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GDB 8.0 Wrap Up: Solid all around effort leads the Oilers to a 4-1 win

That was a great effort by the Oilers and they deserved to win that hockey game. Final Score: 4-1 Oilers 

After Tuesday night’s game against the Penguins, the Nation was split on what to expect from the first matchup of the season against the defending champs. Some folks (like me) were in the camp where they thought that losing 6-5 in OT to the Pens isn’t the worst thing that could have happened and outside of a few mistakes here and there the boys played pretty damned well. Other folks were mad that the Oilers are throwing away points in winnable games, giving themselves a far tougher road to the playoffs down the road. Neither side was wrong but it was interesting to see how people react to the same game that we all watched. Honestly, all I really cared about was that I just wanted to see our boys play that way again. If they can get everyone going all at the same time and find a way to make it happen every night then we’re going to be alright here. Is that too much to ask? I don’t think so. Needless to say, if the Oilers were going to win this game then they were going to need to get that kind of effort again, and I’m thrilled to report that they did.

Tonight’s generational talent showdown started out with a much slower pace and tighter overall defence than we saw against the Penguins, and it felt like both teams needed some time to feel each other out. The checking was close, the time to make plays was minimal, and both goalies made some big saves early on that kept things scoreless. That was, of course, until the Nation’s favourite dad, Evan Bouchard, blasted home his first NHL goal with a half-slapper from the point on the power play. After getting themselves on the board, what I especially liked was that the Oilers didn’t take their foot off the gas after grabbing themselves a lead. They scored and got back to work, which is exactly what we’ve always wanted. And even when the pace picked up and the Caps kept grinding, the Oilers did a fine job of making safe plays with the puck to get themselves out of trouble and, even more importantly, they got the saves they needed to maintain their lead. Even as they were nursing their one-goal lead throughout the third period, our boys maintained their composure and hustle and never once sat back, trying to hang on until the final buzzer sounded. They earned these two points.

From start to finish, this was arguably the most complete effort the Oilers have put in so far this season and they deserved to win. If they can keep playing like that then we’re going to be in pretty good shape here.

The wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

  • Massive shout out to Evan Bouchard for scoring his first NHL goal after he fired a heavy shot from the point that made its way through traffic and beat Holtby. We’re so proud of Dad for scoring his first. And on a serious note, that goal made him the youngest Oilers defenceman to ever score a goal. How’s that for some history? Here’s to many more, sir.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored an absolutely beautiful shorthanded goal in the second period to put the Oilers up by a pair. Nuge picked up the puck at the Caps’ blue line, walked his man, ripped a perfect snapshot past Holtby, and finished it off with a big fist pump. This was the Oilers’ first shorthanded goal of the season and it was an absolute gem.
  • Alex Chiasson apparently wants to get himself into Rocket Richard conversation this year because he just can’t stop scoring. He added some insurance to tonight’s game with an absolute snipe that beat Holtby up high and restored the Oilers two-goal lead. Make it three goals in two games for the wily vet as his excellent day continued. In case you hadn’t heard, Chia’s Son received his Stanley Cup ring from the Capitals this morning and followed it up with a clutch goal. That’s a good day.
  • Just when we thought that maybe Connor wasn’t going to get a point tonight he goes out and gets an empty-netter on a very unselfish play by Nugent-Hopkins. RNH could have fired it down for his second of the night but he instead passed the puck to the captain who finished of the play.
  • Cam Talbot was much better tonight than he was on Tuesday against the Penguins. He was square to the shots, controlled his rebounds well, and was much more steady in the crease than what we saw two days ago. In every way, Talbot was great tonight and deserved the win. He finished his night with 31 saves and a .969 save%.
  • The Oilers power play continues to produce as they were able to cash in some much-needed offence again tonight, finishing their night at 1/4 with the man advantage.
  • Not to be outdone, the Oilers were perfect with the penalty kill tonight, taking care of the only Caps power play they had.
  • Tonight was a very good night for the Klefbom-Larsson pairing as they both played over 24 minutes and looked rock solid in the process. The Oilers are going to need these two guys to be dialled in and they were exactly that tonight.
  • Anybody else crack up laughing when you saw Kyle Brodziak selling the faceoff violation penalty? I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that called before and now we’ve seen the Oilers benefit from that same penalty in back-to-back games. Classic.
  • It’s no surprise to anyone but Kris Russell came up with some really clutch blocked shots tonight. I’m always amazed by how willing this dude is to throw his body in front of the puck and he came up with some big stops tonight.
  • Two quiet assists for Toby Rieder!
  • Shout out to the Flames for getting absolutely demolished at home by the Penguins. I know that has nothing to do with this game but it’s still fun regardless. Great success.

