Connor McArt Ross Trophy. Final Score: 3-2 Oilers
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t just a little bit irritated before this game even started. Thinking about the Oilers missing the playoffs while the Kings are fighting for a spot is frustrating because that was supposed to be us again. The fact that they’re not in the hunt is annoying and my saltiness seems to be getting worse as the season clock winds down. That said, a couple McPoints and a big win always goes a long way to improving not only my mood but the general vibe around here too. Miraculously, my dreams for a win looked good early on as Pontus Aberg opened the scoring only 45 seconds into the first period. As far as starts go, you can’t draw em up much better than that. And when Connor added another one to give the Oilers a two-goal lead I sat back in my chair and took a sip of my rum, smiling with satisfaction. Unfortunately, Jake Muzzin had to go and ruin that moment for me almost immediately but we move on.
As the game progressed through the second period and into the third, the Oilers were able to keep the hammer down and continued to put the work in, giving themselves the chances they needed to win as a result. While the Kings were able to hang around throughout, they were never able to get themselves past the comeback goals and that allowed the Oilers to keep their distance. But it’s not like LA was going to rollover and die either. They needed to win this game for their playoff lives. Heading into the third period, the Oilers had a big job on their hands of protecting the lead against a team that’s known for its third period prowess, but they did a good job of securing their own end and weathering the storms that came their way. And when you think about it, LA never really had a chance tonight, did they?
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Pontus Aberg extended his point streak to three games with his fourth goal of the season that opened the scoring only moments into the first period. Aberg got to the side of the net and knocked home a greasy one that found it’s way past Quick and into the net. Look at Aberg playing like he never wants to get scratched again.
- Connor McDavid may ignite soon. Someone is going to have to stand by with a fire extinguisher because the captain is hot as the sun. I’m talkin’ Beatles on Ed Sullivan hot. The captain scored his 37th goal of the year after using his quick hands to deposit a loose puck behind Quick while basically standing behind the goal line. He got his 38th of the season after using his speed to blow past the Kings’ and in on a half-break on Quick where he buried a snapshot through the five-hole. McDavid wants the Art Ross Trophy really badly and he just got himself the points lead and a step closer to winning it.
- Cam Talbot has been really good over the last month or so and it would be nice to see him finish the year strong after what was otherwise an up-and-down season for Dadbot. He was great tonight as he came up big when his team needed him, powering them to a win with 27 saves and a .931 save%.
- Adam Larsson had a huge game tonight. He lead the team in ice with 24:12, had an assist, two shots on goal, two blocks, and was a rock on the back end. Great night.
- Ty Rattie had another really strong game as he continues to impress on that top line with Nuge and McDavid. Rattie added another assist to his resume as he got the helper on Connor’s first of the night and makes another case to stick with the big club.
- Ethan Bear was really good again as he keeps impressing the fanbase, the coaching staff, and anyone else that’s watching him. He played over 20 minutes and was a fixture on the power play as well.
- The Oilers PK was perfect tonight, killing off the lone chance they faced. I’ve said it a bunch lately, but if they had been able to kill penalties like this all year then we’d probably be in the playoff chase right now.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Only 28 seconds after McDavid put the Oilers up by two goals Jake Muzzin got the Kings on the boards with a seeing-eye shot that made its way through traffic and past Talbot. Up until that point, the Oilers looked like they were starting to pull away but Muzzin’s goal halted those plans.
- After Connor McDavid scored his second of the game to give the Oilers a 3-1 lead, Jeff Carter responded less than two minutes later to bring the Kings back to within one. Carter kept his team in it after finishing off a nice passing play with Tobias Rieder that Cam Talbot had no chance of stopping. Why can’t the Oilers ever seem to keep this guy off the board?
- Leon Draisaitl was a turnover machine tonight and I don’t know what was going on. He was trying to force passes through all night and it gave the Kings all kinds of counterpunches as a result. No worse was the shorthanded breakaway in the third period of Leon trying to rip one rink-wide but had it intercepted instead. He can be much better than he was tonight and I know that he will be.
- Are you surprised that the Oilers didn’t score on their two power play chances? No, me neither.
- The NHL site had the giveaways at 18-8 for the Oilers and I believe it. I don’t know how many times I yelled at my TV after a stupid decision with the puck but 18 sounds about right.
- Only 40% on the dot today. The Oilers have fallen off the cliff a little bit lately.
|00:45||Edmonton||Pontus Aberg (4)||0-1|
|15:32||Edmonton||Connor McDavid (37) ASST: Ty Rattie (3), Adam Larsson (8)||0-2|
|16:00||Los Angeles||Jake Muzzin (8) ASST: Tanner Pearson (22), Jeff Carter (7)||1-2|
|04:08||Edmonton||Connor McDavid (38) ASST: Anton Slepyshev (6), Andrej Sekera (5)||1-3|
|06:19||Los Angeles||Jeff Carter (9) ASST: Tobias Rieder (12), Tanner Pearson (23)||2-3|
It’s for the best. It was probably slowing him down.
— Fukalite this Schist (@geology24_7) March 25, 2018
It’s not THE Nuge like it’s not THE Ice District.
— The Towel Boy (@TheTowelBoy) March 25, 2018
Sekera is broken. #evergreentweet
— BURGER BARON? (@Burger_Baron) March 25, 2018
— Drew Boyer (@ithrow79) March 25, 2018
Beet-free for [ 3 ] games(s).
— Anthony Flynn (@anthonyjflynn) March 25, 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, 03/25/2018 – 10:30 pm MST