GDB 26.0 Wrap Up: Russell rips home the game winner, Oilers lose 6-4 in a thriller

To his credit, Kris Russell smashed that puck home. Final Score: 6-4 Maple Leafs

I don’t think that I’m the only one that was nervous about tonight’s game. The Oilers haven’t exactly been world beaters this year and the fact that they also lost their starting goaltender certainly didn’t help their chances. That said, the Oilers have the horses to beat any team in the league and that includes the Leaves. When they play like they can (think season opener, Detroit game, Boston game) then they’re always fine. It’s the Buffalo efforts (or lack thereof) that get them in trouble. Needless to say, the outcome of tonight’s really did depend on which Oilers team showed up. Would they be the team that can beat anyone or would they lay down and play dead against a very dangerous team?

With the way the Oilers started this game — allowing two goals in the first six minutes — it really didn’t look like they had much interest in winning this hockey game. They weren’t checking well, their passes were sloppy, and they spotted the Leafs a lead that should never have happened in the first place. After finishing the first 20 minutes down by two goals, the Oilers pulled their heads from their asses and rallied to get themselves back into the game. Frankly, they looked like a completely different hockey team and it clearly caught the Leafs off guard. Heading into the third period down by a goal wasn’t exactly ideal, but it didn’t feel like the game was out of reach either. From the second period onward, the Oilers were the better team and it felt like a comeback was not just possible but going to happen. When they tied the game at four apiece it seemed like winning it was the only possible outcome. And then it happened… Kris Russell ripped home the game winner for Toronto.

Stunned silence.

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The wrap.


  • Mark Letestu got the Oilers on the board after taking a nice feed from Jujhar Khaira from behind the net. Letestu smashed the puck home from there (his 5th) and temporarily got the Oilers back to within one goal.
  • After going nearly two months without scoring, Zack Kassian now has goals in back-to-back games. The fourth line did a great job of cycling the puck down low and they were able to get the Leafs crossing over each other which gave Kassian some open space and Jujhar Khaira a wide open target. Great shift. Great pass. Big goal.
  • You just knew that Connor McDavid was going to be fired up for tonight’s game. As the game went along he got better and better and it only seemed like a matter of time before he scored. The captain put home his 11th goal of the season on a nice little deflection on Kris Russell’s point shot.
  • How about Kris Russell’s first goal tonight? The Oilers were down by one and Russell absolutely clapped a one-timer past Andersen to tie the game up at four. That was a huge goal (his 2nd) by Russell on an absolute bomb of a shot. I’ll get to the other goal later.
  • How good was the fourth line tonight? The Khaira-Letestu-Kassian combo was easily the Oilers best line tonight and it seemed like they were making something happen every time they were on the ice. I mean, when was the last time you saw a 4th line that was responsible for three goals? Great night.
  • Big shout out to Laurent Brossoit for stepping into a hostile situation and making the most of it. Brossoit played very well tonight and he gave the Oilers a chance to win which is all you can ask from your goaltender. He had a shaky start but he made some huge saves throughout the night and almost got his team to overtime. He just didn’t expect a Russell snipe from the slot. LB finished the night with 30 saves and a .857 save%. Sure, the .857 save% doesn’t look great but he played better than that number indicates. Solid start.
  • The Oilers were the better team over the last two periods and it really is a shame that points got left on the board. That would have been a hell of a comeback.


