The season hasn’t gone as anybody planned. It’s late January and the Oilers are very far from a playoff spot. Watching the games can be incredibly frustrating at times, but last night, the Oilers gave us some life with a wild come-from-behind
double victory in the shootout over the Flames. As bad as the season is, beating Calgary will help cure ills.
*Extreme Spongebob voiceover*— Oilersnation.com (@OilersNation) January 26, 2018
96 minutes and 33 seconds later....
Oh yes Davidson pic.twitter.com/83JToct2bH
The Oilers were down 2-0 after the first period, but got themselves back into it when Brandon Davidson pinched in and picked up a puck that Jesse Puljujarvi fanned on and fired it between David Rittich’s pads. This was an ugly one, but you need to be lucky to be good. Getting pucks on net is a good thing.
Kassian on the spot. pic.twitter.com/zbjkuuSxXT— Oilersnation.com (@OilersNation) January 26, 2018
Just a minute later, Zack Kassian feed Leon Draisaitl in the high slot. Draisaitl shoots, rings one off the post, but Kassian in right there to slam in the rebound. It was his first goal since Dec. 12. That must’ve felt nice.
A little house keeping as I pull myself from the edge of my seat.— Oilersnation.com (@OilersNation) January 26, 2018
- ND pic.twitter.com/OrqcMXkPiS
In the third period, Davidson gave the Oilers the lead with his second of the game. Ryan Strome picked up the puck behind the net and fed Davidson in the high slot who quickly buried a clapper past a screened Rittich. Oscar Klefbom wanted the one-timer, but Davidson had the hot hand and ripped home a perfect shot.
RYAN STROME IN OVERTIME! or not....— Hockey Daily (@HockeyDaily365) January 26, 2018
Goalie interference was called on this play, do you agree? pic.twitter.com/TaYdjF4RLQ
I really can’t figure out what the NHL was thinking here. Connor McDavid streaks his way up the ice and cuts through Calgary’s defenders, is stopped by Mike Smith, but Ryan Strome crashes the net and buries the rebound.
Game over. Oilers win. The crowd goes wild. What a moment. But wait!
After David Rittich leaves the net assuming the game is over and the Oilers clear the bench to celebrate, the refs go upstairs to see if there was goalie interference on the play. They determine that McDavid’s tap of Rittich’s pad/stick was enough interference to reverse the call.
Uhhh…… That’s so bad there aren’t even words for how bad it is. Obviously it’s maddening from an Oilers fan perspective, but the NHL needlessly took away a great moment in a game for a scant interference call that was very clearly just incidental contact. I mean, you could easily argue Rittich initiated contact with his stick.
Connor McDavid scores the shootout winner and tells the ref to check upstairs pic.twitter.com/LT2pstgY89— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) January 26, 2018
The game eventually goes to a shootout and Connor McDavid puts the Oilers ahead in the third round with a gorgeous backhand deke past Rittich. After that, he mockingly tells the ref to go check upstairs to make sure there wasn’t any interference. The ref assessed McDavid a 10-minute “abuse of officials” penalty.
*Ahem* Auston Matthews didn’t get a 10-minute penalty for his goal call the other day after his goal was disallowed.
The shot attempts at even strength were split right down the middle, with the Flames and Oilers each getting 44 pucks directed on net. In all situations, the shots were deadlocked at 37. But, as the heat map suggests, the Oilers were peppered by the Flames in terms of quality chances in front of the net, with Calgary getting 17 high danger chances and Edmonton getting just six. One thing the Oilers did really well was stop the Flames on all four of their power play opportunities, which is something they haven’t been able to do all season.
- I’ll start this on a positive note by saying that beating the Flames is always, and always will be, an excellent thing. Even in a season when virtually everything has gone wrong, the fanbases is at each other’s throats on who to blame, and the games at times can be un-watchable, a game like that can make you forget about the big picture for a few glorious minutes. The Oilers are now 3-0 against the Flames this season, they were 4-0 against them last season, and they haven’t lost to them since April 2, 2016.
- The Oilers didn’t play a perfect game by any stretch, but they showed a lot of resilience last night. They battled back after being down 2-0. They didn’t get dejected after they gave up the 3-2 lead in the third period. And, most impressive of all, they managed to win again after having a win taken away from them in overtime. There was a lot to like about this effort. I won’t say that it’s going to turn anything around because too many times this season have I been fooled into thinking a great effort is the start of something with this group. Regardless, that was a damn good and enjoyable game, and we needed it.
- The overtime goal being taken away is garbage in itself because it was the completely wrong call and it wasn’t necessary by any stretch, we’ve been over that already, but I feel particularly bad for Ryan Strome. He had himself one of his best games as an Oiler and should have come out of that game with three points and a game-winner. It hasn’t been an easy season for Strome, who had big shoes to fill being the return in a one-for-one deal, and he was robbed of, in my opinion, his biggest goal as an Oiler.
- The NHL needs to do some soul searching about these terrible replays. The offside replays where some guy not involved in the play has his foot slightly over the line being the reason for a goal being overturned is terrible. These scant interference calls in which the refs go upstairs and the war room looks for a reason to take back a goal is terrible too. The league needs more excitement. It doesn’t necessarily need more goals, but it needs more exciting moments. Last night’s overtime win was one. A wild back-and-forth battle between the Oilers and the Flames ended in overtime? That was a great moment, and it was completely erased because the NHL isn’t totally sure what constitutes as interference. I mean, hell, where was that against Anaheim last spring?