GDB 72.0 Wrap Up: More backup blues, Oilers lose 3-1 in Tampa Bay

One day the Oilers will beat backup goalies with regularity. You’ll see. Final Score: 3-1 Lightning

After cashing in three straight third period goals for a big comeback win against the Panthers, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the Oilers today. When they had that back-to-back set earlier this week, the boys played well in the second game against San Jose but were unable to hang onto three separate leads, eventually costing them the win. It was a good effort that was ruined by lack of attention to detail. For today’s game, I was hoping that they would find a way to keep all the good stuff that happened against the Sharks – the hustle, goal scoring, balanced attack – but to skip all of the turnovers and laissez-faire defensive work that sewered a potential win. In today’s game, the Oilers got the start they wanted and managed to limit their turnovers, but it was the rest of the plan still needs some work.

As far as starts go, I don’t think this one could have gone any better for the Oilers. Ty Rattie opened the scoring only 14 seconds into the game to potentially (but unsuccessfully) set the tone for an Oilers team that needed a good start and got one. Unfortunately, the quick start was about all that went to plan as the Lightning were able to respond with a goal of their own before the period ended, and added another in the second and third periods respectively. Actually, the fact that the Oilers were only down by one goal heading into the third was almost lucky considering they were outshot by a 2:1 margin. Montoya takes the loss on this one but he kept his team in it for longer than they deserved — he just didn’t get any run support. Despite getting some very good chances at even strength and on the power play, the Oilers couldn’t score more than the one early goal by Rattie.

In the end, the Lightning were able to capitalize on their chances and the Oilers weren’t able to match. Tampa Bay outscored the Oilers at even strength and on special teams and those are the small details that matter and they ended up being the difference today. The chance to steal was there, but the offence to get it done was not.

The wrap.


  • Ty Rattie is certainly making the most of his opportunity to skate on the top line as he opened the scoring only 14 seconds into the hockey game after banking the puck in off the goaltender. Domingue got caught out of position and Rattie got a friendly bounce in off of the goalie, resulting in the fastest goal scored in the NHL this season.
  • Despite not being able to score more than the one goal, I liked the look of the first line again today. McNuge and Rattie were scrappy again and generated plenty of chances. Not to mention, Gene interviewed Nuge in the intermission and RNH dropped the “Davo” nickname for McDavid. THEY HAVE PET NAMES ALREADY! That’s beautiful, man.
  • Oscar Klefbom lead the team in ice today with 25:21 and he also lead them in shots on goal with five (Strome had five also). If he’s getting set to be shut down for the year then he’s trying to make something happen on his way out.
  • I don’t know that anyone would have expected Ethan Bear’s recall to hit the 10 game mark but he’s only one away from making that happen. The thing I like most about Bear is that he’s not afraid to trust his offensive instincts, and he moves the puck well already for a guy that’s just getting his feet wet. Again, I still think they should be patient with him, giving him more seasoning in the AHL ideally, but he’s definitely making a case for himself to finish the season with the big club.
  • Al Montoya made his seventh start of the season (11th appearance) and really needed to show that he could be the guy they needed him to be. In his last four outings, Montoya’s highest save% was only .900 and you’re not going to win a lot of hockey games with numbers like that. That said, today’s loss was no on Montoya at all as he kept the boys in it longer than they probably deserved. He finished the day with 37 saves and a .925 save%.
  • Ryan Strome had all kinds of chances to score today but he’s just not getting any luck. He had five shots on goal and probably deserved to have one of them go in. The guy is still playing some good hockey, but he’s not having any of the bounces go his way. Keep grinding, son.


