Photo Credit: Andy King

GDB 73.0 Wrap Up: Oilers convert a touchdown, beat the Hurricanes 7-3

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.

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Wrap we must so wrap we shall.


  • 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 couple one 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.
WWYDW(FE): Moving Veteran Defencemen


  • 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
Sam Gagner has re-signed with the Red Wings


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


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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, 03/18/2018 – 7:30 pm MST

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    Well this is WAY off from the 3-2 SO prediction the guys gave on their stream today. NO BEETS TONIGHT FELLAS! Also shoutout to the guys for a fun stream. Had a blast talking to you about Lucic and ignoring school work to watch a video hockey game. Can’t wait to see you guys do it again.

  • Ivan Drago

    Thought Conner got 1 apple….which is a shame. Some reason I don’t care about the win. I cheer for Connor to get 2 pts a game for consecutive Art Ross wins

  • Fire Woodcroft!

    That was a fun game to watch, as long as you weren’t a Canes fan. The guys looked pretty calm and relaxed out there and played better for it. Hopefully they can bottle that feeling and bring it back at the beginning of next season.

    Let’s notch up a few more like that here in the last ten games. It would be hilarious if we managed to catch up to the Flames…

  • GK1980

    I noticed a few things today. The Hurricanes need new goalies, Ward and Darling are terrible. Biggest thing I noticed is that the Oil have trouble with composure in their own zone. Good teams learn how to control an opposing forecheck and “efficiently” move the puck out of the zone.

    I believe if the Oil can work on acquiring D or players that can aid in this flaw then this team will improve significantly.

    • Prairiechicken

      Funny how Leon staples a bunch of points to the score sheet as soon as the big guy is off his line.

      Damnit, I like Luc but he’s bringing those around him down. Strome, who was carving out a useful 3rd line + special teams role for himself is next in line.

      I really hope he rolls in here next year and shuts everyone up with his new found and nimble 210lb body . But if he doesn’t (or those downward dog yoga poses don’t translate into goals), we shouldn’t hesitate to cut our losses and allow him to thrive as a $6M crasher and banger on the 4th line. (Poor Juhjar?). Something about sunk cost seems to apply here …

      • Arfguy

        Very much hoping this trend of dead-weight falling further and further down the lines continues. I thought that maybe Draisaitl would be able to revitalize Lucic this season, since Draisaitl is probably the best passer on this team. Then it became obvious that Lucic is absolutely attrocious this year and he should be a healthy scratch for the remainder of the season.


        Rest of the season, please.

        I honestly think that Draisaitl with Puljujarvi can turn into some magic as soon as the kid gets some of his confidence back and they start clicking. Aberg’s got some speed and maybe he’ll develop a nose for the net given consistent line combinations.

        • Kneedroptalbot

          We sure aren’t missing Kassian one bit either. The “Big L” and Kassian both take a lot of skill and passing away from the team. Both playing less and Team is playing with more offence and flow. Passing, skating, and particularly zone breakouts have really improved.

        • jultz=2cups!??

          So if Lucic is the one dragging down every line, why didn’t Connor get 5 points last night? Or Nuge? Or khaira? Strome got a goal while Lucic was on the ice. You guys are using games in March against non playoff teams to make decisions on who should be playing. Classic oilersnation! ???. You guys are the worst fans in the league. Really is sickening reading these comments sections. Getting easier not to with all the fairweather fans on here.

          • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

            I’m sadly going to agree with you. From what I heard and saw in the highlight pack, Lucic was actually pretty good tonight and picked up a couple of assists. Sure he was on the 3rd line, but he looked good there, plus he’s playing with little to no confidence

          • TKB2677

            I actually agree with you as well. I have to say this was one of the tougher years I have had as a fan in a very long time. I am a realist so when the Oilers were bad, while I always had some faint optimism, I am not dumb. I can spot a bad lineup. But after last season and with McDavid, my hope was sky high. With the trading of Eberle, I thought that maybe the Oilers would take a slight dip. So instead of challenging for the division, maybe they are firmly in second or 3rd. But I thought long term, the Oilers had to get rid of Eberle and through internal progression, they would cover his lost offense. Maybe not totally this season but by next season. What makes this season even tougher is the complete over the top negativity and complete nonsense I see Oilers fans posting.

