And to think that the night started off with so much promise. Final Score: 5-2 Sharks
Coming into tonight’s game, the Oilers had won three games in a row and were finding ways to win hockey games despite some crazy finishes and hectic moments of lacklustre play. It was the kind of resiliency that we haven’t seen much of this season, and I was really hoping that they would find a way to keep the good times rolling tonight in San Jose. When Connor McDavid opened the scoring just over four minutes into the first period, it felt like we might be on our way. For the third straight game, the Oilers got the first goal and that’s good news but then I also remembered the third period collapses that almost ruined some good times, and that’s bad. As much as taking an early lead is always positive, these California nights had made me feeling paranoid about what came next.
After finishing the first period in a good spot with a one-goal lead, the Oilers started off the middle frame a step behind and never really seemed to recover, giving up their lead in the process. Well, there was that and the refs being completely blind or incompetent, I can’t quite figure out which. Officiating complaints aside, the Oilers stopped skating in the second period and allowed the Sharks to not only get themselves back into the game but also to take control of it. To make matters worse, Edmonton’s luck turned on them as well with a goal banking in off skates and another happening only moments after hitting a post. It was one of those nights where if something could go wrong it probably would and for the Oilers that extended from unlucky bounces to finding ways to shoot themselves in the foot.
At the end of the day, playing well for two of three periods isn’t going to get you a lot of wins at the NHL level and that’s exactly what happened tonight. This was a game that the Oilers could have won had they been able to put together a full 60 minutes. Unfortunately, taking the second period off ended up sinking their chances of winning and killed their winning streak at three.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- At least the loss hurts Calgary.
- Connor McDavid opened the scoring after he ripped a wrist shot through Martin Jones, converting on an early first-period 2-on-1 with Milan Lucic. That goal was Connor’s 13th in 14 games which is ridiculous for most mortals but not for the captain as he put home his 28th goal of the year. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m just here for the McPoints.
- Jesse Puljujarvi snapped his scoring streak after firing home his 10th goal of the year on a beautiful cross pass from Pontus Aberg. Aberg had some nice vision on the play as he found a charging Puljujarvi who made no mistake of shoveling the puck past Martin and into the back of the net. Great pass by Aberg, nice finish by Puljujarvi.
- Shout out to Pontus Aberg for contributing an assist in his Oilers debut. For a guy that hasn’t even had a chance to practice more than one time, Aberg did a decent job of finding his place in what must have been a strange game for him to play in.
- Matt Benning was one of the best Oilers tonight as he was playing with some fire in his belly after Evander Kane drilled him from behind. He was one of the few guys that seemed fired up tonight and probably played one of his best games in recent memory. Benning finished the night with 15:26 TOI, one shot on goal, two hits, and one blocked shot.
- The Oilers have been solid on the PK lately and the trend continued tonight as they killed off all three chances they faced.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Joe Pavelski tied the game up at one apiece on a play that should have long been blown dead by the refs. Matt Benning took a hit right to the numbers (right in front of the ref btw) by Evander Kane, was laying on the ice in pain, but not felt it was necessary to either A) blow the play down, or B) call a penalty for clear cheating. Ridiculous.
- Justin Braun gave the Sharks a 2-1 lead after blasting a slap shot past Talbot after Evander Kane set him up on a tee. Maybe you could say that Talbot should have had it but it’s hard to blame him on this goal because it was a bullet of a shot.
- Tonight was one of those nights where the wheels fell off for the Oilers and even their luck started turning on them. Timo Meier scored to put the Sharks up by two goals after he tried to center a pass, but it ended up banking into the net off of Andrej Sekera’s skate. It was that kind of night.
- Logan Couture scored the Sharks’ fourth straight goal after he was able to sneak the puck through Talbot on the short side. By the time he scored, the wheels had fallen off for the Oilers and the Sharks were shooting em like fish in a barrel.
- Chris Tierney added an empty net goal and… *farts loudly*
- As we do every night, we must now check in on the Oilers’ power play. Before you ask, yes, I have to do it:
- The PP went 0/2 on the night. They had some nice chances, but wishes and hopes don’t pay the bills.
- Tonight wasn’t a banner night for Cam Talbot, though I definitely wouldn’t necessarily blame him for the loss either. There was a bad luck goal, a goal that should have been whistled down before it even happened, and two that he’d definitely like to have. Talbot allowed four goals on 34 shots to finish with a .882 save%.
- It is now 27 straight games for Milan Lucic without a goal. Needless to say, this slump is horrible but it gets even worse than just not scoring goals. Lucic hasn’t had a primary assist over that time either (he’s had five secondary assists). Quite frankly, if something can go wrong for Lucic then it probably will right now. Well… Either that or he won’t try at all. Awful, horrible stretch of hockey.
- I’ve been purposefully trying not to complain about the refs but they were horrible tonight. Bad in every way.
- One bright spot on the season is seeing the Oilers improve in the faceoff circle. Tonight was not one of those nights, though, as the Oilers won only 48% of the draws they took. Not bad, just not good either.
- After winning both games from this past weekend, I was really hoping to have another night off from doing a #BeetCast but here we are. Episode 28, let’s do it.
|04:33||Edmonton||Connor McDavid (28) ASST: Andrej Sekera (2)||1-0|
|01:20||San Jose||Joe Pavelski (16) ASST: Evander Kane (21), Joakim Ryan (9)||1-1|
|07:02||San Jose||Justin Braun (3) ASST: Joe Pavelski (32), Evander Kane (22)||1-2|
|16:15||San Jose||Timo Meier (16) ASST: Joe Pavelski (33), Joonas Donskoi (14)||1-3|
|17:38||San Jose||Logan Couture (26) ASST: Mikkel Boedker (13)||1-4|
|06:06||Edmonton||Jesse Puljujarvi (10) ASST: Pontus Aberg (7), Ryan Strome (17)||2-4|
|19:05||San Jose||EN – Chris Tierney (16) ASST: Eric Fehr (1), Joe Pavelski (34)||2-5|
I've never noticed his eyes because I can't stop looking at those abs I've said too much
— StevenX (@StevenX_DFA) February 28, 2018
I feel like Lucic is one of us in the sense that I probably couldn’t score in the NHL even if I played with McDavid either
— Matt Henderson (@Archaeologuy) February 28, 2018
— tristapalooza (@schooner_fedun) February 28, 2018
Matt Benning pic.twitter.com/v502P2THvY
— Ryan (@IAmByks) February 28, 2018
— Alex (@_Hockey77_) February 28, 2018
At least we didn't help the flames..? ?
— Shaun Ali (@shaunathan) February 28, 2018
Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 02/27/2018 – 11:30 pm MST