Back to Vancouver with you. Shoo fly. Final Score: 2-0 Oilers
We’ve talked about winnable games a lot lately and tonight’s matchup was no exception. Now that the Canucks are finally embracing the tank lifestyle it was imperative that the Oilers treat them like a rebuilding team. I wanted Edmonton to serve up the same kind of horrifying night that we’ve suffered through so many times over the past 10 years. The Canucks beat the Oilers so many times throughout this rebuild that I wish nothing but sadness for their fairweather fanbase. Tonight’s game was an opportunity to kick the dead horse that is the 2016-17 Vancouver Canucks and I wanted the blows to be heavy and frequent. Swing and a miss on that one.
With the way the game started it didn’t look like Oilers were as interested in destroying Vancouver as I was. The Canucks controlled most of the first period and the Oilers were lucky that Cam Talbot was dialled in and able to keep the score at goose eggs. The boys were floating around the ice like they had been taking NyQuil shots before the game started and, frankly, they were lucky that they got away with it. For me, the most troubling part had to be the lack of attention to detail that happened over and over again like the missed six-foot passes and generally being a step late to get almost everywhere. It wasn’t until Connor opened the scoring late in the second period that the Oiler finally started to find some life.
As much as we all expected that the Oilers would carry a lead into the third period getting there was a lot more difficult that we had assumed. The frustration comes from the fact that Vancouver didn’t play all that well, but the Oilers felt the need to sink to their level for some reason. Fortunately, Cam Talbot channelled his inner wall and he was able to cover up all of the mistakes that were the result of the sloppy play in front of him. That said, Edmonton was able to complete the job they set out to do and they were able to add two big points to their total leapfrogging the Flames in the process. A win is a win and that’s all that matters in a playoff race.
It may not have been a perfect win but we’re still allowed to count it, and that’s what matters in the end.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- The Oilers desperately needed something to happen in the second period and, as we’ve come to expect, it was the Captain the stepped up his game and got the job done. Connor scored his 25th of the year on a beautiful shot against the grain that beat Richard Bachman above the shoulder. McDavid reclaimed the NHL points lead with the game winner in tonight’s contest. Connor, if you ever read this I just want you to know how much we love you. Thank you.
- Mark Letestu has been clutch on the power play this season and he tied his career high with 14 goals after blasting home a power play clapper from the left side. It’s amazing how he’s added a different dynamic to the PP after McLellan decided to put him there, a move that many of us snickered at.
- Beautiful pass by Leon Draisaitl to Mark Letestu for the second goal. Sometimes those cross ice passes can be scary but when they work it sure can result in a beautiful goal and that’s what happened tonight.
- Cam Talbot was locked in again tonight as he completed his sixth shutout of the season by stopping all 33 shots that got fired his way. Talbot kept the score tied at zero when the team in front of him looked like they were half asleep. Had it not been for Dadbot slamming the door early this game could have ended with the opposite result.
- Oscar Klefbom played a team-high 24:42 and added an assist on Mark Letestu’s goal, adding another excellent outing to his warlord scrapbook. Watching his transformation as the season’s progressed has been fun to watch.
- They may not have scored but the EberNucic line was one of the more consistent lines for 60 minutes. They were able to generate chances all night long and should have probably cashed in a goal or two.
- The power play clicked again when Mark Letestu let the hammer down in the third period. The PP has been hot fire over the past couple weeks and tonight was no different.
- Not to be outdone, the penalty kill was also solid as they didn’t really allow the Canucks to produce much of anything in either of their two chances. We’ve all been ripping on the PK lately so we should acknowledge a clean sheet as well.
- Pat Maroon needs to make sure his son attends every game until he retires. Big Rig plays better in front of Lil Rig and we need to make it happen.
- I found Robert Clark, the normal anthem singer, and he told us on Twitter that he’ll be back on Monday. The anthem hasn’t been the same without him.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Even though the Oilers finished the first period with seven shots they were getting killed on the shot clock until well past the halfway point.
- Actually, now that I’ve written that things didn’t really get much better through 60 minutes. The Oilers looked flat for the first two periods and it wasn’t a good look considering how well they played in the two games before this.
- We didn’t get seven? What gives?
- Richard Bachman was starting to get really annoying. He should be finding ways to punish Dallas Eakins, not us.
- How did the refs not call an automatic goal when Draisaitl had the puck and got tripped at the end of the game when the net was empty? Easy call, no?
- The Oilers went 40% in the faceoff circle tonight and it seemed off considering how well they’ve been doing lately.
- The NHL site has the Oilers pinned with 19 giveaways (nine for the Canucks) but I could swear that it was more than that. Passing to the tape of a teammate was an issue tonight.
- It was a bad look to get outshot 33-22 by the Vancouver Canucks. That’s not nearly good enough.
|16:42||EDM||Connor McDavid (25) ASST: Andrej Sekera (23), Leon Draisaitl (38)||0-1|
|15:22||EDM||PPG – Mark Letestu (14) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (39), Oscar Klefbom (18)||0-2|
BEST OF THE TWEETS
@OilersNation I'll be back Monday I promise!!
— Robert Clark (@RobClarkTenor) March 19, 2017
— Bumblebee tuna (@ssstrumy) March 19, 2017
I've seen teen mom update tweets from @jsbmbaggedmilk that were more entertaining than this game
— Nelson Hill (@ckrrat) March 19, 2017
— Mandeeeeez (@Mandeeeeez) February 26, 2017
— Adam Blabac (@Ablabac15) March 19, 2017
— Chad Kapatch (@Kapatch) March 19, 2017
THE NATION/APOLLO COLLAB 2.0
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.