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GDB 31.0 Wrap Up: We should play Columbus every day, Oilers win 7-2

MOAR GOALZ! Final Score: 7-2 Oilers

Maybe it was blind optimism or maybe it was the half bottle of rum in my belly, but I actually felt good coming into tonight’s game. I know that the Blue Jackets are hot as a pistol (7-3-0 in their last 10), but I felt like the Oilers made some major gains in their levels of play over this past weekend. If only they could manage a third straight effort like they got in Montreal and Toronto, then I just knew that we had a fighting chance at two points. The Blue Jackets are a tough team to beat at home and the fact that the Oilers jumped out to an early lead was a good omen for my good vibe theory. At the very least, scoring first gave them a decent chance to win the hockey game which was a big step up from giving up gift goals within the first few shifts.

From start to finish, the Oilers were all over the puck and doing whatever they could to make life miserable for Columbus. Who knew that scoring first would open the floodgates the way it did? I mean, I know the Oilers played really well on this road trip, and I know that my rum-induced optimism was at a high, but I don’t think anyone expected them to walk into Columbus and shake them down for their credit cards and wallet. As far as road games go, I don’t know what else the Oilers could have done that they didn’t do tonight (get a shutout — yeah, yeah). They produced at even strength, they won the special teams battle, they got great goaltending, and they really didn’t give up much of anything. I don’t know what has changed for the Oilers on this road trip, but they looked like the team we all hoped they would be this season. Now, let’s see if they can do it at home.

The wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

  • Zack Kassian opened the scoring with an absolutely beautiful tic-tac-toe goal that all three forwards had a hand in. This goal was the result of a really pretty passing play and for them. I tip my cap in salute of the fourth line.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored his team leading 12th goal of the season on the power play after the second unit effectively moved the puck around the zone until Nuge was left wide open. I’m so pumped on the year that Nuge is having and I’ll hate Peter Chiarelli for the rest of my life if he trades him.
  • Matt Benning is going to score plenty of rebound goals if he keeps following Connor McDavid into the offensive zone. Following up on the play with his stick on the ice got Matt Benning his third goal of the year as he beat Bobrovsky with a seeing-eye wrister that gave the Oilers a three-goal lead. Benning was solid tonight, as he finished the game with 22:12 on the ice and two points on the board.
  • Milan Lucic seems to be finding some chemistry with Connor McDavid, as he has six points in his last five games. Looch put home his seventh goal of the season on a perfectly executed 2-on-1 with Connor. Honorable mention goes to Leon Draisaitl and his ridiculous saucer pass out of the zone that landed right on the McStick.
  • Mark Letestu cashed in a short-handed goal on a breakaway with less than a second remaining on the clock. Normally it’s the Oilers that allow that kind of nonsense so it was nice seeing them on the business end of a late-period goal for once.
  • Jesse Puljujarvi scored his fifth goal of the year by being tough on the puck, outworking his man in the slot, and banging home the rebound while falling. That was a man sized goal from a giant sized Finnish man-boy. Incredible effort by Puljujarvi and I love watching whatever he’s building with Connor.
  • The fact that Connor McDavid is heating up is probably terrifying news for the NHL. Tonight was just another chapter in the McDavid Show that he’s been putting on at every stop on this road trip and he demolished the competition. I mean, what can you say about another four point night for McDavid (1G, 3A)? He started the game in ninth place in NHL scoring and it didn’t get him long to crack the top five.
  • If the Oilers were going to have any chance of winning this hockey game they were going to need Laurent Brossoit to do better than whatever Bobrovsky did at the other end. For the second time in a week, Brossoit outlasted a Vezina winner as Bobrovsky got the hook after two periods and Brossoit finished the night with his third win of the season. Not only that, he got his first NHL point on Matt Benning’s goal to cap off a solid night overall. Brossoit finished the night with 28 saves and a .933 save%.
  • Props to the defensive six for working together and making it look like this wasn’t some patchwork defence that was thrown together because of injuries. All three pairings played well tonight.
  • The Oilers’ special teams were great tonight. Honest!
    • PP: They scored on the power play twice! And I really mean it!
    • PK: Not only did they score with the man advantage, they also killed off both PKs they faced (though one was like two seconds long).
  • It was another good night for the Oilers in the faceoff circle as they won 52% of the draws they took.

