Photo Credit: Perry Nelson/USA TODAY Sports

GDB + 11.0 Wrap Up: Cheaters never prosper, save sometimes in the NHL playoffs

Final Score: Ducks 4, Oilers 3 (2OT)

The story here is either Edmonton’s collapse in the last four minutes of the third period or the NHL’s miserable goalie interference call on the crucial 3-3 goal. We’ll get to both in a bit, but let’s start from the beginning.

The early contest was not kind to the Oilers. Leon Draisaitl made a defensive zone turnover on the first shift, and chaos ensued. Mark Letestu lost the draw which followed and Anaheim nearly took a 1-0 lead on the second shift.

Worse, Matt Benning was hammered into the boards by Nate Thompson and stayed down until the whistle blew. Hampus Lindholm rang a puck off the post. Ryan Getzlaf caught Andrej Sekera along the boards and then Sekera had to be helped off; he would not return. Oscar Klefbom blocked a shot high and was in obvious pain on the bench.

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For good measure, there were penalties. Getzlaf took a penalty shot after Milan Lucic was ruled to have hooked him just enough for the call. Patrick Maroon took a far more blatant high-sticking minor. Benning, who returned in the first period, took a slashing minor that had Twitter seeing red.

Through it all, there was Cam Talbot. Talbot turned aside 13 shots, dealt with a ridiculous amount of traffic in his crease (even drawing one penalty) and kept Edmonton afloat through a period in which they were badly outplayed.

And the Oilers took advantage. Klefbom returned for the first shift of the second, and picked up a point on Draisaitl’s 1-0 goal. The Ducks took a couple of penalties, and Edmonton took a 2-0 lead thanks to the magic of Connor McDavid and Mark Letestu on the power play. Corey Perry got burned by his reputation for diving, and the Oilers got away with a 3-0 goal, too. The second period was the reverse of the first, as Edmonton dominated the play and the scoreboard, despite a badly banged up defence corps.

The physical play never stopped – Kris Russell got hammered and returned in the game after a brief interlude – and the Ducks didn’t go away but it looked like the Oilers were going to grit out the win.

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That is, until the last five minutes of the third. Edmonton had been trying to hang on for most of the period, and finally the team couldn’t. Anaheim scored once and then a second time. Then, with 15 seconds left, Darnell Nurse pushed Ryan Kesler into the crease. Kesler, opportunist that he is, took advantage of the situation and grabbed Talbot’s pad with his hands.

The NHL ruled that a good goal, with an official explanation that put all the blame on Nurse and didn’t even mention Kesler grabbing the pad. And thus a 3-0 lead turned into overtime.

The Call

Overtime was thrilling, as it is, with chances at both ends of the rink. But it ended with Corey Perry scoring the winner off a Ryan Getzlaf pass as Draisaitl veered too far to the boards to get back into position. The ending would have stunk for Oilers fans regardless; that it was Perry driving the knife home was insult added to injury.