THE FACE PALMERS

  • Shortly after Nuge put the Oilers up by two goals, Andre Burakovsky got the Capitals on the board with his first goal of the season. Yes, you read that right. Burakovsky with his first of the year because the Oilers are cool like that.
  • Oilers got pumped in the faceoff circle tonight, winning only 43% of the draws. At the end of the day, they won 4-1 so who cares, right? Just pointing it out as an area to improve.
  • I don’t really understand what the Oilers are doing with Jesse Puljujarvi and it won’t help his case that they won tonight. It’s clear that the coaching staff doesn’t trust him so it doesn’t make any sense to me at all that they wouldn’t send him to Bakersfield and let him play 20 minutes per night. Give him a list of stuff to work on and let him gets big minutes in the minors to work it all out.
  • The Oilers blocked a ton of shots tonight. I love their willingness to sacrifice the body but it’s not a great long-term strategy overall. That said, it worked tonight and for that I’m grateful.
  • Braden Holtby was really annoying tonight in the sense that he often ruined my love of McGoals. Selfish of him imo. Seriously, though, Holtby had Connor’s number all night long and it was a fun battle to watch.

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
16:28 Edmonton PPG – Evan Bouchard (1) ASST: Kailer Yamamoto (1), Tobias Rieder (2) 0-1

2ND PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
10:06 Edmonton SHG – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (3) 0-2
12:21 Washington Andre Burakovsky (1) ASST: Nic Dowd (1), John Carlson (9) 1-2

3RD PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
09:16 Edmonton Alex Chiasson (3) ASST: Tobias Rieder (3), Adam Larsson (3) 1-3
18:43 Edmonton EN – Connor McDavid (6) ASST: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (8) 1-4

#GOODCONTENT

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

Friends, your time is running out if you want to get in on this road trip to Calgary. We’re about 3/4 sold out and you have less than a week to make the call on coming or not.

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, 10/25/2018 – 11:00 pm MST

    • Said it before, will say again: if the team can get to American Thanksgiving at or above .500, we’ll make the playoffs. Starting in Sweden, a week off, and loads of travel to start…but coming away with a road win in Winnipeg, victories against Boston and Washington, and getting a point against Pittsburgh, that’s huge. The Oilers are running the gauntlet to start the season. The standings are one thing, but it’s confidence and momentum that this team has sorely needed, and it looks like they’re finally building some.

      • Goaltender Interference

        I agree with the sentiment but the most important games are those ones against our own conference. Which the Oil haven’t played any yet…

        Need to see how they do against teams they’re directly competing against in the standings before planning the parade.

        That being said, after this month the team definitely has some momentum. The boys did good.

    • Glencontrolurstik

      The best part of that is that we don’t play in our own division till mid Nov…
      We all know the Oilers record against Pac Div teams (in the past anyway)…
      With those 4 point games, & if we can keep it up we’ll be golden by Christmas.

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    Welp this team is fairing better than I think a lot of people thought they would and they’re already better than last year. Since I’m working night shift and can’t watch many Oilers games I have a few questions for those that have.

    1. How has Leon looked since the Boston game?
    2. How many of our PP goals have been scored off the rush, compared to off a possession cycle?
    3. How has Kailer looked playing next to McDavid?

