50

GDB 68.0 Wrap Up: The streak continues as three McPoints lead Oilers to 4-1 win

Three wins in a row as McDavid continues to dominate. Final Score: 4-1 Oilers

I’m not normally a grudge guy but I think I will always despise watching games against the Minnesota Wild because of the hours of boredom suffered at the hands of all those Jacques Lemaire-coached teams. Not only was their trap style boring to watch, the Oilers had to play them hundreds of times per year back in the old Northwest Division days. There were a bunch of horrible nights that have left a sour taste in my mouth even all these years later. Back to tonight, I wasn’t so much worried that the Wild were going to make me fall asleep anymore as I was having them make me eat another can of beets way too close to midnight. Unfortunately, with the way the Oilers started this hockey game, I thought that another beet-induced sleepness night was in my future. Despite playing last night, the Wild were the much better team at the start of the hockey game and they kept the Oilers in their own end for most of it. Not a good look for the home side.

As the game progressed, the Oilers settled into their game and started trading punches with the Wild rather than just sit back and take the beating. After making it through the first period unscathed, getting the saves they needed from Cam Talbot to stay in it, the Oilers were able to capitalize on a couple of second period chances to not only turn the tides but to get themselves ahead. Lead by their captain (as per tradition), the Oilers managed to make the most of the few chances they did have and they put home two straight goals past Dubnyk to give themselves a great chance at the win going into the third. That said, heading into the final 20 minutes with a two-goal lead is not exactly a position of comfort for the Oilers these days, and it’s exhausting to have to deal with the panic that comes with watching them try to hang over. Admit it, when the Wild scored their only goal midway through the third period that you had that ‘here we go again’ feeling too. Fortunately, that one goal was where the comeback ended for a change.

In the end, there was no third period collapse to come on this night but there was a team that walked away with a 4-1 win after a tough start that was saved by their goaltender. It may not have been the perfect win, but you certainly take it when you can. Besides, no one asks how, just how many.

Like chicken, we wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

  • At this point, it’s almost a surprise that Connor McDavid doesn’t literally combust. The guy is white-hot and it is nearly impossible for any opposing defender to handle him. And as you’d expect, Connor got his team on the board after taking a little pass from Nuge and making something from nothing for his 32nd goal of the season. McDavid followed up with his second goal of the night just under three minutes later on the power play as he walked into the high slot off the boards and snapped a wrist shot past Dubnyk to give the Oilers a two-goal lead.
  • Leon Draisaitl added an insurance marker on the power play to give the Oilers a two-goal lead with less than four minutes to play. Draisaitl was able to rip a shot from his off wing that beat Dubnyk and acted as the death blow for the Wild.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins added the fourth Oilers goal into the empty net as he got a full game playing alongside Connor McDavid and he was able to find a way to contribute with two points on the night. As the game went on, that pair looked more comfortable playing with each other and I’m hoping they get more than this single game to make it work because I feel like there’s magic in that combo.
  • Cam Talbot was great in Thursday’s win against the Islanders, and he followed up with another fine performance against the Wild. He was the only reason the game stayed tied through 20 minutes and he gave the Oilers a chance to win. It hasn’t been a great year for Dadbot but this was an impressive game for the goaltender. Talbot finished the night with 32 saves and a .970 save%.
  • Adam Larsson played a team high 22:53 and lead the team with eight hits, six blocks, and an assist for one of his best nights in a while. With Klefbom out, the Oilers are going to need Larsson to play more and do it well. He did that tonight.
  • I thought tonight was the best of Ethan Bear’s young career so far. He played in all situations for the Oilers tonight and with Klefbom out for at least two games, the Oilers are going to need him to help fill the void. Solid effort for young Bear tonight as he added another assist to his resume.
  • The special teams were perfect on the night (for real!) as the power play went two for two and the penalty kill took care of all three chances they faced. If only we had been able to get these kind of nights earlier in the year, huh?
  • I’ve mentioned it a lot this year but one of the nice stories from the year has to be the Oilers improvement in the faceoff circle. Tonight was another solid night on the dot as the Oilers won 51% of the draws.

