GDB 30.0 Wrap Up: McElhinney stole the show, Oilers lose 1-0

C’mon, really? Final Score: 1-0 Maple Leafs

Coming into today’s game, all I wanted was for the Oilers to use that heartbreaking own-goal loss as some kind of revenge motivation for tonight. Seemingly every player and media member wanted to rally around Kris Russell after his bad luck play cost the Oilers at least a point on that night, and there would be no better way to do that than to pull out a win for him today. Regardless of what it took to motivate them, I needed to see the Oilers silence the horrendous hoard of human beings that willingly identify themselves as Leafs fans. Aside from beating Calgary, there are no wins more satisfying than watching the Oilers beat the Leaves. It was a simple dream.

That dream didn’t look like it was going to turn out so well after the Leafs were able to open the scoring off of a turnover at the blue line only 34 seconds into the game. I don’t know what it is about the Oilers and allowing early goals but they’ve got a real problem keeping the puck out of the net within the first few minutes of hockey games. Fortunately, the Oilers got better as the game went along, and they got their fair share of chances, but the snake bite was real as they couldn’t get anything past McElhinney without having it hit the post. As it turns out, that early goal ended up being the winner and the Oilers get nothing despite another admirable effort on the road. The Oilers probably deserved a point or better, but that’s the way things go when you’re struggling, right? *sigh*

The wrap.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below


  • You think Connor was fired up to play today? The last time the Oilers were in Toronto, Connor got beat on the game winner (horrible missed holding call on Kadri, mind you) and I figured that having things end that way must have annoyed him. He used that hate-fuel for good today as he was absolutely flying, carving the Leafs defence up like they were there by winning a raffle. He had so many chances tonight and it’s a shame he wasn’t rewarded for it.
  • Despite playing the fewest minutes of any of the three centres, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins led the team with seven shots on night, was 50% in the faceoff circle, and had four blocks which was tied for first among the forward group.
  • As a group, the top six defenders were all effective at limiting the Leafs from getting too many chances in tight. Klefbom led the group with seven shots and a 24:01 worth of ice time.
  • I have to admit that I was surprised to see Laurent Brossoit back between the pipes tonight, and I was nervous about what kind of appearance this would be. Generally, the math shows that playing on back-to-back nights isn’t the best idea, but I guess that Todd felt like this was the only option. Aside from the first goal being questionable (though it was deflected), Brossoit was solid for 58 minutes of this hockey game. He finished the night with 22 saves and a .957 save%. It’s hard to win when the team doesn’t score.
  • I have to give props to Jujhar Khaira again for his fine work down low. The puck has been following the big man around lately and he’s making the most of it with some timely goals. He may not have scored tonight but he had another big game on the Oilers fourth line.
  • The penalty kill was perfect tonight, killing off both power play chances they faced.
  • We won the Corsi.


  • There is no team better at making a backup goalie look like a Vezina candidate than the Edmonton Oilers. 41 saves for McElhinney? C’mon.
  • If I told you that the Oilers gave up the puck at the blue line and the Leafs were able to walk it down the ice and rip one past Brossoit would you be surprised? Of course not. Draisaitl gave it up, Gardiner shoots, Hymen deflects it past Brossoit.
  • How many posts did the Oilers hit tonight? Four? Five? Absolutely no puck luck for the boys in white tonight.
  • After yesterday’s game, I had hope for the special teams — okay maybe not the penalty kill — but those were dashed again today. Once again, the Oilers were up to their old tricks of gifting goals and doing nothing with their opportunities. A big special shout out to the failed two-minute 5-on-3 power play at the end of the second period. A lot of standing around, a lot of passing, not a lot of finishing.
    • PP: Going 0/4 on the night was the killer tonight. The Oilers had plenty of chances to get themselves on the board and their power play couldn’t get it done. That’s not to say that they weren’t effective at maintaining zone time, but the execution was (obviously) lacking.
  • Oilers were only 46% on the power play with Connor really struggling at a 21% success rate.
  • Making passes is not this hard. Making passes is not this hard. Making passes is not this hard. Making passes is not this hard. Making passes is not this hard. Making passes is not this hard. Making…
  • Speaking of the power play, why isn’t Jesse Puljujarvi on it? Anybody have a good explanation that I’m not seeing? Why doesn’t Todd want to put him out there?
  • Why couldn’t Jim Hughson say Brossoit? What was up with that?
  • There is nothing worse than a Leaf-caused #BeetCast. As always, you can check it out on my Twitter.



00:34 Toronto Zach Hyman (6) ASST: Jake Gardiner (13), William Nylander (16) 0-1


No Scoring


No Scoring


Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Talk to me, Twitter. Tweet at @OilersNation and @jsbmbaggedmilk for your chance to land in the Best of the Tweets.


On this week’s Real Life Podcast, the boys get into an array of topics including trading for Karlsson, and what it would be like to have the nicest house on the west coast.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Source: NHL.com, Official Game Page, 12/10/2017, 7:30pm MST

  • Clayton

    These games happen to every team every year. The Oilers deserved better tonight…hit a goalie having a hot night and some bad post luck. The problem is with the Oilers so far back in the playoff race they can’t afford these kinds of games when they have already racked up too many lacklustre games!

  • CofC

    Unfortunately bounces and shots didn’t go our way tonight – hurts more because of our place in the standings… I think the team played a solid effort overall, and applied plenty of offensive pressure; however, one thing our team CANNOT do (particularly 8+ million dollar stars) is turn the damned puck over at the offensive blue line (Draisaitl did it twice tonight and 34 seconds into the game it cost us a goal)… Most of team has stuck with getting pucks deep and forecheck like he$$ if there’s no play to be made, particularly since the Philly game, but tonight AGAIN it cost us the game… Anyway, hoping for a similar effort with mistakes and turnovers ironed out for next game. Go Oil.

