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 Oilers have a shot at the first overall pick because the NHL is really weird

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.
It's been five years since the Edmonton Oilers drafted Connor McDavid

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)


  • hagar

    There wasn’t enough time for the refs to see the final top view that showed Perry clawing at Talbots pad like the scum he is.. on went the ear muffs and the call was in their ears. In and out before having enough time to see the last view.

    Sorry had to copy and paste for being a while

  • Heschultzhescores

    The “let’s play defense for 20 minutes” is a tried and true method for failure. When are we and other teams gonna learn that. Play like you’re down a goal! It’s a horrible outcome, but it can only happen when you allow a team to keep coming at you. I’d rather lose both barrels blasting, than sitting there waiting to be shot!

    • commonsense

      Normally I’d say I agree with that but tonight the whole story is the deliberate non call of goalie interference on Kesler’s death grip on Talbots pad.

      • Heschultzhescores

        I agree with you on that as well. All these comebacks happen because the other team goes into a shell to defend a lead. There was zero forecheck in the 3rd. This game is won and lost in the other teams offensive zone, banging bodies and turning the puck over. You don’t get O-zone turnovers when you’re standing at centre waiting for them.

  • 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!!!!

    • 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.

    • 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

        • 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

        • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!!

  • 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.

  • OilRider

    I just think it’s crazy that the refs obviously only looked to see if Kesler was pushed into Talbot and didn’t review past that point.

    I mean, seriously. Who reviews for goaltender interference, but then doesn’t actually look to see if there was interference? That’s the whole freaking point of reviewing the play!

    I’ve generally thought that the idea of some NHL conspiracy was ridiculous. But that’s 4 goals over two games that shouldn’t have counted, and tons of calls going against the Oilers with all playoffs. And with several different officiating crews to boot. There’s no way it’s all a coincidence. So somebody get me a tinfoil hat, cuz we’re through the looking glass here people.

    • JumboJim

      I’m kind of serious when I say this…. replace orange pom-poms with orange tinfoil hats. I’m going to figure out how to make one before G6. #OilersIn7

  • 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.

      • commonsense

        Actually it was mainly the Edmonton Oilers Investment group lead by Cal Nichols that saved the Oil from being sold and moved to Houston. But I think Bettman has a slight soft heart for Edmonton but it’s mainly because he knows Edmonton is a top 10 hockey market. LA/Anaheim has a large population but it’s largely still an after thought with pretty small hockey fan base unlike Edmonton with lesser population but much bigger concentration of dedicated hockey fans. Hockey is religion in Edmonton but just a rough and tumble novelty in Southern California.

        • Anton CP

          Pretty much, which was why the team with less prestige like Jets and Nordiques relocated to south of the border. Bettman was so stubborn with the failed project of Coyotes that he was doing everything in his power to keep a pathetic franchise stay in Arizona.

        • BoBoOutLookingforKovy

          MrBung is mostly right there…Bettman did have a hand in making Pocklington search harder for a local buyer. He did help a lot in keeping the team here….the EIG seized the opportunity window created by Bettman.

          • ed from edmonton

            I think your memory is a bit weak. The reason that PP had to entertain local buyers is an agreement for the Oil to take control of the Northlands Coloseum included a clause that included a guarantee to sell to local buyers at a specific price. I do agree that the NHL and Betteman see the Canadian teams as solid cash cows (although the cash is not worth as much now) but don’t really like the hanging around in the playoffs. I’m sure the NHL would consider and EDM/Ottawa final a disaster. NBC wouldn’t get 5 people watching south of the border, and I’m sure they share their concerns with the league.

      • 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.

  • commonsense

    Pretty chintzy penalty call on Draisatl for holding. But the 2 minute and not 5 minute major call for boarding on Russell by Ritchie. Yeah, the refs got together and they saw Russell get up and go to the bench and Dan said to Chris, “Russel’s not hurt bad, I’m only going to assess 2 minutes”. That supposed all star ref Dan O’Halloran seems to at the center of all playoff controversy. Good ole Bill McCreary once said a good ref is one when when a referee’s name is never mentioned during a game. Dan seems to love the limelight. The game should be about the players and not the refs. Pretty sad.

  • GinYCC

    Elias Sports Bureau has just confirmed that the Oilers can make history if they come back to win games 6 and 7 of this series. They will be the first team in professional sports to win 6 games in a best of 7 series.

    • Alberta Ice

      The previous highlight reel like this was the Maple Leaf collapse to the Bruins in 2013. Except in that one, it was a game 7 and it took the Bruins 11 minutes (not less than 4 minutes) in the 3rd period to come from 3 goals down to send it to overtime. And the Bruins won and it steam rolled them to the Stanley Cup beating a Canucks team in game 7. And again, Canadian teams were on the short end of the stick. Bah Humbug.

  • commonsense

    Open message to Dan “all star ref” O’Halloran: This game is not about you. Just call what you see and if a goal is in doubt then get out your reading glasses, take out that big Ipad Pro with retina display and cognitively analyze what you see with what the NHL rule book is. Once that analysis is made, go to centre ice and voice the correct call.

  • JimmyV1965

    I put this loss squarely on the shoulders of TMac. He should have called a time out after the first goal. Worse yet, he needed to launch a massive rant against the refs in the post-game interview. Screw the fine. He had an opportunity to switch the focus from the team’s massive collapse to the leagues awful officiating. He chose not to. Get the boys to focus on the interference calls instead if their epic collapse. He doesn’t need to be right. He needs to focus the team on something they can rally against.

    • commonsense

      pretty valid points. TMac should’ve called a timeout as others have noted. He was probably still wanting to keep that time out to potentially argue against a bad goal if there was more than one minute left. But again, the bottom line is that the third goal should not have counted. The final blame rests on Dan O’Halloran, his apprentice Chris and the war room in hog town. Probably need to get that war room crew some caffeine and modafinil when the game is in pacific time zone.

    • Anton CP

      I mean, no one is asking that McLellan to be at Tort’s level of antics but he needs to be more direct with his criticism. When Carlyle was whining about “white gloves” that McLellan only responded with a witty “I thought that we should be the one to complain”…Well, McLellan, you are right! You SHOULD complain more. It is the best way to let the team know that you have their back. Coaching is not just about tactics that it is also about how to stand for your team when they got screwed over.

      • Seriously Bored

        His response was to an earlier comment carlyle made about the oilers whining about officials and face offs.
        Him calling out the refs does nothing but give him a fine.

  • Abagofpucks

    no matter what anybody thinks after you get off blaming everything else that we know was pure bettman served up on a bad toronto biased ( i believe ) review crew if you dont agree i dont give a good god damn this team ffffin blew it . just like a bunch of losers from conner ( dosent matter if he was on the ice ) are to blame for this fiasco todd the toad got out coached by a [email protected]@@@@@kin mile by that pumkin head b#@#@@th carlye and thats the truth ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, next year ……….. RIP oil

  • 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.

  • commonsense

    The irony is that we Oiler fans bleed the oil and we truly care about good hockey officiating. In LA/Anaheim, ice hockey and the NHL is not on their radar and it is truly relegated to the sport back pages like English cricket and the horoscopes.