If we don’t talk about the third period we can pretend it didn’t happen. Final Score: 6-5 Oilers in the shootout
With the trade deadline coming up tomorrow and a couple of moves already being made, it was hard to stay focused on the fact that there was a game to play and I’m just an idiot blogger. I can’t imagine what the last few days must have been like for the players and their families. For the guys like Mark Letestu and Pat Maroon, I assume the last couple weeks of uncertainty have been draining emotionally and I assume that getting moved (or not) will bring a sense of welcomed closure. It’s a tough part of the business but pro-sports can be a cruel mistress. But even with all of that going on, there was a game to play against the most hated of teams and that had to take precedence over what may or may not happen tomorrow. The first step was being ready to play.
As far as starts go, the Oilers got exactly what they were looking for, as Leon Draisaitl opened the scoring by beating Ryan Miller with a quick wrister on the first shot of the game. But the lead didn’t last long, as the Ducks took advantage of the Oilers on some sloppy defending to tie the game up shortly after. But that’s how the game went for all 60 minutes. The Oilers would score, the Ducks would rebound as a result of some lacklustre defending, and the game ended up turning into the hockey equivalent of being stuck on a DVD title menu — annoying, repetitive, and offensive to the senses. The weirdest part was that the end of the game was basically a carbon copy to last night’s matchup against the Kings, save for the challenge on the tying goal. Only this time, the Oilers didn’t get saved by a review and almost got caught with their pants down.
At the end of the day, the Oilers were lucky that they didn’t get burned after letting the wheels fall off and giving the Ducks two goals in the final minute of play. Winning the game in the shootout was nice, but it should never have gotten that far and that’s a demon they’ll have to slay going forward.
Like chicken, we wrap.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Leon Draisaitl loves playing against the Ducks and that trend continued again, as he gave the Oilers a one-goal lead on the first shot of the game. The big man took a pass in flight from Mike Cammalleri and he made no mistake of going five-hole and beating Ryan Miller to open the scoring.
- Anton Slepyshev finds himself with goals in back-to-back games and three points in his last four appearances. Slepyshev had a slow start to the season after coming back from an ankle injury and he’s making the most of finally being healthy and getting some consistent playing time. He was apparently on the trade block earlier in the season, but I don’t know why. The guy was barely playing and he’s got plenty to offer to this hockey team.
- Ryan Strome is red hot right now and he finds himself on a stretch where he has five goals in his last five games. Strome scored two big goals tonight and has been playing his best hockey of the season over the past couple weeks. This is easily his best run he’s had as an Oiler and it’s nice to see. I mean, it’s garbage time production, but he’s still putting the puck in the net and hopefully, it can continue for the rest of the season and into the next.
- Iiro Pakarinen scored the Oilers’ fifth goal of the night and was an immediate response to the lucky goal that Getzlaf got after his shot bounced in off of Auvitu’s back. Pakarinen got himself to the front of the net and made no mistake of draining the perfect pass by Connor McDavid. At the time, I thought this goal would be the winner but the Oilers had other plans for that.
- As we’ve come to expect, Connor McDavid was a one-man highlight reel again and he seemed to make something happen every single time he was on the ice. When he’s on, there is no player in the league that can match his speed and ability to leave good NHL skaters in the dust. Tonight was another one of those nights where the captain was dishing brilliance all over the ice and the fact that he only (ONLY!) got three points is almost surprising. Another great game for McDavid.
- Mike Cammalleri is on fire lately and I hope that hot streak can translate into some kind of return before tomorrow’s deadline buzzer sounds. Including tonight’s assist on Draisaitl’s opener, and Slepyshev’s fourth of the year, Camo Larry has collected 10 points in his last 10 games. No goals, mind you, but the apples have been plentiful.
- Al Montoya allowed a goal on the third shot he faced and looked like he had settled things down until late in the third period. Considering he hadn’t played since February 10th, I was curious to see if he’d be battling any rust after being on the shelf for a couple of weeks. The answer? He was rusty, but not rusty enough to lose the hockey game. I mean, the guy faced a ton of shots but also looked like a guy that hadn’t played in a while. That’s a weird way to describe his night but it’s true. Montoya finished the night with 41 saves and a .891 save%.
