You think we would have learned our lesson last night about coming out flat? Final Score: 5-2 Lightning.
You know what, I was pretty worried about this game while watching the first ten minutes of the first period. The Oilers looked slow and had a hard time breaking out of our zone against the hard-playing Tampa Bay Lightning. Another bobble at the blue line by Kris Russell led to a Steven Stamkos goal and it wasn’t looking good for the Oilers. THEN something in the hockey Universe shifted, and the tables turned. The Oilers turned on the jets and had all four lines rolling and producing chances in the Lightning end. Koskinen had a big period as well and really made us look good. Unfortunately, as soon as the Oilers began to gain momentum, the Lightning scored a backbreaker goal at the end of the period to put us down by two goals. Not the way you want to start another road game, amirite?
… how? 😳 pic.twitter.com/YJ9XBX57K7
— NHL (@NHL) November 7, 2018
The bad news continued for the Oilers into the second period as the Tampa Bay Lightning tallied another couple of goals. They pretty much showed us why they are near the top of the standings. Tampa moves the puck creatively and quickly up and down the ice which makes it very hard to defend against. We got caught puck-watching so many times this period that it was almost hard to watch. Koskinen also let in a couple squeakers that I’m sure he would have liked back. This is a very tough road stretch we’re going through right now and haven’t had much help from our goalies so far. The only plus side from the second period was Ryan Strome, who tallied his first goal (and point) of the season. Hopefully the monkey’s off his back and he can continue to light the lamp some more.
The third period began with a beautiful powerplay goal by Leon Draisaitl, assisted by a nice pass from Ty Rattie. Things were looking up until Larsson and Benning took consecutive penalties which eventually lead to a Kucherov powerplay goal. In my opinion, the fifth goal against was another weak one on Mikko Koskinen, making a bad night for him even worse. The remainder of the game was pretty much a wash-out. There was a lot of neutral zone play and the Lightning pretty much shut everything down for us.
A BIG positive that came from the third period was the actions of Milan Lucic. Now a lot of people are calling this a scumbag move, but it’s coming from a guy who hasn’t shown a drop of emotion from us in the past two years, so I’m all for it. Watch below as Milan Lucic retaliates on a guy who hit Kris Russell from behind and got away with it in the third period. Lucic’s actions started a mini line brawl and got him booted out of the game. I’m totally fine with us going down on the penalty kill for these actions at this point of the game because at the end of the day it’s going to bring the group together.
Overall, the Oilers came out flat against one of the best teams in the league and it bit us in the ass at the end of the day. We competed fairly well, tying Tampa Bay 35-35 in shots, but it came down to momentum and goaltending where we didn’t succeed in.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- I’m super into the HockeyFightsCancer promo happening this month. What the Oilers and Lightning did in pre-game where each of them held a sign of who they were fighting for was awesome.
- Besides the whole two-goals-against thing in the first period, the Oilers played fairly well throughout most of it. All four lines were creating some offensive zone chances and had consistent zone pressure for a few shifts. Rattie, Nurse, Draisaitl, and McDavid all had extremely good scoring chances that were broken up by either a good defensive play or the Tampa goalie. It’s just frustrating we couldn’t capitalize on any of them.
- Darnell Nurse took a one-timer slap shot on goal in the second period and almost knocked Andrej Vasilevskiy off his skates. The guy’s got an absolute rocket. The rebound almost ended up going into the net, but a Lightning defenceman swiped the puck off the goal line. Will we ever see Nurse in the running for the hardest slapshot at some point in his career? I’d like to think so.
- The Oilers first powerplay of the game in the second period was nothing but scoring chance after scoring chance. They dominated the puck for two minutes straight doing everything possible to score, but nothing seemed to go in. It’s frustrating we didn’t score, but I applaud their execution.
- RYAN STROME GOAL! He did it. He finally did it! Strome tallies his first point/goal of the season and finally got the monkey off his back. The third line has done some excellent things in the last few games but has failed to put any goals on the board which was getting infuriating. Strome has played well all season and it finally paid off tonight with his goal. Strome just casually skated the puck end to end, cut to the middle, and fired a hard shot off the post and in. Simple. Brilliant.
- Leon Draisaitl on the powerplay! The Oilers come out hot in the third period with another excellent powerplay. Ty Rattie (who had an excellent night by the way) made a beautiful spinning pass to an open Leon Draisaitl who made no mistake one-timing the puck into the empty net.
- Oscar Klefbom played a little over 26 minutes tonight and I thought he looked really solid. He ended up being a +1 in a 5-2 game which is a pretty big stat for him as well. He’s been a rock for our defensive group this season and I hope his strong play continues.
- Earlier in the third period, Joseph hit Kris Russell in the numbers which made Russell limp off the ice in pain. During his next shift, Milan Lucic targetted Joseph in the third period and laid him out. Then he continued to pumble the little guy into the ice which began a small line brawl. It was exciting and made my blood boil. Of course, Lucic put the Oilers down on the penalty kill, but who cares? That’s the emotion and grittiness we need from the guy.
- In his first game back from injury, I think Ty Rattie had one hell of a game. He was buzzing around the entire ice all night and made a few good plays to set up some scoring chances. Although I wonder what the turnout would have been if Caggiula skated alongside McDavid, I’m perfectly happy seeing Rattie on the top line again.
