Keep McNuge together forever. Final Score: 6-2 Oilers
Heading into tonight’s game against the Senators I was curious to see how the Oilers would follow up on Tuesday’s big win against the Hurricanes. Draisaitl had a huge night, there were some scoring droughts ended, and I was hoping to see those goals translate into a little bit of confidence heading into the rematch against the Senators. The last time these two teams met, the Oilers got absolutely killed in a one-sided affair that saw the Sens put up six goals and lead in basically every stat available. Fortunately, the Oilers got off to a great start and built themselves a lead, basically the opposite of what happened last game where they gifted the Sens a casual stroll to two points. It was nice to return the favour.
The beauty of this one was that the Oilers never stopped playing and pushing for more offence. For all 60 minutes, they looked and played like a team that deserved to win this hockey game and that’s exactly what happened. They moved the puck well, got great goaltending, added McPoints to the pile… it was beautiful! I won’t lie to you guys, it was really nice to be able to sit back, have a couple of beers and enjoy the show for a second straight game. I know that these wins do nothing other than ruin our draft odds, but I don’t care. I always want the Oilers to win and these two consecutive shit kickings have been a nice reprieve from the reality that they won’t be going to the playoffs this year. To me, this looked like the Oilers team that we were supposed to see this year and I don’t care if the teams they’re killing are weak ones from the east.
We haven’t had enough fun this year and I’d love nothing more than to see the Oilers finish off strong. Nice win, boys. I like it.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Drake Caggiula was in the perfect place at the right time as he found a loose puck right in the crease and all he had to do was tap it in. Goals don’t come much easier than that, but you have to give the Drake credit for getting himself to a greasy area of the ice that landed him the opportunity. Caggiula followed with a second goal after, again, getting himself to the net and smashing home a loose puck. All of a sudden, Caggiula finds himself heating up as he’s scored four goals in his last five games.
- Connor McDavid got his 35th goal of the season after taking a beautiful pass from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins into the slot where he had all kinds of dangles ready for Craig Anderson before shovelling the puck into the net. The captain added a second goal in the third period after he took a layup from Nuge and made magic with it, walking around anyone that stood in his way before burying his 36th. Remember when Kucherov’s point lead looked untouchable? Add four more McPoints to the pile.
- Only eight seconds after Matt Duchene got the Senators on the board, Nuge gave the Oilers back their two-goal lead after he put home his 21st of the year after being the business end of a nice passing play with McDavid and Rattie. Why would anyone in their right mind think that trading Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is a good idea? He IS the winger for Connor, just look at them together, while also being able to slot in at 1C or 2C if needed. Why would anyone want to give up that kind of versatility? Add three more points to Nuge’s total on the year as he looks more and more like the perfect fit with Connor.
- Ty Rattie got in on the fun after he was able to knock home a loose puck at the side of the net for his third goal of the season. Rattie is making his case for wanting to stick with McNuge to close out the year.
- Cam Talbot was fantastic tonight. He was there when the team needed him and he came up with some big saves at times when his opponent couldn’t. The shots were 38-35 for the Oilers which tells me that this wasn’t exactly a gimme night for Dadbot. The Oilers were only up by a pair heading into the third period and he was the one left standing when the final buzzer rang. Talbot finished the night 33 saves and a .943 save%.
- Anyone else appreciate when Ethan Bear is taking clappers out there? The kid has a cannon from the point and I’m really excited about his future with the team. All I hope is that they take it slow with him and don’t force feed him too much responsibility too soon.
- Darnell Nurse had himself a solid night on the backend as he not only played the most minutes of any Oilers defender but also added three assists to his count. Combined with four shots on goal, one hit, and a block and you’ve got a solid night for ol’ Darryl.
- Two more assists for Pontus Aberg as he keeps himself on the scoresheet after sitting out two games for whatever reason. All of a sudden Pontus has five points in his last two games.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Matt Duchene scored a highlight real goal tonight to get the Senators on the board after he walked Matt Benning near the line and ripping a close-range clapper past Cam Talbot.
- Would you be surprised if I told you that Filip Chlapik scored his first NHL goal against the Oilers tonight? You wouldn’t, would you? Of course not. Is ‘most first NHL goals against’ a stat that gets tracked? It should be.
- Once again, it’s that magical time in the Wrap Up where we take a look at the special teams. Who’s excited?! *dodges flying fruit*
- PK went 1/2 on the night as they weren’t exactly bad but weren’t good either. The PK has been great over the last 19 games and it was almost surprising to see them give one up.
- PP went 1/5 on the night. Normally I wouldn’t have the power play in the Face Palmers when it scores but I feel like they should have had more than the one goal tonight. The Oilers have been so frustrating to watch with the man advantage that it almost seems like a miracle when it actually clicks. I’m a crank, I know.
- Not a good night for the Oilers on the dot as they won only 45% of the faceoffs. Since moving Mark Letestu at the Deadline, and Nuge to the wing the Oilers haven’t had many guys outside of Draisaitl that have consistently won faceoffs.
- I wanted to do a quick mention for Erik Karlsson and send out some positive vibes to both him and his wife. They’re going through hell right now and it’s a solid reminder about life is more important than sports. I know he’ll never see this but I wanted to send out some thoughts to them during this tough time in their lives anyway. All the best.
|08:23||Edmonton||Drake Caggiula (11) ASST: Pontus Aberg (11), Darnell Nurse (17)||1-0|
|05:10||Edmonton||Connor McDavid (35) ASST: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (20), Ty Rattie (2)||2-0|
|04:43||Ottawa||PPG – Matt Duchene (23) ASST: Cody Ceci (14), Thomas Chabot (15)||2-1|
|04:51||Edmonton||Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (21) ASST: Connor McDavid (57)||3-1|
|05:29||Edmonton||Ty Rattie (3) ASST: Connor McDavid (58), Darnell Nurse (18)||4-1|
|06:34||Edmonton||PPG – Drake Caggiula (12) ASST: Milan Lucic (24), Pontus Aberg (12)||5-1|
|14:23||Ottawa||Filip Chlapik (1) ASST: Marian Gaborik (10), Bobby Ryan (20)||5-2|
|16:40||Edmonton||Connor McDavid (36) ASST: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (21), Darnell Nurse (19)||6-2|
What a scam!
The text is upside down and if there's one thing I know about dogs is that they can't read upside down.
— GM Peter Shkreli (@PatrickMcSports) March 23, 2018
You don't trade Nuge because here's why: he is an elite hockey player that can compliment the best player in the world on the wing, and if ever the #1 or #2 centre get injured, he can slide right into their spot and kill it. He's so god damn valuable.
— Travis Dakin (@TravisDakin) March 23, 2018
A collection of emojis but with Puljujärvi’s face. Puljumojis.
— Ryan (@IAmByks) March 23, 2018
Nuge > Hoffman @OilersNation
— Anthony Flynn (@anthonyjflynn) March 23, 2018
— Dean Segberg (@deansegberg) March 23, 2018
My guess is Connor McDavid is going to blow by Nikita Kucherov in the scoring race the way the Roadrunner used to with Wile E. Coyote. Cloud of dust.
— Robin Brownlee (@Robin_Brownlee) March 23, 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, 03/22/2018 – 8:30 pm MST