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GDB 69.0 Wrap Up: Thanks, We Needed That

Thanks, Dallas! Final Score: 7-1 Oilers

I know that I’ve basically written the exact same intro for each of the last three Wrap Ups, but the point is worth hammering home again — this was a must win hockey game for the Oilers. Full stop. End of story. I don’t need to tell you that the Oilers have lost their last three games and extending the losing streak was not an option. They should have wanted to beat the Stars with the same passion that they have for breathing and road babes. With the way the rest of the Pacific Division teams have heated up it was critical for the Oilers to maintain pace and cut the head off of this devil snake of a losing streak. The Stars are a beatable hockey team right now (5-5-0 in their last 10 before tonight) and I was hoping that their struggles would be the perfect remedy for what ails the struggling Oilers.

Even though they’re not having the season they would have wanted, the Dallas Stars are still a dangerous hockey team with plenty of offensive weapons that can hurt you if given the opportunity. Basically, what that means is that the Oilers had a solid chance of beating the Stars, but if they planned on eating from the dumpster again like they did against Montreal then we were in for another long walk down the short path to a bad time. Fortunately, our fears of another bad start got squashed as the Oilers showed up with a killer instinct like they knew that leaving two points on the table would be painful for everyone. I’m not saying that the Oilers didn’t want to win over the last three games, but I am saying that we haven’t seen much urgency in their game apart from Friday night against the Penguins. That clearly wasn’t the case tonight. This was a motivated Oilers team that grabbed this game by the balls and crushed them into dust.

At the end of the night, the Oilers were the better team and they deserved to win the hockey game. Aside from a few friendly nudges here and there, the Stars weren’t really much of a factor at all. In fact, Dallas was one of the most gracious houseguests that the Oilers have had in a while. They came in, didn’t make much of a mess, they tipped the housekeepers and gave a few of the Oilers a confidence boost that was sorely needed. This was a win that was needed by both the team and fans after a winless week added an extra layer of stress to the playoff push. Most importantly, Edmonton added another two points to the buffer between themselves and the LA Kings and kept pace with the teams they’re chasing in the Pacific. Thanks, Dallas, we needed that.

Wrap it up.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

  • Benoit Pouliot scored his first goal in 28 games and it couldn’t have come at a better time. The first period was over halfway through and the Oilers had just squandered an early power play and the game had the kind of vibe where it felt like the Stars were being allowed to hang around. Pouliot’s goal (his sixth) seemed to break the stalemate and set the Oilers off on a wave of pressure and chances.
  • Oscar Klefbom pumped home his 12th goal of the year on a power play bullet from the point. The power play seems to be running with Klefbom as the shooter lately and it was a successful strategy tonight.
  • Darnell Nurse continues to bring a new angle to the backend with his mobility and willingness to shoot the puck and he was rewarded for it tonight. Darryl cashed in his fourth goal of the year on a shot that most NHL goalies not named Niemi would have stopped but no one ever asks how goals get scored, they ask how many you got. Either way, Darnell Nurse had a great night and he only seems to be getting better since coming back.
  • David Desharnais scored his second goal with the Oilers and sixth of the year by being in the right spot at the right time to catch the puck as it bounced off the end boards. Lil D charged to the side of the net and was able to bang the loose puck past Niemi.
  • Just under two minutes after Desharnais scored, Pat Maroon joined in on the fun with a fantastic individual effort that ended up chasing Niemi from the net. Pat Maroon had been in a drought coming into tonight’s game and, hopefully, his 22nd goal of the year can give him the confidence to open the floodgates a little bit.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins wanted to get in on the action as he scored his first goal in seven games by charging to the net and having the puck bounce in off his skate. Nuge’s 14th goal of the year was a greasy one and the result of getting himself into the grimy areas of the ice. Is it the moustache? You can’t prove it’s not.
  • Connor McDavid was clearly jealous that six of his teammates had scored before him so he decided to add a goal of his own. Connor kicked the extra point (touchdown joke!) off of a beautiful pass by Patty Maroon for his team-leading 24th goal of the year.
  • Leon Draisaitl admitted himself that he needed to play better and he did exactly that against the Stars. Big Sexy put up two points and was a menace to deal with in the offensive zone. Big improvement over the lull he had been in. Here’s hoping he’s en route for another heater.
  • Cam Talbot wasn’t overly busy tonight but he was great when he was tested. Dadbot finished the night with 22 saves and a .957 save%.
  • The top-9 deserve a shout out tonight as the Oilers got offensive contributions from all three of those lines.