            I get it, we are all extremely disappointed. This season was a gut punch. We are all PISSED!! So I can understand some of the negativity. But all you read is ridiculous comments now. Everyone except McDavid is a brutal player. You hear comments about the owner not giving a crap about winning and wanting to ice a terrible team on purpose while “bleeding” fans dry. The guy is a life long Oilers fan and you don’t get to be a billionaire by losing at ANYTHING. So I am sure this season SUCKS for him too and he’s pissed. You hear comments about ridiculous trades for Nuge or whoever for nothing. It goes on and on.

            When it comes to Lucic, you hear ridiculous comments about him scratched, never playing, being a 4th liner or even finding a way for him to be on LTIR. He’s had a bad year. The worse of his career. So has A LOT of players on the team this year. The guy is fighting the puck badly. He has ZERO confidence, you can see it on his face. It’s now at the point where I am sure he expects to fail. IN pro sports, confidence is everything and when it’s gone, it’s paralyzing for them. I am not sticking up for Lucic. I thought the contract was WAY too long but I fully expect him to bounce back next year. He’s an extremely proud guy and you can tell he cares and the fact he is struggling this much is KILLING HIM. You can see it. I fully expect and based on his comments, he will train differently this offseason to meet the needs of how the NHL is going. So it wouldn’t surprise me if he put up 20 g & 50 pts next year just like he usually does. If he does that, he will be fine.

  • Prairiechicken

    I know it’s just against a team riding it out, and an inept goalie. But man it provoked the idea of 2 lines centered by Leon and Conor, with complimentary wingers (Nuge, JP), generating more chances than giving up.
    If that’s the case, I believe Strome at 3, JK at 4 can hit above their weight class. Good to go!!!

    • Kneedroptalbot

      Rattie has been a real nice fit so far with Nuge and Mick David. He has good net sense. Nuge is such a smart hockey player and team best defensively. I really like that trio.

      • jultz=2cups!??

        Ya if rattie is on that top line next year then the oilers are in serious trouble. Only a guy with a handle like kneedroptalbot would think a career Ahler is a good fit with Mcdavid. ????. Classic oilersnation!!!!

          • camdog

            Take away a bank shot and an empty net and he hasn’t produced much, that production isn’t sustainable. If the Oilers GM can’t find a couple wingers for this team during the off season they need to be fired into the sun.

        • QuitForRealThisTime

          If Nuge and McD can have success with anyone (even Rattie) then would it not make sense to have a player making only $700k play with them? This would allow the Oil to utilize the money to add depth in other areas that clearly need help.

          • camdog

            How many times have we seen the third wheel on McDavid’s line miss the net on a grade A scoring chance? Why are we trying to cap McDavid’s production? No reason he can’t score an additional 20 points next season. There are some pretty good wingers that can be had for under 2 million a season.

      • OilersBro

        He may be a good option right now but I’m low key hoping for a line that goes Nuge – McD – Yamo
        It’s a small line but man the speed and passing abilities of those guys would be fun to watch.

        • Not McDavid's Fault

          They have to find someone that is a threat all the time and can score if left open to play with McNuge. So the other team can’t cheat all there focus to McNuge cause the others can’t hit the side of the barn. Good example is lucic with 97.

      • Serious Gord

        This is the time of year to be looking beyond the score of a game – that’s what losers do. We need to be looking for progression among the players who we hope will be the future of the team. the media and most ON readers and contributors have been focussed on Lucic’s failings whilst Nurse’s struggles go unobserved.

  • OilersBro

    I swear Larsson is the best defensemen on the ice for 70% of the games he plays in. He has a great first pass out of the zone and breaks up cycles with ease. 4MM over a long term contract will be a steal.

    • jultz=2cups!??

      Lol. Get with the program. Oilersnation thinks larsson is garbage. Worst trade in oilers history is what oilersnation has been saying for the past two months. But I digress and completely agree with you. Larsson is the best dman on this team. Nurse has been awesome but has tailed off as of late. He’s young, that’s gonna happen. And klefbom is just hurt all the time so it’s hard to get a read on him. I suppose I could just do what oilersnation does and make decisions based on a years play. One good year and he’s a hero, (klefbom). One bad year and he’s a washed up bum. (Eberle, Lucic). Classic oilersnation.

    • Hemmercules

      Just do what I do, skip them all and watch the highlights in the morning. Winning is nice but with nothing on the line my interest in watching an entire Oilers game is long gone. I watched useless games for 10 years and looking back I wish I would have found better things to do. Looking forward I hope they aren’t eliminated in November again next season but I wouldn’t be surprised at all.