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Photo Credit: © Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Oilers 3, Avalanche 2 post-game Oil Spills: The Deutschland Dangler

The Oilers almost lost another game they led going into the third period. Fortunately for them, the game went to overtime where few can match up to Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

Highlights

Things are going well for Germany. Leon Draisaitl has the puck and dangles around the Avalanche to put the Oilers up 1-0. Draisaitl is so lethal on McDavid’s wing.

Zack Kassian scores his fourth goal in 11 games. The Oilers need someone other than McDavid or Draisaitl to contribute, so getting production from your fourth line makes all the difference.

Draisaitl displays an absolute power-forward move and shrugs off Samuel Girard to set up McDavid for the overtime winner. Sometimes you see Draisaitl do stuff like this and wonder if he should just play with McDavid all the time. That’d be tough as they combine for over $20 million in cap hit next season and the roster depth demands they play on separate lines.

By the numbers

The Oilers controlled the game at even strength. The Avalanche are much better than they were last year, but they still can’t survive an injury to Erik Johnson. I love Tyson Barrie, but he’s arguably their only top four defenceman with Johnson out. Edmonton got a bunch of great chances in close, and some breakaway looks from McDavid and Anton Slepyshev. They probably deserved to finish this one in regulation, but at least fans were treated to some McDavid-Draisaitl magic in overtime.

Thoughts…

  • This is only the Oilers’ second win their last nine games. Fans will take it. You never want your team to be a complete joke going down the stretch.
  • Draisaitl and McDavid are great together, but I’d rather see Draisaitl at center for the remainder of the season. Maybe they’d rather have Draisaitl up on the wing to help McDavid get a second Art Ross, but I’d plan for next year when you can’t have $20 million dedicated to one line.
  • Anton Slepyshev continues to show some life. He deserves a bigger role after the trade deadline.
  • I’d rather have Jesse Puljujarvi playing significant minutes in Bakersfield rather than play minimal time with Mark Letestu and Kassian. Let him play in all situations in the minors if he’s not going to be in a top-nine role in the NHL. It won’t help him to play with fourth liners.
  • Odanada

    Draisaitl looked like Jaromir Jagger last night. If his skillset keeps improving like this, Leon is going to be very good indeed. The $8.5M might actually end up looking like a canny deal.

    A good hockey man could build a team around the likes of Leon and Connor.
    Too bad we don’t have a good hockey man running this show.

  • OriginalPouzar

    To your last point, Puljijarvi had almost 15 minutes of ice last night and he was on our “3rd line” last night, so top 9.

    Coach had a good point – young players often defer to McDavid too often when playing with him and, for guys like Jesse, it might be better to be the most skilled guy on a line sometimes as it leads to them playing their own game.