  • Special teams were the difference again tonight as the Oilers, once again, couldn’t get anything done with their power play and they couldn’t stop the Leafs from getting things done with theirs. The tradition continues.
  • Taking a penalty less than a minute into the game was a ballsy choice (bad call) for the Oilers because it gave the chance they needed to take an early lead, and it was Auston Matthews that opened the scoring. Give the guy that much time and he’s going to beat you and that’s exactly what happened.
  • Dominic Moore beat Brossoit high to the blocker side in almost the exact same spot as Matthews. That said, Brossoit should have had Moore’s shot and the thing just blew right past him.
  • Eric Gryba took one of the dumbest penalties I’ve seen in a while and the Leafs were able to capitalize on it almost immediately. Up until that point, the Oilers had been completely dominating the period and having Gryba take such a dumb penalty completely sewered their momentum. He didn’t see the ice in the third period.
  • The announcers hadn’t even finished telling the people who scored before the Leafs were able to restore their two-goal lead. Matt Martin beat Brossoit on the back of a beautiful passing play that, once again, exposed the Oilers in their own end.
  • Patrick Marleau was credited with the game winner with just over a minute left in the game. The reality is that Kris Russell absolutely ripped the puck into his own net. And I’m not talking about a light tap into his own net either, Russell smashed that thing home. I actually feel bad for Russell because it was a bad luck play, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t burst out laughing. Frankly, I’m more annoyed by Gryba’s penalty at the end of the second period.
  • Nazem Kadri with the empty netter. *fart sound*
  • Losing Larsson to an upper-body injury right before puck drop was just another kick to the balls that we didn’t need right now.
  • Were breakouts a problem again tonight? Yes, why do you ask?
  • Frankly, it’s not just breakouts that are annoying me these days it’s the fact that the boys have such a hard time connecting on basically any pass to their teammates. What’s up with that?
  • Seeing so many Leafs jerseys at Rogers Place is revolting. I hope the season ticket holders that gave up their tickets made those jackasses pay a premium.
  • I didn’t want to eat beets tonight and I certainly didn’t want to do it because of the Leafs. Tune into tonight’s #BeetCast over on my Twitter.



02:15 Toronto PPG – Auston Matthews (13) ASST: William Nylander (14), Jake Gardiner (10) 1-0
05:55 Toronto Dominic Moore (4) 2-0
12:37 Edmonton Mark Letestu (5) ASST: Jujhar Khaira (3), Zack Kassian (6) 2-1
13:06 Toronto Matt Martin (2) ASST: Dominic Moore (5), William Nylander (15) 3-1


06:38 Edmonton Zack Kassian (2) ASST: Jujhar Khaira (4), Mark Letestu (5) 3-2
17:32 Edmonton Connor McDavid (11) ASST: Kris Russell (9), Darnell Nurse (6) 3-3
18:29 Toronto PPG – William Nylander (5) ASST: Jake Gardiner (11), Auston Matthews (13) 4-3


03:00 Edmonton Kris Russell (2) ASST: Darnell Nurse (7), Mark Letestu (6) 4-4
18:55 Toronto Patrick Marleau (10) 5-4
19:59 Toronto EN – Nazem Kadri (13) 6-4


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Source: NHL.com, Official Game Page, 11/30/2017, 10:15pm MST

  • jultz=2cups!??

    What a surprise. Baggedmilk is blaming one dman for the loss. The more things change the more they stay the same. Where was your hero Nuge tonight bud? Fanboy of 1 player. Classic oilersnation classic baggedmilk

  • Top 8 in the nhl 2018 draft would be fine with me. Top 4 would be great. It took #66 Mario 7 years to win the Cup . The year before the Penguins won there first cup, they had a down year and drafted Jagr. There are still great times ahead for the Oilers . Be patient .

    • Drexel

      After a decade of lottery picks culminating in Connor McDavid (which was then proceeded by yet another lottery pick), it’s absolutely pathetic that there is even a discussion of the Oilers being in a lottery position yet again.

  • FlamesFan27

    I agree that the season ticket fans who sell their seats just to make a quick buck are revolting. While some people love it, I hate the atmosphere of those games. Same thing happened in Calgary on Tuesday. I understand how some season ticket holders don’t want to go to those games due to the atmosphere, but selling your seat just creates a compound problem.

  • FlamesFan27

    I agree that the season ticket fans who sell their seats just to make a quick buck are revolting. While some people love it, I hate the atmosphere of those games. Same thing happened in Calgary on Tuesday. I understand how some season ticket holders don’t want to go to those games due to the atmosphere, but selling your seat just creates a compound problem.

  • madjam

    Lots of excuses why we lost , but poor teams almost always find a way to lose . So far this season , we are a poor club , and that is on the responsibility of the GM and assembly of the club .

  • madjam

    Have to blame bagged milk for jinxing club by eating beets for every loss . Had he made it for wins club would be on a winning streak . He needs to redo and have no beer after losses until next win .

