GDB 65.0 Wrap Up: Put Your Hands Up for Detroit

WE’RE GOING STREAKING! Final Score: 4-3 Oilers

Did anyone else feel like having to wait for an 8pm start for the first Oilers game back after a four-day break was kind of like a kick to the pills? I was excited for this thing to get going all day long, but every time I looked at the clock it felt like there was still an eternity to wait before the game started. It’s strange to feel exciting about watching hockey in March, but I love it. Late start complaints aside, this was a game that the Oilers absolutely had to win. The Red Wings are in last place in their division, they sold some of their veterans at the trade deadline, and they played last night in Calgary – that was a trifecta of opportunity for Edmonton.

Even though Detroit is having a tough year, this wasn’t going to be some cake walk. If they were going to win, the Oilers were going to have to be relentless and bully a weaker team in the same way that was done to them so many times over the past decade. They need to be one of those teams taking advantage of the teams below them in the league standings. The night started out well enough after Connor mashed his turbo button and gave the Oilers an early lead. It was exactly the kind of start that they needed to give themselves some confidence but it was soon undone by sloppy defensive coverage that left Anthony Mantha open in the slot, tying the game at one. Fortunately, the Oilers were on the giving end of a late period goal and were able to reclaim the lead.

After they scored late in the first period, the Oilers were able to keep all four lines rolling with each of those lines finding ways to produce chances and pressure. Edmonton was all over the Red Wings in all three zones of the ice and the only real reason that the game never really got out of hand was Petr Mrazek. The Wings’ goaltender was rock solid for them and was arguably the sole reason (outside of luck) that his team was able to keep the game close for as long as they did. Sure, Detroit got some lucky bounces and a few goals, but this game wasn’t as close as the scoreboard would have you believe. The Oilers played well and deserved the two points. Mrazek just kept things interesting.

Wrap it like it’s hot

THE BRIGHT SIDE

Eminem

  • Connor McDavid scored his 22nd goal of the year by absolutely flying past the Detroit defender and making no mistake on a backhand move past Petr Mrazek. The kid is lightning on ice and I’ll never get tired of watching him play hockey. Not that you’ll be surprised, but Connor wasn’t finished with the goal alone. He assisted on Pat Maroon’s third period goal for his 22nd multi-point game of the night.
  • Zack Kassian got his 6th goal of the year by parking himself in front of the net and deflecting in Adam Larsson’s wrister from the point. The goal was originally credited to Larsson but was switched over to Kassian in the first intermission. Lil D, David Desharnais, also got his first point as an Oiler after winning the draw back to Larsson that started the whole play.
  • Jordan Eberle scored his 14th goal of the season on a nice backend from the left side of the slot. The Wings had been pressing up until that point in the third period and Eberle’s goal was desperately needed to cut off that momentum. Once again, the EberNucic line was producing and causing a ruckus. 
  • Pat Maroon hadn’t scored in a while but he got a big one tonight (his 21st). Mrazek had just robbed Draisaitl off of a nice pass from McDavid and Pat Maroon was there to smash home the second chance that was created off of the rebound. 
  • Shout out to David Desharnais for registering an assist in his first game with the Oilers. I thought he looked solid out there despite only having a few days ofter practice to get himself comfortable with both new systems and teammates. Lil D finished the night with 14:28 on the ice, an assist, and two shots on goal. 
  • Matt Hendricks hit on Sproul at the bench was a thing of beauty. Hendo sent the defenceman into the bench with a well-timed hit and it was one of those body checks that you’re likely to see over and over again.
  • It’s been really nice to have Darryl’s speed on the back end again. Darnell Nurse is one of the few guys that the Oilers have with the ability to jump into the rush late, and it gives them a different dynamic. This blogger is happy to have him back in the lineup.

THE FACE PALMERS

ICP

  • The Oilers got caught watching on Mantha’s first-period goal as he was left alone in the slot where Zetterberg was able to set him up on a tee. It almost looked like the swarm had been initiated again. 
  • Darren Helm gotta away with a cheeky little hook on Andrej Sekera at the blue line and it allowed him to sneak in behind the defence. Dylan Larkin found Helm in alone and he beat Talbot through the five-hole to bring the Red Wings back to within one.
  • Dylan Larkin banged home a loose puck in tight and brought the Wings back to within a goal. Fortunately, Larkin’s goal was too little too late and the late push for a comeback was twarted by the clock.
  • I guess the refs forget that they were able to call penalties tonight. Weird how that happens against the Oilers. 
  • It wasn’t the greatest night for Cam Talbot but I wouldn’t say that the three Detroit goals were his fault either. Fortunately, Dadbot had enough run support to get his 33rd win of the season despite finishing with 22 saves and a .880 save%. 
  • Petr Mrazek was really annoying tonight. We would have been chanting ‘WE WANT 10’ had it not been for him. 
  • I’m starting to get bored of writing that the Oilers were bad on faceoffs but here we are. Edmonton finished at 40% on the dot. 

