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GDB 68.0 Wrap Up: Come On Really?

Welp… As far as ugly finishes go that ranks right up there. Final Score: 4-1 Canadiens

I can’t even begin to stress how important tonight’s game was for the Oilers. After the Flames beat Winnipeg easily last night (thanks Jets durrr), a game that knocked the Oilers down into a wildcard spot, it was imperative that they used tonight’s game in hand to get themselves back up on top. While the Canadiens are a beatable team they are also a hot and dangerous team, going 7-3-0 in their last 10 games before tonight’s contest. To beat them, Edmonton was going to need to get more of the effort that we saw in the last two periods of Friday night’s game against the Penguins rather than the sit back and wait for doom approach that they took in the first. As we now know, the team that pushed Pittsburgh right to the wire on Friday night was not the one that showed up tonight.

Neither team had a particularly strong start tonight and it felt like both teams spend the first 10 minutes trying to figure each other out. The passing wasn’t particularly strong, there were plenty of whistles to interrupt the flow of the game, and neither team was able to produce much of anything. Unfortunately, the Habs figured out what they needed to do to settle in and get their game going while Edmonton looked like they weren’t really sure whether or not it had even started. For the second game in a row, the Oilers took the first period off before deciding that it was time play some hockey. Once again we saw a different Edmonton Oilers team in the middle frame and they ended up outplaying the visitors and winning the period. I’m not saying that it was a perfect 20 minutes of hockey, but they found ways to bend without breaking and also gave themselves enough offence to take a lead into the third period.

Heading into the third, I was hoping that the Oilers weren’t going to have to rely so heavily on Cam Talbot to maintain their lead, but that was the opposite of what happened. Even though both sides fired away with an array of shots and chances it was only the Canadiens that were able to get anything past the keeper. Montreal put home two goals in just over a minute, Carey Price went into lockdown mode and all of a sudden the Oilers went from looking at points to looking at an extended losing streak. After Alex Galchenyuk’s friendly bounce goal beat Talbot it seemed like nothing could stop the wheels from falling off. I mean, how else would you describe when you allow four uncontested goals to lose in the third period when you had a lead when it started? The Oilers had a chance of climbing up the Pacific Division standings and they blew it by not being ready to play.

Outside of a few bursts here and there, the Oilers didn’t deserve to win the hockey game and they had better learn that lesson pretty quick. Too many more of these kind of nights and they’re going to be on the outside looking in.

The wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

  • Milan Lucic was an absolute beast on the sequence that led to his 15th goal of the year. The big man basically threw Emelin off of him at the Oilers blue line before walking the puck all way down to the Habs zone where he beat Carey Price cleanly with a heavy wrister.
  • Props to the EberNucic line as they continue to produce some wonderful chances throughout the game. This line has responded ever since Todd McLellan put them back together with the tasks of digging themselves out of the holes they were all in.
  • Cam Talbot was fantastic tonight, shutting the door on the Canadiens in the face of some excellent scoring chances. Had it not been for Galchenyuk’s puck luck it would have been Talbot that was the reason that the Oilers were able to hang on. Talbot certainly wasn’t the problem as his night finished with him allowing two goals on 39 shots for a .937 save%.
  • I get to write about the Oilers being solid in the faceoff circle again. I don’t know where the dominance has come from over the past couple games but it’s sending this guy right here from six to midnight. The Oilers finished the night at 67% on the dot.
  • Great tilt by Darnell Nurse and Michael McCarron in the first period. Ol’ Darryl was angry and took out that anger on the Canadiens’ face with a collection of fist kisses. To McCarron’s credit, he turned it up as the fight progresses but my judging card goes to Nurse. As always, you can check out the fight on Nurse’s player page over at HockeyFights.com.
  • I will never get tired of Bob Cole’s voice. I know the ol’ boy has lost a step in terms of announcing but the man is a legend and hearing the voice I grew up on is always nice.

THE FACE PALMERS

  • Paul Byron’s goal was annoying for a few reasons but the first being that the Oilers were outworked below their own goal line. For some reason, both defencemen were behind the goal line along with a forward and no one was covering the front of the net. Once Byron got the puck he had an open lane to the front of the net. Byron added an empty-netter late in the third to seal the game at 3-1 (the Canadiens weren’t done, though).
  • Alex Galchenyuk’s goal is so annoying because it was a lucky bounce that beat Talbot and went in just below the crossbar. Awful luck. Brutal.
  • Max Pacioretty added a second empty-netter after the Oilers gave absolutely no effort with the net empty. The Canadiens had about five or six shots at the net before their captain finally put it in. Terrible.
  • The Oilers allowed four straight goals a third period in which they had the lead. Revolting finish.
  • Personally, I don’t think that this was one of Leon Draisaitl’s best nights. He looked like he was trying to force plays to happen rather than making the simple decision and it was a night that he’d probably like to forget. Actually, that whole line shares the green jacket tonight.
  • The Oilers wasted some big power play opportunities that would have surely made life impossible for the Habs. I’m thinking mostly about the four-minute double minor to Emelin in the 2nd period. The Oilers only got four shots during those four minute and most of them came within the final 45 seconds.
  • The shots were 41-25 for Montreal. The end result shouldn’t be all that surprising.
  • The NHL site has the Oilers listed with 11 giveaways but I’m not sure I buy that. I feel like the bean counter was a little bit generous with such a low total.
  • It’s physically upsetting to see that many Canadiens fans enjoying themselves in our building. Truly gross.

