First in the Pacific, baby! Final Score: 2-1 Oilers in OT
Coming into today’s game, I was pretty fired up about being able to watch another Oilers game so soon after their big win against the Predators. Sure, back-to-back starts are never ideal but Blackhawks were in the exact same boat so the excuse of being tired kinda gets thrown out the window. I don’t know how often it happens where two teams end up playing against each other with each of them finishing off a back-to-back set, but the Oilers actually ended up with more rest between games because of this odd quirk in the schedule, and I was praying to Gord that it might be some kind of advantage. Unfortunately, our boys ended up taking three penalties in the opening half of the first period and the strategy worked about as well as getting a chair to pull your fifth wheel. It’s not hard to imagine that getting going is way harder when you’re spending so much time defending. The bright side, of course, was that the Blackhawks managed only a single goal on those three first period chances which kept the Oilers in the mix until Kassian scored to tie the game up at one.
With both teams settled in and the game tied, the play really started to open up. For the next 40 minutes, the ice often seemed to teeter back and forth with both teams manufacturing offensive opportunities depending on the shift. To me, the Oilers did a decent job of creating in the Blackhawks zone but they often got caught trying to make an extra pass rather than keeping things simple. Several of the goals scored this week came as a result of getting to work in the dirty areas of the ice and the Oilers got away from that a little bit. Fortunately, the lack early execution didn’t come back to bite them, and even with the residency the Oilers were apparently trying to set up in the penalty box. All night long, they got the saves and kills needed to keep the score even and their hopes alive. And with the game tied heading into the third period, the Oilers had a wonderful opportunity to walk away from the weekend with four points and they found a way to do exactly that.
It may not have been a perfect game but that’s exactly how you have to grind out a win. That’s a hell of a weekend for the Oilers.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Zack Kassian has been a big topic on this website over the last 24 hours and he will be again tonight as he scored his first goal of the season, tying the game at one apiece. Personally, I thought this was his best game of the season even though he only played 9:34.
- Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are basically money in the bank any time they get a 2-on-1 in overtime and that was the case tonight as Leon flipped a beautiful saucer pass over to the captain and he made no mistake. Leon to Connor and in the net. Magic.
- How good has Oscar Klefbom looked so far this season? After really solidifying himself as the Oilers best defenceman in 2016-17, the big Swede followed that up with an obviously disappointing season filled with injuries, but this year he looks like a new man right now. He’s been so steady on the blue line and it’s really been impressive to watch. He played a team-high 25:56 tonight and, once again, looked very good in the process.
- After getting a rare day off against the Nashville Predators, Cam Talbot was back in action tonight and looked every bit as sharp as he did in Thursday’s win against the Capitals. Given the number of penalties the Oilers took, Talbot had to come up with a number of spectacular saves to keep the game tied through three periods and he deserves a lot of love for today’s win. Talbot finished the night with 31 saves and a .969 save%. Nice.
- He hasn’t scored yet this season but I’ve liked how Tobias Rieder plays. He’s so quick on the ice that it only seems like a matter of time before he finally pops one. I think he provides a really nice element of speed to the lineup and I especially like seeing him use that speed on the PK. Another good night for Rieder.
- Booze not beets! Thank you, Oilers, for letting me drink a celebratory beer rather than downing a horrible can of red death. You’re making me so proud. As always, you can follow along over on my Twitter account.
- Why not wind down your week with 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
- The Oilers did not do themselves any favours today with the number of first period penalties they took and it always seemed like a matter of time before the Blackhawks would capitalize. As a result, Brent Seabrook scored his first goal in 11 games after the Oilers doubled up on calls, leaving Chicago with a short 5-on-3 that they executed perfectly.
- The Oilers took wayyyyyy too many penalties today (five in total) and it gave the Blackhawks way too many opportunities that probably could have been avoided. Had it not been for their residency in the penalty box then I don’t think this game would have been as close as it was.
- Speaking of special teams, how did the Oilers only get two powerplays? Amazing how little those Blackhawks cheat.
- Ryan Strome looked completely lost tonight and the inexcusable penalty he took in the third period was hard to watch. He needs to be much better than we’ve seen so far and that is a massive understatement.
- How many wasted 2-on-1s did the Oilers have in regulation tonight? Six? More? It seemed like almost every time they tried to force a pass across rather than ripping a shot and it was maddening to watch. That said, they cashed in on a 2-on-1 in overtime so I guess I’ll just shut my damned mouth.
- Oilers had another tough night in the faceoff circle, winning only 43% of the draws they took.
- Puljujarvi healthy scratch counter at three games. Please send him to Bakersfield. Thank you.
- Weird seeing Brandon Davidson in a Blackhawks jersey because I thought he would have been a much better option than Jerabek, but I’m happy he found a job in Chicago. He’s a good dude and if you haven’t already you should check out the interview we did with him on the Real Life Podcast.
|11:02||Chicago||PPG – Brent Seabrook (2) ASST: Patrick Kane (7), Duncan Keith (7)||0-1|
|18:26||Edmonton||Zack Kassian (1) ASST: Jujhar Khaira (1), Darnell Nurse (4)||1-1|
|00:53||Edmonton||Connor McDavid (8) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (5)||2-1|
If Zack Kassian would rather play elsewhere than play better with the Oilers, he's looking at things the wrong way. Grass isn't greener elsewhere. Play like you can, Kass. You'll be fine right here.
— Robin Brownlee (@Robin_Brownlee) October 28, 2018
— Tyler Yaremchuk (@tyleryaremchuk) October 28, 2018
Cam Ward has been on my axis of evil for 12 and a half years
— Ryan S. Pumpkins (@IAmByks) October 28, 2018
People legit screamed like a horror movie in the stands when they saw McDavid about to take off.
— Travis Dakin (@TravisDakin) October 29, 2018
Beet-free for [ 3 ] game(s).
— Anthony Flynn (@anthonyjflynn) October 29, 2018
Oilers keep winning. You keep drinking.
— michael clarke (@ClarkeRaodi123) October 29, 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, 10/28/2018 – 7:45 pm MT