  • Victor Hedman tied the game up at one after his point shot got a lucky deflection into the top corner off of Ty Rattie’s stick. That puck changed angles like crazy and there was nothing that Montoya could really do about it. Tough bounce for the Oilers on this one.
  • Nikita Kucherov gave the Lightning their first lead of the day after the Lightning were able to capitalize on their third straight power play. Kucherov found himself alone in close, the puck found him and he put it past Montoya in a hurry. Kucherov got a second goal in the third period that was the final nail in the coffin that was Edmonton’s chances of winning.
  • Andrej Sekera left the game after blocking a shot and did not return. Sekera played only 6:54 today as his nightmarish season continues. Here’s hoping he’s okay.
  • It’s that magical time in the Wrap Up where we take a look at the special teams. Excited? Of course you are:
    • PK allowed 1/4 on the night. Not horrible, not great.
    • PP went 0/5 on the night and really let the team down in this one. They had plenty of chances but couldn’t finish in a game when they needed their PP in the most.
  • The Oilers lost the game and the Corsi.
  • Only 44% on the dot today. It’s tough to beat the Lightning when you’re chasing more often than not off the draws.
  • How can a professional sports league have inconsistent (read: horribly shitty) officiating in almost every game? It’s shocking.
  • There’s something awful about doing a #BeetCast in the daylight hours and today’s edition was no exception. I’m unhappy, soon to be full of beets, and can use some company. As always, you can join in and follow along over on my Twitter.
  • Milan Lucic played only 12:09 today as Todd McLellan stripped him of his power play ice time as the game went on. He was replaced on the first unit by Nugent-Hopkins and the PP started to look much better. The tough year for Looch continues. Thoughts and prayers.
  • Seriously, though, Mike Cammalleri may never score again.



00:14 Edmonton Ty Rattie (2) 1-0
15:12 Tampa Bay Victor Hedman (12) ASST: Brayden Point (31) 1-1


02:24 Tampa Bay PPG – Nikita Kucherov (35) ASST: Steven Stamkos (56) 1-2


11:34 Tampa Bay Nikita Kucherov (36) ASST: Steven Stamkos (57), J.T. Miller (32) 1-3


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



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, 03/18/2018 – 6:00 pm MST

  • Heschultzhescores

    We just have no finishers. It’s not that back-up goaltenders have our number, it’s that we don’t have any snipers. Scotty Bowman said it during the intermission. If McDavid ever gets a sniper on his wing he’s gonna score A LOT of goals!

    • Thomas Vanek is a finisher. He played well in Van, is an UFA, and may be available for a reasonable amount.
      (Yes, I know he played for every other team and his reputation may not be the best as a clutch performer, but still.)
      It’s something to consider.

  • Heschultzhescores

    I also know I’m gonna take crap for this, but Drai is death on the PP. Did you see the 5 on 3, he was standing back by the blue-line for several seconds. He just thinks too slow it seems. He needs to put some urgency into his game.

    • Leichs

      I agree. Hes thinking wayy too slow on the pp right now. The puck should be getting slung around like a hot potato but as soon as its on his stick he holds it for at least 5 seconds in the same spot looking for a pass and most of the time ( on the pp ) his passes are picked off and gone the other way. Its allowing the PKers to easily get into position. Not sure why its happening so often this year and not last.

  • GK1980

    I haven’t watched the past few games but today the 630 Ched guys mentioned that the other players tend to defer the puck to drai or Connor often. This is a terrible strategy as it becomes painfully predictable and as good as McDavid is reduces his own chances of success. This needs to change but chia has bled this team of supporting talent. Sleppy once again is invisible and I do t think he is back next season.

  • KMA

    A little off topic but I really wish the Oil had the luxury of allowing young defensemen to develop in the minors for years rather than force feeding them in the big show.

  • Randaman

    The Oilers have become a slow and boring team to watch (McDavid excluded of course). We have been Bruinized. I hate watching this team so much that watching McElroy win a golf tournament was way more interesting.

  • Kneedroptalbot

    Positives, Al Montoya had a strong game and kept the score close. Ty Rattie had another really good game.
    Concerns, lack of secondary scoring and speed was really apparent today.

  • Moneyball

    Is it time to talk about dealing Puljujarvi for what we can get this summer? I just can’t see him making the transition to a top 9 forward but he still has some value right now.

    • crabman

      He is 19 and wasn’t ready for the NHL. A better organization with more depth wouldn’t have him developing in the NHL. He should be developing in a lower league. But to give up on such a young player seems foolhardy at this point.
      The Oilers will be desperate for cheap wingers and Puljujarvi has the tools to at at a high level but he needs a more time to develop and there is nothing wrong with that.

      • Crakupov

        Why not trade him for an older proven winger that is better right now? Let some other team mess around and take the risk on him developing or not. Right now he seems to be a big question mark. Package him up for a James Neal type winger and wish him the best. That would be a lot more than we received for Yakupov.

