GDB 44.0 Wrap Up: Two inches makes all the difference, Oilers lose 2-1 in Nashville

An offside review is a tough way to lose. Final Score: 2-1 Predators. 

With all the anger and general disappointment that has been hovering over the Oilers these past few days, it was imperative for them to show up and put in a good effort. How frustrating is it that we have to keep wishing for that? Frankly, I don’t know how much lower the Oilers can get if one of the biggest asks from the fanbase is for them to actually show up and actually do their job. Once again, that simple hope was dashed quickly as the Oilers gave up the first goal of the game for the 27th time this season. As if that wasn’t enough, they allowed another only a few minutes later, and for the third straight game were been down by at least two goals before the first period was over. Even the biggest moron can tell you that this is a bad plan for success.

As the game progressed, the Oilers did get much better but it’s never easy to come back in the NHL when you’re down by two goals, and that’s the position that they keep putting themselves in. To have the Oilers drop the first two goals again for the third straight game is a case study in lack of preparation. And while I’m appreciative of the way they stepped up and got to work in the second and third periods, they ended up losing because of what happened (or didn’t happen) in the first period. If you can’t be ready to play for 60 minutes then there’s a good chance that you’re going to lose at this level and, unfortunately, that’s what happened here. That said, having the tying-goal called back because Jujhar Khaira’s skate was off the ice by two inches is heartbreaking. For a league that’s constantly starving for offence, these are the kind of rules that don’t make sense.

Unfortunately, you don’t get points for heartbreakers.

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The wrap.


  • Connor McDavid was easily the best Oiler tonight (as per tradition) and it was nice to seem him flying around the ice. After dropping the first two goals of the game, the Oilers needed to get themselves back into it, and it was the captain that got them there. Watching him blow past the defenceman from a dead standstill was a masterpiece on ice, and we should remind ourselves every day that we’re lucky to have him. Times may be bad, but he is very good.
  • The Maroon-McDavid-Draisaitl line was a force tonight, and I bet that Todd McLellan is going to ride them for a while now. Those three are comfortable together and I bet Todd will stick with it for the rest of the year.
  • Cam Talbot was perfect after allowing those two first period goals. Not to mention, the second goal was basically a gift after a rebound took an unlucky bounce off Larsson’s face. Anyway, Talbot kept his team in this game and made some huge, timely saves to keep things close. Much better effort by Dadbot and he finished the night with 22 saves and a .917 save%.
  • At this point in the season, I’m just trying to look for bright spots and I’m happy to say that Darnell Nurse is one. Darryl is having a great year, and it’s really fun to see how he’s progressing. That said, with Peter Chiarelli failing his community college courses in negotiation, Nurse’s contract negotiations could be terrifying.
  • Oscar Klefbom led the team in ice time with 23:45 and was second to Connor McDavid with three shots on goal (Connor had six).
  • Quick shout out to Jujhar Khaira right now because you know he probably feels bad even though he shouldn’t. Could he have dragged his foot? Maybe. I’m not going to blame him.
  • At least they won the Corsi?
  • The Oilers were great in the faceoff circle tonight, winning 64% of the draws they took.
Mike Smith is back on a one-year deal worth $2 million


  • In this morning’s GDB, I wrote about the Oilers having a solid penalty kill on the road. In fact, the Oilers had killed 14 straight road penalties, coming into this game. That was until Craig Smith scored with the man advantage to open the scoring. For the 27th time this season, the Oilers gave up the first goal.
  • Viktor Arvidsson scored a goal that was basically the Oilers season in a nutshell. Talbot made a save off of a point shot and the rebound popped up into Adam Larsson’s face. Larsson dropped (understandably so) and so did the puck, right onto Arvidsson’s stick. If the Oilers didn’t have bad luck they would have none.
  • The no-goal call on Mark Letestu’s tying goal is one of the most ridiculous non-goal calls of all time. Jujhar Khaira’s body was onside, but his left skate was off the ice by a few inches and the goal was called back. There was no advantage to the Oilers. His skate being off the ice while his body was onside had no effect on the play. I understand that this is the rule as it’s written but it’s still ridiculous in every way. That’s just more crap from a league that always seems to be looking for ways to increase offence. No competitive advantage at all, but that’s the rulebook.
  • The Oilers lost on the special teams again. They allowed a power play goal and couldn’t score one of their own, and it’s as simple as that. How many games have the Oilers lost this season that was the same story? I don’t have the exact answer but I can certainly say it’s way too many.
  • The NHL had the giveaways listed as 10 for the Oilers and I’d bet that eight of those came in the first period. The Oilers were basically puck Santa with the Predators and it was that type of mistake that cost them.
  • Scott Hartnell is huge dick. I don’t know how one guy can slash another dude in the balls knowing full well what that feels like. Bush league.
  • Am I allowed to make fun of Lucic for publically criticisizing the power play on nights when he gets called for a bad one and the other team scores the game winner? Too soon?
  • Did I want to do a #BeetCast today? Of course not. But this one hurts. As always, check it out and join in with some questions over on my Twitter.
  • Is Peter Chiarelli fired yet? How about now? No? I’ll check again tomorrow. His intermission interview where he talked about “evaluation” and “looking for solutions” was complete bullshit. He should have known this roster was flawed in August. Ridiculous.
Edmonton Oilers select Maxim Beryozkin with the 138th overall pick