THE FACE PALMERS

  • Oliver Bjorkstrand ruined the fun by getting Columbus on the board and ending Laurent Brossoit’s bid for a shutout. Rude behaviour from a host, if you ask me.
  • Jack Johnson hadn’t scored a goal in ages and it only makes sense for the Oilers to end his scoring drought. Slumpbusting of any variety is kind of our speciality.
  • I hate to pick on Brossoit after getting a big win, but that Jack Johnson goal was soft. Aside from that, he played really well but I don’t know what it is about him needing to let in one softie every night.

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
05:55 Edmonton Zack Kassian (3) ASST: Mark Letestu (8), Anton Slepyshev (2) 1-0

2ND PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
06:27 Edmonton PPG – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (12) ASST: Michael Cammalleri (9), Matt Benning (4) 2-0
16:41 Edmonton Matt Benning (4) ASST: Connor McDavid (25), Laurent Brossoit (1) 3-0
19:09 Edmonton PPG – Milan Lucic (7) ASST: Connor McDavid (26), Leon Draisaitl (14) 4-0
19:59 Edmonton SHG – Mark Letestu (7) 5-0

3RD PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
06:28 Columbus Oliver Bjorkstrand (6) ASST: Markus Nutivaara (9), Scott Harrington (1) 5-1
08:59 Columbus Jack Johnson (2) ASST: Oliver Bjorkstrand (12), Matt Calvert (6) 5-2
13:44 Edmonton Jesse Puljujarvi (5) ASST: Connor McDavid (27), Darnell Nurse (9) 6-2
17:46 Edmonton Connor McDavid (12) ASST: Jesse Puljujarvi (2) 7-2

#GOODCONTENT

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REAL LIFE PODCAST

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.


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

  • Dr. Merkwurdigliebe

    The team is playing much better now and McDavey is looking ready to make push for another Art Ross. There is little margin for error because of that horrible start, but I know this team can be better than their record suggests which is why this season has been so frustrating. Games like tonight are solid evidence that this team can compete againt top teams and even dominate. Now, we just have to see if they can put a nice streak together. They need to keep the effort up and not take a single night off from now on.

    • Hemmercules

      The team seems to be finally back to what they are capable of. Now, they need at least 30 more games like that. I don’t have any hopes up yet but if they can continue that style of play then a miracle run is possible.

    • madjam

      Justified negativity ? Last season at this point and in 32 games we were 15W-12L-5 T= 35 points , that ended in 103 points . The year before that , at 31 games we were 13W-15L-2T = 30 points , but we only ended up with 70 points . This season at 31 games we are 13W-16L-2 T= 28 points , and who knows which way this season may turn out seeing as it is the worst start of last 3 years . Comparing the 3 years , it seems obvious why all the negativity exists .

  • rivid

    Sorry baggs. But you can’t blame Brossoit on that second goal. If you watch the replay he was clearly screened by Russel and watch trying to look around him. If you are looking to blame someone which it appears you are, ray finding the right person.

  • camdog

    Oilers have 7th best goal differential while short handed on the road with 10 goals given up an 3 shorties for a total of minus 7. League leaders are Kings at -4. And they have games in hand on the competition so they could be top 5 on road by Christmas. So there is some for the penalty kill at home they are -15 and have played awful. Oilers tied for second in shorties. The penalty kill isn’t all doom and gloom.

    • ed from edmonton

      You hit on the point that Oil have been terrible at home this year. Only 5 wins out of 14 home games so far. Another thing that has to change. But after 3 good games in a row for the first time this season, hope springs eternal.

  • acesaaron

    This forward lineup is something I can get behind. Cagguila is the 13th forward and hasn’t done enough this year to warrant a regular shift in my opinion. He has been passed by Khaira and Slepyshev in terms of what they have to offer. Walker needs a few chances but is probably heading to Bakersfield at some point.

    Our D is going to be the best it has been in years when Sekera comes back. Larsson, Klef, Nurse, Sekera, Russell, Davidson and Benning as top 7. Auvitu and Gryba looking in but I would take that lineup into the playoffs. Of course, packaging a few with a forward or draft picks to get Karlsson wouldn’t be bad either.

  • PrairieDog19

    Just did the math – in the last 51 games last year the Oilers went 32-19-0 for 64 points. If they did the same this year they would end up at 45-35-2 for 92 points. Not that far off!