GDB 3.0 Wrap Up: Everybody exhales, Oilers win 2-1 at MSG

Two points in the bank and we can all enjoy the rest of our Saturday. Final Score: 2-1 Oilers

I don’t think I’m talking out of school when I say that the Oilers absolutely had to win this hockey game. Starting the season with two straight losses was bad enough but adding a third on top of that by a rebuilding Rangers team would have been like throwing gas on the fire. Adding to the intrigue was the surprise storyline that Daryl Katz was in attendance, something that we don’t see all that often. Is there more to that story? Maybe. Unfortunately, the owner’s presence wasn’t enough to prevent another slow start and an early goal that came after the boys decided to run with a swarm-remix in their own zone. For parts of the first, the Oilers looked sluggish and they were lucky to keep the game close while they worked to get their legs going. The bright side was that the Rangers’ lead didn’t last long, with RNH managing to even things up before the intermission.

As the game moved through the second period, the Oilers were able to settle in a little bit and they looked a lot more comfortable making plays at both ends of the rink. The problem was that even though they were playing better, Henrik Lundqvist was being his usual annoying self and kept the Rangers in it longer than they should have been. Another issue that needs to get cleaned up is that the Oilers got caught in transition far too often for my liking. They’d be heading into the offensive zone give up the puck at key areas of the ice and the Rangers would turn it around, often for a wide open scoring chance. Fortunately for the team and for all of us that were watching, the Oilers kept managing to escape without getting burned by their mistakes. Sometimes Talbot had to be brilliant and sometimes luck was on our side, but at the end of the day, a win is a win and I’m damned relieved that they got it.

We wrap.

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  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins got his first goal of the season after he planted himself in front of Lundqvist, leaving himself available to knock home a McRebound. This was the kind of greasy goal the Oilers haven’t been getting yet this season, and I was pumped to see Nuge get it. RNH finished the game with two points which was a nice rebound effort after suffering some horrible puck luck in Boston on Thursday night.
  • Connor McDavid gave the Oilers a 2-1 lead in the third period after scoring a ridiculous angle power play goal. The Oilers moved the puck nicely around the Rangers zone and Draisaitl fed through a cross-seam pass to McDavid on what seemed like an impossible angle, but he found a way to cash it in anyway. His reaction time (and hair!) is ridiculously good and it’s pretty amazing to see what she can do with the puck. Winning goal aside, Connor was everything for the Oilers today as he made a massive difference at both ends of the rink.
  • Cam Talbot was solid today and made the kind of saves that you need your starter to make. One thing I will say, though, is that we may need to put some sandpaper on Dadbot’s pads because he was sliding all over the place and it nearly gave me a heart attack. That said, he was great from start to finish and a huge reason the Oilers were able to get their first win of the season. Dadbot finished with 23 saves and a .958 save%.
  • I like the way the Strome line looked today. It seemed like they were able to get something going almost every time they were on the ice and, to me, it was almost bad luck that they weren’t able to cash one in. It definitely wasn’t because of a lack of effort.
  • I thought Darnell Nurse had a really nice game today. He was rushing the puck well, made smart decisions at both ends of the ice, and was a lot more steady in general than we’ve seen in the first two games.
  • Quick shout out to Evan Bouchard. The guy is looking more and more comfortable with each passing game and he’s making the kind of corrections that will ensure he stays in the lineup. Is he perfectly polished yet? Of course not, but he’s looking better than I necessarily expected. Bouchard played 11:15 today and was mostly effective in those minutes, but did get caught flat-footed a couple of times.
  • Jason Garrison made some very nice, calm plays in his first regular season appearance and I wonder if that will keep Benning out of the lineup? It will be interesting to see if they ice the same lineup in Winnipeg.
  • The special teams may have let the Oilers down on Thursday night but they were a bright spot today. The boys finished at 1/4 on the power play and 0/2 with their PK. Baggy likey. Still plenty of room to improve on the power play, though.
  • How about Darryl Katz being today’s game? It’s not very often that he’s actually at the building the Oilers are playing in. Maybe there is something to the Friedman report from yesterday? Or, then again, there’s always the possibility that he could literally just have been in New York and wanted to watch his team play. Depends what your tinfoil hat situation is like right now.


