GDB 71.0 Wrap Up: Oilers capitalize on influx of Vitamin D, beat Panthers 4-2

That was emotional. Final Score: 4-2 Oilers

Heading into today’s game there were two things that I really cared about: 1) that the Oilers would show up from the moment the puck dropped, and 2) that they would find a way to limit their turnovers. The Oilers have been like a broken slot machine this season with jackpots being handed out left and right, a strategy that doesn’t exactly amount to a winning formula. The endless frustration, as you all know, is that we’ve seen plenty of solid efforts get ruined by bonehead mistakes, shoddy defending, and weird decision making that often turns into giveaways or goals against. I didn’t want that to happen today. Early on, the Oilers seemed eager to check off as many of those boxes as possible as the Panthers were all over them, and had it not been for strong goaltending then this game would have slipped away early.

With the game tied at donuts midway through the second period, it seemed like one of those games of chicken where the win would go to the team that held their nerve the longest. The Panthers were playing very well, but they couldn’t score and that allowed the Oilers to hang around through the moments when they probably didn’t deserve to. After finally settling in a little bit, the visitors were starting to gain some traction in the offensive zone and it lead to some quality scoring chances. Things were going reasonably well until Cam Talbot decided to get into a footrace for an open puck, leaving a wide open net for Vatrano to open the scoring. Coupled with a weak second goal that followed soon after, and those two mistakes by Dadbot looked like they would not only erase the fine work he had been doing but also leave their hopes of winning teetering on a cliff. To their credit, the Oilers didn’t let the wheels fall off. They put their hard hats on and got back to work.

On this day, the Oilers had other plans. Dadbot was able to reset his sights and his teammates were able to score some timely goals that not only picked up their goalie but closed out a win to end their losing streak. There was plenty of bending, but the boys didn’t break. It may not have been the prettiest win they’ll ever get but this was a gutsy win for an Oilers team that could have easily folded their hand when the going got tough.

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Like chicken, we wrap.


  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins tied the game up at one after he was able to sneak a wrister through Luongo for his 20th goal of the year, and another shortie for the Oilers. Despite missing 18 games, RNH hits the 20 goal mark again. The Year of Nuge continues. How the hell does anybody think it makes sense to trade him? #KeepNugeForever
  • Connor McDavid tied the game up with his 34th goal of the year after he was able to fool Roberto Luongo with a quick turnaround snapshot that beat him high over the glove. As he always seems to do, the captain came through for his team with a big goal when they needed him the most. Not only did he get a goal, but he also got a pair of assists which means we get to add three more McPoints to the pile.
  • Adam Larsson gave the Oilers a 3-2 in the third period as his centring pass from near the goal line ended up bouncing into the net off of Roberto Luongo’s stick. Sure, most people will say it was a lucky goal but I’ll go ahead and say that Larsson meant to do that. King of the Bank Shots, they call him. Larsson not only scored the winning goal but he also had a team-high 26:12 worth of ice time.
  • Ty Rattie had a really nice game alongside McNuge and you know he’ll get another look in that spot tomorrow against the Lightning. Rattie finished with a goal, an assist and all kinds of scoring chances in what was easily his best game as an Oiler so far. Rattie is auditioning for a new contract and games like this will certainly help him get there. Great game.
  • McNuge keeps producing and getting better the more they play together and I can’t think of any reason why they should ever be split up again.
  • Cam Talbot was really good today outside of the horrible gamble he made on the Panthers’ opening goal. All game long, Talbot was tasked with making some big saves and he was up for the challenge. Had it not been for him, the Oilers would have been down and out early in the game and we wouldn’t be talking about a win right now. Yes, the two goals against were tough to swallow but outside of that, Talbot was fantastic. He finished the day with 40 saves and a .952 save%.
  • Darnell Nurse had a big game for the Oilers as he finished with an assist, two shots on goal, one hit, and one takeaway in 25:37 worth of ice.
  • Ethan Bear seems to be settling into his freshly opened NHL career quite nicely. With each game that passes, Bear looks better and better and while I don’t think he should be rushed into the lineup, I do appreciate how good he’s looked so far. Give the kid the time he needs because he looks like he could be a beauty.
  • After seeing Zack Kassian get knocked into the boards after a blindside hit by Michael Haley, Khaira stepped up immediately to challenge the NHL’s fight leader to dance. As we’ve come to expect from JJ Khaira, he had no problem stepping in for his teammate and he didn’t care that the guy he was challenging was one tough mother trucker. Check out the fight again over on Khaira’s fight page at Hockey Fights.
  • Congrats to Milan Lucic on playing in his 800th NHL game. I mean, he didn’t do anything but it’s still a hell of an achievement.
  • The PK went a perfect six for six today which included a shorthanded goal by Nugent-Hopkins. The penalty kill was a massive part of this win today and that cannot be overstated.
  • Edmonton got back to their winning ways in the faceoff circle as they came out on top of 54% of the draws they took.
Edmonton Oilers loan defenceman Evan Bouchard to Allsvenskan


