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GDB 66.0 Wrap Up: Many slumps were busted on this night, Oilers win 4-3 in OT

*loads CD player, presses play* 🎵 I BLESS THE RAINS DOWN IN AFRICA! 🎵 Final Score: 4-3 Oilers in OT

The Oilers were on a three-game losing streak coming into tonight’s game against the Coyotes and if that’s not a slump buster waiting to happen then I don’t know what is. At least, that’s what I would say for most teams under normal circumstances. For the 2017-18 edition of the Edmonton Oilers, you never really know what you’re going to get so it wouldn’t really be surprising to see them either stomp the Coyotes or get shutout by them like they did last time. As it turns out, it was neither of those things. In the last game, the Coyotes scored on the first shot of the game. That didn’t happen tonight, but they did manage to open the scoring only 3:29 into the first period. Apparently, keeping the Coyotes off the board early is the Oilers’ kryptonite and they’re fresh out of ideas.

First goal aside, the Oilers put together a fine start to this hockey game and they needed with the way this one shook out. Sure, it came against the Arizona Coyotes, and they’re horrible, but the boys came out flying tonight and took care of the details that had been costing him over this most recent losing streak. That is, until they got a two-goal lead again. I don’t know what it is about the Oilers and letting the wheels fall off when they’re up by a pair but it’s a real problem right now. How many games have we seen over the last month where we’ve watched the Oilers come up with new and creative ways to collapse in the third? It feels like this time when there was a scratch on my Montell Jordan CD and every time it would get to the chorus of This Is How We Do It the song would either start over or skip a couple times before playing through. I mean, it’s a fine song and all but all I ever wanted it for it to play and end as it was supposed to.

My point is that the Oilers are a mess right now when they have a lead and you just never know how things will end up. Sometimes they’ll recover and pull out the win, but sometimes the milk goes bad. On this night, they were lucky that the third period mistakes didn’t catch up to them to the point of adding an embarrassing Coyotes-induced L to the board. You can’t complain too much about a win, but they probably shouldn’t be happy about how they got there.

The wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

  • Jujhar Khaira has been a great story this season and I could not be more pumped to watch it happen. Khaira, a former third-round pick, scored his 11th goal of the season after driving to the next and picking up Ryan Strome’s rebound. The guy has scored all kinds of goals this year and I love it. I need a Khaira jersey. I’m a big JJ guy.
  • Make it 30 straight games for Milan Lucic without a goal… wait… WAIT… LUCIC SCORED! After 29 games without scoring a goal, the longest such drought in his NHL career, Milan Lucic finally got the monkey off his back after he put his head down and ripped a slap shot past Kuemper. Tonight was a good game for the big man as he had some chances and it looked like he was going to get more than one.
  • Jesse Puljujarvi scored his 11th of the year after Nuge found him in the slot and he wasted no time in ripping a wrist shot into the top corner in a spot where Kuemper had no absolutely chance of stopping it. Big goal for the Big Finn.
  • Lucic wasn’t the only one to end his drought tonight as Oscar Klefbom scored his first goal in ages for the OT winner. That goal not only won the game but also saved the Oilers of the embarrassment that would have come with a comeback loss to the Coyotes. Klefbom was out with McDrai and timed his zone entrance perfectly which allowed Connor to find him at the back door to beat Kuemper.
  • Connor McDavid is the greatest gift to this city that we’ve had in ages. Love him. Respect him. Enjoy him. With that said, tonight was another one of those nights where he put on a shot and I will never get tired of watching it. McDavid stayed hot tonight with an assist on the game winner that now puts him in sole possession of 2nd place in the points race.
  • Cam Talbot had a nice game tonight and played more like the guy that got the Oilers into the playoffs last year. He was squared to the shooters, controlled his rebounds and made the saves you’d expect from your starter. I mean, the last few minutes got interesting again but I would say that the team in front of him has equal blame in that. Regardless, it was another win for Dadbot as he finished the night with 32 saves and a .914 save%.
  • Tidy little two point night for Leon Draisaitl. The big man and McDavid sure do know how to make magic together, don’t they?
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins got the helper on Jesse Puljujarvi’s goal and it quietly gives RNH two points in the two games he’s played since coming back from the rib injury. Not only did Nuge contribute on the scoresheet tonight, he was also all over the puck defensively. Kid is a beauty. #KeepNugeForever
  • Once again, it’s that magical time in the wrap up where I get to inform you guys about the Oilers’ special teams! *ducks flying fruit* Wait! They did really well this time.
    • The PP went 1/4 on the night with Pool Party scoring a big goal.
    • The PK went 0/3 on the night. Locked. It. Down.
  • Anyone else feel tingles in their loins when they see Ethan Bear taking clappers on the power play? Kid has a rocket and it will be interesting to follow his development along.
  • One of the underreported bright spots in this season of darkness has been the Oilers’ general improvement in the faceoff circle. They were good again tonight, winning 54% of the draws.