08:26 Nashville PPG – Craig Smith (15) ASST: Viktor Arvidsson (14), P.K. Subban (23) 0-1
15:31 Nashville Viktor Arvidsson (13) ASST: Roman Josi (17), Ryan Johansen (21) 0-2


00:45 Edmonton Connor McDavid (15) ASST: Matt Benning (6), Leon Draisaitl (23) 1-2


No Scoring


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

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Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 01/09/2018 – 9:00pm MST

  • OldOilerFan

    Worst rule in professional sports. As fast as these guys skate, that play happens in a fraction of a second. Unbelievable the GM’s of the league keep it. The only review should be if it’s blatant. Whoever dreamt up that challenge should be lined up and shot …

    • Klef abs

      Should they also change the rule on a goal if the puck is just an inch short of going in??? Jesus man. Yes it’s tough when that goes against us. But that is the rule. And BM going on about his body being onside??? Wtf? Have you guys been hockey fans for a week? Jesus. It’s the rules. That’s the way it has always been. Get over it.

      • Memyself&i

        Klefbom abs – I don’t think they were complaining about the call but about the dumb rule which without a doubt an absolutely idiotic rule would you not agree? That blue line should be like the end zone line in football.
        Wish the refs were allowed to make judgement calls on these ‘infractions’.
        Such a terrible rule…

        • Klef abs

          So should the goal line also be like the goal line in football? Break the plane and it’s a goal?? The way the rule is whether it’s the plane of the blue line or keeping one foot down doesn’t matter one bit. There will always be plays that are an inch away from being a call or not no matter where the plane is or line is. It doesn’t make a difference what so ever.

          • Memyself&i

            Klef abs – ‘should the goal line also be like the goal line in football?’ Whaaa? Not sure what you’re going on about but you are really reaching. But clearly no. The blue line offside rule should be the same as the goal line rule in hockey -puck must be completely over the line – A player should be completely over the line to be offside. Pretty simple concept. Reviews should be done with overhead cameras (like those of a puck crossing the line) and the footage would clearly show a player is on top of the line or past. You’re either entirely in or you’re not. Again easy concept. Can you honestly not grasp why this is an issue?

      • QuitForRealThisTime

        These rules are in place to prevent the advantage on a play, in soccer they took out the offside for a player that is not involved in the play at the time the ball crossed the line. The fact that JJ had his skate off the ice verses on is stupid. If a rule is bad then remove it. Or add 50 more rules and the player don’t need the play we can just watch the reffing.

    • Peter Chiarelli

      Kessler grabbed the pad on Talbot’s leg but the Ducks goal still counted. I guess Khaira lifting his skate 2 inches off the ice was the bigger sin.

    • GK1980

      Look rules are rules and refs gonna ref. Oilers need to score more goals! plain and simple. They have not been able to finish on a consistent bases all year. The team is very close to becoming a real powerhouse. Hard to see now but the record this year does not reflect the type of team we have here.

  • Disappointed

    So they should of let that goal count, is that what you are saying? Ban all video reviews, or just ban video reviews that challenge Oiler goals or what? Maybe shut up and just let you complain, ok, no more video review complaints that show the correct calls tonight. I’ll save my vinegar for conspiracists theories.

    • Superdave

      No, that goal should have counted according to the rules. The rule is garbage. That’s the point. There is no competitive advantage in the play, no difference at all, between a foot barely off the ice and touching the ice for that split second. They should change the rule.

    • 40 Year Re-build

      Just remove that challenge all together. The original purpose of offside was to stop players from standing in front of the goalie and receive a pass from the other end of the ice. A skate being an inch off the ice is just so far away from why the rule was put in the game. Also, you can’t challenge when the ref calls an offside incorrectly that ruins a scoring play. Challenges should be able to go both ways. Yes, according to the rules the ref made the right call. But it is still stupid. Remove it from the game.

