The Oilers battled back from two goals down with a last-second goal from Connor McDavid to force overtime, but the Avalanche ended up getting the win. There were some things to like about this game, but ultimately, they came up short against an Avs squad without Nathan MacKinnon.
After Colorado went up with a 2-0 lead, Leon Draisaitl found Connor McDavid for a tap-in goal. McDavid tipped the pass and Jonathan Bernier made the original save, but McDavid managed to smack in the rebound in mid-air.
This IS goalie interference pic.twitter.com/wEydHHxuOL— 🆃🅷🅴🅴 🅽🅰🆃🅸🅾🅽 🅳🅰🅽 - 🅂🄷🄾🅁🅃🅂 🄶🅄🅈 (@TheNationDan) February 2, 2018
It seemed that the Oilers had tied the game just before the end of the second period when Drake Caggiula forced Jonathan Bernier’s glove into the net. The refs went upstairs and checked to see if the puck crossed the line, and it clearly did, so they called it a goal. Then immediately after, Jared Bednar challenged the call for goalie interference, and the goal was overturned.
The Oilers got a power play after the play, but Blake Comeau buried a short handed goal to give Colorado a 3-1 lead.
Caggiula ended up getting his goal in the third period. Matt Benning got a puck on net from the point and in deflected off of him and past Bernier. I honestly thought, given Edmonton’s luck, that this was going to be overturned. But it wasn’t!
With about 30 seconds to go and Oilers down by one, Connor McDavid forced overtime. The Oilers moved the puck around at the point for a little while as the crowd yelled at them to “SHOOOOOOOT.” Finally, Leon Draisaitl took the advice and got a shot on net that deflected off the boards and right to McDavid who buried the puck into the open net.
In the overtime period, though, the Oilers didn’t listen to the fans’ shooting advice. They skated around in the offensive zone and turned the puck over, then Tyson Barrie got a shot on goal and J.T. Compher buried the rebound for the winner.
The game was played evenly at five-on-five last night. The Oilers had 49 total shot attempts to the Avalanche’s 47. While Colorado came out and had a stronger first period, the Oilers put on the pressure in the third, which is predictable given the fact that Colorado came out of the second period with a two-goal lead and retreated into a defensive shell. The difference in the game yet again was special teams. Colorado scored a goal on their only power play, and they also scored a short handed goal on one of Edmonton’s three power plays. The Avs are one of the league’s best teams at drawing penalties and the Oilers managed to stay out of the box, but Colorado still scored on their one chance while the Oilers’ power play couldn’t even get itself set up.
- Connor McDavid had himself a vintage Connor McDavid game. Him and Leon Draisaitl were back together and they formed a dominant line that could drive offence against whomever Colorado put out against them. Unfortunately, the depth scoring just isn’t there. When McDavid and Draisaitl weren’t on the ice, the Oilers weren’t getting many high quality chances. They could hem the puck in the Avs zone, but Colorado had a pretty easy time keeping them to the outside.
- Matt Benning and Oscar Klefbom had a very strong game offensively as a pairing. When those two were on the ice, the Oilers got a whopping 31 shot attempts for (in comparison to 11 against) at even strength. Klefbom hasn’t had the same season he did last year, but I like the chemistry him and Benning are developing as a pair who can move the puck and really compliment the team’s top line.
- This lack of depth was especially noticeable in the overtime period. McDavid and Draisaitl came out and flew around, but when they went off, the Oilers put out Drake Caggiula and Ryan Strome. They wheeled around the zone and didn’t get a shot on net, then Caggiula turned the puck over, and Colorado went down and scored. Watching the game, as soon as McDavid and Draisaitl went off the ice after their first shift, I was nervous.
- Let’s jump back to the disallowed goal for a second. It was the right call, clearly, but why on earth wasn’t that concluded when they went upstairs the first time? Why wouldn’t the review be all-encompassing? If they’re looking to see if the puck crossed the line, could they not also say “hey, uh, this is goalie interference,” and not waste a bunch of time and get everyone’s hopes up? On TV you can clearly see it wasn’t going to be a goal, but it’s annoying for the fans in the stadium to have to endure a five-minute rollercoaster with two reviews, a goal called good, and then disallowed. It’s just a terrible look on the league. As Patrick O’Sullivan says, less booze at the GM meeting, more discussion about rules.
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