- What’s up, guys?
With the potential to advance tonight, our great and fearless leader Baggedmilk looked long and hard for a guest recap writer who he knew would be sober enough to string together a few coherent sentences.
That narrowed it down to me, backup goalie and new mom Cat, who doesn’t go out on Saturday nights anymore. They roped me and my gallons of indignation that Cam Talbot didn’t get a Vezina nod into writing this up for you guys. Glad to be here for the night!
OH BOY WHAT A GAME!
With a 3-1 win over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday, the Edmonton Oilers – yes, you’d better believe it – advanced to the second round of the 2017 postseason on a 4-2 series victory.
That’s right: the team that, just two games ago, dropped an ugly 7-0 decision managed to storm back and win their second straight for a chance to get one step closer to Lord Stanley’s Cup.
We, quite literally, are not worthy.
For those who were working/too superstitious to tune in to the game tonight, here’s a quick rundown of what you missed:
The first period was a whole lot of nothing from both sides, although I admire Milan Lucic (whom I still have mixed feelings about from his Bruins days) for his enthusiasm from the get-go. Kid got off to a running start, even if it involved a few blown plays.
The Sharks were a bit slow to the jump, getting outshot in the first frame by 9-6 in recorded shots on goal.
They would go on to outshoot Edmonton in the final two frames, putting the puck on net 22 times in response to Edmonton’s 12 opportunities over 40 minutes, but a quick two-minute jump for the Oilers to start the second period saw two breakaway goals that San Jose just couldn’t recover from.
You want to see those goals? Why, of course you do!
Leon Draisaitl opens the scoring in San Jose pic.twitter.com/pCRBSuJXdy
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) April 23, 2017
Leon Draisaitl broke away first, expertly protecting the puck in front of his stride before leveling his shot and shoveling it in five hole at 0:54 in the second period.
— NHL Daily 365 (@NHLDaily365) April 23, 2017
Then, Anton Slepyshev practically took a penalty shot against Jones, perfectly sending the puck past his blocker side to put the team up 2-0 just 56 seconds after Draisaitl opened up scoring.
Things ALMOST got hairy towards the end. The Sharks had a couple-minute stretch of almost exclusive possession in Edmonton’s end, and the team managed to get one past the ever-excellent Cam Talbot to ruin his shutout.
Sharks came THIS close to tying it pic.twitter.com/fw3AxD5ggw
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) April 23, 2017
While Joe Pavelski’s shot almost went in a few minutes later, though, it didn’t – and Connor McDavid’s incredible empty netter from his knees with less than a second remaining just sealed the deal.
Has it sunk in yet? Give it time – this is real life. The Oilers are on to the next round!
For those interested in the possession chart, here you are! I won’t try to break this down because it’s past my bedtime.
Magnus Pääjärvi has as many umlauts in his name as the Blackhawks had goals in the playoffs
— Mathmew Purrrr Oh! (@maxthesilent) April 22, 2017
*This one was pregame, but salute to our umlaut-riddled former comrade and congratulations on the overtime winner*
— Kyle Eldstrom (@KEldstrom) April 23, 2017
Oh man oh man oh man scoreless first period oh man https://t.co/W6GHmkLb4Z
— Adriana Elizabeth (@adrianaamelio) April 23, 2017
— Cody Obrigewitch (@Cody3point0) April 22, 2017
— Oil Drop Podcast (@oildroppodcast) April 23, 2017
stress stress stress stress stress stress stress stress stress stress stress stress stress stress stress stress stress stress stress stress
— Wanye (@WanyeGretz) April 23, 2017
Real talk though, the Oilers lost a playoff game 7-0 and still went on to eliminate their opponents. If they can do that you can do anything
— Catherine Silverman (@catmsilverman) April 23, 2017
— OilersNation.com (@OilersNation) April 23, 2017
So apparently, Slepyshev is the first rookie to score in an Edmonton Oilers postseason game since 2006, which is marvelous news for him!
The Oilers are slated to play the Anaheim Ducks next, which should be an absolute blast.
Two seasons ago (back when I still had open travel privileges because I had no children) , I went to Anaheim with a few of our friends over at Flames Nation for a Ducks-Flames postseason game.
The Honda Center offers reasonably cheap and very good craft beer, the seats are pretty good no matter where you are, and the security officers won’t stop you if you leave the arena with an open container. Plus, the fans were super friendly, even though six of us rolled in wearing Jonas Hiller Flames shirts and belligerent faces.
It’s also a monster of a home ice advantage for the Ducks, who get a real thrill from the home crowd and seem to genuinely enjoy hearing the away fans taunt them. I have a real suspicion that Corey Perry actually gets stronger from the voices of his haters; there’s really no other explanation for him.
John Gibson is one of my least favorite up-and-coming goaltenders while I’ve got a giant lady boner for Cam Talbot, so the crease battle here should be a lot of fun. Plus, McDavid only seems to keep getting better as the playoffs go on. I need to see just how far he can go.
It’s been fun, guys! Enjoy the celebration, and good luck in round two!