        • crabman

          ELC is why I keep him. Even if he has a breakout season he shouldn’t cost a lot on his next contract. The only player you get that is good back would be from a team trying to save money. We aren’t too far away from needing to send away proven prayers for cheaper options. We aren’t in the position to start sending away young players.

    • RJ

      If you look at the advanced stats, he performs very well with McDavid and Drai. BecauseOilers, he doesn’t play with them.

      Best for the team? Extended run with McDavid. He scores some points, looks great. Makes mistakes, but it doesn’t matter since they’re out of the playoffs.

      But McLellan is all about McLellan.

    • Big Nuggets

      I think Puljujarvi still has time, but if we traded for another young player a little further along in their development I wouldn’t be totally against it.

      What about trading Benning for a different RD? maybe Detroit would trade Daley in an effort to get younger and free up some cap space. I dont actually know if Daley has anything left in the tank, just an example.

  • Clayton

    The whining about the reffing is getting old. Just watch some other games besides the Oilers and you will see the Oilers are not getting biased officiating…they are getting the same crappy inconsistent reffing other teams are faced with each night. This makes it even scarier.

    • camdog

      Oilersneradalert and RexCodexlibris completed some analytical on reffing. The theme was that the Oilers were not getting hosed, but every star hockey player in the league is getting the shat kicked out of them game after game, something to the effect of less than 20% of infractions are called per game.

      • RJ

        That sounds about right. If you called the rulebook, the Oil would get 7-8 more PPs a game.

        Same crap has always happened. Look at Crosby or Lemieux, they take a ton of abuse and most of it wasn’t called.

    • GK1980

      The current oilers have a league low PP. The lowest totals since 1979. They also have the fastest player in the world. The league is a joke when it comes to officiating. I don’t complain abou reffing much but this year seems like a weird one. For the whole league I suppose.

      • Threetimes

        he was skating, forced some turnovers, and made some nice plays. He had limited ice time in a bad game, did the Oilers win special teams tonight? Was it his lack of ice time in a bad game? He played well when he was on the ice, not sure why that offends some.

    • OilersBro

      Lucic looked faster and had better hands this game. The problem is, we shouldn’t have to talk about moral victories when discussing a 29 year old vet who’s on a long term contract…

  • Ted

    Even worse than losing is having to listen to Remenda … Is this some kind of Sportsnet torturing tactic, as if the Leafs aren’t enough! … On the bright side no softies from Deadbot!

  • Soontobejetsfan

    Wow, I’m watching the Jets on Hometown Hockey, they are everything we aren’t.
    Fast, deep, physical, hungry and structured. We have so far to go, it’s shocking…..and I doubt Pistol Pete has the ability to do it.

  • Not McDavid's Fault

    I know Drai is not playing with solid wingers. But if he can’t drive a line on his own all the time Chai made 2.5-4 mill mistake on that gamble.

    • TruthHurts98

      Won’t know for a while, thats why games are played. McKinnon has the most PPG average and statistically has the best chance of winning. But don’t ever count out Connor even with an AHL winger. Oh wait most of them are… Still don’t count him out.

      • crabman

        actually McKinnon has 89pts, 1.39pt/g with 10 games left. He is on pace to score 103pts.

        Kucherov has 93pts, 1.29pt/g and 10 games left. He is on pace for 106pts.

        Statistically Kucherov has the best chance to win the Art Ross. But with 10 games left a lot can happen.

  • Svart kaffe

    I don’t mind having Rattie, Bear, Cammalleri and Strome on the team. Benning is mostly horrible though.

    And what’s up with Puljujärvi? It looks like he’s all out of gas and a step behind all situations. And if there’s something he needs to learn it’s to stop it with that poke check and just use that big body he’s got. But of course, he can’t since he’s always behind the play. I hope it’s just the long season taking its toll on him. The same thing happened to Larkin in his first full season, he wasn’t ready for the grind of game 50+.

    But for all his tools, he’s actually a good option to ship away to a rebuilding team for an experienced winger who is signed a couple of years more.

  • DN

    I do not see the Oilers turning this around with the current coaching staff. With respect to the PP it will be interesting to see how the effective it is without Kefblom. I suspect addition by subtraction.