Happy Birthday, Leon! Big win, boys. Final Score: 5-3 Oilers
Anyone else let out an audible groan when you saw this back-to-back matinee weekend on the schedule? Not only have the Oilers been historically slow starters in day games but they were also going up against their arch nemesis, the Nashville Predators, a team that’s owned them since 2014. As a fan of history, seeing both of these ‘uh-ohs’ meeting up at the same time in a single game wasn’t exactly an inspiring combination for me, ya know? But, with that said, our boys have been playing well and that gave me hope for a beet free afternoon but I didn’t necessarily expect them to be as effective as they were at shutting down Nashville’s attack. Much to our collective delight, the Oilers packed a lunch and came ready to work again, generating the chances they needed to slay last week’s shutout dragon and grab themselves an early lead that they would not give up. As far as starts go, this one was almost everything you’d want.
Just as impressive, to me, was how the Oilers kept pushing for more and more offence with every line adding contributing something different to the attack. Regardless of who was on the ice, the boys found a way keep pressuring the Preds defence in waves, and frankly, they should be very grateful that Saros was there to bail them out for the first 30 minutes. As the game moved through the second period and into the third, the play evened out a bit, mostly because both teams got a healthy dose of powerplay chances which certainly made things interesting late in the third period as the Preds were trying to tie things up. But despite the shifts in momentum that came along with the back-and-forth powerplays, the Oilers did a good job of keeping their composure even when the Predators would chip away at their lead.
Every time Nashville would score the Oilers found a way to respond with a goal or a big save, and it was an absolute gift to watch. I love seeing the boys grind out a win like that and to do it against the Nashville Predators is certainly a win they can build on. That’s a huge two points for the Oilers.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- How about the shift Drake Caggiula put in on his first goal of the season? He was a little buzzsaw out there and his tenacious effort paid off with a grimy rebound goal that saw him being rewarded for getting to the front of the net. Caggiula added an empty netter to close things out by employing the same dogged work ethic that led him to keep skating after his first attempt at the empty net while a couple of the Predators had stopped.
- Birthday boy, Leon Draisaitl put the Oilers up by two goals after he scored his second power play of the season (5th) off of a nice little touch pass by Lucic near the goal line. Draisaitl followed up with a second goal after he ripped a heavy snapshot past Saros high on the glove side, temporarily giving the Oilers a three-goal lead. A pair of goals and a big win not enough of a gift for you? How about the high stick to the face that sent him to the dressing room for repairs? Ahhh maybe not. Mixed bag, huh, Leon?
- Connor McDavid clearly didn’t appreciate that Filip Forsberg had just scored to get the Preds on the scoreboard so he went out and restored the Oilers two-goal lead on seven seconds later. After winning a scrambled draw, Connor took a pass from Nuge in full flight and beat Saros with a little back-handed chip shot that put the Oilers up by two late in the second period.
- No one knew what to expect from Mikko Koskinen in today’s game and he answered that question with a mighty fine performance. I’ll be the first to admit that I was nervous about how this game was going to go, but he shut his haters up with some big saves, sound positioning, and an overall calm in the crease. I know his number say that he had 23 saves and a .889 save% but I think he was much more solid than his stats would suggest.
- Oscar Klefbom played over 30 minutes again tonight and he looked very good doing it too. With Larsson down, Klefbom had to play even more minutes and he was up to the task yet again. Another fine performance by Absbomb.
- Kris Russell is going to need all of the ice packs tonight after he threw his body in front of seemingly countless shots on net. Big game for #4 tonight.
- I’m going to go ahead and give Milan Lucic another shout out for keeping his wrecking ball style of playing going. He threw the body around, skated well, and made a wonderful pass to Draisaitl on his first goal of the night. Good game for the big man.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also kept his point streak alive after he fed McDavid with the pass that led to his goal. Above that, it was another fine night for RNH at both ends of the ice.
- Doing a booze cast on a sunny Saturday afternoon is so much more enjoyable than struggling through 14 ounces of red death, and for that I’m thankful. As always, you can follow along over on my Twitter account.
- Why not use an hour of your Saturday to check out the ninth episode of Oilersnation Radio? The podcast is now available on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud, Google Play, YouTube and wherever else you want to listen.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Filip Forsberg got the Predators on the board with a power play goal that looked like it might have been a turning point for his team for all of seven seconds until Connor McDavid decided against it. Coincidentally, Forsberg scored his second goal of the game only 24 seconds after Leon Draisaitl put the Oilers up by three goals. Yin and Yang, I guess. Forsberg completed the hat trick with a second power play goal that brought the Predators back to within one goal with just over four minutes left on the clock. Pretty selfish performance on Leon Draisaitl’s birthday imo.
- Adam Larsson took a deflected puck to the face and it knocked him out of the game for a big chunk of it while the medical staff did their thing. He was clearly bleeding so the damage must have been pretty bad and to see him come back from it was something else. Full visor? No problem. Dude is tough as nails.
- I know the powerplay scored and I love that this seems to be a nightly occurrence, but the Oilers could have really killed the Predators had they been able to do better than 1/7. The only reason I’m nitpicking on this is because I’m greedy and selfish and I would have loved to see the Oilers end their losing streak against Nashville with a 10 goal performance. On the flip side, Nashville put home two goals on their six powerplay chances which works out to a 67% success rate for the PK.
- Can we talk about how fun the atmosphere sounded in Nashville today? The Preds were getting massively outshot in the second period, were down by two goals, and the place was still bumpin’. Man, going to Oilers games would be a lot more fun if that was the vibe in the arena even when the home team is getting vastly outplayed.
- Only 46% in the faceoff circle which isn’t great but not horrible either.
|11:41||Edmonton||Drake Caggiula (1) ASST: Darnell Nurse (3), Tobias Rieder (4)||1-0|
|04:14||Edmonton||PPG – Leon Draisaitl (5) ASST: Milan Lucic (3), Connor McDavid (9)||2-0|
|18:46||Nashville||PPG – Filip Forsberg (8) ASST: Ryan Johansen (9), P.K. Subban (6)||2-1|
|18:53||Edmonton||Connor McDavid (7) ASST: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (9)||3-1|
|04:19||Edmonton||Leon Draisaitl (6) ASST: Tobias Rieder (5), Oscar Klefbom (4)||4-1|
|04:43||Nashville||Filip Forsberg (9) ASST: Ryan Johansen (10), Viktor Arvidsson (4)||4-2|
|15:54||Nashville||PPG – Filip Forsberg (10) ASST: Ryan Johansen (11), P.K. Subban (7)||4-3|
|18:14||Edmonton||EN – Drake Caggiula (2)||5-3|
Saros is luckier than a unicorn on a unicycle filled with shamrocks holding a box of lucky charms filled with horseshoes
— Bad-luca (@NazNeeds_a_hug) October 27, 2018
DRAKE CAGGIULA IVE NEVER DOUBTED YOU
— Matt Henderson (@Archaeologuy) October 27, 2018
Bet you having to clean those hats up kills their momentum! Ha!
— Dane Thompson (@Dr_Thompson94) October 27, 2018
Talkin bout cars n dreamin bout women
— Auston Trashthews (@simmerthreefive) October 27, 2018
NATION ROADIE TO CALGARY
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, 10/26/2018 – 3:45 pm MT