The Bright Side

  • That was a gritty night for Edmonton’s defence, and a loss doesn’t change that. Benning, Klefbom and Russell all had painful moments and stayed in the game. Adam Larsson played 45 minutes, holding the fort as seemingly the entire blue line went down. Darnell Nurse played less than Larsson and suffered less than the others, but he too managed to keep his cool in the third period when Corey Perry slashed him on the hands. It wasn’t enough for the win, but it was still impressive to behold.
  • Draisaitl picked up a goal in his first game back at centre. If he can stay there and be effective, it gives the Oilers a real good shot at three scoring lines: McDavid, Draisaitl and Nugent-Hopkins.
  • Connor McDavid got a ton of credit online for the 2-0 goal, and rightly so, but Mark Letestu’s last-second flip pass was a thing of beauty, too. He knew he couldn’t get the shot, and he got the puck to McDavid’s general area. That’s never a bad play.
  • Drake Caggiula scored his second in as many games and didn’t look out of place on McDavid’s line. Tying this back to the first point, if he can thrive in that position it makes it a lot easier to leave Draisaitl at centre (and gives the Oilers a shot at a Conor Sheary/Jake Guentzel-type bargain deal on McDavid’s wing).
  • The third line didn’t score, but looked like it had some jump. Special teams, injuries and the like kept it from getting as long a look as I would have liked but I though both Jordan Eberle and Benoit Pouliot looked more like their old selves.
  • The league got the call right on a disallowed Anaheim goal in the second period; there really wasn’t any question that Nick Ritchie made contact above the crossbar and both the initial decision and the subsequent review came to that conclusion.
  • There’s a range of opinions on both fighting ion the game of hockey and The Code, but one can’t fault Zack Kassian for making it clear to Ritchie that the hit on Russell was beyond the pale.
  • I’ve got a follow-up to this in the facepalmers, but watching Corey Perry not get the call after a head snap and a pirouette didn’t hurt my feelings any. My assumption is the officials saw his spin and assumed he was embellishing, something he has a well-earned reputation for. I’m a little torn because I like to see penalties called, but that’s a live by the sword, die by the sword kind of moment and it’s kind of nice to see a dirty player pay for his reputation.
Edmonton Oilers Ethan Bear and Patrick Russell skate at Rogers Place

The Face Palmers

  • Anaheim’s 3-3 goal definitely should not have counted. If that’s not goalie interference, nothing is. It’s baffling that the league could miss Kesler grabbing Talbot’s pad; it’s equally baffling that they could see it and chose not to call it.
  • That first period. Woof.
  • That third period. Woof.
  • If you were hoping for a game of unquestionable officiating, you must not be familiar with the NHL playoffs. At any rate, this game wasn’t it; an early penalty shot call was highly debateable as Lucic battled for position with Getzlaf. We just didn’t know it was going to be a harbinger of things to come.
  • I winced both at the hit that Kris Russell took from Ritchie and the (unpenalized) slash to the hands that Zack Kassian took from Shea Theodore. This was a hurting game for the Oilers, a lot of times legally but in those two cases not so much.
  • Edmonton’s 3-0 goal could potentially not have counted, thanks to Patrick Maroon doing stupid things with his stick behind the play. Mistakes by the officials tend to even out, given enough time. Of course, you can win or lose a series while they’re in the process of evening out, and the Oilers are at risk of that here. Beyond that, Maroon’s had a problem with dumb penalties all playoffs and needs to dial it back.

Scoring Summary

First Period

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  • No goals

Second period

  • 0:15: 1-0 Edmonton. Leon Draisaitl (3), assists to Oscar Klefbom (3) and Adam Larsson (3)
  • 2:55: 2-0 Edmonton. Connor McDavid (5), assists to Mark Letestu (4) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (4)
  • 12:28: 3-0 Edmonton. Drake Caggiula (2), assists to Connor McDavid (4) and Kris Russell (3)

Third period

  • 16:44: 1-3 Anaheim. Ryan Getzlaf (8), assists to Jakub Silfverberg (3) and Ryan Kesler (5)
  • 17:19: 2-3 Anaheim. Cam Fowler (1), assists to Jakub Silfverberg (4) and Corey Perry (4)
  • 19:45: 3-3 Anaheim. Rickard Rakell (5), assists to Corey Perry (5) and Cam Fowler (3)

First overtime

  • No goals

Second overtime

  • 6:57: 4-3 Anaheim. Corey Perry (2), assists to Ryan Getzlaf (7) and Rickard Rakell (4)


  • fisherprice

    Wow, what an effort out there by the NHL Referees. Totally taking over the series and gutting out two wins in a row there. I know we’re all disappointed as Oilers fans, but you gotta give credit where credit is due. It’s hard to win in the playoffs and the NHL Referees pulled out a huge one tonight.

  • Connor'sGotHart

    After the first goal was scored by Anaheim in the third I was sure Mclellen was going to call a time out.some coaches do use them to settle a team down.just a thought.

  • DXB

    I feel violated, kind of sick to my stomach. Russel had a massive game and deserved a better fate. Gritty effort by most. Who else in the league would have been awarded a penalty shot on that play other than Getzlaf? Let’s hope they can draw positives and gut one out at Rogers, let’s hope all the controversy is setting us up for a game seven dagger to the hearts of the Ducks in front of their home town crowd.