Milan Lucic out here trying to collect bounties away from the play pic.twitter.com/CbOWacopRH
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) November 7, 2018
THE FACE PALMERS
- A bouncing puck in the first period gives Kris Russell a hard time. This put our defence into a spin and Steven Stamkos makes no mistake potting the first goal of the game. He’s the guy that you don’t want to give the puck up to on your own blue line. I was hoping a big Mikko Koskinen could stop the rifle upstairs but that’s a tough one for any goalie coming from Stamkos.
- The speed of the Lightning (specifically Tyler Johsnon) affected us hard and allowed Brayden Point and the Lightning to score a late first-period goal with 25 seconds remaining. This was a back-breaker as the Oilers were beginning to build some momentum at the end of the period.
- The Oilers went down by two in the first period for the SECOND night in a row. If you want to win hockey games that’s not the way to do it. Granted, Tampa Bay and Washington are two very difficult teams to play again, we’ve got to find ways to come out stronger in the first period.
- Just a minute after Ryan Strome’s first of the year, The Tampa Bay Lightning bounced back with their third goal of the game. Yanni Gourde deflected an incoming shot from the point which made the puck bounce SEVERAL times (once) off the ice making it nearly impossible for Koskinen to stop. That’s a tough one to avoid as the Lightning take a 3-1 lead.
- Kucherov and Stamkos did Kucherov and Stamkos things again in the second period giving the Lightning a 4-1 lead. They made a few swift passes in our own end and made everyone on the ice look like pylons, including Mikko Koskinen. That is 4 goals on 24 shots for Tampa Bay and definitely not the Mikko Koskinen we saw in his first three games.
- Andrej Vasilevskiy is extremely frustrating throughout this whole game. I’m not sure whether to put this under The Bright Side or Face Palmers, but the Oilers creating so so many scoring chances and probably would have had three more goals if it was against any other goalie, but Vasilevsky completely shut the doors and crushed all of our dreams tonight. He made some excellent saves, especially during the Oilers power play. Very deflating.
- The Oilers are within two goals of tying the game in the third period and then we go ahead and take two penalties in a row to put us down 5 on 3. The penalties we took were a hooking call from Larsson and a slashing from Benning and probably could have been avoided. We need to be more disciplined when planning a big third-period comeback.
- At the end of the day, Mikko Koskinen let in 5 goals on 35 shots. This is the type of game I would expect from an average backup goaltender, but based on the way he’s played in his first few games, I expected a little more from Koskinen tonight. Granted Tampa Bay is one of the best teams in the NHL, I think Koskinen would have wanted a couple goals back. Talbot will get the start next game on Thursday and I hope he can bounce back strong.
|04:40||Tampa Bay||Steven Stamkos (5) ASST: Nikita Kucherov (10)||0-1|
|19:34||Tampa Bay||Brayden Point (9) ASST: Yanni Gourde (9), Tyler Johnson (6)||0-2|
|12:32||Edmonton||Ryan Strome (1) ASST: Oscar Klefbom (8)||1-2|
|13:19||Tampa Bay||Yanni Gourde (7) ASST: Ryan McDonagh (10), Brayden Point (10)||1-3|
|18:59||Tampa Bay||Nikita Kucherov (6) ASST: Steven Stamkos (7), Braydon Coburn (3)||1-4|
|00:40||Edmonton||PPG – Leon Draisaitl (9) ASST: Ty Rattie (2), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (14)||2-4|
|08:23||Tampa Bay||PPG – Nikita Kucherov (7) ASST: J.T. Miller (8), Steven Stamkos (8)||2-5|
McDavid twice, Rattie, Draisaitl, Lucic and Nurse have all had really good chances in last ten minutes. After slow start Oilers creating a lot but nothing to show for it on scoreboard. Koskinen made some big stops in first 4 min to keep it 1-0.
— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) November 7, 2018
Wonder when 97 gets his veteran status so he stays getting a few of those calls?
— Jim Fuller (@athabascajim) November 7, 2018
Ty Rattie is the new Ty Rattie
— Dennis Burns (@mredm99) November 7, 2018
Measure his pads!!
Measure his stick!!
— Rick Weidemann (@RPW_1832) November 7, 2018
“Not a penalty” pic.twitter.com/uqg60Lwq6o
— Trevor Robb (@TrevorRobb_) November 7, 2018
When your mom has you in a time out, and your brother steals enough cookies for the both of you while she ain't lookin'! pic.twitter.com/gFomzxv9en
— Terrance Grise (@tgrise94) November 7, 2018
Young Matt Joseph was staring into the eyes of about 60 games of frustration there with Lucic on top of him. Lay low kid. You don't want any of this.
— Robin Brownlee (@Robin_Brownlee) November 7, 2018
REAL LIFE PODCAST
With this being the 97th episode of the Real Life Podcast, the boys decided they would use this momentous occasion to look back at the only 97 that matters, meaning, of course, Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid. From the moment the golden ticket flipped over in our favour, to the draft part that followed, to being named one of the youngest captains in NHL history.
Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 11/06/2018 – 7:45 pm MT