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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

  • Connor McJesus

    Since Davidson’s return, the Oilers have played pretty well, coincidence? Maybe, maybe not.

    Still salty about the Toronto game, especially the 5 on 3 but happy they didn’t fall back from that loss.

      • If we hadn’t built such a big hole, the Leafs game would be easier to shrug off, maybe even see it as a moral victory. But with every game carrying so much weight now, it stung more than it should have. Great effort. Now the team is seven points out of the playoffs. Seven of the next eight games are against Western Conference teams. No better time to have momentum, and probably the last, best chance at salvaging this season.

    • Robdob

      I wasn’t sure claiming Davidson was a great move at first but I was way off. Now I remember why I was so pissed when he got traded last year! Huge improvement on the blue line. I still remember when he was our number 1 guy due to the year of ridiculous injuries. Welcome back Davy!

  • OilersBro

    I think the most exciting part was that Connor scored 4 points but he also had 2-3 prime chances including a 2 on 0. The kid is 20 years old and will start finish those more and more often. I can honestly see the dude having a 10 point game sometime in his career.

    Also it was nice to see us go 2-4 on the PP while guys like Davidson and JJ show us why they should be regulars in the lineup.

  • camdog

    Oilers have played a superior game on the road vs at home this season. We will have to see if they can pick their game up on at home. Much quicker puck movement with 3 skilled centres and without Gryba in the line up. Coaching has as ScottV would say hindered this team this season so far this season.

    • GK1980

      7 th man needs to kick in the rest of the season. Make it uncomfortable for refs at Rogers. If a bad call is made let them hack it! ( respectively of course)

  • Ryan Jones Is Still My Hero

    This is the team we wanted at the start of the season. There’s 51 games left. We’re getting 2 of our top 4 defenseman back soon, plus our #1 goalie. We just need the focus and determination that we’ve shown the last 3 games and we will be fine. We’ve got the best player in the world. #LetsGoOilers

  • OilersGM

    Gregor’s article earlier today about if McDavid can carry this team into the playoffs was on cue and I think McDavid answered it pretty well and will prove everyone wrong who said no or was doubting him.

  • Leon

    If I was the coach I would line up 500 pucks on our goalies glove side and rip pucks at him for hours and hours and hours and hours .. Why is he so weak on that side man !!

    I’m not being negative but he is still very shaky.

    Cool to see our “star” get 4 points . Now he is only 2 points from the scoring lead.

    Boys, lets keep it up and mesh now. IT’S FINALLY TIME !!

  • Danoilerfanincalgary

    I have been picking on Benning lately saying he needs more time in Bakersfield but he played a real good game tonight. Our young goalie let in another softy tonight he has to stop doing that. Conner is spectacular and I am grateful he is an Oiler. Nice to see the guys smiling and having fun on the ice tonight hopefully the tide has turned for them.

  • Play Dirty

    Good job with JJ stepping in quckly in the corner. That lets Leon and Connor know they can play their games and don’t need to worry about taking any sh!t over it. And I don’t think Dubinsky was expecting that left from Zack so quickly.

    • Dirtbag Daddy

      I thought that JJ stepped up and provided some protection when needed. Unfortunately it pumped up the Blue Jackets and they scored a couple of goals but it shows more teamwork in this team than teams from a couple of years ago. They stick up for each other. Zack stepped up at the right moment as well.

    • OilRider

      I was watching the game online and had to watch the Fox Sports CBJ feed. It was kind of funny to hear the announcers whine about how Kassian bee-lined for and jumped Dubinsky, then watch the replay clearly show Duby skate up to Kass, chirp him a bit, drop his gloves first, and then flat out get beat to the punch (literally).

      Almost kinda too bad though. I think that first punch from Kass caught Dubinsky in the eye.

  • Connor McFly

    Balanced effort on both sides of the puck. It’s amazing what a team can do when they are confident and patient. I love the forecheck. Keep it up Oil.

  • CMG30

    Ok, now I’m impressed. I expected them to respond after the coach ‘barked’ at them before the Montreal game. The real test was always going to be if they could sustain their game. Three games later and the fact that they’re still playing lights out says something!

    They’re still a ways out of contention but if they keep this up who knows…

  • OilCan2

    The Dubois / Puljujarvi story is starting to look more interesting. Dubois is already making waves centering a top line. He will probably be sending Connor a thank you note for showing him how its done.

  • slats-west

    I don’t care what people say that was a team “playing and executing fast”. Even bad 10 foot passes didn’t matter because guys went skate to stick at mach 10 speed! McDavid is now going in MCWarp speed now that McFlu is gone – did you see the faces of Johnson and Columbus D in that game “are you freaking kidding me we have to face this guy !” Glad we’re in East. Bring on the Preds and let’s go Streakin!!

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    Although I didn’t elaborate, I did state that the 1-0 loss to Toronto didn’t bother me and here’s why.

    1. It reminded me of Ben Scrivens shutout win over San Jose. A Todd McLellan coached team (on the road) marches into a Canadian city, his team absolutely DOMINATES the home team, and the backup of said home team shuts them out, resulting in the home team winning a game they had no business winning.

    2. The EFFORT was present. Obviously it sucks to lose games (especially with the hole the team dug), but if they put in an honest effort by the team, men, it happens. It’s the blowout losses or the ones where they don’t put effort in that tick me off.

    That being said, this road trip was highly successful in my opinion. We got 4/6 points, out scored our opponent 12-5, and (according to the 630Ched guys) we outshot them 120-75 (or something like that). David sons return has certainly been a positive influence, Brossoit has given them (mostly) solid goaltending whilst Talbot heals up, and this road trip saw the PP get a few points (even if it completely faltered on a Sunday). I know we shouldn’t be too optimistic (especially since our next opponent is Nashville), but I think this team is rounding into form again.

    THIS is what we saw 90% of last season. THIS is how they should play. I know I might take flak for this, but I’m liking what I’m seeing right now and I think they’ll continue this! Great game from the guys, great game for the fans, and a solid, SOLID road trip!

    Go Oilers Go