  • Johnny Zylon

    Phantom call on Lucic results in a penalty shot. 2 mins on Ritchie for a deliberate intent to injure instead of a match penalty and the regular non-call of goalie interference. Anybody need more proof there is a conspiracy ? Anybody? I just cannot believe professional referees can be so incompetent unless somebody told them to.

      • Cageyvet

        And as a Canucks fan, it was no surprise to hear Lucic on the other side of the non-call crap that goes on, but since he doesn’t play for Boston anymore, that’s reality. NHL officiating is a joke, we’ve all seen our teams burned by it. Losing in the playoffs is hard enough without feeling like you got bent over by the stripes in the process. Then there’s the new, extra twist provided by technology. It used to just be a bad call, and the replay showed you that you got screwed. Now they watch the replay and somehow still screw up the calls. It makes you wonder if you are even watching the same video footage, and just kills the joy of the game.

  • Natejax97

    Big shout out to Kris Russell. Hell of a game…just gritty. The Oilers can rally around that kind of stuff and I think they will. Next game will be 6-1. Not sure for who but it will be big.

    • commonsense

      He’s still upset that Murray was all set to trade him to the Oilers for Mike Comrie but KLO nixed the deal because Comrie refused to pay back some money.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    Apparently you can grab the goalie’s pad and hold it in place now. Bold move by the NHL, this incredible turn of events has already increased scoring in the playoffs.

  • Oil9744

    I have lost so much respect for the NHL, sorry but they did it to themselves, I will always be an Oilers fan for life, but my game watching value and creditability to the NHL has gone all out the window, The officiating of the NHL is beyond ridiculous now, and I for one will not support a leauge that is allowed to ruin team and pick favourites as they please, you call it whatever you want but that’s exactly what’s happening all do to money and not love for the game of hockey, anyways, I’ll probably still be cheering to the day I die for the Oilers, so LETS GO OILERS!!!!

  • commonsense

    Kind of funny how the linesman called off a lot of icings tonight. I suspect more than they usually do. Guess they’re trying to make us believe that the OT game 4 icing being called off was legit.

  • Johnny Zylon

    How in Gods name can that Ritchie hit on Russell not be a 5 min Match penalty? Left his feet and hit a guy from behind. Then the obvious Kessler holding the pads of Talbot…??? This is officiating? Hey NHL! You stink! Bush league refs no wonder the stopped putting the officials names on their back of their sweaters, they’d be ridiculed to death.

  • Harry2

    Just a note for the Oilers fanbase. I myself am a diehard Oilers fan.

    I agree with all the criticism of the officiating but I chose not to dwell on it cause it will drive you absolutely mental.

    Living in BC I have seen firsthand what that will do to you. The refs didnt blow a 3-0 lead. Yes the 3rd goal was questionable but it shouldnt have gotnto that point.

    If I was as bitter as Canuck fans and some fans on this site I would have to choose to stop watching hockey. It just wouldnt be healthy.

    On to game 6 and 7. Oilers have been to good and too resilient to go away quietly.

    • SedinsForever500

      Face it Harry, the Lames and Choklers will never beat the Ducks!! You live in one sad province. Move ’em to BC, and you’ll have better luck 😛

      • Harry2

        Are you talking about the team that got blown out of their own building in game 7? The same team that scored 8 goals in 7 SCF games? The Canucks are screwed until they get new ownership. Settle in

  • Admiral Ackbar

    The NHL lost a fan last night, after 30 years. This level of ineptitude/corruption I could protest if it were a government. From entertainment, however, I can’t waste my time on such a cause.

    • Newj

      I’m not sure what’s worse…the reffing in this entire series or the play of Patrick Maroon?

      He’s lost his game. His physical play has changed into a bunch of stupid penalties. He’s hasn’t got the Ducks dmen looking over their shoulders like ours do of Thompson or Ritchie. Maybe he cant catch them..I dont know but he seems to have lost his way against his former team.

