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GDB 2.0 Wrap Up: Better but not better, ya know? Oilers lose 4-1 in Boston

We’ll always have the five minutes after the McDavid goal. Final Score: 4-1 Bruins

After the Gord awful game that we watched last weekend, I don’t think I’ll be the only Oilers fan to admit that I was really nervous about how this one was going to play out. Let’s be honest, the Oilers were hot garbage against the Devils and it was a real bummer to see them come out flat like that for their season opener. With that turd in the punchbowl still fresh in our minds, hoping for some improvement wasn’t exactly a big ask for tonight’s matchup. Much to our delight (albeit temporary), the Oilers got a much better start tonight as they not only were able to navigate the first shot of the game but were even able to convert on an early goal of their own. Connor McDavid gave our boys the lead and the Nation was feeling pretty good about it. The unfortunate part is, of course, that the positive vibes lasted for about five minutes before the wheels fell off. After dropping the first goal, the Bruins pumped home three straight, taking a lead that they would not give up.

Though the Oilers were able to settle things down in their own zone as the game progressed through the second period and into the third, the offensive side of their game struggled mightily and their overall luck was almost as bad. They were only able to muster a handful of shots in the middle frame, none of them all that dangerous, and that snakebite carried over into the third period as well. Though it’s not that the Oilers weren’t able to generate some chances, they actually had more than enough to get something done in the third, but they just couldn’t manage to bear down bury anything. There were posts, there were pucks that walked the line, there were breakaways, but there were no goals. The bright side is that this game was a fair margin better than the one we watched last Saturday, but that was a really low bar to clear and the problem is that moral victories don’t cut it around here anymore. While I appreciate a mostly better effort (glaring defensive holes aside), I’m a lot less fond of being outscored nine to three through two games and already sitting in a four-point hole. 

The wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

  • The Oilers needed to have a better start tonight and they got it with an early goal by who else, the captain. Connor McDavid ended his goalless streak against the Bruins with a beautiful breakaway snipe that he absolutely ripped through Halak.
  • Beauty pass by Ty Rattie to McDavid on his goal.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a much better game tonight than he did against the Devils. Nuge had both a post and a puck that was inches from being a goal in the third period, and he looked more like the guy that should be parked with McDavid.
  • I know he’s a divisive player but I’m going to give Drake Caggiula a shout out for being one of the few guys that were consistently willing to get in the mud tonight. Specifically, I’m thinking of the second-period exchange with David Backes and the willingness to drop the mitts even though he was outsized by a wide margin. Dude has balls, you have to give him that.
  • Cam Talbot is going to take heat for allowing three goals on 31 shots but there’s no way this game was on him. The goals scored came as a result of a skilled play by Pastrnak, perfect 2-on-1 passing, and sheer luck on the deflection. Aside from maybe trying a poke-check on Pastrnak’s goal, I don’t know that he had a chance on any of the Bruins goals but he’s going to take shit anyway. Talbot finished the night with 28 saves and a .903 save%.
  • I want to give some props to my man Jujhar for trying to get the boys going with a scrap against Kevan Miller in the second period. If you want to have another look, you can check it out over on Khaira’s fight page at HockeyFights.com.
  • At least the Flames are losing.