  • #97TRAIN

    After that crappy Russell own goal at least his teammates stood behind him . If his teammates could do that you’d think some fans could do the same. He has the respect of his peers anyway.

  • McDavid's Comet

    **it happens, it just seems to be happening all too often this year. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Hopefully the Oilers can make history and turn this a season around.

  • Ar_C

    McLellan needs to get his head out of his ass. He needs to get the special teams out of his assistance’s hands and fix them, work on the damn passing it’s disgusting, Why is Maroon a fixture on the 1st line? is he that good? I don’t think so. Why does Nuge only play with duds? Why is a 3rd pairing d’man on the ice in the last minute? for a shot blocker? Veteran presence? Aaaah so many questions, can’t sleep!

  • McDynasty97

    That game hurt! I was physically ill and speechless after that. The last time i felt that pain was when we lost to the Ducks in the playoffs!
    We need some continuity with our lines going forward! The forwards seem to have been a revolving door all season. I get that injuries haven’t helped that but lets see them get the chance to work on BUILDING chemistry. Not just expecting the chemistry to magically happen. The same thought goes for the defense. If ChiaPete had aquired a stop gap like an Ian Cole earlier on, we would have had more continuity and depth in the D-pairings. I attribute Russels gaffe and Gryba’s benching/bad game on the fact that they were both playing above their heads trying to do too much.
    I wanna see a Caggula+ (or similar) for Ian Cole trade ASAP! And some continuity at all positions for a while! Make the guys come together that way and play themselves out of this!
    Never say Die Oiler Fans! It will come! This pain only makes us stronger!

      • McDynasty97

        I couldn’t care who trolls us. TBH. I think individuals that choose to spend their time on rival teams’ chat sites have an inferiority complex. The Oilers will always be the last great dynasty and the trolls know it. Chicago and Pittsburgh still have work to do to become the next one. IMO. The “Logical Reason” for my name is a representation of the penultimate fan BELIEF that we will get to witness another Dynasty! LET’S GO OILERS! FOREVER!

  • Ar_C

    The Oilers only have 3 star forwards. McDavid, Drai and Nuge, all the rest are average (hoping Puhljujarvi becomes one) if I’m McLellan, when I need a goal I would load up with these 3. Guaranteed Goal per period, let the other lines figure out who’s taking the faceoff.

  • Snoop Scottie Dogg

    With all things considered Im not totally disappointed with the game last night. We were down 2 of our best D and a starting goalie. I think the team responded well. I feel bad for Russell; We’ve all gone things like that a one point or another. I thought that he had a really solid game.

    The problem with the leaves only coming to Edmonton once a year is that it brings out all the leave fans out at once. With how many people that hate the leaves i’m surprised SN licks their balls so much…oh well.

  • Petrolero

    How many points have the special teams cost the oilers so far? Even as bad as they have been I’m sure they would be in playoff position right now if their special teams were at least middle of the road. That is first on the coach, second on the players, third on the gm.

  • Snoop Scottie Dogg

    I think Patty Maroon needs to put down the diet shakes and start eating some AAA Alberta beef and some Taber corn. He’s been getting man handled lately. Remember that fight a few games ago….wtf Patrick (oh, its Patrick…and he took out life insurance)

    • MR.LogicalReason?

      LOOLOLOLOLO: One step closer to Nuge, Taylor Hall, Yak, Eberle, Mc David, Drai, Pulijar, etc. You dont seem to understand how this works………. With the best future talent in the world in Mc DRAI…..that is not a reasonable comment.

      • McDynasty97

        Being the voice of reason you claim to be, I haven’t seen you do anything but troll people yourself. Please enlighten us all here on Oilersnation, oh wise one… How does this work?!?!

  • Kris Russell as a hockey player is fine, he is an NHL defenseman and it really sucks what happened to him – very unlucky. The issue I have with him isn’t anything to do with him but rather Chiarelli signing that contract. Just like Horcoff, who is going to turn down great offers? That isn’t on the player, that is on the GM.

    I’d think that even Fayne would be a better option than Gryba at this point, or some of the young guys.