Boy, that was disappointing. The Oilers wrapped up their four-game road trip and span of eight games in 13 games with a game against the last-place Florida Panthers. On paper, this looked like an easy win and a nice way to wrap up this tough stretch. Unfortunately, the games aren’t played on paper.
Edmonton got off to a quick, hot start as the Panthers looked sluggish having not played since they returned from Finland last week. Roberto Luongo made a few huge saves, robbing Leon Draisaitl and Ty Rattie, and that seemed to give his team some momentum. The Panthers would score a couple goals in the first period and then hold the Oilers down for the rest of the game, ultimately coming up with a 4-1 win.
As a result, the Panthers earned their first win at home on the season AND their first win at home against the Oilers since 2002! Because of course!
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- I don’t think Cam Talbot played a bad game tonight. He faced 32 shots and allowed three goals. The first one Florida scored was essentially Edmonton’s blueline getting manhandled by the Panthers’ top line and the second involved Nick Bjudstad casually skating into the slot for a rebound. The third was the only one that was pretty weak as Talbot was totally fooled by a fake-shot-pass on the power play that gave Jonathan Huberdeau an open net. Errr… Wait, this is the bright side section. My bad, Generally, it was a solid game for Talbot that included some big stops to keep the team in the game.
- ……. *crickets*
- There really wasn’t much to be excited about this game. The Oilers looked exhausted and generally got outplayed by a pretty mediocre Panthers squad. There were bursts in which the Oilers looked good, but, more often than not, they just seemed burnt out. On the bright side, this tough stretch in the schedule is over. As I said earlier, this was their eighth game in 13 days, so it’ll be nice to get home on a more relaxed schedule now that this is over with.
THE FACE PALMERS
- It’s frustrating to lose a game against Florida, given the fact they came into the game dead last in the league. I know, as I said earlier, the game isn’t played on paper and no wins are automatic, but this was a low-key must win after the back-to-back losses against Washington and Tampa Bay earlier this week. The team came out pretty strong and then just went completely flat after Luongo made his few huge saves. It really had a 2017-18 team tone to it in the way the energy just sort of evaporated.
- One thing I was particularly disappointed with tonight was the power play’s inability to come through with a big goal. I can empathize with not having the legs to outskate the Panthers at even strength given the relentless schedule the past couple weeks, but one of Florida’s weaknesses and one of the reasons they had THREE wins coming into this game was a putrid penalty kill. The Oilers went 0/2 on the PP this game and didn’t look very urgent. There was a lot of standing around, looking to force passes, and not a lot of moving around to create room.
- Zack Kassian got called for one of the softest penalties I’ve seen called in this league. Apparently, this was charging. Uh, okay? The NHL now stands for the No Hit League, it seems.
- It looked like the Panthers were doing a Dress up like an empty seat night promotion. I hate to fan shame and this isn’t really all too relevant to the game, but it’s a major facepalm seeing a half-empty stadium out there.
|06:45||Florida||Evgenii Dadonov (7) ASST: Aleksander Barkov (8), Mike Hoffman (4)||0-1|
|08:12||Florida||Nick Bjugstad (3) ASST: Bogdan Kiselevich (2), Jared McCann (3)||0-2|