THE FACE PALMERS

  • I wish I could hate David Pastrnak’s goal that tied the game at one apiece on the power play but I can’t. Dude shelled out a filthy dangle that caught Benning puck watching and slid the puck home for his fourth of the season.
  • Brad Marchand gave the Bruins the lead after his cross-ice pass bounced in off Drake Caggiula and into the net. Caggiula needed a goal in his first game back and he got one. Wrong team, mind you.
  • Less than a minute after Brad Marchand gave the Bruins the lead, Joakim Nordstrom finished off a 2-on-1 with a top-shelf snipe that put the Oilers down by two goals and triggered some real rage on Twitter.
  • I guess I should also mention that Bergeron scored the empty netter after taking a perfect pass from Benning right into the high slot.
  • The Oilers lost this game because of the special teams. The Bruins went 2/4 on the power play while the Oilers didn’t get much of anything done with their two chances. Too much time in the box for the Oilers and not nearly enough execution with the man advantage. That’s a bad combo.
  • For the second straight game, the Oilers’ defensive group was an adventure at best, and I don’t think I have to tell anyone here that this is not even in the ballpark to being good enough. I mean, we said it a lot last year and Chiarelli didn’t see fit to make any adds so I’m not sure why I’m surprised by a similar result. Matt Benning, specifically, did not have a good game. I guess all we can do is pray for improvement, huh?
  • This was the kind of game where Zack Kassian could have made a huge impact, it was chippy, physical and a little bit dirty, but he was totally invisible. Disappointing.
  • Oilers were only 38% in the faceoff circle. Yeesh.
  • Another game, another #BeetCast. As always, I encourage you to jump in over on my Twitter feed.

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
03:43 Edmonton Connor McDavid (1) ASST: Ty Rattie (1), Darnell Nurse (1) 1-0
09:20 Boston PPG – David Pastrnak (4) ASST: Matt Grzelcyk (1) 1-1
14:37 Boston PPG – Brad Marchand (1) ASST: Matt Grzelcyk (2), Patrice Bergeron (3) 1-2
15:13 Boston Joakim Nordstrom (1) ASST: David Krejci (2) 1-3

2ND PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
No Scoring

3RD PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
19:25 Boston EN – Patrice Bergeron (5) 1-4

BEST OF THE TWEETS

Talk to me, Twitter. Tweet at @OilersNation and @jsbmbaggedmilk for your chance to land in the Best of the Tweets.

NATION ROADIE TO CALGARY

Photoshop: @isuckatpicking

Just like last year, it was important for us to try and make this trip as cheap as possible and to announce it as early as we could to give you as much time as possible to get your life in order. Based on last year’s trip, this is a roadie that you really won’t want to miss — it’s an absolute blast and a good chance to get ridiculous behind enemy lines. And since I already know that you want to come, let’s get to the when, where, and how much, shall we?

Give me the details, guy:

  • When? Saturday, November 17th, 2018
  • How much? The depends on how many people are coming with you. To put it another way, we’ve got a range of options including single occupancy ($329/person) up to groups of four ($249/person).
  • Why? Because we love to party
  • Where do you buy tickets? Right here, friend. But be warned, just like the last time we did this, the trip sold out quickly and procrastinating will be your enemy if you want to come.

Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 10/11/2018 – 8:00 pm MST

  • Serious Gord

    Just looking at schedule for the rest of the month makes an oil fan ill. Now that the Blackhawks seem to rediscovered their mojo (toews looks like his old self) only the rangers and maybe the wild look like lesser opponents.

    Hard to believe but the third game of the season against the rangers is looking like a must-win game.

  • Svart kaffe

    As long as they compete like they did against Boston they’ll get some wins and I’ll watch a few games now and then. But if the effort is mostly on Game 1-Level then I won’t bother too much until drastic changes in front office occur.

    • Svart kaffe

      Saw the game against New Jersey live and while it was fun and I’m happy I went there I can’t believe people who spend money on season tickets for that kind of product.

  • Freddie the fog

    Ahhhh. It’s early. I’m gonna go with benefit of doubt. Tough grind to start the schedule. For me they were going to be sub 500 on this trip anyways. Having said that their are some glaring concerns. Is it me or does Leon seem almost disinterested unless he is on the ice with Connor ? , the D looks like it can’t get the job done. Benning has been awful. Kassian continues to be invisible. Why move Jesse P down the lineup ? The kid looked ready to roll in the pre season…Imo he needs the coach to believe in him, give him a top six shot. Finally I couldn’t help but think about all those picks we bled in the Griff trade as well as the two picks for the hire of Chia, and Todd Mcc ( a rule since abolished ) Its my understanding that at least two of those picks would have turned into Brandon Carlo, and Joel Eriksson-Ek. It’s a moot point but man this team looks like a club that could use two such players. What SHOULD have been ya know? Oh and let’s not panic until we see where we are come US Thanksgiving. If we are 10+ points out, that’s when some big changes need to happen. Starting at the top.