THE FACE PALMERS

  • Oscar Klefbom left the game in the second period after taking a puck to the throat. I don’t have to tell you what a massive loss Klefbom would have been and it was almost an out of body experience to see him back on the bench. Sportsnet had a shot of him on the bench and the mark left by getting hit with the puck in the neck was pretty bad. I can only imagine how bad that hurt.
  • Ritchie’s second period goal was scored as a result of some sloppy coverage by the Oilers in their own end. The Stars hadn’t been able to get much going all night and allowing a goal to their fourth line wasn’t really a good look with Ritchie getting left alone in the slot.
  • It’s kinda funny that the fourth line finished with a dash in the minus column on a night when the team scored seven goals in total, right?
  • I was pretty bummed when Antti Niemi got the hook. I thought he was playing great.
  • The Oilers have dominated the faceoff circle over the last three games and they lost all three of those games. Tonight, the Stars absolutely killed them on the dot but got killed on the scoreboard. What does it all mean? Regardless, the Oilers finished the night at 38% in the faceoff circle.

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
12:12 Edmonton Benoit Pouliot (6) ASST: Zack Kassian (14) 0-1
18:01 Edmonton PPG – Oscar Klefbom (12) ASST: Milan Lucic (24), Leon Draisaitl (34) 0-2

2ND PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
02:06 Edmonton Darnell Nurse (4) 0-3
05:42 Dallas Brett Ritchie (12) ASST: Curtis McKenzie (8), Adam Cracknell (4) 1-3
09:30 Edmonton David Desharnais (6) ASST: Anton Slepyshev (6), Andrej Sekera (21) 1-4
11:29 Edmonton Patrick Maroon (22) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (35) 1-5

3RD PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
12:17 Edmonton Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (14) ASST: Milan Lucic (25), Jordan Eberle (26) 1-6
14:00 Edmonton Connor McDavid (24) ASST: Patrick Maroon (12), Zack Kassian (15) 1-7

BEST OF THE TWEETS

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

THE NATION/APOLLO COLLAB 2.0

Screen Shot 2017-03-04 at 1.45.13 PM

You’ve waited long enough, Nation. We are happy to introduce the 2017 Oilersnation 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 designs are up at www.NationGear.ca so keep finding pennies and raiding the couch for change because these babies are going to sell out again and once they’re gone they’re gone.

  • OilersGM

    I commented on the pregame article that we will win and that was half of it the other half is the flames streak will end tomorrow mark my word. Woooooohhhoooooooo.

  • It’s nice to see the Oilers play a pretty responsible game, with forwards coming back for breakouts, and then keeping up the offensive pressure despite having comfortable leads.

    I just hope they keep shooting! Double D’s goal coming from Slepy’s shot, Pouliot’s quick shot from the slot, Darnell’s shot off the wing, I’m happy to see those after a few games of being too cute in the offensive zone.

  • SRELIOFAN

    Maybe I’m just in a good mood because the Oilers won, but I did not mind Remenda tonight. He actually had good things to say about the Oilers… Crazy!

    Side note…I’m not hating on the new site. I’m starting to get used to it and I like it 100 times better on my phone. But can we bring back the ability to sort comments by top cheers, trashes, and by date? K thanks!

  • D

    What would really make my day (year) is for the Flames’ little fake bubble to pop now that they are entering into a tough part of the schedule. How about four more wins for the year Calgary?

  • Thumby

    Anyone else think Slepy could be a damn fine right winger with McDavid? His shot is probably the best on this team and he can skate. Give Drai his own line again and see what happens… ??

  • MessyEH!

    The tables look pretty bad.

    Use the Edm and Dal vs the full name. Use a smaller font the column all appear the same width causing the players names to take up a lot more rows then required.

    As for the comments sections please start banning some of the painful posters.

    • Not a First Tier Fan

      Happy happy happy… the title of this article summed it right up for me… this was the effort I thought we would see when they played Montreal. But hey – one game later is just as good.

      I was really impressed by the Kassian/Des/Pou line tonight. I had a hard time convincing myself that it was Pouliot that was out there. If they keep t up that’s going to be a really hard line for the other teams to play against.

      Keep Slepy’s laces tied.

      So, uhm, where did all the trolls go? Knobhandler – was that his username? Or is that just a fun Friday night for him? (hey – no judgement here….)

  • O.C.