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
No Scoring

2ND PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
04:17 Edmonton Milan Lucic (15) 0-1

3RD PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
13:33 Montreal Paul Byron (17) ASST: Phillip Danault (22), Brendan Gallagher (13) 1-1
14:42 Montreal Max Pacioretty (32) ASST: Alex Galchenyuk (24), Andrei Markov (26) 2-1
18:53 Montreal Empty Net – Paul Byron (18) 3-1
19:33 Montreal Empty Net – Max Pacioretty (33) ASST: Paul Byron (16) 4-1

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THE NATION/APOLLO COLLAB 2.0

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  • oilersfan30

    Pouliot is still as useful as he was when he was out of the lineup(except on the PK) and Hendricks just doesn’t have it anymore. Play Slepy, Khaira, or Drake for those two we need these wins boys

  • GK1980

    Hmmmm, anyone else getting nervous? Anaheim looks like they are going to win and San Jose has already won. The pacific is hot right now…..except the Oilers.

  • Oiler Al

    Nice goal by Lucici and strong game by Talbot. Note: to McLellan, you are not going to go to far by scoring only one goal night after night. You allow your team to follow into the “sleepy hollow” of a tired road team, instead of coming out and leading an energetic attack. You dont need to look any further than the debacle in the 4 min, power play.
    PS; Send Leon home to bed.

  • kittensandcookies

    Hey guys, some moron on Calgarypuck decided to copy and paste this article wholesale.

    They don’t allow your site, you should ask their dimwit owner to remove the post.

  • SpeakAllEvil😈

    People need to chill-out.

    Oilers aren’t making playoffs because MTL got a goal off a lucky bounce. Give your head a shake people.

    MTL is a good team. You Oiler fans live in a fantasy world that this team can win every night. Yeah right. Another rebuild with a rookie core that finished 29th last year is doing way better than last year but they still have a long way to go.

  • slats-west

    Not our best game …but a few players are coasting again. Drai is the most noticeable and he just fought the puck all night. They were commenting AGAIN about poor ice conditions on the radio after the game. This has to get fixed. With Mvdacid in our lineup they should be able to have Olympic speed skating tryouts on our ice.

    Maroon is also looking a bit lost and is not just shooting the puck hard like he was before. Lucic however is shooting it from everywhere. Wouldn’t be a surprise to see him move up to #1 and Pouliot to the 2nd and Maroon with 3rd line.

    On the PP I would be giving Desharnais a look as he played on Habs #2 unit (#1 unit last year) and has the wheels to skate with McDavid.

    We’ll be fine ON ….. but we do love to make things hard don’t we???!!!!

    • GK1980

      You guys have mentioned the ice bouncing around at Rogers a few times lately and man could you see it last night. What’s up with the ice at Rogers place? Is it really that bad?

  • DoubleDIon

    Good to see the Oilers lose to a team we just crushed 5-0. I really hope we get you guys in the first round. I just don’t think you’re good enough to hold onto 3rd in the Pacific. I told you all when our goaltending improved Calgary was the better team.

    • OilersGM

      Everything is rosy right now but don’t expect your Lames to keep the winning streak forever. Remember when Columbus had a winning streak, it eventually ended so will yours. You guys will cool down when we heat up. Mark it down.

  • Petrolero

    Great job oilers nation. You guys had to roll up a new site in the thick of the season when traffic is highest. Who’s brilliant idea was that? Why not eat till the aummer when u have time to test it properly and work out the kinks? If the Oilers miss the playoffs I’m going to blame it on you. What’s their record since you rolled out the new site?
    Love the mobile version though. Crisp aummer easy to scroll and read. Peace out sobs

  • techmage

    Game 68 and they are still not able to show up for a whole 60 minutes? Hoping/ praying for Talbot to have a shutout and win 1-0. I hate Calgary with a passion and just wish they would go away, BUT they play as a TEAM. Its the one ingredient that this bunch hasnt figured out yet. Conner & Talbot are 2 great players but they are no messiah’s and will NOT lead the Oilers to the playoffs by themselves.

  • techmage

    Now we have to forget about Calgary. The team we have to worry about is LA. 7 points behind, a game in hand and 3 meetings in the next 3 weeks.
    LA is 5-3-2 over the last 10 games( 12 pts). Oilers are 3-6-1( 7 pts)If both teams maintain the same record over the next 10 games, then heading into the final week of the season the Oilers will have 4 games left to play and sitting at 86 points. LA will have 5 games left and sitting at 84 points.
    I can see the Oilers and Kings tied for points and wins and our playoff hopes will depend on whether we win the season series with LA. Currently series tied 1-1 with 3 games left to play with them.

    • S cottV

      I’ve long believed that this would come down to the last wild card spot and that Quick and an LA Kings rally would be a key factor.
      McL has put more emphasis on trying to find offensive chemistry than developing team systems in all areas of play.
      We do not have a strong foundation of team play. It comes down to whether or not McD, Drai, and Talbot, can break through with extraordinary play – to get us wins. McL has played those cards too much. This is gonna be a lot tighter than a lot of people think.

  • OILFANMEXICO

    Can someone PLEASE explain in detail how Nuge and Ebs are worth $6 Mil a season? Nuge has yet to play a full 82 game season and 56 pts was his best season! Ebs looks better in the stat column ,but sure doesn’t on the ice. I think teams are used to their, button -hook cycle entering the zone. what the hell are we going to do? Or better yet, what is Chiarelli going to do? To me it looks like these two need a new home. They are just not getting it done and don’t fit into our new team, obviously. One only has to look at the stat column to realize this. You can get alot better bang for your buck with 6 mil to spend.