  • JasonY

    It doesn’t surprise me the results. Chia should have been fired this summer. He has hosed this team for many years and I don’t see them getting out of it for a few more seasons given the massive contracts and buyouts he did. We still didn’t add much and still right up against the cap. He was impatient with the D trying to fix it and overpaid dearly for it and still has not managed to fix it. Every summer, he has traded the top winger (Hall, Eberle, Maroon) for less than equal value. Our D is still awful and now we have no wingers. His biggest downfall (management should have known given his history) for overpaying dearly. He paid dearly for Hall for Larson and tagging on massive contract with Lucic. Double whammy. He traded a Calder trophy winner to address unproven Damn. Overpaid for a small sample size in Drasailt. He can’t drive a line. Drai needs another player like Hall. Traded Eberle for capspace which he never used. He again overpaid for Koskinen, and it won’t surprise me that he’s gonna stink. He should be let go before he wastes more of Connor’s.

  • Smuckers

    If Chia gets fired they better fire MacT and Howsen and anyone else held over from previous losing seasons. If they still have a job then nothing is really changing. They may be smart and decent guys but their tenure on this losing club has been way too long. Time for some new blood.

  • QuitForRealThisTime

    Here is what I say in the game.Great start by McD..the Oil had shaky laegs early, as expected with the travel and time off, evident in the penalty on Larsson. First pp for Bos, hell of a move by Pasternak, I will give him credit. Second goal, bad luck nothing can be done Cagguila was in the right position made the right play. Third goal, reviewwd the play a bunch and looked like a clear hook on Lucic. Nuge post, bad luck. Oil played pretty good here on out. 2 more missed calls on the Oil. Cagguila needednto drop Nemar style after the slash. Oil need to get better at cheating. Another post from Nuge. One more missed call and game over. I looked at he schedule and penciled this one in as a loss. They come out hard and win on Saturday. Go Oil.

    • Rufio Barcoli

      Let’s be honest with ourselves for a minute.
      There is no way that any GM would have given their #1Dman for Hall at the time of, and before, the Larsson trade occurred.
      If you strongly believe that there is a scenario/s, please show me a few example.
      Show me a GM and his #1Dman that would have came across on the trade.

      • CMG30

        Lets be really honest and admit that even if larsson was the guy the GM wanted he should have at least evened up the value with draft picks or prospects. The lopsided value given up by the oilers was universally panned at the time as a candidate for top ten worst trades of the decade, if not ever. It was so bad the Oilers tried to spin it as a trade for both larsson and Lucic. So lets get really honest and acknowledge that it was a really dumb trade at the time and it only looks worse today. Also, in case someone thinks I’m picking on Larsson, I’m not. He’s a fine defenseman. But somehow people still can’t acknowledge that a good defenseman is not worth a franchise/hall of fame player straight up.

      • JasonY

        I think Ottawa says hello! The issue here is Chia has completely flunked on asset management. He bought hi and sold low on his assets. He should have waited until the timing is ripe. He didn’t and he forced trades. Overpaying dearly. When Hall got traded, I thought this is gonna cost us a few cups. But now, I know for sure we are not gonna win for a couple more seasons. We are just too buried in dead salary. Lucic is a 3rd line winger who doesn’t use his intimidation anymore. There is no meanness to him.(Clear example of that last night…it was Nurse, Khaira, Caggiula). However, at $6M, we have him pegged on our 2nd line. Meanwhile, we’re rushing our young prospects like Yamamoto and JP and seriously risk ruining them. This team is a sinking ship. The only reason why we’re not a perennial last team is Connor. I’m most pissed cause we could have had something like Toronto. Hall, McDavid, Drai, and Nuge and possibly hold onto to Eberle. Note, I am pretty sure Drai wouldn’t have gotten that salary had Hall been on his wing. $8.5M for a guy that still can’t drive his own 2nd line. It should have been a bridge at $6M. There is no way he gets $8.5M. He got hot at the right time.