      • Klef abs

        We coach kids starting from timbit days that offside is offside and you have to keep the back skate behind the blue line until the puck crosses. It’s one of the fundamental rules of hockey taught since you can first skate. But yeah this call went against us so let’s just get rid of that rule all together.

        • That's My Point

          Same situation last year against the Preds with both skates in the air straddling the blueline is a good goal. Only because the Preds scored it? Probably no goal if the Oilers did it like last night. There is no consistency on any offsides, goalie interference or penalties in this Bettman run NHL. Why aren’t the refs accountable for the non-call infractions against the NHL’s #1 player???

  • fisherprice

    I still, to this day, do not understand why Lucic gets such a free ride from fans and the mainstream press. Lost in all the replay hullabaloo is the fact that once again, he got setup in the dying seconds with a wide open net and whiffed on it (a common sight his whole time in Edmonton). I’m so sick of seeing him out there on the PP and in the last 2 minutes of games, just completely ineffective. As for all the people who roasted Benoit Pouliot for taking penalties? Lucic already has taken 21 more PIM (in 44 games!) than Pouliot did in any one season as an Oiler.

    • camdog

      Lucic is like 6th in minor penalties on Oilers, 10 minors to 5 for Pouliot. His fighting minutes are good minutes. Problem with ragging on Lucic is it’s like pising in the wind we all knew when he signed it would be bad, I take my frustration out on the guy that signed him, like many of us do. I liked Pouliot’s game last year, to start the here he struggled but he finished strong. It was foolish to let him go.

  • nijames

    Its not a great way to lose a goal but I believe the philosophy of the review is to make sure they get things right in a game. If he was off side then its simple no goal. Doesn’t matter if it had a bearing on the play or not, off side is off side. They got it right and all the teams use the review if it benefits them so nothing to change. Can’t say some off sides are good and some are not. Stinky way to lose no question.

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    So I called Overtime Openline and asked about the off-side challenge that happened last season, Reid and Rob confirmed what we all knew then and what we all know now. THAT GOAL WAS UTTERLY AND COMPLETELY OFFSIDE AND EDMONTON SHOULDVE GOTTEN A POINT! JUST LIKE TONIGHT! IM PISSED, BECUASE THESE GAMES PISS ME OFF WHEN WE LOSE!

    • nijames

      cheer up Alex, they play the worst team in the league next, should be able to win that one. Unfortunately they are not making the playoffs this year so every loss increases the old lottery odds

  • GK1980

    Reffing rarely has gone the Oilers way this year. Interesting comment on the after show. Brown mentioned refs remember cheeky players and if maroon is causing this biased reffing then they need to lose him. Plain and simple. Can’t see maroon here next season.

    • Disappointed

      He does not want to be here and will not sign a low ball contract. Be 100% sure he will be trsting free agency. A second round pick for him would be a coup.

        • That's My Point

          Only if it works against Edmonton. You get it yet? If Lucic or Maroon look at an opposing player cross-eyed it’s a penalty. If Kesler/Hartnell (insert antagonist here) does ANYTHING to an Oiler it’s ok with the refs. Clear? Bettman doesn’t care if McDavid gets injured and the Oilers management has no spine to make a statement against this garbage.

  • Atomic Clown

    I personally feel that ref association hates Alberta. Edmonton is just as bad at drawing calls and getting bs calls as Calgary. Gaudreau was pulled down then tripped in OT, but nah. I watched the goal review on Letestu’s goal, and Khaira was offside by half a skateblade, but nah.

    • QuitForRealThisTime

      And the fact is it it only exists to prevent scoring and excitement for a sporting event. Soon the NHL will get rid of that annoying excitement thing.

  • Oiler Al

    Looking at the scoreboard teams scoring 8,7,5,4.etc. goals.These numbnuts keep coming up with ones or zeros for the most time!Could not score to save their lives. Teams with lesser rosters score and win games.
    Other than 97 driving to the net,everyone else is shooting cup cakes from across town.

  • McDynasty97

    BM – you didn’t even “NOT complain about the refs”. What gives?! Is it because you’ve lost all confidence in the oil PP to do anything? Or just because you are becoming used to the blatant lack of consistency? There were AT LEAST 4 blatantly obvious non calls. IMO, THAT was the difference in the game! As bad as the oilers PP is, I’ll guarantee we score on the power play! Then the team plays with confidence. Then we win! I blame this loss and likely 5 or 6 losses solely on the REFS and the league for letting it get to this point! And don’t get me started on f*n offsides!!!