THE FACE PALMERS

  • The first period was not good for the Oilers tonight. Frankly, they were lucky that Cam Talbot was on top of his game because this one could have been over early if he wasn’t.
  • Charlie Coyle got the Wild back to within a goal after he was able to finish off a nice 2-on-1 passing play down low with Tyler Ennis. Talbot had no chance on the play as Ennis’ pass came in hot into the slow where Coyle basically had a tap-in.
  • The Oilers had a really hard time breaking out of their own zone tonight. I don’t know what it was that made connecting on the outlet passes so difficult but they had a really hard time getting the puck out of their own end.
  • I like Pontus Aberg so far and I think he adds some nice depth to the wing, but I don’t necessarily think he belongs on the first line with Connor McDavid.
  • Oscar Klefbom being out of the lineup is not ideal, but neither is playing him while injured. Klefbom is the Oilers’ big minute guy and losing him for any stretch of time is going to hurt.
  • Why does Dubnyk never allow a goal-against from centre ice when he’s playing against the Oilers? I feel like he owes us a few of those.
  • Oilers outhit the Wild 43-21 which on the surface looks great, but, when you look at it more closely, you realize that you can only hit your opponent if you don’t have the puck. I’m not saying I don’t like the physicality, I’m just saying that outhitting the other team by a 2:1 margin means you spent a lot of time chasing.

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
No Scoring

2ND PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
09:12 Edmonton Connor McDavid (32) ASST: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (17) 0-1
12:00 Edmonton PPG – Connor McDavid (33) ASST: Andrej Sekera (4) 0-2

3RD PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
09:44 Minnesota Charlie Coyle (10) ASST: Tyler Ennis (12), Gustav Olofsson (8) 1-2
16:25 Edmonton PPG – Leon Draisaitl (22) ASST: Ethan Bear (2) 1-3
17:27 Edmonton EN – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (18) ASST: Connor McDavid (51), Adam Larsson (6) 1-4

#GOODCONTENT

Talk to me, Twitter. Tweet at @OilersNation and @jsbmbaggedmilk for your chance to land in the Best of the Tweets.

NATION 10TH ANNIVERSARY PARTY

WHAT YOU GET:

The bag: Exclusive 10th Anniversary Party tee, commemorative Nation poster, Pint GC, Oodle Noodle GC, stickers, and a ticket to enter all of the night’s draws
The giveaways: 
Signed jerseys, golf passes, our box for the Edmonton Prospects, a weekend in Jasper, FREE Oodle Noodle for a year, a weekend staycation at Crash Hotel, and more.
Anything else: We’ll buy a Nation Beer for first 100 people to show up, have special guests stopping by, and a silent auction from our friends at Pro-Am to raise even more money for charity.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Where: The Pint Downtown
When: April 7th, starting at 6 pm with the hockey game starting at 8 pm
Why: To celebrate 10 years together and raise money for Hockey Helps the Homeless
How much: Tickets are $30 each with net proceeds going to Hockey Helps the Homeless
How: Tickets are available here.


Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 03/10/2018 – 11:00 pm MST

  • D

    So basically the Oilers have a ready-made solution to the McDavid winger problem in RNH. And RNH can serve as a backup centerman to McDavid and Draisaitl when needed. This is a luxury that the Oilers had better not throw away.

  • TruthHurts98

    Nuge on left wing with Connor. Don’t switch it up! And do NOT EVER trade him either! Connor is a magician and it’s so nice to see him shooting now. Bear is looking legit and better than Benning, hope they keep him in the lineup. Nice to see. Now please go whoop up on the Flames and make them give a lottery pick to the Islanders!

  • The Future Never Comes

    Baby Nuge and McD see the ice very similarly. Us half twits out there have said all season long to put those two together. Game 67 and the combination had finally commenced. They look good together as expected, please Chiatit don’t trade nuge. Nuge can be 1 left wing or 2C/ or Leon can be 1 right wing or 2C. You see the options that gives you, find other ways to fill roster holes. Don’t shoot the fan base in the d*ck anymore please.