- The Oilers had a solid night in the faceoff circle, winning 52% of the draws they took.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Rickard Rakell tied the game up at one apiece only a minute and a half after Leon Draisaitl had opened the scoring. The Oilers dished out some sloppy defending and the Ducks took advantage of it with a nice passing play that gave Rakell a wide open net. As it turns out, Rakell was the beneficiary of that same sloppy defending two more times in the game as he was able to pump home two quick goals in the final minute of the hockey game to complete the hat trick and get the Ducks into overtime.
- Adam Henrique tied the game up at two with a power play goal that came off of a bad penalty by Adam Larsson. Larsson hit his man in the numbers and got called for it, and the Ducks made short work of their opportunity with the extra man.
- Ryan Getzlaf’s goal was a fart goal as his shot took a lucky bounce in off of Yohann Auvitu’s back. It was one of those bad luck goals that seem to go in quite regularly against the Oilers.
- It has now been 26 straight games for Milan Lucic without a goal. I’m not going to rip on him. I’m not going to make fun of him for forgetting how to score. I’m just going to send him my thoughts and prayers. That said, he was a turnover machine again tonight and was more of a hindrance to the team than he was any help. You go, Milan.
- Let’s check in with the Oilers’ special teams, shall we? Yes, I have to:
- The PP went 0/2 on the night. Disappointing as always.
- The PK went 1/3 on the night. Meh.
- Zack Kassian left the game after getting dumped hard behind the net on a play that should have been called for a penalty but wasn’t. Surprised? No, I didn’t think so. Here’s hoping Kass is okay.
- I’m not a big +/- guy but Andrej Sekera wore the green jacket tonight with a dash three next to his name.
- It was a bummer that we won’t ever get to see Pat Maroon play another game in an Oilers uniform and it was a bittersweet moment for me. I know why they sat him out but I’ll miss the guy, ya know? Since coming here, Patty has done everything you’d want from a guy and it’s sad that it’s time to see him go. Who knew he’d find the kind of chemistry that he had with Connor McDavid? But that’s what happened and I love the Big Rig because of it. Personally, I’d rather he stay and Lucic goes but that’s not in the cards, is it? Ah well, such is life as an Oilers fan. All the best, Patty. Apparently, there are plenty of teams calling about you so the return should be decent. Either way, I’ll miss you.
- I’ll miss you, Mark. I’ll never forget the goal you scored at the Heritage Classic or when we got an entire Winnipeg bar chanting your name. All the best in Columbus.
|00:13||Edmonton||Leon Draisaitl (20) ASST: Michael Cammalleri (21)||1-0|
|01:46||Anaheim||Rickard Rakell (23) ASST: Cam Fowler (19), Ryan Getzlaf (31)||1-1|
|12:55||Edmonton||Anton Slepyshev (5) ASST: Connor McDavid (45), Michael Cammalleri (22)||2-1|
|01:22||Anaheim||PPG – Adam Henrique (19) ASST: Brandon Montour (18), Ryan Getzlaf (32)||2-2|
|08:02||Edmonton||Ryan Strome (11) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (37), Al Montoya (2)||3-2|
|02:31||Edmonton||Ryan Strome (12) ASST: Jesse Puljujarvi (7), Connor McDavid (46)||4-2|
|14:00||Anaheim||Ryan Getzlaf (9) ASST: Corey Perry (22), Hampus Lindholm (14)||4-3|
|15:40||Edmonton||Iiro Pakarinen (2) ASST: Connor McDavid (47), Milan Lucic (22)||5-3|
|19:39||Anaheim||Rickard Rakell (24) ASST: Ryan Getzlaf (33), Corey Perry (23)||5-4|
|19:54||Anaheim||Rickard Rakell (25) ASST: Corey Perry (24), Derek Grant (10)||5-5|
|Anaheim||Goal – Rickard Rakell|
|Edmonton||Missed – Michael Cammalleri|
|Anaheim||Missed – Ryan Getzlaf|
|Edmonton||Goal – Leon Draisaitl|
|Anaheim||Missed – Ondrej Kase|
|Edmonton||Goal – Connor McDavid|
Hey we won a challenge last night. Calm down!
— Ryan (@IAmByks) February 26, 2018
That was so peaceful
— Brendan McGonigle (@massgamer911) February 26, 2018
— Alli MacGregor (@AlliMacgregor) February 26, 2018
— Moses Emmanuel (@FrenchNotNative) February 26, 2018
Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 02/25/2018 – 9:00pm MST