We want all of the goals. Final Score: 7-4 Oilers
It’s weird what a playoff push will do to a person. I was one of the biggest Bruins fanboys on the planet last night because I
wanted needed them to beat Calgary and end their winning streak. It’s a strange feeling to not only need the Oilers to win but to also be cheering for other teams to win or lose depending on the situation. I’m almost concerned that my liver won’t remember that we’ve dealt with this kind of thing before. If not, I hope it’s a quick learning curve. That said, I wouldn’t trade this playoff push related stress for the world and the biggest problem is that it’s been so long. Besides, I couldn’t take another year of draft talk and, frankly, I hope that none of us will ever have to care about the draft lottery again (unless we’ve traded for additional first round beans, of course).
As far as starts go, Edmonton couldn’t have done much better with the offensive outburst they were able to manufacture in the first period of tonight’s game. Early on, the Bruins were getting chances to score and all kinds of zone time, but that all changed after the Oilers pumped three goals past Tuuka Rask in a matter of minutes. It was exactly the kind of start that they needed against a Boston team that was red hot coming in. That’s not to say that there weren’t a few bumps in the road, though. The Bruins were able to hang around and close the gap to within one goal before the Oilers managed to add a fourth gino before the first period had even ended. It was madness. Actually, I feel pretty good in saying that that was one of the most ridiculous (in the good way) periods of hockey that I have ever watched, and it was almost exhausting to remember that there were still another 40 minutes left to play. But, like good citizens, we forged onward.
Amazingly, the action didn’t slow down as the offensive onslaught continued with five more goals being scored in the second period. The goals were coming in bunches for both teams and it seemed like any time the Oilers were able to extend their lead the Bruins found ways to hang around and chip away at the deficit. The result of the back and forth ended up being 40 minutes of amazingly entertaining hockey that set the Nation ablaze and sent Flames fans scrambling for new ways to troll our social media and the GDB’s comments section. Despite the lack of scoring in the final frame, there were still plenty of chances to go around and the excitement never seemed to stop. I’m not sure that the coaches would have wanted a game that was this wide open, but the Oilers won and it sure was fun to watch. Not to mention, the standings look so much sexier with Calgary looking up at us.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- What can you say about the run Pat Maroon found himself on in the first period? The Big Rig pumped home two goals (his 23rd and 24th) in 59 seconds and it (temporarily) set the Bruins back on their heels. Maroon also used his hands for physical destruction as he squared off with Adam McQuaid in a spirited tilt and the end of the first period. As always, you can check out the full fight on Patty’s player page over at HockeyFights.
- After going a millennium without a goal, Benoit Pouliot now has ginos in back-to-back games. If ? can get going with consistency over the remaining games that would be huge for the Oilers. I’d like to think that maybe he can recapture some of that Rangers playoff magic that he once had, but then again maybe I’m just an optimist?
- Anton Slepyshev had been out of the lineup for a while before replacing Iiro Pakarinen for the past few nights. The move paid off as Slep put home his fourth goal of the year by batting the puck out of the air after Connor’s pass flipped up to him. With the way he’s playing I’m not sure that McLellan will be able to pull him out of the lineup.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored his 15th goal of the year on the power play by firing the puck at the net and having just enough juice on it to beat the goaltender and slide just past the line. Nugey has goals in back-to-back games and was another member of the EberNucic line to produce tonight. The goal was originally credited to Drake Caggiula but was switched to RNH later in the game.
- After being criticized for looking tired, Leon Draisaitl had lit himself back on fire with another big night as he added three more points to his total. Draisaitl scored his 24th goal of the year by walking the puck in tight and beating Khodobin on a perfectly placed shot on the short side.
- Milan Lucic has been on a roll lately and it continued tonight when his 16th goal of the year banked in off his skate when he didn’t even look sure that he knew where the puck is. When you’re rolling like Looch you’re getting some luck and the good luck went his way again.
- It was fun to watch the McDavid/Marchand battle tonight because both players were flying and both produced three points for their respective teams. Fortunately for us, Connor’s production contributed to an Oilers win. McDavid wins.
- How about the former Habs line, DeKaPou, causing a ruckus again tonight. Desharnais has really solidified the centre position on the third line and their production is starting to increase as a result.
- Two assists for Darnell Nurse – atta be Darryl!
