Special teams ruined your Saturday. Final Score: 4-2 Rangers
Did anyone else feel nervous about this game before it had even started? I’m not saying it’s because the Oilers have been playing bad because they haven’t, but more so because they cannot seem to get themselves ready to play daytime hockey games. Last weekend, the Oilers got absolutely curb stomped by the Detroit Red Wings in a depressing afternoon of hockey and it was a performance that I don’t think any of us ever need to see again. Frankly, being angry about an afternoon loss is a tough start to the day. And just like last time, the Rangers opened the scoring in the first period, but the difference was clear as the Oilers actually responded.
Despite the Rangers being one of the hottest teams in the league, the Oilers actually did a good job of trading punches right along with them when they were playing at even strength. The problem, as per tradition, was what happened with the special teams. It was almost like the Oilers sabotage themselves because they were playing well and derailed an admirable road game with a lacklustre penalty kill. While the Oilers were able to get something done on the power play for once, they weren’t able to patch a hole in their dinghy before it sank along with their chances of winning the hockey game. The penalty kill let the team down tonight in an otherwise decent road game. The Oilers could have won this game, but the details let them down.
In tight games like this, special teams are usually the difference and they were exactly that. It’s time for the Oilers to figure out that part of their game.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Welcome back to the NHL, Jesse Puljujarvi! Nuge was a puck thief near the blue line and Puljujarvi buried it after RNH fed it to him. No dusting the puck off on this one. Puljujarvi was easily once of the best Oilers today and he was doing all the things you’d hope he would in his first game back. Solid season debut for the big Finn.
- Gregor tweeted out a stat this morning, “McDavid, Draisaitl, Lucic, Maroon and Klefbom have combined 315:44 TOI on the PP. Have 0 goals.” Those are some big hitters that need to contribute when they have the man advantage. McDavid got his first on the power play and 7th of the season by smashing a loose puck past Lundqvist to give the Oilers a temporary lead.
- After the Rangers opened the scoring, the Oilers bounced back with a few great shifts including a beauty where RNH was able to keep the puck in the zone, knock it over to the wing, and Pool Party buried it. Obviously, that shift resulted in a goal so you’d assume it was good but the puck checking with determination was something we need to see more of.
- I can’t hang this game on Cam Talbot. After a slow start to the season, the guy has started to take his game to another level, especially on the road. Even though he got tagged for three today it’s hard to blame him when you consider the two power play goals the Rangers scored were all tic-tac-toe players. To me, he was once again one of the best Oilers, finishing the day with 30 saves and a .909 save%.
- The Year of Nuge continues with another assist tonight which gives him 12 points on the year. That translates to a 60+ point season. Chiarelli needs to do whatever he needs to do to keep Nuge on this hockey team. Remember, he just turned 24 in April.
- Oilers were back up to 53% in the faceoff circle which is an area that has greatly improved this year.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Rick Nash opened the scoring after he found a lane on a 2-on-1 with Kevin Hayes. Hayes made a perfect pass across and Nash clapped it past Talbot. I supposed Klefbom could have laid out or something, but he was in too deep which allowed Hayes to find Nash in the first place. Nash scored another goal late in the second period after the Oilers decided it would be a good idea to start a parade to the penalty box.
- The Oilers got caught with a delay of game penalty (Malone over the glass) and Buchnevich was the beneficiary of a really nice Rangers passing play that wound up on his stick and in the net. This was the first of two power play goals that came in the second period and nullified the Oilers’ lead.
- Oscar Klefbom is having a tough season. I’m just going to assume that his confidence is way down (if he’s not hurt), because he’s not at all doing the things that made him so effective last year. His gaps aren’t there and he seems to get lost more than we’re used to.
- Pat Maroon took a selfish elbow penalty that resulted in the Rick Nash power play goal. He didn’t need to give his man a bow when he wasn’t even close to the puck and the fact that it ended up giving the Rangers a lead is salt in the wound.
- The penalty kill is garbage and the Oilers can’t stay out of the box. It’s a bad combination and they finished the day allowing 2/3 while down a man.
- The NHL site had the Oilers with only 14 giveaways but that seems light to me. To me, they were giving the puck away a whole lot and it cost them in zone time. Anybody else?
- When is Darnell Nurse going to get some time on the power play? Flip him with Klefbom until Klef starts playing better.
- That version of the Canadian anthem was… interesting?
- I didn’t want to eat beets today — I really didn’t. Thanks for ruining my Saturday. As always, I’ll be posting updates on my Twitter.
|12:19||New York||Rick Nash (5) ASST: Kevin Hayes (4), Mats Zuccarello (9)||0-1|
|16:26||Edmonton||Jesse Puljujarvi (1) ASST: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (6), Darnell Nurse (4)||1-1|
|10:06||Edmonton||PPG – Connor McDavid (7) ASST: Milan Lucic (7), Oscar Klefbom (3)||2-1|
|15:10||New York||PPG – Pavel Buchnevich (8) ASST: Kevin Shattenkirk (12), Mats Zuccarello (10)||2-2|
|18:53||New York||PPG – Rick Nash (6) ASST: Brady Skjei (3), Ryan McDonagh (12)||2-3|
|19:58||New York||EN – Michael Grabner (8) ASST: Jesper Fast (6)||2-4|
— Chris Gordeyko (@TheNationChris) November 11, 2017
I heard it as “we score, then we come”. Interpret that however you want 😉
— Ryan (@IAmByks) November 11, 2017
— J (@sonveldhuisen) November 11, 2017
— Colin Basran (@Basran) November 11, 2017
Source: NHL.com, Official Game Page, 11/11/2017, 1:45pm MST