THE FACE PALMERS

  • I’m sorry but you cannot collapse like that to the Arizona Coyotes. You know why. I mean, I know you won but getting to OT shouldn’t have happened.
  • Jason Demers opened the scoring for the Coyotes after his point shot – that was going a mile wide, I should add – deflected in off Kris Russell’s skate. It was a perfect deflection that only seems to happen against the Oilers. Are you surprised that the goal game within the first five minutes? No, I didn’t think so.
  • Christian Dvorak got the Coyotes back to within a goal late in the third period after the Oilers thought and icing call was coming and basically stopped playing while the Coyotes forged on. Dvorak picked up the puck at the side of the net and got it past Talbot on the short side. And thus the collapse began.
  • Niklas Hjmalmarsson tied things up at three apiece in what was probably the most predictable goals of all time. Apparently, two-goal leads are the devil and when Dvorak scored it seemed like only a matter of time before they would get another.
  • The NHL site had the giveaways as 17-9 and I believe it. The Oilers were in full donation mode again in the second and third periods. Sometimes, I guess, passing to your teammates is more of a suggestion than a thing that happens.

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
03:29 Arizona Jason Demers (6) ASST: Oliver Ekman-Larsson (24), Derek Stepan (30) 1-0
08:01 Edmonton SHG – Jujhar Khaira (11) ASST: Ryan Strome (19) 1-1
13:21 Edmonton Milan Lucic (10) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (38), Matt Benning (13) 1-2
17:04 Edmonton PPG – Jesse Puljujarvi (11) ASST: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (16) 1-3

2ND PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
No Scoring

3RD PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
11:31 Arizona Christian Dvorak (12) ASST: Richard Panik (15) 2-3
15:21 Arizona Niklas Hjalmarsson (1) 3-3

OT PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
00:50 Edmonton Oscar Klefbom (4) ASST: Connor McDavid (50), Leon Draisaitl (39) 3-4

#GOODCONTENT

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Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 03/05/2018 – 10:00 pm MST

  • A rookie who started the year in the AHL in his 3rd career game is the difference between a balanced, functioning, and flowing NHL-level powerplay and an elementary school hopscotch level PP, I don’t know whether to be excited about that or to cry in a corner because of it.

      • MillHoodsHockey4Life

        Bear and Benning are, ideally, the 7/8 dmen so minutes shouldn’t be too plentiful for either if they were contending. Problem is that 6 spot- how do we upgrade D when you have two contracts you can’t get rid of? I fear Nuge or Klef would be the bait and that makes me sad.

    • TruthHurts98

      Spot on the assessment, but most fans will hate it. PC is a hockey tard, how does he have a job still??? And they are heading down the DOD #2 path with these less than competent people running this team. Islanders have 3 of their top 6 forwards for essentially Ryan Strome. Thanks PC! When are you trading Nuge?? Oh.. this summer for another 3rd round pick in 2020?

