We’d like to thank the Colorado Avalanche for being gracious house guests and hosts over the past few days. Final Score: 4-1 Oilers
When these two teams met up on Thursday it was supposed to be a cakewalk win for the Oilers, at least that’s what the standings would have lead you to believe. What actually happened was 40 minutes of embarrassing hockey followed by one of the most productive periods of the season. We saw both Jekyll and Hyde in that game, and the result was frustration for a fanbase that can’t quite figure out why this team can completely miss entire periods in a hockey game.
Coming into tonight’s game, the Oilers had to be ready from the drop of the puck. As bad as Colorado has been all season, you don’t want to give them leads and expect to the able to come back every team. Bad or not, they’re still an NHL team with some dangerous players that can burn you if given the chance. Edmonton got the start they wanted as Pouliot opened the scoring less than two minutes the game, and even though Colorado was able to tie the game up temporarily the Oilers reclaimed the lead shortly after and never looked back. After reclaiming the lead at the end of the first period, Edmonton never looked back and never trailed for a second.
Even with the Oilers taking a lead into the third period this game didn’t feel like it what nailed shut just quite yet. As a whole, Edmonton’s low moments in tonight’s game were much better than the cluster funk from early on in Thursday night’s game (low bar, I know) but there were still too many lulls in their play through the first 40 minutes again. To their credit, the Oilers were able to bend without breaking in tonight’s game and were also getting the big saves from Brossoit that they needed to carry them through the slower times. The Avalanche may have got their share of zone time but it didn’t translate into any offence. Also like Thursday night, the Oilers beat the Avs into submission in the third period as they once again piled on goals in the final frame.
At the end of the night, the Oilers once again beat a team that they are supposed to beat and they took added two big points to their total and move themselves another game closer to clinching.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- It was a quick start for the Oilers as Benoit Pouliot was able to successfully screen and tip home the opening goal (his 8th) less than two minutes into the first period. ? has been much better since coming back from injury and that extra production could be huge coming down the stretch and into the playoffs.
- Leon Draisaitl one-timed (FOR REAL! I ❤️ one timers) home his 27th goal of the season off of a beautiful pass by Drake Caggiula. Caggiula temporarily replaced Pat Maroon on the first line and he made an immediate impact.
- Drake Caggiula followed up on his wonderful assist with a big power play goal in the third period. Nuge set him up perfectly with a shot/pass in the slot and the Drake tipped it perfectly for his 6th goal of the season. The Drake has really played well over the past couple weeks and is providing a nice little boost of secondary scoring.
- The Oilers were great on the power play tonight and he added another power play goal (his 16th) after being in the right place at the right time to bank home a shot that bounced into the slot off of the end boards. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins finds himself with back-to-back multi point games as he finished the night with a goal and an assist.
- Laurent Brossoit was great again tonight and really dialled his game in after allowing a goal on the second shot of the night. Even then, that goal was a nice one and I you have to give Andrighetto credit for making a nice play. Aside from the one goal, Brossoit was rock solid for the rest of the night stopping 23 shots and finishing with a .960 save%.
- Andrej Sekera was great again tonight and he was rewarded with two assists for his efforts. Sekera has been a stabalizing force all year long and has really come into his own this season.
- Another big minutes night for Oscar Klefbom as he played 24:40 worth of solid minutes. Klefbom has been a workhorse on the back end and he’s getting better by the minute.
- The Oilers won both sides of the special teams battle tonight by going 2/4 on the power play and also killing off all three of Colorado’s chances with the man advantage.
- The Oilers have a chance to clinch on Tuesday night. You have no idea how happy I am to be able to write that.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Less than a minute after the Oilers opened the scoring, Avalanche were able to tie the game up at one goal apiece. Sven Andrighetto was able to fight off Adam Larsson and make a nice move to his backhand that he finished off through Brossoit’s five-hole.
- Matt Benning unintentionally blocked a shot in the third period and had to be helped off the ice by his teammates. Benning couldn’t put any weight on his right leg and it was just a bad scene in general. Here’s hoping that he isn’t out for any length of time.
- The Oilers had too many passes that were just a bit off tonight and it gave the Avalanche more puck time than they would have otherwise had. It was just a small detail that they need to tighten up going forward.
- Why have two referees on the ice if neither of them are going to call anything. The ridiculous crosscheck by Beauchemin on Pat Maroon in the first period happened right in front of the net and neither ref managed to call it. It’s ridiculous.
- The NHL site had the Oilers listed with 13 giveaways but my eyes would have had that number a little bit higher. Colorado wouldn’t have had nearly as many chances had the Oilers not given the puck to them as often as they did. More shooting, less passing sometimes please.
- The Oilers were better in the faceoff circle than they were on Thursday night but they still came in at 47% on the dot. Not too bad against the Avs who are lights out on faceoffs.
|01:54||EDM||Benoit Pouliot (8) ASST: Matt Benning (11), Zack Kassian (16)||0-1|
|02:33||EDM||Sven Andrighetto (5) ASST: Mark Barberio (10)||1-1|
|10:47||EDM||Leon Draisaitl (27) ASST: Drake Caggiula (10), Connor McDavid (62)||1-2|
|08:46||EDM||PPG – Drake Caggiula (6) ASST: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (22), Andrej Sekera (26)||1-3|
|15:34||EDM||PPG – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (16) ASST: Andrej Sekera (27), Kris Russell (9)||1-4|
BEST OF THE TWEETS
Maybe if Maroon had left an actual kidney on the ice that might have been two minutes?
— Bruce McCurdy (@BruceMcCurdy) March 26, 2017
@OilersNation Groin spears…the precedent has been set
— David Smitten (@DavidSmitten) March 26, 2017
@OilersNation Thank you! SO proud and humbled to sing these guys on.
— x-Robert Clark (@RobClarkTenor) March 26, 2017
— Ryan Dunkley (@ryandunkley) March 26, 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.