    Just back. First star on night was Zach. What he did without the puck all night (nevermind with) was a CLINIC. Worth the price of admission.

    Remember when we would cringe when we had to play the heavy hitting Stars?

    Out.

  • slats-west

    7-1 and the fLames trolls slink back to their holes and Start thinking about how the high flying Bruins are coming to town to expose Turnstile Wideman …. bye bye

  • Harry2

    Klefbom is an absolute beauty! What a great piece of GMing by Chiarelli signing him to that wicked contract. Pretty funny to thing that Klef AND Larsson combined make less than PK.

  • Stallions #35

    Alright boys! Apparently the secret has always been lose the face offs… we work harder and play better. Not supported by any facts at all…but I will take the win over F/O % all day, everyday.

  • GK1980

    Still stumped why sleps is sitting over pakarinan. Sleps offers more and is the better player in my opinion. He had a great game last night. Paks hasn’t offered anything.

  • Danoilerfanincalgary

    We all love Hendricks for his grit and determination but he is too slow the game has caught up to him and passed him by. Khaira is a better option at this point what does Oiler nation think?

    • Hemmercules

      Get Khaira in there I say. I notice him doing way more good things than Hendy. I think Hendricks brings few things behind the scenes bu his on ice performance leaves something to be desired. Sometimes coaches just like that vet presence at this time of year so I’m not surprised to see him playing.

  • madjam

    Taking a look at schedules for the wild card spots , looks like it might come down to Nashville or L.A. for the last spot . St.Louis has by far the easiest schedule of those 3 and should be a shoe in for one spot without having to go to a wild card spot. Oilers should make it in , looking at their schedule and L.A. getting only a loser point against Arizona last night . Nashville does not have an easy schedule to finish off like some of the others. L.A. has 3 against Oilers and Flames with two of those back to back .

  • Namicus

    Oh for the love of Gord, please, please stop using “Big Sexy” for Draisaitl. Worst nickname ever.

    Trash if you like the name Big Sexy 2.0

    Props if you want Oilers Nation to get more creative with Drai’s handle.

  • MrBung

    I am surprised that Dallas didn’t fix their goaltending. Last year they had the tandem of Niemi/Lehtonen and it wasn’t working that great. Taking that tandem into this season was a big mistake. Good for the Oilers though.

      • Not really. Like always, the Oilers play the #1 goalie while the Flames get struggling goalies. It’s more difficult to play the starter, no matter where the game lands on a back to back.

        Here’s the thing you’d want to keep in mind if you’re a Flames fan, you don’t play backups in the playoffs.

  • paul wodehouse

    one two three…

    #1 Why is the Canadian Government Funding logo only on 2 of 7 Nation sites? I get that the wingsnation.com site isn’t in this country but the rest are and equality of Government Presence is surely important to the now Federally Funded NATION NETWORK … Being privately owned the NATION NETWORK doesn’t need to tell anyone that how much cash the Liberals have ponied up so I’m not going to even guess…but the ad that wants me to join an organization/federation that is lobbying to get the RCMP what appears to be a kind of Union to insure they are properly represented in spite of being funded by the hand they appear to be preparing to bite is asking tootoo much when all I want to do is talk hockey …through some verbal spitballs and have some fun watching a young team lead by a super human hockey player…the new site also begs the question … Trew Knowledge, the site builder, is a Toronto based company…again I’ll never know why they got the contract to do up this abortive attempt at website building but are there not really good website builders in Edmonton? Calgary even? After all our fearless leader DID create this whole Nation Business in Alberta…namely Edmonton after one of it’s native sons was shipped off to the states over money …like you know who! Time and time again I have attempted to post a comment like this one and moments later it is gone …poof…oh no we’ll have none of that dissent in our midst.

    #2 If my suggestion that this new site is akin to obamacare and this is the replace after the repeal, when will some of the things that have been changed be put back where they belong so the site can be as easy to navigate as it once was … I’m not ancient but I am retired …I get lost on this site…it’s not user friendly albeit quicker and less clogged up under it’s own weight but it’s not plain and simple like the last site … I can’t make references to NUMBERED comments because they have been omitted and I can’t Edit my own comments if I want to …just in case I say something that has a typo or I may have gawd forbid pissed off my mother …

    #3 I have written this elsewhere and have copy pasted it into the comment box … maybe baggedmilk is up and at the delete button…it’s 9:30 a.m there so I will time how long it takes for my efforts to get a few things off my chest to go ” poof “…