  • DerpSolo

    What is it with letting former oilers, rookies, and just plain bums score against us? I swear every time it’s either somebody’s first goal, or their first goal in 70 games. I’m looking at you niklas Hjalmarsson

  • What-a-Mike

    Man O Man…a need for a defibrillator came again….and I am medically stumped why this is continuing to occur. Actually Not. First, I am happy we got a win…. always am. But the way we give up leads and/or lose games is excruciatingly painful because I see exactly why it happened and know why it should never happen at all. Case in point… Russell has puck in corner and keeps trying to force it past two Coyotes players braced hard against the borads while he knows the other side is open to either shoot the puck out, pass the puck to another …ahem…oiler… or go skate off in that direction. The third Coyotes goal was scored because he does this all the time, as does Talbot and Sekera and Benning. Why???? Why do Oilers keep trying to run pucks up the boards through solid opposing players…especially while the oiler forwards out there are doing nothing but standing still five feet on the other side of the opposing players? Then the Oilers also love to leave so many other opposing players wide open after the first player takes the giveaway and passes it to in front of Talbot who is all by himself on the play. Are the Oilers trying to make a NEW Dumb n Dumber sequel? BTW….great rookie game bt Ethan Bear. I think he would play great besuide either Larsson or Nurse in the future. Definitely can work a PP from the point… judging by his preliminary trial. Awesome to RNH on two way game and good for Lucic to be finally productive as also Klefbom. McDavid we love ya and thanks for great set up on OT goal. Real Oiler fans of you and the Oilers would not stoop so low in public like type idiot non-oiler fans to heckle ya and your family. I am super stoked you’re an Oiler.

  • Prairiechicken

    Winning is better.
    I keep watching Kris Russell on that game tying goal. I’m a Russell fan … and he didn’t really have a choice … but him CRAWLING around the ice for 5 seconds (I counted) desperately trying to block a shot … pretty much sums up this season. But yes, winning is better, and Connor is Connor.

    • OilersGM

      That’s what so frustrating about Russell is he is trying desperately to recover from a self made mistake and usually doesn’t recover. The worst play I hate about Russell’s game is when he has a clear path of skating the puck out but decides to go back and reset but gets himself in trouble and can’t get out.

  • Prairiechicken

    Come on Nuge! It’s back checking and defensive awareness like that that’s preventing you from playing with Connor and will eventually get you traded!
    #toogoodatcenter #notawinger
    I love you Nuge.

  • slats-west

    That game had a lot cheap shots and suspect hits. Not Baby Nuge on EL as that was an accident and class move by NUGE to give a tap on the pads.

    But i was thinking what’s it worth of Milan’s contract to just provide protectionism for McDavid? $3MM? $4MM of the $6MM….say what you want as his offence is dreadful but not too Arizona Dogs running McDavid out there with Luc on the ice….

  • Spydyr

    The Oilers are up 3-1 heading for an easy win. Talbot then gives up his”weak goal of the night”. I’m not really sure why gets so much love here? Is it because the Oilers have not had a competent starting goalie since 2006?

    • BingBong

      Yeah that goal let them right back in the game. Horrible goal.
      Also, Talbot has to be the worst goalie we’ve ever had when it comes to playing the puck. He’s a turnover machine behind his own net.

  • OilersBro

    He may not be the best player but I have to hand it to Drake Cagguila, the guy has heart.
    JJ runs into Domi – Domi looks for retaliation and squares up to Drake who had nothing to do with the hit – Drake proceeds to rip off his facemask protecting his previously busted mouth and throw some knucks.

    Drake and Domi have a laugh later in the game after realizing that Cags had nothing to do with the hit

  • OilersBro

    My neighbours in my condo (I’m in Toronto) couldn’t understand why I was screaming from excitement at 10:30 pm.
    Hey, Lucic scoring just hyped me up man, Rogers Place looked lit after that goal. That was long overdue and Looch looked like he was playing well the previous 3 games. I hope this is the start of many haha