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
01:41 Edmonton Connor McDavid (22) ASST: Adam Larsson (13) 0-1
15:04 Detroit Anthony Mantha (14) ASST: Henrik Zetterberg (36) 1-1
19:38 Edmonton Zack Kassian (6) ASST: Adam Larsson (14), David Desharnais (7) 1-2

2ND PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
No Scoring

3RD PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
06:58 Edmonton Jordan Eberle (14) ASST: Milan Lucic (22) 1-3
10:26 Detroit Darren Helm (8) ASST: Dylan Larkin (8) 2-3
14:02 Edmonton Patrick Maroon (21) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (32), Connor McDavid (52) 2-4
19:25 Detroit Dylan Larkin (13) ASST: Justin Abdelkader (12), Henrik Zetterberg (37) 3-4

BEST OF THE TWEETS

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THE NATION/APOLLO COLLAB 2.0

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You’ve waited long enough, Nation. Introducing the 2017 @officialoilersnation X @apollo_originals collaboration. We’ve got a new hat, a fresh tee, and a slick new hoodie coming at you to beautify your torso. All of the remaining inventory left over from tonight’s sneak peek at Crash Hotel will hit www.NationGear.ca at 12:01AM (MST) so keep your Internet access handy. These are going to sell out again and once they’re gone they’re gone.

  • Risto's Canon

    “the Oilers were going to have to be relentless and bully a weaker team in the same way that was done to them so many times over the past decade.”

    For some reason this resonates. Should be our mantra for the next couple weeks…

  • Oiler Al

    Me thinks McDavids line spends to much time in their own zone.Seem,s often the entire shift they cant get out and make a rush, and that is mostly done by # 97 himself.
    Is it that defense is not winning puck battles and getting the puck up to them, or is it the forwards.?

  • Not a First Tier Fan

    Couple of notes from the game last night…

    I didn’t mind the officiating – for most of the game it was like they forgot they had whistles… which I prefer over the usual one-sided calls the Oilers normally have to play against. Better nothing be called for either side than calls heavily favouring the opposition.

    Desharnais looked damn good out there. I have a feeling this is going to be another magic beans Chia trade where he saw something that most of us didn’t – and is going to pay off for the team. I know it’s just one game, but if Double-D keeps playing like he did last night then I actually hope he resigns next year (after the expansion draft) and turns out to be more than a rental.

    Khaira was banging last night – awesome to see… except the kid needs to work on his finish. Man he had some golden chances last night in the first period that either just missed the net or hopped over his stick, or that he just didn’t get enough wood on… I guess it will come.

    Hendy was an absolute warrior out there last night. You just can’t say enough good things about Hendricks and the heart that he brings the every game. I kind of wish Hall had taken a little more from him and less from the likes of Whitney. Good news is that it looks like it’s not too late for Eberle and Nuge and hopefully the Hendy spirit keeps rubbing off on them.

    Last point – a Red Wings fan got to chirping with me during the last few minutes of the game last night. It was good spirited but he had a good point when he brought up the steady stream of people leaving the game in the last five minutes… ‘what kind of fans don’t stick around to the end of the game?’ he heckled me.. All the Detroit fans in the section were glued to their seats hoping for a last-minute come back yet the section was steadily emptying of the Oiler fans…

    We haven’t had much to cheer for the last ten years, so I understand… but as a collective group we all need to relearn how to be supportive fans… that means making noise during the games, and not leaving ten minutes early to try to beat traffic..

    Sorry about the long post…

  • Will

    Is everyone enjoying not have to hear about the Oilers are too small anymore?

    Nurse, Kaharia, Shlepyshev, Draisaitl, Kassian, Maroon, Lucic, Larsson, Klefbom, McDavid, and the occasional Gryba make the Oilers a big team. And some of the smaller guys also play a pretty mean game in Hendricks, Cagguila, and now Desharnais. Oh and I hear that Puljujarvi kid is pretty big as well.

    It’s impressive to see. I am looking forward to seeing the direction this teams starts to take through the draft. Do they now feel comfortable going back to some smaller skill players? Do they continue to look for right side offensive defencemen? Or do they keep the power forward train rolling?

  • btrain

    I just want to give Gryba some love. I think he tends to get dismissed a little too easily. The physical brand he brings could give the Oil a huge advantage come playoff time when wearing down your opponent becomes even more important. Honestly the difference between Gryba and a very good 2nd pairing defender is small. He is only just a little slower mentally and physically. Perhaps the thrill of playoffs would close that gap further.

    Anyway, I value what he brings greatly and think he and Nurse as a third pairing come playoff time would be my choice. Love Benning as well but he would be the odd one out for me as I would prefer the size and experience for playoff hockey.