  • The Oilers tried to run with the swarm in their own zone and got punished for it on Mika Zibanejad’s first period goal. Frankly, the whole sequence was ugly as Puljujarvi gave up the puck at the blue line and the Rangers walked it down the other way, moving around the Oilers’ zone with ease until scoring.
  • The Oilers were pretty badly outhustled in the first period and it was frustrating to watch. While both teams had some fantastic scoring chances, the Rangers were the ones that actually looked like they were ready to play.
  • I have to call Adam Larsson out for completely mailing it in on the backcheck on the McDavid defensive highlight they kept showing. He stopped skating at the top of the circle and if it had not been for Connor’s rocket skates the Rangers would have had a tap-in.
  • I don’t know how many times the Oilers missed the net from prime shooting areas but it was driving me nuts. Too many wide open looks on the net got wasted by an inability to hit the net and we really need those fortunes to turn around in a hurry. The Oilers aren’t playing well enough to waste those opportunities.
  • Oilers went 47% in the faceoff circle today. Not great, not bad, but definitely an area that can be improved.
  • Even though the Oilers scored on the power play today, I still think they’re too stationary with the man advantage. There was a lot of perimeter passing again today and it was almost like the Rangers didn’t have to move all that much. That thing needs to evolve imo.



12:49 New York Mika Zibanejad (1) ASST: Marc Staal (1), Brendan Smith (1) 0-1
14:17 Edmonton Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (1) ASST: Darnell Nurse (2), Connor McDavid (3) 1-1


No Scoring


06:23 Edmonton PPG – Connor McDavid (2) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (2), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (1) 2-1


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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, 10/13/2018 – 1:30 pm MST

  • Heschultzhescores

    I think Larsson was totally gassed on that play. Nothing builds confidence more than winning. Let’s keep building our confidence. McD is unfreakin real! Less waiting for him to score and more offensive help would be nice

  • steeeezy

    Without mcdavid this team would have a hard time being competitive in the A, let alone the big leagues . Congrats on the first win of the season. Now everyone can stop with the whole “sky is falling” mentality and start planning that parade! lol

    • DarrylNurse

      Happy to get the W! But I’m really concerned about the RW position. Rattie, Yams and Pool weere all lights out during pre-season and now they have regressed.

      Also, with Benning and Kass out, the Oilers sure didn’t miss ’em. We need to move on from these players, as there are other players that have surpassed them on the depth chart.

  • KootenayDan

    Defenseman cannot hit the net I understand lanes get closed but c’mon a few times it was bantam hockey from the point. Happy to see Benning out he earned it. Glad to see Kassian out too he earned it also.

  • Beer_League_Ringer

    “It will be interesting to see if they ice the same lineup in Winnipeg.”

    Changing even one man after a win (unless that man was absolute horse-pucky) sends the wrong message to the team. The lineup that got the win should play the next game. Period.

  • Arfguy

    Getting sick of all the times that Oilers have a clear shot at the net and miss. I counted 1 of each from Adam Larsson, Leon Draisaitl, Darnell Nurse, Milan Lucic…and multiple from Oscar Klefbom. These guys need to be able to hit the net first and then worry about scoring, I think.

    • Heschultzhescores

      Yup. A shot on net has rebound potential too. We need those kind of goals. Not to mention the shots that go wide and end up trapping all the fwds down low.

  • Heschultzhescores

    Just get the shot through. I know it scares the crap out of me when Burns just throws a light wrister at the net. Get the puck in the panic area first the D and goalie.

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    A much better game than we had seen over the previous two, much more of a team effort more hitting more pressure and better zone breakouts and PP and PK, there is still room for improvement but overall a lot better. Benning out was a must the guy has been a tire fire, Bouchard is out playing him, Garrison looked fine Nurse still looks like he has some rust but he played way better without Benning. Lucic was hitting the play was still dying with him along the boards, but at least he was doing something. Cagguila played a lot better he was skating , hitting even made a few plays. Strome wasnt bad, but that guy needs to get his feet moving, because he is impedeing the lines ssuccess because he is always trailing behind. Brodziak did well, I dont understand why the Oil are not using him on the PK, let him take some faceoffs and get the puck back to the guys to get it out, Strome didnt do bad but , I think Brodziak would be a better choice. Leon did a lot better on the dot than I expected. Talbot did well, but that first goal the guys looked like they didnt know who was doing what, after that not too bad. The Oilers did well, but if those two would have went in that Zinbenjad rang off the iron had gone in, we might be in a different mood. I still dont get the 5 lefties on the PP bit. Now while the Oil got the win they need to build on it, if they get complacent, I think were going to back to where we left off. I would say let Kassian and Benning sit and see if the team gets on a roll, the Oilers need to figure out what to do with Benning, now way can he be on the 2nd pairing and even the 3 rd pairing is a stretch because the guy is consistently bad. While the win may take some heat off Chia and TM, it isnt going to amke everyone forget the mess we still have going and if the Oil go on a losing streak… hoo the pitchforks will be out. Tough sledding ahead, but if the Oilers can keep expanding on playing like they did today, that is a start

  • Kr55

    I really want to know how Ottawa can score 5 goals against LA without a McDavid. How does any team in the NHL that is below average score goals without a McDavid?