  • Frank Vatrano opened the scoring with an empty-net goal. Yes, I said an empty net goal. I mean, Talbot was on the ice but he was nowhere near his net as he gambled on a footrace to an open puck with Vatrano and lost badly. Ugly goal.
  • Vincent Trocheck gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead after being the recipient of a perfectly executed odd-man rush into the Oilers’ zone. Derek MacKenzie made a nice cross pass to Trocheck and he was able to beat Talbot between his arm and body.
  • It’s that magical time in the Wrap Up where we all gather round to take a look at how the power play fared. Excited? Of course you are:
    • PP went 0/1 on the night. How they only got one PP chance is beyond me when you consider that the Panthers had six.
  • Zack Kassian crashed into the boards in the first period and it did not look good. He basically crashed headfirst into the boards and went straight to the dressing room after getting himself off the ice. Amazingly, he came back and finished the game. Strong like bull.
  • The Oilers allowed 42 shots on goal which is way too many, but it doesn’t help that they had to battle through six Florida power plays.
  • It was too early to listen to Drew for two hours.



No Scoring


08:02 Florida Frank Vatrano (4) 0-1
11:09 Edmonton SHG – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (20) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (40) 1-1
15:54 Florida Vincent Trocheck (28) ASST: Derek MacKenzie (11), Aaron Ekblad (17) 1-2
UFA Profile: Revisiting Torey Krug as a possible fit


00:38 Edmonton Connor McDavid (34) ASST: Ty Rattie (1), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (18) 2-2
06:13 Edmonton Adam Larsson (4) ASST: Darnell Nurse (15), Connor McDavid (54) 3-2
19:10 Edmonton EN – Ty Rattie (1) ASST: Connor McDavid (55) 4-2


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


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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.


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, 03/17/2018 – 2:30 pm MST

  • 99CupsofCoffey

    Can the Media and certain fans just stop with the “Should we trade the Nuge? Where should we trade him? What bag of pucks might we get? Can we run him out of town?” stuff now? Please? 😉

    • TruthHurts98

      It’s driving me crazy too! He’s everything the Oilers need desperately! Fast, back checks, can take face-offs for Connor when needed, makes great plays and passes, scores, is loved by all true Oiler fans, good price and term.. Need I say more?!? Can we trade PC and Lucic for a bag of pucks??????

    • fasteddy

      Of course we have had many shiny new toys during the DoD, and that’s fine and dandy…..but the Florida’s/NYI’s/Buf’s of the world have had similar runs of high picks that resulted in nothing. You need to have a supporting cast to supplement incoming talent and Nuge is the type of player that can be effective in so many ways that trading him would be ridiculous unless the return was spectacular.

    • RJ

      Depends what you want to see in the off-season. Make no substantial improvements = keep Nuge.

      Make some trades to improve the lineup = trade Nuge and/or trade Klefbom.

      I’m not opposed to trade Nuge in the right situation. Most people were opposed to trading Nuge for Jones. I supported that trade.

      Jones is a big RHD with Columbus, and more than one article has been written he should be in the discussion for the Norris (at age 23).

      Dump Nuge in a typical Chia firesale trade (No offer refused!!!), then no Nuge needs to stay in Edmonton.

      • Big Nuggets

        I’m a huge Nuge fan, but Nuge for Seth Jones albeit would have been a win. But that trade is no longer available and I have little faith that a similar option will come available. In Nuge we have a player that can be an integral part of the team for the foreseeable future. His versatilty allows him to either be the wingman for McDavid or the 2-way centerman that allows McD to get more offensive zone starts. both are important roles that we really can’t win without someone filling them. The only way I trade Nuge is if an unbelievable player comes available that is also young or under a good contract. Thats not likely to happen so there’s no need to waste time speculating about a trade possibilty that doesn’t exist.

  • Heschultzhescores

    The team battled hard today. This is what it takes to win in this league. There are no easy teams or easy games. Overall it was a gritty performance. Nice Job guys!

  • TruthHurts98

    Coach’s game plan: Get beat on like Rocky for the 1st period or half of game. Hope Talbot single handedly holds us in said game. Then wake up score a few and end game well if not trailing on the scoreboard!
    It works great as long as Talbot plays well! I must say the PK is looking so much better, now if the PP can get fixed!!

  • Odanada

    Went to the game today with my 10 year old son. During warmup, he stood by the glass wearing an Oiler sweater and holding a home made sign politely asking for a puck. Jesse Puljujarvi flipped on over the glass to him.
    Props to Puljujarvi. He made my son very happy and earned my undying respect. Thanks Jesse

      • Prairiechicken

        That is awesome.
        I went to the oilers autograph session over a month ago at Rogers with my 7 year old daughter (huge oilers fan who is my “date” to about 21 games a year). Jesse, in his broken English, spent a few minutes making small talk with her despite the huge lineup behind us. He was grinning the whole time, and seemed genuinely happy to be engaging with fans – especially young ones. This plus the story of him on the outdoor rink
        It’s nice to see when they realize how much of an impact they can have on the little guys, and choose to give them a bit of their time.

