More of that please. Final Score: 6-2 Oilers
After last night’s train wreck, I have to admit that I wasn’t all that excited about watching the Oilers again. Not only was I worried that we would all have to sit through another two hours of junk-punching torture, but also that I would have to try and recap another mind-numbing loss. It’s not like back-to-back games (or any game actually) have been all that kind to our beloved Oilers. I mean, how can you accurately put the disappointment of this season into words? The Oilers were supposed to be good (CONTENDERS EVEN!) this year and the fact that they’re this bad is soul-crushing in every single way.
With the way tonight’s game started, and Detroit taking an early one-goal lead, I thought that we were in line for another long night on the road. I admit, this year has me feeling shaken and jumpy. Fortunately, the Oilers looked like they were genuinely interested in the idea of actually playing hockey and that was huge, as it turns out. Actually, they’re pretty cool when that happens. Rather than lay down and die after Detroit took the lead, the Oilers got to work and battled their way back from the early deficit and into a lead. Even when the Wings tied it up at two, the Oilers didn’t quit. This was the kind of complete game that we really haven’t seen with much regularity. It was like an eclipse. I was afraid to breathe, move, or speak during the third period for fear of ruining what I was seeing.
The Oilers will dig themselves out of this hole if they can play more games like they did tonight. But they have to do it consistently. It can’t just be flashes of what got them to the playoffs last year followed by weeks of mediocrity. Hopefully tonight was a sign of things to come.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Secondary scoring is a beautiful thing!
- How about Darnell Nurse with goals in back-to-back games? He shot a seeing-eye single that made it through traffic and beat Howard. The guy is becoming a story around here and I have to say that I’m pumped for him. Atta be Darryl! That said, don’t play too well — it’s a contract year, and Chiarelli isn’t what you’d call ‘cheap.’
- Pat Maroon scored shortly after Nurse tied things up to give the Oilers a temporary 2-1 lead. Leon Draisaitl fed the Big Rig with a beautiful pass that put him in alone on Howard, and Patty beat him between the legs with a slick little deke.
- JJ Khaira scored the Oilers’ third goal of the night as he picked up a loose puck in the slot and buried it. Props to Khaira for the quick release because the puck was off his stick in a hurry.
- Mark Letestu added to the secondary scoring parade after driving to the net and picking up Mike Cammalleri’s rebound as he fired it low on Howard. I don’t know why the Oilers don’t run this play on 2-on-1s more because it works a lot more often than they probably think.
- Drake Caggiula is finding himself a home on Connor McDavid’s right wing as he got another one (his fourth) by being in the right place and getting the shot off quickly. As far as a McWinger goes, finding the right spots and shooting is about all you can ask for. I wonder how long he’ll stay there before Draisaitl ends up back with Connor?
- Jesse Puljujarvi absolutely ripped home his second goal of the year with an absolute rocket. This kid has a hell of a shot and I look forward to seeing how hard it gets as he continues to develop. Great shot by Pool Party.
- Flu or not, Connor McDavid has been one of the only reasons to watch the Oilers play this year and tonight was no different. This guy is magic on ice and I still can’t believe how lucky we are to have him, especially when times are tough. There are better days ahead and I know it’s true because he is here. His two points have him on a four-game point streak. If he gets hot, it’ll be fun to watch him rocket up the scoring race.
- I know it would have been almost impossible for Cam Talbot to play worse than he did yesterday, but I was really happy for him that he was able to bounce back against the Red Wings. He looked more like himself in today’s game and that was encouraging. He made the kind of saves you’d hope that your starter could make and I hope that this win will give him a little bit of confidence going forward. Talbot finished the night with 20 saves and a .909 save%.
- Props to Yohann Auvitu for having a really nice game. He got the first multiple point game of his career and looked good when the puck was on his stick. I appreciate the way he’s always willing to shoot whenever he can from the blue line, something that’s lacking with some of the others.
- Matt Benning also had a solid night on the blue line, something that hasn’t happened much for him this season. Benning is still a very young player who needs to get his reps in, but I hope a game like today can give him back some confidence. Pretty good for a guy that was questionable to play this morning.
- The Nuge/Draisaitl/Maroon trio looked really good again and it looks like they’re starting to figure out how to play with each other. They produced chances all night and it’s frankly bad luck that they weren’t able to produce more than the one goal.
- Kris Russell laid down for some huge blocks late in the third period. He was good tonight, and helped to lock things down in the defensive end.
- NO BEETS WEDNESDAY!
THE FACE PALMERS
- Tomas Tatar opened the scoring for the Red Wings early in the first period, causing a temporary ‘oh c’mon, not this shit again’ kind of reaction. Fortunately, the Wings’ lead was short lived as the Oilers were able to respond a minute later.
- Nicklas Kronwall tied the game up 2-2 when his shot had a lucky bounce in off Nuge. Talbot was probably down a little bit early which gave the extra space for the puck to go in, but, in the end, what can you do? What do you guys think? Unlucky bounce or Dadbot went down too early?
- Why do the Oilers have such a hard time breaking the puck out of their own zone? Why do they have such a hard time hitting six-foot passes this year? What is it about passing the puck to your teammate that just does not compute these days?
- Just once I would like to write that the Oilers’ special teams absolutely killed it. That’s not to say that they necessarily did poorly tonight, but is that too much to ask? You’d think there would come a time when they would accidentally be successful on both the power play and penalty kill but it just doesn’t seem to connect all at the same time. What’s up with that?
- Shout out to the Red Wings fans that did literally anything else tonight. Seems like a lot of seats for a brand new arena.
|07:25||Detroit||PPG – Tomas Tatar (6) ASST: Henrik Zetterberg (9), Justin Abdelkader (11)||0-1|
|08:25||Edmonton||Darnell Nurse (2) ASST: Connor McDavid (17), Milan Lucic (10)||1-1|
|11:05||Edmonton||Patrick Maroon (6) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (11), Yohann Auvitu (2)||2-1|
|18:25||Detroit||Niklas Kronwall (2) ASST: Gustav Nyquist (5), Justin Abdelkader (12)||2-2|
|10:24||Edmonton||Jujhar Khaira (2) ASST: Ryan Strome (6), Yohann Auvitu (3)||3-2|
|14:22||Edmonton||Mark Letestu (4) ASST: Michael Cammalleri (5), Zack Kassian (4)||4-2|
|18:16||Edmonton||Drake Caggiula (4) ASST: Connor McDavid (18), Kris Russell (7)||5-2|
|18:55||Edmonton||Jesse Puljujarvi (2) ASST: Ryan Strome (7)||6-2|
'What do we want?' 'A REASONABLE EFFORT!' 'When do we want it?' 'Before the third period!'
— John Epler (@eplerjc) November 22, 2017
— Ernesto Alférez (@Alfizzle18) November 23, 2017
Tell Craig Button we got faster since last night!
— Tom Kostiuk (@TomKostiuk) November 23, 2017
— Andolf (@AndolfAlberta) November 23, 2017
Source: NHL.com, Official Game Page, 11/22/2017, 7:30pm MST