Tough to compete when you can’t score. Final Score: 3-0 Predators
This morning in the GDB, I talked about how this was going to be the toughest test of the season for the Oilers so far, and that if they had any chance at winning they were going to need to be ready to play. Nashville came into tonight’s game as hot as anyone in the league and it was going to take a substantial effort from every Oiler to beat them. Despite playing last night, the Preds didn’t really show any signs of fatigue and were just as able to move the puck effectively through all three zones. Seemingly up for the challenge, the Oilers showed up to the rink ready to work and were able to manage anything thrown their way while also creating plenty of chances of their own. While games against the Bruins and Jets had moments and flashes where they were in complete control, that wasn’t the case tonight. Our guys didn’t have that same deer in the headlights look going on for the first 20 minutes or so.
Actually, for 58 out of 60 minutes, the Oilers were pretty effective on both sides of the puck, and even though the goals didn’t come it wasn’t for lack of opportunity. I know you guys don’t want to hear about moral victories, I don’t either it’s been 11 years of that, but the Oilers didn’t play like a team that deserved to get shutout. As the game progressed through the first period and into the second, the counterpunching continued with both sides getting some good looks at the net with the obvious difference being that the Predators found a way to score and the Oilers did not. And on a night when McDavid was being checked so tightly that he barely had room to breathe, Edmonton desperately needed someone else to step up and produce but they just didn’t get it. To make matters worse, the game winner was a shorthanded marker that basically told the whole story of just how ineffective the Oilers were with the man advantage in a single sequence. And it’s too bad too, because a good game was wiped out by a few costly mistakes.
At the end of the night, a 90-second sequence and a whole lot of snake bite lost this game for the Oilers and that’s really too bad, because they did do a lot of things well. Unfortunately, moral victories don’t bring home the bacon anymore. Connor McDavid can’t do it all for this team and sooner than later, someone is going to need to step up and help him.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Much better start for the Oilers tonight that we saw against both the Jets and Bruins. Rather than sitting back and waiting for something to happen, the Oilers were aggressive from the opening faceoff and it was refreshing to see. Outside of that 1:28 where the Predators scored twice in the second period, I thought the Oilers played pretty well overall.
- Oscar Klefbom played a ton of minutes for the Oilers tonight, leading both teams in ice time with 30:07. Klefbom played over nine minutes of special teams alone and was arguably the Oilers’ best d-man on this night.
- Evan Bouchard had a really good game tonight and it’s incredible to see how quickly he seems to be learning. He turned 19 today and is already one of the best offensive options the Oilers have on the back end. Give him a few years and the kid is going to be something special.
- Cam Talbot was kinda good again kinda weak tonight as he’d probably want both goals back, but it’s tough to win when there is absolutely nothing happening for your club offensively. To his credit, he made plenty of tough saves that kept the Oilers in it but he was outshone by Nashville keeper. Talbot finished the night with 25 saves and a .926 save%.
- Tonight was Zack Kassian’s best game of the season and it was noticeable that he was at least trying to engage himself physically. He was throwing the body around and that’s what the Oilers need from him.
- Shout out to Alex Chiasson for making his Oilers debut. He only played 7:28 on the night, but he was noticeable a few times out there and I appreciated the effort.
- The penalty kill was perfect tonight and played about as well as you’d want when down a man. Unfortunately, the same can not be said for the power play.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Unfortunately, the first goal of the game was a shortie for Nashville after Jujhar Khaira bobbled the puck at the blue line where PK Subban picked it up walked it down the ice, finishing things off with a snapshot that made its way through Talbot.
- Only moments after Subban’s goal (1:28 to be exact), Viktor Arvidsson finished off a give and go play by sliding the puck through Talbot’s legs and increasing the Preds’ lead to two. Brutal couple of minutes for the Oilers after really starting the game well.
- Not that it mattered but Roman Josi added an empty-net goal to really seal the deal with only 52 seconds left in the game.
- Shall we count the ways the power play let us down tonight? There was a shorthanded goal, nothing doing offensively, and the best offensive chances always seems to go to the Nashville Predators. Edmonton finished the night at 0/4 on a night when they really needed to come through.
- The giveaways were a huge problem on the power play tonight. I don’t know how many times the boys handed the puck over to the Nashville penalty killers but it seemed like they were never in control and constantly battling what they were supposed to be doing.
- I didn’t like seeing the Oilers take two penalties in the first period. Even though they killed both of them off, I can’t imagine anyone would be happy about having the team down by a man for four of the first twenty minutes. That being said, the PK was definitely a highlight tonight.
- Make it a 13 game losing streak against Nashville.
- Why does Brian Burke want to be on TV when it looks everything he’s asked just pisses him off? Unrelated to anything at all, but just a thought I had during the intermission.
- Doing the #BoozeCast (working title) after games is so much more fun than a #BeetCast. I’m not looking forward to this. Follow along with the misery and join in the conversation over on my Twitter.
|13:14||Nashville||SHG – P.K. Subban (2) ASST: Colton Sissons (2), Mattias Ekholm (4)||1-0|
|14:42||Nashville||Viktor Arvidsson (4) ASST: Nick Bonino (2), Mattias Ekholm (5)||2-0|
|19:07||Nashville||EN – Roman Josi (2)||3-0|
Domo arigato, McNugeyoMoto.
— Skoobz (@skoobz2001) October 20, 2018
Happy Birthday Dad!
— the great plumpkin (@randomhero79) October 20, 2018
Ever wonder what people think of tweets like this when they see them with no context?
— Martin Singer (@Marty_11) October 21, 2018
BRING BACK THE BRIDGE! @OilersNation
— Lyall Chalmers (@Chalmsey) October 21, 2018
NATION ROADIE TO CALGARY
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, 10/20/2018 – 11:00 pm MST