  • Arminius

    41 save shutout? By MCELHINNEY??! Good God Man. That’s rich. One man show will never accomplish anything. If only there were some other #1’s to surround him with or top 5 picks that might help.
    Curious to see how much worse Chiarelli can sewer the team before he gets canned.

  • This.Is.NHL

    The Oil are going to have another decade of darkness. For the past decade the Oilers get a s#%* shedule except for last year we were lucky oh wait new building i see why now, and this year its back to the s#%* shedule the Oil need to be on a whole other level if they ever want to make the playoffs again, because i know for a fact that the Oilers are going to get the same shedule next year which means same spot next year.

    We need some boys on the bus hockey.

  • Dr. Merkwurdigliebe

    They hit so many posts tonight. Losing a game like this really shines a spotlight on how important it is to get off to a good start to the season because, inevitably, a team will lose a game or two they deserved to win. The Oilers can’t afford these kinds of losses. Argh.

  • DoubleDIon

    I love that you guys suck again. It’s nice when the order of things is restored. That said, Draisaitl is struggling after signing a big deal. Not abnormal. I think he’ll be better next year. Klefbom is still a good player, just not playing like it now. Those things will improve at some point. The winger wasteland and your bottom 4 D just aren’t good enough. You guys have 4 guys who are 6-7 types filling the bottom 2 pairings. Can’t win like that. Very little speed or scoring threats outside the centermen. Can’t win like that. Talbot will get better at some point, but those two issues that can’t be fixed are on the GM. Stop blaming TM.

      • DoubleDIon

        You lost to the Leafs. If we’re doing the corsi thing, then you beat the Leafs and lost to the Flames. You are second last in the conference and almost everyone ahead of you has games in hand. Keep telling yourself you’re dominating though.

        • Mc?

          If you had actually watched the game last night, you would have seen a team absolutely dominate another team for 55min. It wasn’t even close, corsi or no corsi….. excuses aside, if they keep dominating teams like they have been, the wins will come.

          On a side note, the only reason you guys won the corsi thing against us was because our entire team went to sleep for 20min, but the other 40min it wasn’t even a competition.

    • Slipknot 8

      Klefbom has been taking lessons from Yakupov. close eyes, wind up, take a huge slap shot 10 feet away, blow it wide, watch it fly out of the zone, go back and repeat.

  • X Man

    Anyone else here that can’t wait for the summer so we can get excited for another 1st overall pick at the draft and go around talking about Oiler’s Domination again?

  • DoubleDIon

    I have a solid business idea for all of you unemployed people in Edmonton. Oiler specific prop bet website. You could have predictions for things like when the first jersey hits the ice in 17/18. What date McDavid requests a trade. What day PC trades RNH for Brad Richardson and cap savings. Which former Oiler will be hired next by the organization. This is a solid idea and I’ve got some ideas for a domain name if you want to go international.

    • Spartacus

      Keep chirping, Doubled*uchebag, it won’t be long before you’re cheering for the Seattle Flames, no probably the Seattle Rain, or the Seattle Waves or something way better than flames.

  • J-Dub

    First time posting. As an Oilers fan, that was a tough one to lose. But at least they were engaged for most of the game, which most Oilers loyals have not witnessed most of this season. Hopefully, they can continue this level of effort. Yes the first goal against was a heart breaker, but we should be a team that should be able to out-offense the other team.

    A large part of that stems from the special teams. What’s going on with the power play? Everybody, is pointing to our inability to score on the 5 on 3. Let’s be clear, the players were not deployed correctly – and that in effect negates the 2 man advantage. First, why is Ryan Nugent-Hopkins the body in front of the net. Why waste his offensive talent battling in front of the net? That should be the job for a big body like Lucic or Maroon, who can obstruct the goalie, take away one of the dmen, and battle for the loose pucks in front of the net. Let Nuge, threaten from the outside with McD and Drai. All three are capable of shooting below the top of the circle, and threading passes. The three of them should find ways to disrupt the defensive formation – by using their speed and skating to spread the d out of position. Watch the Islander’s Barzal zigzag around with the puck to create space. We’re far too stationary – use some criss-crossing. Secondly, why is Letestu out there? No offense to Mr. Letestu, but the best offensive players should be out there for the 5 on 3. Lastly, we need a shooter from the point that is going to hit the net, and make the opposing team respect the shot from the point. Klefbom takes too long to get his shot off, and rarely hits the net. Try Puljarvvi or Davidson perhaps – as I’m not too concerned about the puck turning the other way on a 5 on 3. What’s so frustrating is we’ve been running this crappy powerplay all season we’ve kept things status quo. The saying goes – “if it ain’t broke, don’t change it” – well coaches – it’s broken!

    • acesaaron

      The special teams are a problem and there is one player that plays a prominent role on both – Mark Letestu. He needs to spend some time off of the PP or just be used to win face offs and then change for JP. Something definitely needs to change. A 5 on 3 should just be a shooting gallery and not looking for the highlight reel goal.

  • acesaaron

    Oilers need to forget about top corner goals for now and just get the thing on net (even along the ice) to force the goalie to make a save and control rebounds. Crashing the net and getting second chance goals helps grind a team and a goalie down and would likely be much more successful than the outside shot trying to go bar down. This team played well but just unlucky and needed a few breaks.

  • camdog

    “No hope for penalty kill” penalty kill on road is top 10, why do bloggers whom pretend to use advanced stats not understand some of the simpler numbers? It’s always been the powerplay that’s been the issue with this team on the road.