    If you only watched the Oilers, you’d swear nothing in this league is possible unless McDavid is out on the ice. What is wrong with the mentality and/or strategy of this team?

  • GK1980

    Not a convincing win but a win. Rattie needs to be better. I hope he figures it out but he seems out of his league.

    Someone mentioned on an earlier post that Nurse can get entry into the O zone but then has no idea what to do once there. I watched him today and noticed the same thing. He skates like a madman with the puck into the O zone, heads around the back of the net then just gives it away. He needs to be way better then that.

    Klefbom can’t keep pucks in at the blue line. He needs to keep the pucks in especially on the PP. He wasn’t very good today IMO.

    • Kepler62c

      Are you crazy? Rattie’s been one of the hardest working forwards, and he’s making great subtle plays all over the ice. He’s back checking, finding open ice, battling on the boards, and making sure he does his best to get that puck to McDavid or Nuge — give him 20 games at least, this guy has shown more than anyone that he wants to be here.

  • Abagofpucks

    So Benning and Kass eating popcorn where they belong in the press box.
    And they did use my d pairings Klef/Larsson Nurse/Russel Garrieson/Bouchard haha. Now what do they do with those 2 popcorn eaters.

  • slats-west

    A solid road game. Good to see Brodziak reinserted (he won the final faceoff in Oilers zone at end of game). McRockets were on full display in offence and two great plays on defence (i hope others take notice #29,#19, #16, #98).
    Interesting Todd move of the game? Up 2-1 with a late PP he throws #98,19 (ok with) and 91 out there instead of #56, #8. Yamo is meant for the PP and #8 was shooting the puck hard on every shift. Talbot solid road win played really strong and looked confident all game.

    We needed that one – time for a streak.

      • Dallas Eakins Hair

        He was backing up Talbot, they never sent him down to get in some games, sooner or later they need to play him to see if he can handle the NHL, they cant wait until they absolutely need him like say if Talbot got injured, the Oilers need to know what they have with Koskinen, because if they find out Koskinen is a dud, they have to call up Montoya then they have to scramble to find a goalie for the Condors and Brossoit isnt in the Oilers system anymore, because if Koskinen decides he doesnt want to play in the AHL, he doesnt have to go because of his NMC.

        If I am TM I am playing Koskinen sooner rather than later, tehy cant let the guy sit for 10 games and then expect him to win a game when he hasnt played since the preseason and isnt used to the NHL ice

    • Goaltender Interference

      Yup – although it’s only three games, not having any goals that Connor hasn’t factored into is a little bit of a worry.

      Need some secondary scoring, please. McDavid can’t haul the whole team on his own.

      Glad we won today and good job by Talbot and the first line. The rest need to pick up their socks.

    • Dallas Eakins Hair

      The Oilers needs to get some line consistency and get people gelling, because we arent going to win many games if we only have a couple players putting pucks in the net

    • Beer_League_Ringer

      That was a PP to reward those who normally don’t play on the PP with 3 mins left in a game, relax… It’s not like the #1 unit was doing it while down a goal.

      • DarrylNurse

        Happy to get the W! But I’m really concerned about the RW position. Rattie, Yams and Pool were all lights out during pre-season and now they have regressed.

        Also, with Benning and Kass out, the Oilers sure didn’t miss ’em. We need to move on from these players, as there are other players that have surpassed them on the depth chart.

        • Dallas Eakins Hair

          I am not going to say they have regressed just yet, Rattie is on the same line and I dont see him moving unless TM wants to throw draisaitl on to get some better chances at putting points together out of the old line, Yamamoto and JP have not had consistant line mates, and pretty hard to get anything going when two guys are having trouble keeping the play alive and they have foot speed problems, and that would be Strome and Lucic, the Oilers need to have guys who can compliment one another but if one guy out of lines two and three are causing issues with being knocked off the puck or the play dying with them and they cant keep up to their linemates, that isnt going to help anyone on that line get any traction, and that right now is the biggest issues with two and three. The Oilers need to figure that out sooner rather than laster, I said before drop Lucic down to 3 and light a fire under his ass, move strome to 3 , 4 or the press box until he gets his damn feet moving, Lucic cant sit beside him, the Oilers can use Brodziak and Chaission if they need to, they signed them oif guys cant get it going sit them until they can get going, the Oilers need offence and they cant just get it only from the top line, the other lines need to be a factor

  • Kneedroptalbot

    Nice win!
    The Oilers are better with Kassian and Benning out of the lineup.
    Garrison was a claming influence on the ice today. Nice to see him paired with the rookie.

    • MrBung

      Doesn’t change that this team begins and ends with McDavid. Unfortunately, a bunch of players (e.g Drai) are paid like they can run their own line or team. Drai needs McDavid or he is useless.