- I’m sure if you asked Talbot he wouldn’t be happy about a couple of the goals that went in, but it didn’t matter in the end as the team in front of him was able to score a touchdown and convert on the extra point. Talbot finished the night with 32 saves and a .889 save%. At the end of the day, a win is a win and that’s what’s most important.
- The Oilers had a great night on the power play, shaming the Bruins on three of six power play chances. Solid night indeed.
- Look who won the faceoff battle AND the hockey game. Did you guess Edmonton? Of course you did. Our hometown heroes finished the night winning 54% of the draws.
- Shout out to Tuuka Rask. Great job tonight.
THE FACE PALMERS
- The Oilers had lit themselves on fire with three first-period goals. We were all enjoying the comfortable lead until Pastrnak got the Bruins on the board on the power play. The Oilers need to get better at killing penalties. I don’t know what they have to do to get there but they need to make it happen. Hire a witch doctor for all I care – just kill penalties.
- The Oilers got caught sleeping on Brad Marchand’s first period goal. It seemed like everyone was watching Chara and it left one of the hottest players in the game alone at the side of the net. It didn’t take long for Marchand to go from taking a pass to draining an easy goal. Point being that Edmonton has to defend much better than they did then.
- David Krejci’s goal was a one-timer blast that beat Cam Talbot on the power play. I’m not sure that Talbot had much of a chance to stop the puck after Marchand set Krejci up on a tee.
- It’s been a while since I’ve had to complain about a shorthanded goal but I get the opportunity tonight. The Oilers gave Dominic Moore all kinds of time to walk into the zone as though it was the Bruins that had the power play. Combine the time, space, and an accidental screen from Klefbom and that’s a mix for a bitter cocktail.
- Bush league play by Zdeno Chara to grab Zack Kassian and start throwing punches when Kass wasn’t even looking in his direction. Kassian challenge Chara to a scrap, Chara said no, but then he changed his mind and started swinging while the Edmonton forward was skating away.
- The penalty kill got hit for a couple goals tonight, and it bears repeating that they need to figure out how to tighten up when they’re down a man. Boston went 2/4 on the power play tonight.
- Man, was the reffing ever inconsistent tonight. At times they seemed to be calling everything, and then other times Pat Maroon takes a stick to the face right in front of them and there’s no call.
|04:29||EDM||PPG – Patrick Maroon (23) ASST: Jordan Eberle (27), Andrej Sekera (22)||0-1|
|05:28||EDM||Patrick Maroon (24) ASST: Connor McDavid (53), Leon Draisaitl (36)||0-2|
|08:23||EDM||Benoit Pouliot (7) ASST: David Desharnais (8), Darnell Nurse (3)||0-3|
|12:29||BOS||PPG – David Pastrnak (31) ASST: Brad Marchand (41), Ryan Spooner (25)||1-3|
|17:44||BOS||Brad Marchand (37) ASST: Patrice Bergeron (31), Zdeno Chara (16)||2-3|
|19:09||EDM||Anton Slepyshev (4) ASST: Connor McDavid (54), Darnell Nurse (4)||2-4|
|02:06||EDM||PPG – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (15) ASST: Drake Caggiula (8), Jordan Eberle (28)||2-5|
|04:17||BOS||SHG – Dominic Moore (10) ASST: Adam McQuaid (7)||3-5|
|06:46||EDM||Leon Draisaitl (24)||3-6|
|14:49||EDM||PPG – Milan Lucic (16) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (37), Connor McDavid (55)||3-7|
|19:28||BOS||PPG – David Krejci (20) ASST: Brad Marchand (42), Torey Krug (40)||4-7|
BEST OF THE TWEETS
— Devin Van Domselaar (@Devin4444) March 17, 2017
Trying to imagine how big a Maroon playoff goal celly would be and i just sprained my brain
— Wanye (@WanyeGretz) March 17, 2017
@OilersNation it's a whole game in one period. It's times like these you're glad you made it through the last 10 years.
— Nathan McLean (@nathanmclean0) March 17, 2017
@jsbmbaggedmilk "baseball tricks"
— BabychStache (@mcclain_cody) March 17, 2017
— Marküs (@MarkTouw) March 17, 2017
THE NATION/APOLLO COLLAB 2.0
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