GDB 33.0 Wrap Up: Oilers get wild in Minnesota, win matinee against a backup goalie

Happy day time beers for once! Final Score: 3-2 Oilers 

After writing the GDB this morning, all I could think about was how the Oilers had everything going against them in this game. Not only did they have to play hockey before the sun went down, but they were also facing the other team’s backup goalie which turns out to be their kryptonite, for some reason. Was it because they had their own backup playing and they weren’t scoring on other backups as a silent form of support for Brossoit? I mean, probably not but we have no way of proving it either. Regardless, having Cam Talbot back in between the pipes meant that my fake theory didn’t matter anyway, but I’m just saying that the Oilers didn’t have to feel bad about scoring on a substitute starter anymore.

Crazy theories aside, the Oilers had some jump early and did a really nice job of keeping the play in the Wild’s zone. The downside, of course, was that they couldn’t capitalize on that good start and give themselves an early lead on the board. While the Oilers did end up scoring three goals on their road to victory, I have to admit that seeing them get shut down by Stalock in the first period was giving me all kinds of awful flashbacks to Thursday night. On the bright side, Talbot looked fantastic in his first game back from injury and seeing him lock things down in the crease was a sight for sore eyes. The Oilers desperately need stability in net and Talbot provided that today in spades. This was a big four-point win against one of the teams that’s holding a Wildcard spot the Oilers are chasing.

There’s still a long way to go, but this was definitely a good start.

The wrap.


  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins opened the scoring after converting on a perfect shorthanded 2-on-1 with Zack Kassian. Nuge’s 13th goal of the season gives him back the team lead and the Year of Nuge continues.
  • Milan Lucic continues his nice run of production with his 8th goal of the season. Looch gave the Oilers back their lead after he ripped home a quick wrister from the slot.
  • Jesse Puljujarvi continues to impress since being recalled as the big Finn got himself another goal by getting to the dirty areas on the ice. Puljujarvi has made a point of crashing the net since Todd McLellan moved him up with McDavid, and it’s paying off as Puljujarvi is on pace for a 20 goal season despite missing a bunch of games early on. Now put him on the power play, Todd.
  • I don’t know about you guys but I was pretty pumped to see Cam Talbot back between the pipes. No offence to LB but he was very inconsistent and having Dadbot in the net should (hopefully) eliminate some of those weak goals that were costing the boys points on the board. Talbot was excellent in his return, stopping 29 shots and finishing with a .935 save%.
  • Oscar Klefbom seems to be having his game rounding into shape a little bit over the past few games. He played a team high 25:26, was a +2, and had 1 SOG. He does still need to work on hitting the net more.
  • Despite sucking on the power play, the Oilers were excellent on the penalty kill. They killed off all four Minnesota attempts and that’s no small victory. The Wild have very good special teams and killing of every chance they had should be considered a win for the boys.
  • Good day for the Oilers in the faceoff circle as they won 53% of the draws they took.
  • I’m really appreciate Brandon Davidson’s mobility on the third pairing. I feel like he’s been a calming influence back there since being inserted into the lineup, and I can’t help but wonder when Gryba will get back into a game.


  • Matt Dumba tied the game up at one apiece after Matt Benning gave the puck up with his breakout pass to no one. Dumba scored a second goal after capitalizing on another Oilers mistake in the defensive zone as all five guys wound up on the same side of the ice, leaving Dumba all the time and space he needed to slap the puck past Talbot. Brutal coverage by the Oilers in their own zone on that second goal.
  • What is it about backup goalies that makes it so hard for the Oilers to score goals this year? It’s a wild coincidence of some kind that has to be a joke to one of the crueler hockey gods. Seriously, what’s up with that?**********
  • Why won’t Todd McLellan put Puljujarvi on the power play? What’s up with that? The kid has a bomb of a shot that would look really nice on the half boards but it doesn’t seem to be on Todd’s radar right now. What gives?
  • Pat Maroon doesn’t look like the same player right now. He looks more tentative with the puck and he’s not causing the usual mayhem in and around the crease that we’re used to seeing from him. Right now, the Big Rig is struggling to produce away from Connor McDavid.
  • Drake Caggiula replaced Anton Slepyshev today but I’m not sure how long that’s going to last. It seems to me like Slepyshev is doing more than Caggiula is with the same number of minutes. He only played 9:50 today as it’s clear Todd McLellan doesn’t trust him.
  • When I say ‘power play’ you say ‘bad!’ Power play! “Bad” Power play! “Bad”
    • PP: The Oilers went 0/6 with the man advantage today. Horrible.
  • The NHL site only had the Oilers down for three giveaways but I don’t think that’s true at all. Both goals were the result of giveaways and there definitely wasn’t only one more on top of that.
  • That Jason Zucker cross check on Brandon Davidson at the end of the game should be a suspension. Stupid play. No need for it.



No Scoring


09:15 Edmonton SHG – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (13) ASST: Zack Kassian (8) 1-0
13:18 Minnesota Matt Dumba (4) ASST: Mikael Granlund (14) 1-1
16:37 Edmonton Milan Lucic (8) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (15), Connor McDavid (28) 2-1


08:32 Edmonton Jesse Puljujarvi (6) ASST: Milan Lucic (16) 3-1
15:00 Minnesota Matt Dumba (5) ASST: Chris Stewart (4), Eric Staal (16) 3-2


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


On this week’s podcast, the boys get into all things Oilers, look at what’s going on with the Flames moving to Calgary and try to figure out who is impersonating me at the Pint.