    • abbeef

      In my opinion.
      1. Leon has looked poor 5 on 5 until the Pit game. Against Washington he wasn’t as good but better than pre-Pittsburgh .
      2. Don’t know the numbers but it must be higher than the average pp.
      3. Yamo has looked good, forechecking, digging out loose pucks, nice little passes etc. But the lines 5 on 5 points have dried up a lot since losing Rattie. I think the spot is still Rattie’s when he returns.

      • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

        Thanks for the info. Can’t argue much there, especially with the Rattie statement. It’s his job to lose, and he’s only (temporarily) lost it because of his injury

  • GK1980

    Solid game against a very good team. Record better then I thought it would be by this time this month.

    Strong team effort. Shut down Ovechkin and the flames got destroyed last night. Good night indeed.9

    • Glencontrolurstik

      Hahaha, bitter-sweet… One side of me is ecstatic. The Oilers won convincingly, with a more balanced attack. Talbot bounced back (hope he stays there) & the Flames lost big time…
      The bitter part is my “oiler stars heavy” hockey pool. I took a lickin’ last night, (which is a great thing for the team & as a fan) because of the balanced team scoring. My rival in the pool has, yes you guessed it, the other high scoring team in the League with maybe the second best player as a star & two great lines… I got killed last night. But that’s OK…
      I’m probably not the only Oilers fan to get that hit last night?

    • abbeef

      It’s like an addiction for you, Talbot was rock solid in net tonight. Russell has always blocked a ton of shots on every team he has played. I haven’t looked up the stats for Larsson but I’m guessing his last year or two in Jersey when he was playing top 4 icetime would be similar to here as well as far as blocked shots go.

      • abbeef

        Just checked, Larsson blocked 148 shots his last year in Jersey and 160 and 140 with Edmonton his last two seasons. Don’t let the truth get in the way of a rip on Talbot though, you never have before.

        • Spydyr

          Talbot was to blame for the only goal scored against . He failed to track the puck and was looking in the wrong direction when yet another bad angle shot beat him. That is the truth not a rip.

          • Bills Bills

            I have to disagree with Spydyr, it was Talbot’s fault but not for the reason he stated. Talbot was cheating by being in the Butterfly while the puck was behind the net. He needed to be up so he could hug the post. Instead he is down and leaving the top of the net wide open. It was seen, recognized and roofed. This has been a problem with Talbot for a long time. He goes down early and gets beat high when the play is down low.

    • Hemmercules

      Hahaha, wouldn’t be a wrap up without Spydyr finding a way to bash on Talbot a little. You are a true gem.

      I wonder when Koski will get a shot? I’m yet to see him play.

      • Spydyr

        I just calls em like I sees em. Talbot is a below average starter in the NHL.
        Koskinen should get a start this weekend. They play back to back. Would you start him against Nashville or Chicago?

          • Hemmercules

            Agreed. The have the book on Talbot in Nashville. Thats going to be a tough game, they have the Oilers number big time. With the Oil playing the way they have the last couple games they should able to put down at least one of Chicago or Nashville though.

          • Redbird62

            I would like to see Koskinen against Nashville too. He might have added incentive to show what he can do against the Preds since no matter who they start, Rinne if he’s back or Saros, he will be up against a fellow Finn. As for Chicago, I don’t think they are as good as their early season record shows, but they are playing better than last season.

          • MrBung

            It is part of it. Talbot didn’t have the best game against Nashville but quite frankly – Nashville has the book on the Oilers. The team couldn’t score even one goal. This is a team wide issue. I don’t think the Preds are the best team to start Koski with.

        • MrBung

          Spydyr is right. Talbot is an OK starter in the NHL. Look at his numbers this season compared to other goalies in the NHL. Even if you use the excuse that they Oil had a tough schedule to help correct – agreed – still below average starter. I guess it could be worse. We could have Mike Smith.