  • Gary

    Your Captain needs to do more than blow by the defence and make passes to an empty slot. He needs to command his team.
    Complaining about an offside call that 31 of 31 NHL teams would have been called on, is futile, they were offside, end of story. Read the rule book regarding offsides.
    A stick stuck in an opposing players sweater is not a penalty, yanking on it when stuck is.
    That no one has been held accountable for the Oilers losing season is, well, reflective on your ownership, and to the fans that continue to fill the stands.

  • 40 Year Re-build

    Seriously the offside rule needs to go. I hate it so much. I don’t even like seeing the other team have good goals called back because of it. Nobody asked for it. Why can’t you challenge an icing call? Guaranteed someone has iced a puck before crossing the red line and it resulted in a goal. And the challenge only goes one way. I can also guarantee a perfectly good 2 on 1 has been blown down offside before when it actually wasn’t. Can’t challenge that. I am ranting. I just get so worked up about it.

  • Jordan88

    1. Hook on McDavid
    2. Khaira hit in the numbers
    3. RIP Maroons balls

    Hate the PK all you want, and Oilers staff. Those calls can’t be missed. Refs get Preds player of the game award.

    Also BM,

    That should have been number one in your list of face palmers.


    4 regulation goals in the last 6 games is pathetic and moral victories are as appealing as Chiarelli in a dress. But you can’t deny there was a better effort tonight. Next game, Coyotes, and we HAVE to beat them. After that the Knights, who we dummied the first time we saw them, maybe we can keep that rolling? Then the Canucks and Sabres, two of the only teams worse than us right now. After that the Flames who haven’t beaten us for almost 2 years. Lets say we go on a 5 game winning streak, maybe that momentum can win us two more games after that?? I’m getting called out for not being positive enough, so there you go!

  • Heschultzhescores

    Ok, for those who think it’s just whining about the offside. I get it that it’s the current rule, but it makes zero sense, and here’s why. JK was clearly behind the line, the fact his foot is not in contact with the ice kinda goes with physics…skating requires lifting your feet. Second, he is further back than many guys are who would be onside if their toe was touching the ice. Why are we trying to take good goals away when the guy gained no advantage by having his foot off the ice? It should be a plane that is an imaginary line straight up from the blue-line. I’m not sure why it’s 2018 and we still haven’t figured out this simple thing. There is NO advantage gained, the guy is still in the same position behind the blue-line! I’m done, if some people don’t get this they probably need the coloured with a trail behind it as well.

      • GK1980

        I was actually thinking maybe the pucks could have a magnet inside and the blue line could have some kind of detector. It could aid in calling offsides, clearly refs are missing a ton of these calls. The game is fats and hard to read sometimes, can’t blame the refs.

    • Gary

      What is it you do not understand? It was off side. Period.
      If it had happened against Nashville same result, off side.
      Do you want different rules for different teams?
      Blaming officials is for losers. You have to be better than that.

      • Heschultzhescores

        What is it you don’t understand that I’m not saying it wasn’t offside according to the rules, I’m saying the rule needs to be changed. If the blue line was a thick as your skull clearly is then we’d never have an offside…sheesh!

          • Heschultzhescores

            You aren’t reading the comment. You’re reading into it what you want to. That’s why you got the insult. The comment is simply the rule needs to be changed. Tell me why it’s so important to you that a guy have his foot on the ice when clearly it’s behind the blue-line? What is the answer to that?

          • Heschultzhescores

            By the same logic then a puck along the ice going over the goal-line is different than a puck in the air. The line is still the line, it runs up the entire height of the net.

        • Klef abs

          Then they change the rule to the plane of the line that makes it just as subjective and hard to judge. Next time the guys pinky toe will break the plane and a goal will be called back and there will be a whole bunch more whining. No matter where they draw the line or the plane there will be calls called offside that will negate a goal.

      • That's My Point

        WRONG! Nashville did it last year against the Oilers and it’s a “good goal”. There’s your problem. It “shouldn’t” matter which team does it, it “should” be called consistently, but it ALWAYS goes against the Oilers.

  • corky

    Connors interview tonight was all class. Level headed and truthful. This has to be eating him up inside. Hall suffered for many years, hopefully not Connor also.

  • RJ

    As bad as the result was this evening, I’m most disappointed in ON tonight. “Two inches make all the difference” is the title and there’s not one “that’s what she said” comments.