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 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.
|05:55||Edmonton||Zack Kassian (3) ASST: Mark Letestu (8), Anton Slepyshev (2)||1-0|
|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|
|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|
Always, and without reservation.
— Nirvana (@Nirvana_RA) December 13, 2017
— Pontius (@Kramsuitnop) December 13, 2017
I just got booed by thousands of fans in Columbus because I got on the video board and kissed the Oilers logo on my sweater. I've never felt better
— Thomas Cairo (@TCairo71) December 13, 2017
Every goal he gets,
every point he makes,
Every goal he gets every point he makes, Peters phoning in — (sting the police).
— David (@OilersFanInMTL) December 13, 2017
— Kyle Hoyda (@Hoyda) December 13, 2017
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