        • hootoil

          Is or will Puljujarvi be taking English as a Second Language? It must be extremely difficult for him. Hockey Language is a lot different. The Oilers should be assisting. This may take Jesse a year — but what a difference it will make in his Communication Skills — On and Off the Ice.

      • McDavid's Comet

        Quebec City did nothing to keep the Nordiques, absolutely refused to help the team stay, now Bettman is jaded and doesn’t trust the city dispite ownership building a new arena. Just so happens that B.Mulroney is part of ownership and he is not a trustworthy businessman. Screwed Canada big-time when he was P.M..

        • Serious Gord

          Miami and Tampa in league Gies a long way towards getting us tv contract and national sponsors.

          Quebec is a the smallest media market that hopes to have a team. EDM is arguably second worst.

          And be thankful for Bettman without him there would be no oil.

      • OilersGM

        “Money talks”
        The arena is always less than half full, doesn’t that tell you no one cares that’s why the arena is less full and no one is even buying merchandise. It’s because of that clown Bettman.

  • Crakupov

    I could not figure out how the Panthers got 1 penalty to the Oilers 6. After having goal reviews go against the Oilers like 20-1, I can’t see how there is not some systemic bias.

  • polarcap

    Congrats Milan. 800 games of bashin and crashing, takes it toll. Oil pray for 2nd coming. Miracles do happen, but plan to load up the brinks truck and send him back to LA. And PC, go back to Havard and take a course in contract law. You may know hockey? But you don’t know much about negotiating contracts

  • Rama Lama

    I’m really starting to appreciate JK………I think next year we will see a better, stronger, version of JK. I would like to place him in the category of power forward now. The guy battles like crazy and plays the role of enforcer better than Kassian and Lucic combined…….has better hands than them too.

    As Cherry would say…….the guy is a beauty!

    • Big Nuggets

      I would look into picking up another 4th line center so we can play Jujar further up the line-up next season. It is nice to give Jujar the experience at center but if we pick up Brodziak that gives us another PK option and allows Jujar to fight for more ice time on the wings.

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    FANTASTIC GAME BY THE TEAM! Talbot was the sole reason it was 0-0 after 1 because Florida DOMINATED the OIlers. Best news of the night? Boston blanked Tampa so McDavid has a chance to tie/overtake Kucherov not the scoring race.

    And that SEXY first line. Keep. It. Intact!

  • Rob19

    Worked all day and now watching PVR of game- missed matinee, just done second period. As much as Lucic stats disappoint, my family met him at a local restaurant by chance with his family a year ago and he was great- pictures, chatting, etc. I respect him for that. Watching last 2 min of second period tonight on PVR, he did to Haley what Haley did to Kass earlier- with no push back whatsoever. People wonder where 97s Semenko is, I wonder how different things might be without Lucic. There’s lots of intangibles in hockey and Lucic brings many, he’s got heart. His personal life story supports this.

  • Leo Tard

    Fantastic number one line. All three had an outstanding afternoon. Real happy for Ty. He had a real nice game and kept up all day. (a few more games like that and we may have found another winger for McDavid) Talbs had a great game aside from a miscalculation in the first. Penalty kill A+. Exciting brand of hockey tonight there were a ton of great chances. Good win guys!

  • toprightcorner

    If by the end of the season, Nuge has not shown the ability to produce with McDavid, it makes absolute sense to trade a $6 mill 3C that can play 2C on anyother team in the league and 1C on a few others. I think he will produce and will stay on his wing, I am just saying it would be stupid to keep a player at a high salary who is not having his full talents utilized

    • Big Nuggets

      Sounds ignorant to me. Nuge is producing with McDavid and with him and Drai it gives options for who you play with McDavid and who plays 2C, which btw Nuge is doing a better job of than Drai. People get stuck ob the idea that Nuge is our third line center which simply is not the case. Aside from a handfull of games we did not run the 3 centers, and when we did Nuge probably got the harder match-ups as well as PP and PK time. probably should be on the 1st PP unit if we were interested in our best players getting the best opportunities.
      Nuge is worth the contract regardless of if he is on wing or center. Also what do you expect to get for him? You can’t force another team to trade their best RHD, so what do you expect to happen.
      I’ll admit that someone like Faulk might be worthwhile but how many more years is Faulk under contract for? With our cap situation we need to be extra vigilant about getting value on our contracts.

      • hootoil

        In Baseball there has always been Switch Hitters. It takes training and practice to be such a hitter. Why can’t some NHL players today use a straight stick and play right or left defense. Today’s players from Bantam on have been practicing or playing games almost year round. Where are the Switch Shooting Hockey Players? (Gordie Howe could do it)

    • Big Nuggets

      If you think he will be a bust then trade. If he looks like he will be legit one day then keep. I don’t know what Puljujarvi will be. He’s still quite young so I imagine he can still figure things out.