KASS-I-AN! KASS-I-AN! KASS-I-AN! Final Score: 1-0 Oilers
Have you guys missed me? I haven’t written one of these babies in five straight games and I figured it was about time that I sat down and actually wrote my first playoff wrap up. I’ve written 160+ of these post-game recaps and have never been able to talk about the playoffs, and the chance to do it was long overdue. To start, the game looked like a reversal of what happened at Rogers Place on Friday night and I was starting to get nervous. The Sharks were buzzing, the crowd was into it, and the Oilers were hanging on and looking for ways to weather the storm. Fortunately for Oilers fans everywhere, Cam Talbot was the wall that Trump dreams about and he gave his team a chance to win even when things looked ugly early on.
As the game wore on the Sharks’ pressure slowed down a little bit and the Oilers were able to settle into their game and even out the time of possession. Frankly, it was an impressive turnaround. Even so, San Jose wasn’t about to lay down and they maintained their share of the action and both teams were lucky that their goaltenders were ready to play. Heading into the third period with the game locked at donuts meant that every mistake would be amplified and the margin for error was razor thin. This game basically had an overtime vibe to it from the second period onward, and it really wasn’t surprising that Kassian’s game winner was the only goal scored all night.
For the Oilers, this was a massive road win that gives them back the home ice advantage and sets them up to put San Jose on the ropes on Tuesday night. Huge win, boys!
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- How does Zack Kassian follow up Friday night’s performance? With another massive goal, of course. Kassian picked up a loose puck in the slot and he made no mistake getting it through Martin Jones’ gaping five-hole. Two games, two massive gaming winning goals for the Kassassin.
- Cam Talbot was lights out fantastic tonight. During the first period, the Oilers were on their heels and it was Dadbot’s brilliance that kept them in the game and gave them a chance to win. For the third straight game, Talbot was better than his counterpart and he records his second straight shutout after stopping all 23 shots that he faced.
- Props to Todd McLellan for pulling out the blender and getting some juice back in his team’s batteries. The Oilers looked sluggish early and the lines getting switched up seemed to kickstart the engines and give the Oilers a lift. True?
- After leaving Game 2 early, Oscar Klefbom came back and played 24:44 minutes (team lead) worth of solid hockey on the backend. He’s turned into a showstopper for the Oilers and we’ll forgive him for that missed empty net.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a sneaky effective game as he some solid scoring chances and led the team in shots on goal with five.
- Props to the Nurse/Benning pairing for playing some solid minutes on the third pair. They were physical, they broke the puck out well, and they stayed composed when the Sharks turned up the pressure.
- The Oilers killed off both of the Sharks’ power play chances and their PK has been rock solid so far in this series. Normally you wouldn’t say that getting only two calls against you is an improvement but that is truly the case for Edmonton.
- How can you not love the ‘let’s-go Oil-ers’ chant happening at the Shark tank before the game started? Oilers fans are the best.
- Shout out to Martin Jones’ five-hole!
THE FACE PALMERS
- Not a great start for the Oilers tonight as they got only 6 shots in the first period as compared to San Jose’s 13 shots. Edmonton was able to weather the storm but it was definitely a departure from what we saw in Game 2 back at Rogers Place.
- The Sharks did a good job of shutting down the Maroon-McDavid-Draisaitl line to the point where they got split up f0r the final half of the game. Connor will adjust. I believe.
- I find it hard to believe that the refs only found one time to put a San Jose Shark in the penalty box but, hey, what do I know?
- The Oilers only went 48% in the faceoff circle but that’s not too bad considering the veteran talent the Sharks have down the middle. At the end of the day, it didn’t matter.
- Desharnais has been almost invisible over the last little while and I wonder if McLellan would think about taking him out of the lineup? That said, he’s a veteran guy that has playoff experience and the Oilers are short on that luxury.
- Why can’t the Oilers hit empty nets? I don’t know how many times they’ve missed this year but it has to be approaching double digits.
- What’s with fanbases trying to extend one-syllable team names for the Let’s-Go chant? Let’s-Go Shaaaarks sounds ridiculous and they should be embarrassed.
|10:45||EDM||Zack Kassian (2)||1-0|
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BEST OF THE TWEETS
VERY MUCH PRESENT VERY MUCH EXCITEMENT VERY MUCH CONNOR pic.twitter.com/agHMsgDCcd
— Wanye (@WanyeGretz) April 17, 2017
— Jeremy K. (@whaletendy) April 17, 2017
Zack Kassian, staring into your soul… pic.twitter.com/Py503keJCE
— Towel Boy ❤ Playoffs (@TheTowelBoy) April 17, 2017
@OilersNation Nuge's puck thievery is beautiful to watch…and the fact that he would still be charged as a young offender is just a bonus
— David Smitten (@DavidSmitten) April 17, 2017
@OilersNation "Just for Men" is on sale at London Drugs. Picked up a couple of playoff tubes today!
— Oilers Nerd Alert (@OilersNerdAlert) April 17, 2017
Somebody with a clue about marketing has to get a boatload of bright orange foam Zack Kassian muttonchops out there before Game 5 in EDM
— Robin Brownlee (@Robin_Brownlee) April 17, 2017
GEAR UP FOR THE PLAYOFFS
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