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GDB 6.0 Wrap Up: The losing streak is over

BOOM BOOM CHOO CHOO TRAIN LET’S SEE LETESTU DO HIS THING! Final Score: 2-1 Oilers in OT

Heading into this road trip of doom, the Oilers were taking a long walk down the short path to disaster. That’s not to say that they’ve been a complete gong show — at times they’ve actually looked really good — but there were still too many details in their game that needed to get ironed out. Needless to say, they had to figure out what the hell is going on, find a way to fix it, and get it done in a hurry before this dumpster fire burned out of control. Fortunately for Edmonton, they’ve had a really nice run against Chicago in recent years and I was hoping that maybe, just maybe, this stop in Chi-town was exactly what the doctor ordered. Gord knows landing wins against garbage teams wasn’t the answer so maybe facing some stiffer opposition was what it took to get the juices flowing? I’ll speak on behalf of Oilers fans everywhere when I thank the Hockey Gods for answering our McPrayers.

Despite dropping the first goal early on, the Oilers had a much better effort in the first period of this hockey game than they did on Tuesday against the Hurricanes. That first goal (bank shot off Talbot’s skate) was definitely black cloud material but aside from that, the Oilers were able to weather any storm they faced, and even punch back when they had the opportunity. With Cam Talbot locked in, the team in front of him was finally able to settle down and when they did, they looked a lot more like the Oilers that we expected to see. They were physical, got chances, and actually looked like a team. Heading into the third period with the game tied was a big chance for the Oilers to start this road trip with not only a win but to also get themselves some confidence moving on to Philadelphia. Getting through the third period and into OT felt like heart attack territory as the chances went back and forth, until it was the good guys that closed things on out the power play.

It may not have always been pretty, but the Oilers grinded out a big win in Chicago.

The wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

  • THE LOSING STREAK IS OVER!
  • For the first time in a week or so, Connor McDavid looked like Connor McDavid again. The play he made on the assist for Patrick Maroon’s goal is the kind of play I’m going to be thinking about in my bed tonight. Take that how you wish. Connor was flying out there and the Blackhawks really didn’t have much of an answer for him.
  • Patty Maroon got himself on the board as he put away his first goal of the year on the back of that ridiculous assist from Connor McDavid. After scoring, Patty looked like he had a little bit of jump in his step and I hope he can gain some confidence from getting his first.
  • Some people may have questioned why Mark Letestu was out on the ice for an OT power play, but not me, and not anyone that’s been paying attention. As you’ve come to expect, Mark Letestu pumped home a one timer that closed out the game and showed why he’s clutch on the power play.
  • Cam Talbot needed to have a bounce back game after getting pulled twice in his first four starts and he certainly got that tonight (sequence on the first goal notwithstanding). For the first time since the opening night shutout, Talbot actually looked like himself in the crease (again, aside from the first one). He was square to the shooters, challenging shots, and all around solid. Huge night for a guy that needed one as he finished the night with 30 saves and a .968 save%. Hats off for the tender.
  • Add another assist to Kailer Yamamoto’s total on a night when he was very good. He got the second helper on Maroon’s goal and you have to wonder whether or not he’s going to have his stay extended past the nine games if he can keep putting points up. He may not have scored tonight but he certainly deserved to as he had a tonne of chances and was all over the puck.
  • Adam Larsson and Oscar Klefbom were much better tonight, with the latter playing a team high 26:27. They did a good job of getting their sticks into lanes, being physical on the boards, and being in the right place at the right time. They had a tough night against Carolina and bounced back nicely tonight.
  • Shout out to Darnell Nurse for rushing up the ice and moving the puck well, with bonus points going to him for his work in overtime. Atta be, Darryl.
  • Solid night for the boys in the face off circle. The Blackhawks are an experienced team down the middle but it was the Oilers that were able to win 55% of the draws. Nuge was a force on the dot against Toews, going 75% on the night.
  • Edmonton blocked a tonne of shots (Klefbom with a team high five blocks, Russell with some huge blocks late) to go along with the 30 saves that Cam Talbot made in net. The NHL site has 23 blocks and I believe it. Wouldn’t be surprised if the number was higher.

THE FACE PALMERS

  • Want to know what kind of horrible black cloud is following Cam Talbot early in this season? How about when he fired the puck over the glass for a penalty and then had Patrick Kane bank it in off of his skate for the opening goal?
  • Who got too many penalties? As if you didn’t know. They got three penalties in the first five minutes of the second period and normally that would have been death during this losing streak. Fortunately, the Oilers PK was better tonight (due in large part to Talbot) and they were able to kill off all five penalties they faced. They didn’t get burned but they still gave Chicago way too many chances.
  • Speaking of penalties, how did Chicago only get two? A little bit of veteran love there or what? What about that ‘should have been’ penalty shot in overtime for Connor? Hmm?
  • There were moments in their own end that made me scratch my head, ya know? Did anybody else get that? Sometimes it looks like the Oilers are learning a new defensive zone system or something, but the positive is that they didn’t get caught when the walls caved in.
  • Kassian got lucky he didn’t get more than two minutes for that boarding penalty. He’s been taking some tough penalties lately and he needs to lock it up a little bit.
  • Klefbom is going to be thinking about that miss tonight. I assume he’ll be recalibrating the sights. 😂
  • Why did we not draft DeBrincat again?

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
07:33 Chicago Patrick Kane (3) ASST: Jan Rutta (3), Duncan Keith (5) 0-1
17:18 Edmonton Patrick Maroon (1) ASST: Connor McDavid (4), Kailer Yamamoto (3) 1-1

2ND PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
No Scoring

3RD PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
No Scoring

OT PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
04:44 Edmonton PPG – Mark Letestu (2) ASST: Oscar Klefbom (1), Connor McDavid (5) 2-1

#GOODCONTENT

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Source: NHL.com, Official Game Page, 10/19/2017, 9:30pm MST

    • Hemmercules

      You are probably right. Never want see a guy get injured like that. Thankfully he wasn’t. I think he may get a game or a fine though. That said, I hope he doesn’t. I like Kassian playing with an edge, just needs to control it a bit.

    • Ryan Jones Is Still My Hero

      I definitely don’t want to see players get thrown into the boards dangerously, but there has to be some onus on the player getting hit to protect themselves too. On both Kassian and Pak’s penalties, the player had his back turned to the play for an extended period before they got hit. They didn’t move to the boards to protect themselves and acted like if they kept their backs turned, they were not allowed to be hit. This is exactly what George Parros was talking about this summer when he took over as Director of Player Safety.

      And again, not defending the result, if that was McDavid getting I would probably lose my mind. But players have to at least attempt to protect themselves also to get my full sympathy.

  • Space Pants

    I thought the first 10 minutes were absolutely brutal before they seemed to dial it in and focus. That was a different team that finished the game than the one that started it. Nice hustle and checking by Looch, maybe the naysayers will lay off him for awhile, but I doubt it.

  • Space Pants

    I don’t care if this makes me a crappy person, but I laughed at the Versteeg replay where the puck hit him on the knee and he laid on the ice for so freakin’ long that the puck eventually hit him in the head too. I hope he is okay, but that did make me laugh.

  • #97TRAIN

    That was s hard hit but when you look at it from different angles he did hit him from the side and drilled him into the boards,but it was not a direct hit from behind.

  • Alberta Ice

    McDavid’s assist to Maroon was a thing of beauty. (Strangely, to me, in this game both Toews and Kane played less skillfully than what they have in their past glory days.) This game was a big psychological win for the Oilers. Will it translate into a much needed winning streak?