 10 for Philly.
|02:14||Edmonton||Matt Hendricks (4) ASST: Mark Letestu (15), Iiro Pakarinen (2)||0-1|
|15:19||Edmonton||Leon Draisaitl (22) ASST: Matt Benning (9), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (16)||0-2|
|00:31||Philadelphia||Radko Gudas (3) ASST: Sean Couturier (7)||1-2|
|07:17||Edmonton||Jordan Eberle (12) ASST: Connor McDavid (46), Patrick Maroon (9)||1-3|
|08:32||Edmonton||Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (12) ASST: Eric Gryba (3), Zack Kassian (12)||1-4|
|16:39||Edmonton||Oscar Klefbom (10) ASST: Connor McDavid (47), Matt Hendricks (3)||1-5|
|19:15||Philadelphia||Wayne Simmonds (24) ASST: Brayden Schenn (20)||2-5|
|07:13||Philadelphia||PPG – Brayden Schenn (17) ASST: Jakub Voracek (34), Claude Giroux (30)||3-5|
|14:50||Edmonton||Connor McDavid (19) ASST: Jordan Eberle (22), Patrick Maroon (10)||3-6|
BEST OF THE TWEETS
@OilersNation Todd McLellen’s suit game is ??? tonight.
— Carmen Chinery (@geology24_7) February 17, 2017
— McDavid Ottosen (@dottosen) February 17, 2017
— Maysy Man (@MaysyMan) February 17, 2017
@OilersNation flyers announcers are so salty right now. Called maroon a coward who only shows up at home rink!
— McDavid Ottosen (@dottosen) February 17, 2017
— Noel May (@Noel_May) February 17, 2017
@jsbmbaggedmilk It’s like a marathon. Start with short training runs and work your way up to the main event.
— David Smitten (@DavidSmitten) February 17, 2017
THE #PRAYFORPLAYOFFS PARTY
As you probably expected, the Pray for Playoffs party will be happening at the Pint Downtown on Friday, February 24th, with doors opening at 4pm and the hockey game starting at 5pm. Aside from making sure we’re all well hydrated, we’ve got the usual swag bags planned along with raffles, giveaways, and more. I encourage you to start coughing now so that your boss won’t be suspicious when you call in sick.
As always, it wouldn’t be a Nation party without trying to raise as much money as possible for our charity partner, Sport Central. If you’re unfamiliar with their work, Sport Central is a local organization dedicated to making resources available to assist kids in sports in the Edmonton area as well as central and northern Alberta.
Your $20 ticket gets you:
- A Pray for Playoffs Party t-shirt
- A $20 Pint GC
- $10 worth of Oodle Noodle GCs
- A lottery ticket for our door prizes
- Access to the exclusive Pray for Playoffs NationGear launch
- You’ll be in attendance for the re-launch of NationBeer! Yes, we have our own beer now. Not only that, we’ll buy a beer for the first 100 people to show up with their ticket as a thank you for your support.
As always, all proceeds from ticket sales will be donated directly to Sport Central so bring your friends, get involved, and help us support a community in need. You can get your tickets here before they sell out.
This is a party that’s been 10 years in the making and you’re going to want to be a part of it.