    • Glencontrolurstik

      Once Nuge gets really comfortable, just imagine that PP line….
      Guaranteed Goal,… No more “back of the pack PP.
      The real disturbing thing is why in gord’s green earth couldn’t the coaching staff see this from day one?
      That disturbs me.

  • KMA

    You know it is going to be a party in E-town when the Oil win the late HNIC game. That being said, the management of this team seriously sucks and anyone who hides from this fact is only fooling themselves. If that is not fixed during the off-season then we can expect a similar result at this time next year.

    • Kepler62c

      Right, I’m sure you were saying the same thing in 2016-17… cut the crap, everyone loved Chia a year ago. It’s the nature of sports that you love the team decisions when it’s winning and hate them when it’s losing.

      He doesn’t “seriously suck” – this is a professional sports team worth hundreds of millions, he’s an experienced GM, and the team finally did something right by hiring him when they drafted McDavid. He’s made some really risky moves and literally none of them paid off this year. Sometimes that means you lose your job, but it doesn’t mean you suck at it.

  • Prairiechicken

    #97 and #93. Nothing magical yet. But got better as the game went on. I liked it. Let’s see more!

    Everyone knows how Nuge focuses on D but was it ever apparent tonight. Several times he’s in the corner digging out picks and sends them north for Connor.
    Perhaps even more than offensive chemistry, having Nuge hitting above his weight class in the D-zone frees Connor up even more up ice. Imagine throwing #29 up on RW for a shift here or there when the team really needs to generate something.

  • What-a-Mike

    I have to say first that thank goodness Talbot came to play from the start to the finish tonight…because no matter what the Oilers did…his play was the leading reason why Edm won the game. Secondly, the best player (now) in the world (don’t care if I’m trashed for this)…. Connor McDavid… is again magical and leading the offence. Kudos to other aoilers too such as Nuge and Aberg for looking decent on the new McD line…and to Ethan Bear who is getting better in each game IMO… plus Larsson, Nurse, etc. But…and a big but… the Oilers were outworked a lot this game until McD scored twice. That is not good. I am hating also…the Oilers keep shooting pucks up the baiords as passes because that does not work a lot at all. This has been too common and the wingers do not get a chance to get that puck that much…it just keeps going to the opposing players…unless its blocked …. (and it is a lot of times inside the Oilers zone which then the opposing teams starts control again). And…. I am also hating those no look passes into the open ice to no one except to the other team. How many times do the Oilers coaches have to show this up on videos of the damn game????? Unless McLellan and staff at not showing this (hmmmmm). But… other than Connor catching up to trying to get the Art Ross for the 2nd year in a row, I am happy with the win. Now, finally, I am looking forward to a Battle of Alberta on Tuesday and I think this one is gonna be a good one!!!!

  • What-a-Mike

    Oh yeah, should have stated as another input that as the game went a long, I was liking the Nuge, McD, and Aberg line starting to find chemistry. Mc D three pints and Nuge getting two points with Aberg getting closer ….so that’s a good start. I do really like Draisaitl controlling his own line…and after seeing what he did in the playoffs last year, especially against the Ducks …. he is a damn good top centre-man all right…. (BTW I so much do want an Oilers/Duck rematch (with especially Kesler and Getzlaf getting their heads knocked off a lot…even Cogs and Manson too)….

  • Nuge as Connor’s LW is basically a new addition that didn’t cost us any assets. I fan-boy scream at the idea of getting another top-6 winger and shuffling Nuge and Draisaitl on and off McDavid’s line, THATS ALOT OF McPOINTS.

  • Anton CP

    I don’t mind to see Aberg on the same line as McDavid since Aberg will tee off on anything. I like his aggressiveness whenever he touches the puck that he is shooting from all angles and from all over the ice. I think by giving him a bit more time playing next to McDavid that he will find his rhythm and timing to prepare for McDavid’s magic touch.

