Mike Smith, I hope you bang your shin on a table later. Final Score: 1-0 Flames
For as bad as this season has gone, one bright spot has always been the Oilers’ ability to beat the Flames. For the past seven straight games, the Oilers have done a good job of sending the Flames and their fans home with sadness in their eyes and a loss in their hearts. Needless to say, I really wanted to see that kind of Oilers-induced disappointment for an eighth straight time. Not only did I want to see it, I was living a beet free life for the past week and it was a beautiful experience. To start, both teams had some chances but neither was able to get anything done on the scoreboard. But that’s how most of this game played out. The Oilers and Flames played the kind of game where it came down to whoever blinked first and made the first mistake.
Unfortunately, it was the Oilers who forgot what the point of defence is, as they left Johnny Hockey wide open in front of the net to not only embarrass themselves but allow the Flames to open the scoring. Despite having plenty of chances of their own, the Oilers couldn’t beat Mike Smith, who was apparently playing this game to save his own life. No matter what got thrown at him, Smith had an answer for it, and that resolve ended up being the difference on a night when the Oilers got shut out but probably didn’t deserve it. But when 60 minutes passes and only one goal is scored, then the game essentially turns into Al Pacino’s “football is a game of inches” speech from Any Given Sunday. The problem, of course, is that the Oilers made the critical error that resulted in a loss and weren’t able to bounce back (disallowed goal aside).
To make matters worse, the goal they allowed was completely gross and it makes this loss to the Flames even more annoying.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Connor McDavid is on a rocketship to the stars in this latest point run and I just don’t see how anyone will be able to stop him… unless, of course, your name is Mike Smith. Broken point streak aside, Connor was great tonight and certainly deserved more than the donut on the scoreboard.
- Cam Talbot usually seems to show up for the Flames and tonight’s game was another chapter in that story. Dadbot was great, and he was able to hold down the fort even when the foundation started to show some cracks. Unfortunately, a defensive lapse ruined a solid effort by the goaltender as the sole goal to go past him ended up being the winner. Talbot finished the game with 31 saves and a .969 save%.
- McNuge created all kinds of chances tonight and I really hope that Todd McLellan keeps them together. The problem, as is the case with every line, is who plays on the right wing.
- Jesse Puljujarvi was second on the team with four shots on goal despite getting only 11:45 worth of ice time. Why doesn’t Todd have any love for the big fella during this garbage time run to the finish line?
- Kris Russell had a solid game for the Oilers and ended up leading the defence with 24:26 worth of ice time to go along with two blocks, three takeaways, and one shot on goal.
- I like seeing when Oilers stick up for their teammates and Darnell Nurse did that tonight when he threw down with Travis Hamonic in favour of Mike Cammalleri early in the first period. It wasn’t the best fight but I do applaud the intent and having Darryl step in there to toss a couple fist kisses.
- With Tkachuk not playing tonight, no Oilers hit the ice as a result of a slew foot. Great success.
- The penalty kill was solid again as they killed off both of Calgary chances.
THE FACE PALMERS
- The Flames got way too many free shots on McDavid and no one seemed interested in doing anything about it.
- I HATE YOU MIKE SMITH! It’s hard to win when you don’t score.
- Johnny Gaudreau opened the scoring after the Oilers left him wide open right in front of the net with enough time to make a sandwich and enjoy it. I have no idea where the defence was on this one but Gaudreau had all kinds of time in alone on Talbot.
- As per tradition, it’s that special time of the Wrap Up where we take a look at the Oilers’ power play:
- 0/3 on the power play in a game where they very obviously needed it. BOOOOOO!
- Zack Kassian’s cancelled goals/60 is sky high over the past two seasons. There should be an award for that.
- It was a bad night for the Oilers in the faceoff circle as they won 45% of the draws they took.
- The NHL site had the giveaways listed as 11 (Oilers) to seven but I don’t know if I buy that. The Oilers were really sloppy at times and I feel like that number is being generous. Anyone else?
- There is no rock bottom lower than a Flames-induced #BeetCast. I was having a really good, beet-free week until this disaster happened. Way to ruin my Tuesday, Oilers and also Flames. As always, you can follow along and join in over on my Twitter.
- Why doesn’t Sportsnet make Kelly Hrudey wear the bandana when he’s broadcasting? Would add a nice retro angle to the game if you ask me.
- Mike Cammalleri may never score again.
|05:18||Calgary||Johnny Gaudreau (22) ASST: Sean Monahan (32), Micheal Ferland (17)||0-1|
Oilers going full Oilers on that goal. You never want to go full Oilers.
— Chris (@Clangger) March 14, 2018
One of my top 3 Gorillas
— Matt Henderson (@Archaeologuy) March 14, 2018
Beet-free for [ 0 ] game(s)
— Anthony Flynn (@anthonyjflynn) March 14, 2018
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, 03/13/2018 – 11:00 pm MST