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Photo Credit: © Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Oilers 4, Golden Knights 3 post-game Oil Spills: Back in the win column

The Oilers snapped their five-game losing streak last night with a gritty win over the high-flying Golden Knights. It was a night of McPoints.

Highlights

Edmonton opened the scoring off of this beautiful sequence where it looked like the Oilers were on a power play while they were at even strength. Connor McDavid grabs the puck on the half-wall, finds Ty Rattie across the ice who then sends another cross-ice pass to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins who’s alone in front for an easy goal. Both passes thread the needle perfectly.

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After Vegas got a 2-1 lead, the Oilers stormed back in the third period with three goals of their own. It began with this one from Matt Benning. Benning gets the puck at the blueline does a fake shot, breaks the Golden Knights defender’s ankles, and fires a wrist shot past Malcom Subban.

Soon after, the Oilers grabbed the lead. It was Mike Cammalleri who benefitted from Connor McDavid forcing Brayden McNabb to chuck the puck out in front of the net, scoring his second goal in three games after a 37-game goalless drought.

Connor McDavid got on the score sheet again when he found Ty Rattie with a cross ice pass that he roofed over Subban’s glove. Rattie now has five goals in 13 games this year, which is more than he had in 35 career games previously.

By the numbers

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This was a tight, evenly-contested game. The even strength shot attempts were split down the middle at 44 to 44, the shots were 28 to 27 for Edmonton, and the Oilers held an edge in the high danger chances 17 to 13. The Oilers converted on one of their three power play chances and killed both of their penalties.

Thoughts…

  • Woodguy makes a great point here. I can’t think of too many instances, not just in hockey but in North American sport in general, in which you’d see a crowd as into the game as you did tonight when the outcome is completely meaningless. Oilers fans have come out and pulled for the team all season despite how painful it’s been and how grossly the team has underachieved. The Oilers as a franchise are so stupidly lucky to have such a dedicated fanbase.
  • The McDavid, Nugent-Hopkins, and Rattie line should be a thing next year. I know I’ve vouched for RNH and Draisaitl to play together to spread the love around, but it’s impossible not to see the magic those two create and not think they should be a pair. And yes, Rattie too. The Oilers are going to need cheap, bargain bin players who can keep up, and Rattie is just that. I think his showing over this stretch has earned him a contract next season.

  • ubermiguel

    I’m still watching for the McPoints. I would not object to Cammalleri returning as one of those “bargain bin” players. For years this team has been forcing kids to play too much because they haven’t had enough veteran experience.

      • Oiler Al

        Guy over at Cult of Hockey gave Talbot an 8 for last nites game.2 of 3 goals were very stoppable.Talbot needs a MAJOR wake up call for next year.His head is not in the game. Bring in a guy that will push or even replace him @ No,1.

        • Hemmercules

          I was totally kidding. Spydyr reminds us everyday about the lacklustre goalies on this team. Myself, I don’t expect to see a different tandem next season, maybe a different backup but I doubt it. Unless Chia gets fired, if that actually happens then open the floodgates on half the team.

    • percy

      It’s good to have poor goaltending once in awhile. It exposes the weaknesses of the team. Believe me we are very weak in some areas. Until we add a #1 def a winger for the Dri line and a coaching staff we won’t kiss the cup.

  • Beer_League_Ringer

    Talbot should drill basics this entire off-season: good positioning, good reads, arriving before the play and being set (without overplaying!). Everyone loves to see all-world saves, but stopping all of the “normal” shots on goal is more important. One of my coaches told me in minor hockey (I played goal): “you have to stop 100% of the shots everyone expects you to stop and 50% of the shots no-one expects you to stop” (I think he plagiarized the saying). This is an oversimplification, but even if Talbot met the former expectation and failed on the latter, the Oilers might have stood a chance this season. Average-to-good goaltending (in theory) might be all it takes for a team with McDavid on it to challenge for a playoff spot. I’m sure Talbot knows all of this and I hope he plays with more consistency next season.