Everybody gets a goal! Final Score: 7-3 Oilers
I won’t lie to you guys, when I saw the lineups for tonight’s game, specifically the defensive pairings, I wasn’t exactly filled with confidence. Quite frankly, that backend reminded me a little too much of something we would have seen in the D.O.D. years and it was giving me flashbacks to Dallas Eakins whipping his hair on the bench in disgust. Those were simpler times, weren’t they? Tragic, but simpler. Anyway. Like a page from the Eakins era, there were five goals scored in the first period of tonight’s game which was not only fun/stressful to watch but also continued the season’s vibe of never really knowing what to expect. There were offensive highs and defensive lows and a game’s worth of scoring and mistakes gift wrapped in a single period. The Oilers came out of it with a lead but that doesn’t always mean anything this season, does it?
Moving into the second and third periods, the game didn’t exactly tighten up much. Both sides were loose with the giveaways and the defence seemed optional at times which not only created a ton of scoring chances but also just plenty of goals in general. Fortunately for all of us, the Hurricanes were the ones on the business end of the offensive outbreak and the Oilers spent 60 minutes shooting the lights out. Despite giving up their share of goals and chances, the Oilers had some huge performances from some guys that needed it and the Hurricanes weren’t exactly able to do anything about it. For as much as the coaches hate these kinds of games, they’re a lot of fun to watch if you’re on the winning side and, on this night, we’re the ones that get to enjoy it. Call it pond hockey, call it whatever you want, I like seeing a game like this every now and then.
After all the losing, tonight was a win that I think we all needed to see and I’m going to enjoy it for what it was.
Wrap we must so wrap we shall.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Drake Caggiula quickly tied the game up at one after the Hurricanes (read: Auvitu accidentally) opened the scoring on a lucky goal in the crease. Caggiula took a perfect pass out front from Leon Draisaitl and the puck was off his stick as quickly as it was on it. Darling would have had to come up with a showstopper to prevent that one.
- Exactly a minute after Caggiula tied things up, Matt Benning scored a baseball-style goal that you’re probably going to see on highlights reels for a while. He charged to the net on a rush with McNuge and after his initial attempt bounced up behind the net, Benning was able to smash it out of mid-air and in off of Scott Darling’s back. Amazing display of hand-eye coordination. Wow.
- The good times kept rolling as Ryan Strome ended his mini-slump with his 13th goal of the year after getting some luck when his shot got caught up in Scott Darling’s pads. Pulujarvi started off this play with a perfect cross-crease pass to Strome and that pass deserves some love in this too even though it didn’t show up on the scoresheet.
- Pontus Aberg sat out the last two games because he was in the doghouse and he did his best to get out of it with his first as an Oiler. Leon Draisaitl made another beautiful pass to set up Aberg for a wide open net. Aberg wasn’t done there either as he added a pair of assists to make it three points on the night for what was easily his best game as an Oiler.
- Yohann Auvitu will score for anybody if you give him the chance. Not only did he open the scoring for the Hurricanes, he redeemed himself a little bit later with an absolute snipe show over Darling’s shoulder for his third of the year.
- Since setting up basically every one of his teammates for goals was starting to get boring, Leon Draisaitl got in on the act with a clapper from a bad angle that beat Darling and gave him four points on the night. Dude was a runaway freight train tonight and an example of how Leon can take over a game on his own. I want to see more nights like this from Big Sexy 2.0, please. Draisaitl finished the night with four points (1G, 3A). Keep McNuge together and let DraiPu develop something too.
- Jesse Puljujarvi had his best night in a while as he was banging, crashing, and dishing on basically every shift. He was rewarded for those efforts with his 12th goal of the year that snuck through Darling’s five-hole and triggered pizza delivery sales to spike across the city. Great game by the big fella.
- After not getting any points in Sunday’s game against Tampa, I was itching for some McPoints and I got
a coupleone tonight as he added an apple to the pile to give him 90 points on the year. The Art Ross race continues.
- Cam Talbot wasn’t lights out tonight but he made enough saves to get the win and hopefully gain a little dose of confidence that comes with it. Despite getting killed on the scoreboard, the Hurricanes outshot the Oilers 32-30 so it wasn’t like Talbot was allowed to take the night off. I’m guessing there was probably a goal or so that he’d like back but it doesn’t really matter when the offence puts up seven. Dadbot finished the night with 29 saves and a .903 save%.
- Huge minutes for Adam Larsson and Darnell Nurse as both guys played over 25 minutes on the night. Darryl actually played 27:22. Those two basically stayed on for the entire game and when you looked at the pairings you understand why. Solid night.
- More points for McNuge. They are magic together.
- I just want to go one record again to say that I’m a big JJ Khaira guy.
- I want to give Scott Darling a shout out. He helped a lot.
THE FACE PALMERS
- The Hurricanes opened the scoring under five minutes into the hockey game but the trick about this one is that it was actually Yohann Auvitu that put the puck into his own net. Auvitu hasn’t played in a while and I guess we’ll have to forgive him for forgetting which net to score on.
- Sebastian Aho ripped a wrist shot past Talbot that was both a rocket and also should have been stopped. The shot definitely had some mustard on it but you could tell by his reaction that Dadbot felt like he should have stopped that one.
- Teuvo Teravainen scored the third goal for Carolina after he found a soft spot in coverage and sent a bomb of a wrist shot past Talbot when the puck finally came to him.
- How did the Oilers fare on the special teams? I thought you’d never ask. *dodges thrown fruit*
- 1/2 on the PK as they allowed Sebastian Aho the time and space he needed to rip one past Talbot.
- 0/1 on the PP as the Oilers only got once chance somehow. I guess the refs thought both of these teams were very well behaved tonight.
- The Oilers got killed on the dot tonight as they won only 40% of the faceoffs they took.
|04:30||Carolina||Brock McGinn (13)||0-1|
|04:53||Edmonton||Drake Caggiula (10) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (41), Pontus Aberg (9)||1-1|
|06:53||Edmonton||Matt Benning (5) ASST: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (19), Connor McDavid (56)||2-1|
|09:17||Edmonton||Ryan Strome (13)||3-1|
|14:54||Carolina||PPG – Sebastian Aho (26) ASST: Justin Faulk (23), Jordan Staal (24)||3-2|
|01:32||Edmonton||Pontus Aberg (3) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (42)||4-2|
|04:12||Carolina||Teuvo Teravainen (22) ASST: Sebastian Aho (33), Elias Lindholm (24)||4-3|
|11:54||Edmonton||Yohann Auvitu (3) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (43), Pontus Aberg (10)||5-3|
|15:37||Edmonton||Leon Draisaitl (23) ASST: Jesse Puljujarvi (8), Yohann Auvitu (6)||6-3|
|13:06||Edmonton||Jesse Puljujarvi (12) ASST: Milan Lucic (23), Ryan Strome (20)||7-3|
Went to the grocery store to get a can of tomatoes and accidentally picked up beets instead 😬
— jswitz (@jswitz1) March 20, 2018
Scott Darling not only a sieve, but unlucky as well. Bad combination.
— Robin Brownlee (@Robin_Brownlee) March 20, 2018
The Oilers scored 3 goals in the first period against Carolina and Fernando Pisani had none of them.
— Ryan (@IAmByks) March 20, 2018
Can't forget Rattie and Aberg. Which makes them: McNugie and ADraiPu
— GM Peter Shkreli (@PatrickMcSports) March 21, 2018
Draisaitl just made another million dollars by shorting beet futures.
— Draft Lottery Champs (@sportsjunkie007) March 21, 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, 03/18/2018 – 7:30 pm MST