    • Stack

      I know right! A winger that likes to shoot, what a concept! I say keep him on Connors line as long as he keeps it up, he got a couple looks last night he’ll eventually put one in!

  • Heschultzhescores

    Nice win! Still need to find a way to end being dominated after we get up a couple goals. It happens way too often to be ignored. We need to stop waiting for the pushback and keep pushing fwd!

      • Svart kaffe

        Yes, and that’s what I have an issue with. With that reasoning you might think a guy like Klefbom has the puck on his stick all the time since he rarely hits or gets penalized.

        • The Puck

          Yes exactly. Too many possible interpretations are automatically taken as fact:
          -A team that hits more has less possession of the puck.
          -A team that played the night before is more tired than the team that didn’t (totally disregards factors such as overall schedule, travel schedule, individual playing times, player health/injuries, team conditioning and so on).
          -The team with more shots has more puck possession.
          All are clearly possible but by no means are they a given. Unfortunately they make easy talking points and avoid the need to actually analyze a situation,

  • camdog

    A healthy RnH, Sekera, Larsson and Talbot has made a world of difference. Trading Letestu has helped special teams. Lucic can’t contribute on first line but can down in the line up, nice screen on powerplay goal. I think it was obvious that the “cultural problem” on team was coaching staff didn’t think the team was good enough enough going into season. Sometimes it’s not just the players that need to work harder.

    • Big Nuggets

      maybe, I do thijk these players massively underachieved this season. I don’t trust Chia either but the roster isn’t as bad as they have played.
      Also I hope we don’t trade Klefbom because we will feel the need to make a change and he ia the only trade chip we have to play. Nuge is completely off the table for me. We have a young team and both these players are under contract heading into what should be their best years. It would have to be a hell of a return to part with them. I know Klef has been bad this year, but I don’t think thats the real Klefbom. Next season the real Klefbom will please stand up.

      • camdog

        Team went into season short on depth because GM didn’t do enough work in off season. Talbot needed a better back up, Gryba was a bad bet to be Sekera’s temporary replacement and team was short of wingers. They were short 3 pieces before season started. When injuries happened they had no options and the coaching staff refused to adapt when things didn’t work. The talent is here, just need competent management and coaching which we didn’t get this season.

    • camdog

      In the off season I’d like our coaching staff to spend a week reviewing tape on new players – then they wouldn’t need to so much time figuring out how to use a player like Strome.

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      wait ’till they re-sign him and Maroon in the off season ! “there, we signed the 2 big free agents we wanted….” sigh….hamster meet wheel !

      • camdog

        He was really good Oiler then lost a step this season. The coaches didn’t identify this as a problem, but every fan in the stands could see it. He might still be effective in a different role on a different team, but not in the same role he had here.

  • In a league full of softies, Im guessing it’s possible to lead the league in possession AND hits at this point. It’s as if players have forgotten they are allowed to flatten their opponents.

  • Heschultzhescores

    The sick thing is, Todd’s stubborness is the biggest thing the Oilers jad to overcome this year. He kept trying to make things work that clearly were not working. If he could put his pride aside, he might be able to put a winning product together on the ice.

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      i know, what is it with coaches thinking if they keep going back to something that doesn’t work that they can eventually make it work? T-Mac’s stubbornness has been the most frustrating thing he’s done all season !

    • McDavid's Comet

      Talbot is a good goalie but, he has played way too much between this and last season. IMO we probably have a good backup goalie in Montoya; the problem is Chiatit handcuffed the team when he agreed to a games played clause that turns a 4th rnd. pick into a 3rd if Montoya plays more than 7 games. He obviously wants to keep that 3rd and has mandated McC to not go over those 7 games unless absolutely necessary. So Talbot is going to be “run hard and put away wet”.

  • CMG30

    I turned on the game to start the 2nd period so it was quite enjoyable for me. Connor really is worth the price of admission all by himself.

    Glad to see they are trialing RNH on McDavids wing, saw some good things. Hope they run the experiment longer.