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GDB 74.0 Wrap Up: Lolorado Implosion

I never doubted them for a second! *shifty eyes* Final Score: 7-4

After dropping a turd in the second and third periods of last night’s game against the Ducks it was hard to imagine the Oilers not finding a way to play better. I know that might be a low bar to clear, but there were moments in last night’s game where I was having acid-like flashbacks to the Eakins era and that’s a place that I don’t ever want to go back to. Seeing the Avalanche on the schedule after the gong show from last night felt like a gift from the Gords. That said, being overconfident about a win before the game has been played is never a good idea and the Oilers had to make sure that they didn’t underestimate their opponent.

I’m not sure that the Oilers underestimated the Avalanche but they sure as hell didn’t show up ready to play. As far efforts go, this one circled the toilet a few times as Talbot allowed a goal on the first shot of the game (didn’t get much help, though), they came out flat, and the team as a whole looked completely disengaged as they watched Colorado take two separate two-goal leads in both the first and second period. Even after they tied the game the first time, Edmonton didn’t look anything like a team that should be able to dominate the last place Avalanche.  Frankly, if a person that knew nothing about hockey had watched the first 40 minutes of this hockey game then I’d bet that they would’ve had no idea which of these two teams is in a playoff spot.

Heading into the third period down by two goals is never a good look but it was even more offensive considering how bad the Avalanche have been this season. That said, it’s because the Avs have been so bad that there was hope that Oilers could find a way to rally and claw their way out of the hole they wound up in. Amazingly, Colorado imploded in such a spectacular fashion that it allowed the Oilers to pump home five straight goals in the third period to give themselves the win. Colorado’s third period collapse was reminiscent of the horrible finishes that we’ve seen as Oilers fans over the past 10 years, and it was strange to be on the other end of it.

It may have been ugly at times, but a win is a win and I think we should take the money and run.

Wrap it like it’s hot.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

  • After a horrific first period, Edmonton was lucky to get on the board when Andrej Sekera snuck the puck through Jeremy Smith’s legs for his 8th goal of the season. Reggie Sekera added two assists in his 20:13 of ice time and wound up as the game’s first star.
  • The Oilers had a much better start to the second period as they were able to tie the game up at two after Milan Lucic outmuscled his man in the crease and was able to tip the loose puck into the wide open net.
  • Zack Kassian seemed to be the only guy that could find the puck as it sat near the goal line behind Jeremy Smith. Kass flew it and knocked the puck in off the line for his 7th goal of the year and third straight that went uncontested.
  • Jordan Eberle needs to produce more and he did exactly that tonight with two big goals an assist for one of his best offensive outbursts of the season.
  • Drake Caggiula scored the game winner after flying down the left wing, taking a beautiful pass from Draisaitl right to his stick, and making a nice move to his backhand for his 5th goal of the season.
  • Leon Draisaitl had a good night after the lines got shuffled and he quietly put up another two points with a power play assist and an empty net goal (his 26th).
  • For the second night in a row, Laurent Brossoit came in and played well in relief of Cam Talbot. For some reason, Colorado was once again able to produce too many chances in the third period but Brossoit was there to lock it down, stopping all six shots he faced.
  • Connor McDavid added two assists to his total which extended his Art Ross lead to three six points over Crosby. Some fools on Twitter were talking about Connor slowing down and then he goes on a run of five points in two games. Amazing.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins put two assists on the board meaning that all EberNucic members ended up with points on the night.
  • Todd McLellan may get some flack for start Talbot (depending who you ask) but he looked smart when he pulled out the blender to mix the lines up. Rattling a few cages seemed to get the boys going and they responded with five straight third period goals.

THE FACE PALMERS

  • Mikko Rantanen scored on the first Avalanche shot of the hockey game. It was a nice enough play by the Avs but the Oilers decided to revert to the swarm defence which left Rantanen open on the right side. Not necessarily on the goalie but you just know that’s not the kind of start that Talbot wanted to have. Rantanen’s second goal of the night was almost a clone of the first after he fired home a one timer from the right side, a skill I wish any Oiler forward had.
  • As if the Oilers couldn’t have started out the game any worse they allowed a follow up goal by J.T. Compher who was able to beat Talbot and make the Oilers look like they were revisiting the swarm for the second time.
  • Rene Bourque’s 12 goal of the season came late in the second period and temporarily halted the Oilers bid for the comeback.
  • Definitely not the night Talbot wanted to have as he ended up getting the hook for the second straight night. That said, not all four goals he allowed were his fault. The Oilers were so bad defensively over the first two periods that most of the pucks that went in were a result of some grade A chances. I’m not putting all the goals on Talbot but you know he’s still not happy about how things went. Dadbot finished the night with 11 saves and a .722 save%.
  • Pat Maroon got bumped off of the first line and wound up playing the fewest number of minutes that he’s had in a while (14:13).
  • I get that Talbot wanted to redeem himself after last night but he ended trying to repair his confidence behind a team that didn’t seem to know that they were even playing a game tonight. Maybe it would have gone better if the Oilers had played like they actually wanted to win in the first two periods. What makes McLellan’s decision frustrating for me is the fact that Brossoit played well in relief last night and didn’t get the opportunity to get back in there until the third period. Meanwhile, Talbot took another shot to the nose and has to think about two straight bad games instead of only one. Confidence matters.
  • The Oilers went 0/2 on the power play and that’s something they’re going to want to improve on for Saturday’s rematch. Colorado has a mediocre PK and the Oilers should be able to take advantage of it.
  • Tough night in the faceoff circle as the Oilers finished the night at 36%. Did it matter? No. Should they still work on getting better? Yes.

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
03:20 COL Mikko Rantanen (15) ASST: Nathan MacKinnon (31) 0-1
09:54 COL J.T. Compher (2) ASST: Joe Colborne (3) 0-2
19:29 EDM Andrej Sekera (8) ASST: Mark Letestu (18), Drake Caggiula (9) 1-2

2ND PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
00:26 EDM Milan Lucic (18) ASST: Jordan Eberle (29), Kris Russell (8) 2-2
04:22 COL Mikko Rantanen (16) ASST: Nathan MacKinnon (32), Sven Andrighetto (10) 2-3
17:45 COL Rene Bourque (12) ASST: Joe Colborne (4) 2-4

3RD PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
02:44 EDM Zack Kassian (7) ASST: Benoit Pouliot (6), Andrej Sekera (24) 3-4
04:34 EDM Jordan Eberle (15) ASST: Andrej Sekera (25), Connor McDavid (60) 4-4
17:49 EDM Drake Caggiula (5) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (43), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (20) 5-4
18:50 EDM Jordan Eberle (16) ASST: Connor McDavid (61) 6-4
19:19 EDM EN – Leon Draisaitl (26) ASST: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (21) 7-4

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    • Mitch92

      Talbot would clearly benefit from a few days off. It is a long season and we will need him in top form for the play-offs. The kid looked good the last couple of partial games so I agree, give him another start.

  • Mitch92

    The Toronto press is beginning to salivate over the possibility of a Leaf vs. Canadiens playoff series. Personally I see the Oilers and the Leafs as being on a collision course. It may not happen this year, but in another year or two as both teams come into their own we could get an all Canadian team final for the ages.