      We need Kassian back like he was against the Sharks..hitting everything that moves..and keep these Ducks honest against our own skilled players.

      If we can get Kassian back to his recent play & Maroon atleast getting some emotion in his game…we have a chance. Otherwise the Ducks, I feel, will continue to mug our entire team into a series win…the exact same way they intimidated their way to a Stanley Cup a few years ago.

  • '68 Fire Chicken

    As much as we blew a 3-0 lead and should have closed this one out, that 3rd goal was BS. They reviewed the play for like 30 secs and likely missed the pad grab.

    Hopefully Sekera is good to go next game and we play an actual solid 60 mins of hockey on Sunday.

  • m3sh

    Le sigh. Have to just move on, else I’ll become embittered and endlessly cynical about the league’s laughable “officiating”.

    Let’s go Game 7, am i right?

    • Anton CP

      McLellan is a good coach but I think he is also too nice of a person. Sometimes he needs to complain more and have refs’ ears more often because it is also a mind game with the refs too.

      • JumboJim

        His post-game tonight was full of criticism, albeit not direct. He might indeed be too nice. Look at #ElmerFudd 30ft. away. He’s gotten into the refs’ and linesmen’s heads with such silly, simple tactics

        • JimmyV1965

          He was way to diplomatic. He needed to go off like a nuclear bomb. He blew a chance to switch the team’s focus from the collapse to the bad reffing. He needed to rally his team around a common goal – the dirty play of the Ducks and the useless reffing. Instead he chose his words carefully and tried to take the high road. Sometimes you have to get in the gutter. It’s working for the Ducks.

          • Anton CP

            It worked for Sutter of Kings and Quenneville of Blackhawks. That is the separation between a coach that can help the team to learn and improve and a coach can help the team to win championship. Part of reason that McLellan was fired by the Sharks and how the Sharks ended up in the Stanley Cup final after missing the playoffs.

            McLellan is still a great coach for the current version of the Oilers but he may not be the coach when the Oilers are ready to take the next step if he refused to get into the gutter.

        • JumboJim

          And to put a finer point on it… McLellan needs to be more direct for the NHL or officials to understand his criticisms because they’re clearly working on a… different level

    • Heschultzhescores

      Because he’s hanging on to his challenge so they can lose it at a more critical time ;). I agree with you, should have been a time-out after the first goal, and if not then, for sure after the second.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    Is it just me, or is “gaining the respect of the referees” the biggest pile of bulls**t in pro sports? The league wants to grow the game and increase scoring, but they let these absolute morons dictate the outcomes, instead of the skill and talent of the players on the roster.

    I’m quite drunk, but they should fire literally every pro ref and bring up guys from junior/the AHL. It’s not like they could do any worse.

    • Dwayne Roloson 35

      Yeah, I’d love to believe that earning their respect is BS. Just call the game the way the rule book says. veterans shouldn’t be given a longer leash.

    • It’s a fact of pro sports, no way to really explain it but you see it in every professional league across the world. Players and teams that have established dominance will always get the benefit of the doubt. It’s not fair whatsoever but if you watch sports from an unbiased standpoint and simply look for it, more often than not you will see the benefit of the doubt given to teams that have proven success in playoff scenarios. We all can see this is the case with the oilers but it is not unique to us. We need to continue to prove ourselves and in five years we will be the ducks and see calls go our way, and the other team will be left wondering what happened.

    • Anton CP

      Something funny about professional referees, they are professional not because they can make the call correctly but more so that they know how to direct the game flow.

      Do you remember the referee strike for NFL a few season ago? NFL used a bunch of so called amateur referees and led to the biggest controversy of TD call between Seahawks and Packers…however that was a CORRECT call by rule but that was not what the league want. So NFL quickly ended the strike and got their zebras back.

    • No.9

      Yes we can blame the stripped [email protected] but the real reason we lost the game was coaching. Your team has the game in hand, total control, instead of continuing to excert dominance and doubt into your opposition, you decide to retreat and play them in 20-30 sec shifts?! WTF!! What can you do with that time? You have one of the best player in the world and you tell him once he has the puck dump it in and change. Oilers deserve the loss because of coaching, no wonder the Sharks never went anywhere with him.