        • Reinman

          When Leon’s contract was being negotiated he was compared to Pasternak. Pasternak signed for 6.6, Leon signed for 8.5. Watching last nights game, who has a crap GM?

  • When Chia came aboard I had a fun argument with a Bruins buddy of mine…”Chia will put your Club in.. (not particular order) a).. in Salary Cap HELL b) He will make a trade or two where you scratch your head until it bleeds. Needless to say, I dislike my buddy ;))

          • Have to say , I admire your optimism. They will get caught up, but they will be losses as well. This start is what most of us expected. Players have to own some of it, really looks like the entire team has checked out already, but if I played for this tire fire, I may very well do the same. Have not watched a game and don’t intend to, Oilers Nation is more entertaining than the game. That said until they get rid of everyone from the owner on down, nothing will change except ticket, beer and food prices. Hate to say it but this time around I am including Gretzky , Messier , and anybody else we probably don’t even know about that are employed because of the ongoing 80’s hangover. Until they are gone, the song remains the same. And we all know it wont happen, just a new set of fall guys, before rebuild #5, or is that 6? I have lost track.

          • Hemmercules

            Not really optimistic but its just so early to get so overly pesimistic. A lot of things happen over the course of 6 months. Teams with hot starts will miss the playoffs and teams with slow starts will make it. Trades will be made, guys will get injured coaches and GM’s will get fired. Im just along for the ride and feeling indifferent to the outcome these days. Looking back its hard to come up with many good memories. Mostly its the games I went to with friends and had fun no matter what the outcome was but other than that its all mostly anger, dispair, sadness, confusion and frustration over this team. I feel almost liberated that I can shut off a game now halfway through and move on like nothing happened. Always a hockey fan, less and less an Oilers fan as the years tick away with similar results.

  • Heschultzhescores

    Maybe it’s time to leave Drai with McD again. At least one line could score. Also leave the 2nd and 3rd lines intact for a few months to develop chemistry.

  • madjam

    Lets see ? Devils follow up a dominant victory over Oilers 5-2 , and then go to next game and wax the Stanley cup champions 6-0 . Jersey has best differential in entire league so far . Bruins get waxed in their first game by Washington 8-0 , and then go on a 3 game win streak . Oilers are simply not as good as those clubs as yet . The Oilers might however , be a bottom club once again , as signs are certainly pointing that way . Beyond McDavid there is not much to get excited about with our club to date . Club needs to play above potential to be successful , not just what was expected if they are to be seriously considered to make playoffs this season . Currently ,most are playing well below expectations ,and thus the drive to get Hughes in next years draft seems to be in order .

  • Heschultzhescores

    Drai got way too much money because of the McD effect. If we could package a deal wit Drai for a stud D-man before the league finds out Drai is just average without McD

  • the reasonable person

    Hall for Larsson was a necessary and decent trade, okay? There was a glaring need and it’s hard to do much better than that on a winger for D-man trade.

    We sorely miss Eberle, maybe Maroon, and the two 2015 draft picks used in the Reinhart trade.

    There’s little forgiveness for those blunders the way things work now and all that can really be done is to suffer through more pain and hope we can get top 6 winger performances and have a healthy D one of these years.

  • the reasonable person

    And of course quit pissing away draft picks, that’s how the blunders need to be corrected, good drafting with the decent picks we might get this year.

    I love how on the radio I was hearing that we need to use the Sekera LTIR money to make a trade for a defenseman. Any geniuses on here want to tell me how that’s possible with our mess of a roster and all those D men out there managers want to deal at the beginning of the season?

  • Reinman

    Well, it was a good season. Looks like the same team as last year. Lucic killing this team almost single-handedly. Without a potent second line, we are doomed. Leon, has no help out there. Lucic to the 3rd line, put Reider on the second line with Drai and pool party.

  • WNelson78

    Long layoff was evident in the first period. Team battled from there against a very good team. I give them a free pass thusfar with the odd schedule and having to play a non-nhl team in their last pre-season game. From here forward there are no excuses. Time to perform.