Source: NHL.com, Official Game Page, 12/16/2017, 2:30pm MST

  • ScottV

    Seems to me that McL and whoever else influences him on player evaluation, should have brought Puljujarvi and Khaira along – much quicker.
    All it takes – is making the right call and having some patience. With Puljujarvi – patience was key, but didn’t need to include near as much time in Bakersfield last year and certainly not this year. Instead they fool around with a 145 lb kid, at Puljujarvi’s expense, just because Yamamoto made a bit of an offensive splash in training camp. So what. Great maybe for next year, or the year after that – but get the kid back to Spokane and get your 4th overall – big – world class talent guy going.
    You should be able to see world class talent, even if it flounders for awhile.

    • oilerjed

      YOur blissfully forgetting that Jesse was really bad in Training camp and coming off an AHL season that was at best so-so there was no way to justify keeping up with the big club. This is what good developing teams do. Keep players who arent ready for the NHL in the minors and give them a shot when it’s time. That is exactly what happened with Jesse and he is making the most of it. This is a win for the Oilers development if you ask me. Ditto for Khaira. He has had to earn his ice time and it is showing in the way he is playing now.

    • CMG30


      You don’t rush someone who’s not ready. You don’t put a 4th overall into a position to fail. Sending Puljujarvi down was absolutely the right move. As was giving KY the start this season when he dramatically outplayed Pul… and it was also right to then send him back down when he struggled. Players don’t develop in a straight line and there may come a time when Puljujarvi’s play tails off. If that does happen, it would be wise to send him back down again. If that doesn’t happen, great. Either way, judging by his current performance the Oilers’ handling of Puljujarvi has clearly paid off.

      • HOCKEY83

        Oh yes clearly those 10 games in Bakersfield clearly paid off. The experience he got in bakersfield for 10 games this season just made him the more rounded ready to play now player he is now in the NHL.

    • HOCKEY83

      Yes i agree with this completely. Puljujarvi should have been on the team all of last year. Let’s send the guy down who beat Laine out for player of the tournament in his U20 draft year and then let’s send him down again the following year so we can play a munchkin in his place. Happy he’s on the team finally and love watching him play.

      • ScottV

        I mean – if we were chest deep in top 9 RW talent, then maybe you send Puljujarvi to Bakersfield. But – to keep Drai at RW (something that should have changed long ago) and worse – a 145 pounder in top 6 for 10 important games in place of Puljujarvi? C’mon, that’s just dumb. Some guys need different nurturing and you go out of your way a bit for a 4th overall pick, even if he’s floundering a bit. He didn’t learn a damn thing down in Bakersfield, that he couldn’t have learned in the NHL.
        Although Puljujarvi is not as much of a sure thing as Drai – I had the same argument when they sent Drai to the minors in year 2. Kept questioning the move – all the time he was down there, to many trashes within ON.
        Can’t rush Drai, AHL good for him, he’s not doing that well down there – so leave him there, till he shapes up.
        OMG – you dont put very young potential world class guys in the boot hockey AHL. Particularly – when physical size and speed are not an issue.

  • OriginalPouzar

    How do you know that Jesse’s sting in Bakersfield this year (and at the end of last year) wasn’t material in his development and a key part of his current success?

    From accounts, there were a number of nuances to the game Jesse was tasked with working on in Bakersfield and he did just that (angles, gap control, stops/stars as opposed to winding circles, etc.).

    There is a very good chance he would not be having the success he currently is without the organization being willing to allow him of working on his game in the proper league.

  • BobbyCanuck

    After watching all our power plays yesterday, I have figured out the problem…it is our favourite savior, he plays 1.5 minutes and he does not know when he should shoot the puck nor does he know when he should pass it. Always makes the wrong play

  • Slipknot 8

    I get why a lot of people don’t understand why JP isn’t on the PP, he’s got a great shot, he’s big, he’s improving, he scores more than this guy….and on.
    The biggest reason is the way the Oilers break out from there zone, they have one forward who receives a back pass and he ether dumps it in with speed or brings it into the O-zone, however, once he does that the outlet is to the high man(Letestu) who now is the last man back on that side. The decision that has to be made is quick and if you fumble the puck or miss a pass the other team turns it into an odd man rush with only that forward left back….
    Its a lot to ask a kid who is still learning the game at an NHL level.
    It will come, but for once the team is doing the right thing and bringing rookies along slowly instead of sink or swim method.

    • FISTO Siltanen

      Correct me if I’m wrong but SHGs count in the +\- column.

      I think they’ve given up a few of those with him on the ice so he’d be the lone d-man with a minus.

      Plus he’s moved around a lot. I like him a lot as a player but I think he is injured.

    • Slipknot 8

      Klefboms playing hurt, confirmed by the GM, I wonder if it’s a shoulder? at any rate he’s not a 100% and I wouldn’t be surprised if he takes time off once Larsson and Sekera come back.

  • Jay Didz

    What a huge difference it makes when Dadbots patrolling the crease..Not only is it a calming influence but the D doesn’t have to be tentative in terms of thinking there goalies gonna let a softie in..Great win all around boys