          • Glencontrolurstik

            They mentioned last night before the game that Talbot was 20th in League goaltending so far this year.
            He has a tendency to improve as the season rolls along, so I’m not at all worried about Talbot. After Christmas last year he was awesome. It was early that cost us.

    • Glencontrolurstik

      Actually, yeah… I think that first shot of the game from the blue line that he could see all the way, that glanced off him & hit the outside of the post & dropped woke him up. It reminded him that he had a game to play…
      That was an “Oh No” moment for me…. First shot, not again?

  • Odanada

    An absolute pleasure to watch. A solid team effort with everybody stepping up and playing hard – loads of compete.
    Talbot was solid and a good bounceback from the Penguins game.
    When they play this hard you look forward to the next game, even if it’s in Nashville.
    IMHO, the new coaching is making a positive difference and McDavid’s drive is picking up everyone on that team and making them play better.
    McLeadership – man it sure feels good to watch!

  • Serious Gord

    Surprisingly boring game. The oil played with a lot of discipline (or did the caps just not push hard enough?)

    The team that made the fewest mistakes won. Perhaps not having puljujarvi and Kassian in the lineup helped in that regard.

    The oil play the caps again in less than two weeks. It will be interesting to see how that one goes.

  • TKB2677

    I have not been a big fan of what McLellan has done over the last few seasons. I am also a big fan of Puljujarvi because I think there is a hell of a player in there somewhere. If you were to make a hockey player in a factory, it would be a lot like JP. Big, skates well, fast, big shot, skilled. But in saying all that, it blows my mind how Oilers fans are with him. What has he DONE? If you want to complain the coach doesn’t trust him enough. Sure, I can buy that but what had he done to earn any trust? He has a 100 NHL games under his belt and if a person takes off their JP glasses for a minute and watched him, could you tell based on his play? NO. He looks like a player from junior STILL. He doesn’t go to the right spots still, he’s not hard on the puck, he’s still going all over the ice like you see junior kids do, his decision making is terrible, and he gives the puck away like you see junior kids do. They put him on the 3rd line where he is going up against 3rd and 4th liners who in theory he should just be flat out better than skill wise and he doesn’t even remotely stand out. So, if he can’t even be noticeable against 3rd and 4th liners, why oh why would you put him on McDavid’s wing? He struggles against 3rd liners so people think he will do better against a teams BEST dmen and BEST players? That is who McDavid is up against EVERY SHIFT. Are you serious?? I don’t even like McLellan and I wouldn’t put JP up in the top 6. He’s not ready!!! He’s 20. He shouldn’t have come over from Europe at 18. He should have played the all last seas on the minors and maybe started this year in the minors. He’s 20!! It’s OK that he isn’t ready yet. Send him to the AHL play the crap out of him.

  • NealH

    Loved the game. Oilers playing with discipline, with a system, and working hard! Who saw that coming? Thinking the new coaching staff is having an effect. Who knows, maybe this year’s Oilers could be last years VGKs.

    Pulujarvi: play the heck out of him in Bakersfield and let the very young 20 year old blossom.
    Bouchard: keep him. He’s not going to learn anything in junior, can’t go to AHL – stupid rule – and is already on track to be a solid defenseman. Already. What’s the Dad thing?
    Yamamoto:1RW is still Rattie. Don’t know what the h to do with Yammo.
    Chiasson: Keep him right where he is.
    Swore I wouldn’t get my hopes up again, but damn, there they are…

    • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

      Agree on Bouchard, just don’t put him in the top 4. As for Yamo, wait until a Rattie returns then drop Kailer down to the 3rd line. Yes keep Chiasson where he is. Some will say “it’s an indication about how bad your team is”, but I view it as this. If it’s working, why would you change it?

  • Muleman84

    Now we are starting to play the right way. Our breakouts looked Waaaayyyyy better last night than I have ever seen them with McT as coach. Maybe the other boys are helping in this regard! Good to see! Great win and a great start to this tough schedule of games! Keep it up Boys!!!