  • Tombstone

    The NHL is the most corrupt leagues when it comes the officiating. This old school mentality that the refs can pick and choose what to call should be illegal. Seriously take them to court for unfair work practices. This is a multi- billion dollar industry.
    Instead of hiring off-ice officials to monitor
    Off-sides and goalie interference they put it on the Coach to challenge at the cost of his time-out. WTF is that.
    Their is so much evidence now to show how inconsistent the NHL is. Bettman is already under hot water with the concussion allegations. Doing this will raise awareness that can be used against him.
    Regardless how Oilers play that doesn’t give the NHL the right to deviate from the Rule book. A rule book that was written by lawyers.

  • Connor Mike-David

    The ten year drought didn’t make me forget how painful playoff losses can be…but I’m just not emotionally prepared for dealing with these epic collapses! With 4 minutes left, a tiny thought crept into my over-traumatized little Oiler fan cortex…it was something like, “Talbot just might get a shut-out,” and there was a greedy little extra like, “wouldn’t it be nice to score on that there empty net and sink the dagger further into the hearts of those dirty ducks!” I tried to catch myself, but it was too late! It was out there in the universe, like when Ray remembered the Stay-Puffd Marshmallow Man. I had counted my ducklings and was all the way over the line. I was already enjoying a 3-2 Oilers series lead and relishing how smugly I could smile myself to sleep tonight.

    We thought that our decade had probed the deepest crevices of heartbreak but, no. Watching the Oilers finally return to the playoffs has only now unlocked an armory of newer, more cruel, more shocking tools of torture. …and I will tell you now, I wouldn’t have it any other way! Bring on the glory and the agony! Strike at our wizzled hearts until there is no more!! We will rise again, as hope will never die.

    Go Oilers!!

  • Goon80

    I don’t know how anyone can defend the refs after all these blown calls, they are making it really hard for Oilers fans to not complain about them. I really wish that they made the refs accountable and have to do media scrums after games or something like that.

  • commonsense

    I’m not saying conspiracy. I’m simply saying straight out league officiating incompetence. It’s pretty hard to beat a good team when you have to battle two opponents. The NHL control centre in Toronto did see Kesler’s hand on Talbot’s pad but they chose not to call obvious goalie interference. Who are these bozos in the control centre war room? Almost wants one to tune out this bush league and I probably would if I wasn’t a die hard life long Oilers fan. Is that Oilers killer ref McGeough in the control war room. Yeah, we’re Edmonton and we’ll probably shout a little bit at the refs the next game but imagine if this kind of atrocious reffing and war room decisions happened to a Habs team. Memories of Maurice Richard and Clarence Campbell riots.

    • Archer

      this would never happen to Montreal or Toronto – they are tier 1 NHL teams (in the view of the league) and the Oilers are a tier 3 team (again in the eyes of the league). The only thing the Oilers can do is to make up their minds that they are going to win regardless, beat the Ducks, and the NHL/refs. That’s just the way it is, it’s the NHL not the Fair Hockey League

    • Anton CP

      The NHL is Gary Bettman’s pet project. NHL was the hottest sport back in the early 90s then through Bettman’s tenure that the the experienced 3 lockouts and loss 178 games (NHL is the only sport that loss the entire season due to lockout). The 4 major professional sports in US without a network tv deals. Also that a franchise can fail so bad that the league ended up owning it (Coyotes) to just to keep it alive.

      Gary Bettman the man who learned from David Stern is the new David Stern.

  • commonsense

    McDavid really look dangerous tonight. He probably could’ve shot more but he was very dangerous. I’ve got an Oilers bias but the Disney Mighty ducks sure took a lot of liberties on the Oilers. Vicious charging bodycheck on Russel which should’ve been a major if only Russel stayed down a little longer and if he “acted” and went to the dressing room for a few minutes. The hacking slash on Kassian. A tonne of hard slashes on the Oilers. No, it wasn’t just the noncall goalie interference.