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.

Four years ago today, the Edmonton Oilers traded Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson

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.
NHL History: Edmonton Oilers sign Connor McDavid to eight-year contract three years ago today

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)


    • 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.

  • flutie

    Seeing as how all of Oil country is going to be jumping on the non-interference call (and for good reason), let’s look at some things that were in the Oilers control. We took our foot off in the third with the short shifts and passive/non-existent forecheck. No question about it. But…anyone else feel like we kind of got screwed over 2 games in a row now? Kesler was clearly holding Cam’s pad…

  • 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.

  • Explicit

    It was fun while it lasted, but my hopes of getting past the ducks are pretty low now. I’m not complaining tho, havnt had this much fun since ’06.cant wait to see who chia replaces eberle with.

    • Dwayne Roloson 35

      Yeah, we can complain about the refs but that won’t change anything. It is what it is. It’s clich at this point but competing in the 2nd round of the playoffs has exceeded my expectations by a mile. You never know what can happen though. This oilers squad has been pretty resilient this year.

      I am excited for this off season though. Chia knows what he’s doing.

      • Connor Mike-David

        I agree with this. It’s not over ’til it’s over. The ducks might get too high after this win as well and get their own wake-up call on Sunday.

        My only concern, and I’m probably just being pessimistic now after being shell-shocked these last two games, is that we won’t have the same “luck” next year in terms of injuries, etc. The old ‘regression to the mean’ phenomenon (often interpreted as the sophomore jinx when applied to a single player). We can only hope that Chia continues to build depth and balance so that injuries remain low and the team can battle through the ones that do occur.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • '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.

  • Ultimately we are going to lose this series now but it really is a solid lesson for the boys. I hate it as a fan but at the end of the day this is the biggest adversity they will face and they will be thinking about this game all summer. Obviously the refs are against the team but it has become apparent that this is just what we will have to deal with. I really am comfortable with where this team is going, with one exception: the Lucic signing. For a marginal fourth line player at 6 million a year, we are really killing our ability to sign free agent talent for deep playoff runs. Otherwise if we cut some dead weight and continue with our amateur procurement from college and junior I really think we will be in good shape moving forward. This is not our year but we have shown we can compete, and once we gain the respect of the NHL and the referees (comes with playoff experience) we can really do some damage.
    Oil fan for life. I love this team and I am looking forward to their bright future.

  • 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?

  • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

  • Hemi

    The Refs have only added to their inability to properly do their job. Sadly, nothing will be done about it. The entire NHL community are in agreement that in both cases, the call was wrong. Horrible that outcomes are decided by ineptness. Yes, the Oil should not have found themselves in such a mess but they should have won the game with a 3 to 2 score. Sucks!

  • 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.

  • Heschultzhescores

    I always laugh how a team lucks out like the Ducks and then everyone says how great they played….they should have lost, in fact they did lose, but the refs got another win for the Ducks. What can we do about it? Not much…stop watching corrupt hockey…I’m considering it. I did it once before for many years…may go back into not watching games that are fixed.

  • 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.

    • Heschultzhescores

      Ya, hard to listen to guys talking about how they won the game when they actually lost. Same with Perry in his interview. It’s pukeable stuff…it’s not a word, but it works for me today. The Ducks are full of dirty players who hack their way to wins. A nice Duck’s goal is off two three guys while the goalie is being held.

  • Anton CP

    I’m just speechless…

    I’ll say that tonight’s best LW for the Oilers is actually Pouliot. Some of the plays that I was wondering if Maroon remembered that he is still on the Ducks’ payroll. Lucic needs to keep the play simple and stop pretending that he is a playmaker. He has been trying too much around the blue line and he should stay away from blue line.

    Draisaitl was good then as the time went on that he stopped playing. Also he did not shake away the bad bounce off his back that led to the first goal that he was never be able to recover and refocus afterward.

    The Ducks demonstrated about how to cheat and that can only work against the young team like the Oilers, if they did end up beating the Oilers and advance to conference final that they will be destroyed by the Preds.

  • Spiel

    For a site that prides itself on puck possession and analytics, I’m disappointed to hear all this whining about refs.
    Anaheim outshot Edmonton 68-34 in this game.
    Edmonton got a lucky bounce on the first goal.
    The 2nd goal was a 5 on 3.
    Anaheim dominated large stretches of this game and could have easily had the lead in the first period when a shot when through Talbot’s legs and out the other side.
    Oilers have scored 3 goals in each of the last three games and still lost.
    The Oilers style of play, getting outshot and being opportunistic is not sustainable, why whine about refs?
    The Ritchie hit was the same hit Kassian was throwing against SJ in round 1. Toughen up boys!

      • LAKID

        Truth hurts. Take off those ugly orange glasses and realize, the oil are FAR from the only team that’s ever had some calls not go there way. Tuffin up ladies.

    • commonsense

      Who are you. No one is saying the mighty disney ducks didn’t play hard and dominate a lot of the play. A lot of us are disturbed by the blatant no call on Kesler grabbing hand on a Talbot’s pad. Hard to make a save when you have a player literally got a death grip on your pad.

    • Clayton

      Couldnt agree more. Oiler fans seem to miss the fact their team is being outplayed significantly for most of these games. They also fail to see the calls the refs miss against the oilers too. For example Maroons high stick on Perry seconds before the Oilers 3rd goal. Or the generous hooking call that Connor McInvisible suckered the ref into…you clearly see him drop his arms onto the ducks stick and calls out ‘hey’ to draw the refs attention and put his team on a 5 on 3 powerplay. To recap…Oilers Goal #1 – Lucky Bounce. Oilers Goal #2 – Gift 5 on 3 powerplay. Oilers Goal #3 – Missed high sticking call that lead to the 4 on 2 goal. And then the Oilers have a 3 goal lead with just over 3 minutes to go and give up 3 goals with the Ducks net empty. How do Oiler fans think the Oilers even remotely deserved to win?

  • 24% body fat

    i would never cheer for the flames, but after watching the ducks and seeing the bias, i feel for them. Viva la Alberta, and F#*$ the ducks. I am done with the NHL and their horrible product!

  • 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.

  • mannicch

    We can’t keep getting outshot and outchanced like we have been, we just can’t. We all know the officiating is awful but we haven’t been outplaying the Ducks this series. Think how much sweeter this series victory will be when we win in 7. I have no doubt it will happen…

  • Butters

    Credit where credit is due. The refs saw an opportunity to take game 5 and tbey pounced on it. The refs have to be feeling pretty confident about closing out the series in game 6

  • Clayton

    Losers make excuses, champions overcome them! Love how all you Oiler fans blame the refs. Did you miss the BLATENT high stick by Maroon on Perry that opened up the 4 on 2 that resulted in the Oilers 3rd goal? Should have been a double minor on Maroon and thus no Oilers 3rd goal. So then delete the Ducks third goal and you have 2-2 game going into OT. This series is textbook Randy Carlyle. He has the Oilers thinking about everything except how to win a game!