So long and thanks for the points and cash! Final Score: 6-2 Oilers
After being sick with the flu for the past few days, all I could think about was how badly I wanted the Oilers to win this hockey game. Not only would it make me feel better, but there is nothing worse than seeing Rogers Place half filled with Habs fans with their stupid “ole ole” chants, and the only way to shut them up is to eliminate any and all reasons for them to have fun. About 10 years ago, I went to a game at Rexall Place where the Oilers absolutely destroyed the Habs, Carey Price got a Bronx cheer after making a save, and every single person in a red jersey went home unhappy and broker than they were before showing up — it’s was glorious and I wanted that feeling again. So when Matt Benning opened the scoring only moments into the first period, I could feel my dream coming to life. I felt the spirit of disappointed Habs fans filling my soul with joy. Sure, Max Domi ruined the moment but only for a few minutes, because, on this night, my dream was too powerful to be contained.
One thing that was very noticeable tonight was how the Oilers actually looked like they were interested in competing for the win. When they do that, they can be a dangerous hockey club that’s tough to handle defensively, but when uninterested, they look as bad as we saw on Sunday night against Colorado. Against Montreal, they were aggressive, moved the puck effectively through all three zones, and pressured the Canadiens to make choices rather than sit back and wait for something to happen. From start to finish, they kept the hammer down and pressed for offence that they were able to secure from six different sources, including three defencemen. When was the last time we could say that? Even when the Habs managed to chip away at their lead, the Oilers found a way to get it right back. That resilience and ability to spread the offence around were things we haven’t seen much over the course of this losing streak and it was a welcomed sight tonight.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Matt Benning opened the scoring for the Oilers at 3:13 in the first period after his point shot took a wild bounce off the backboards and in off Niemi. It actually reminded me of the goal that bounced in on Koskinen last Saturday in Detroit and it sure was nice to have one of those go our way for once.
- Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid are magic when they’re together and it’s not surprising why Todd McLellan can’t help himself but to put them together. Leon’s 11th goal of the season was Exhibit Z in the “Connor and Leon convert a perfect 2-on-1” file and it’s hard to argue with the results they put up.
- Drake Caggiula continued his Cy Young bid tonight after Niemi gifted him his sixth goal of the season early in the second period. To his credit, the Drake got a chance to put the puck on net from the slot and he did exactly that, but I don’t think even he would have expected it to go in. All I know for sure is that I don’t care and I doubt Caggiula does either. They all count.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins hadn’t scored a goal in nine goals despite putting up plenty of assists, but he ended the drought tonight with a quick snap that beat Niemi and gave the Oilers a two-goal lead. Nuge loves that low snap snow and it worked perfectly tonight.
- Kris Russell got his first goal in 42 games as his seeing-eye wrister from the point made its way through traffic and past Niemi to give the Oilers a 5-2 lead. I thought Russell had a good game tonight and I wonder if that was a result of being moved off the second pairing with Nurse?
- Darnell Nurse scored his second goal of the season after Connor McDavid set him up late in the third period. Nurse ripped a shot past Niemi to put the final nail in the coffin and kick Niemi while he was down. I like it.
- How about a casual three-point night for Connor McDavid? The captain finished his night with three assists but probably could have had six had Niemi not robbed Draisaitl on a few of the chances he got throughout the night.
- Mikko Koskinen got the start in net again tonight and it was a little bit of a weird night for the big Finn early on. He battled the puck a little bit in the opening minutes of the first period, but he managed to make the saves he needed to settle in and really locked in from there. Around these parts, we don’t care how you stop the puck, just throw your carcass in front of it enough times for the Oilers to win and we’ll be happy. Koskinen finished the night with 27 saves and a .931 save%.
- The Oilers needed their PK to come up strong and it did, killing off all three of Montreal’s chances.
- How about the boys going 59% in the faceoff circle? Gotta like that.
- Booze not Beets! Wincast coming up over on my Twitter account.
- The boys at Nation HQ are doing Movember and are looking for donations and people to join their team. If you’re interested in either you can click here.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Only a few minutes after Matt Benning opened the scored, Max Domi got the Habs on the board with an absolute snipe that (somehow) beat Koskinen over the shoulder and into the top shelf. I don’t know what kind of witchcraft Domi is playing with this year but it’s working for him.
- Andrew Shaw tied the game up at two apiece early in the second period after the Oilers turned the puck over a pair of times in the neutral zone and basically gave the Habs the possession time they needed to get something done. Sloppy start to the period results in a goal against.
- Tobias Rieder left the game early in the second period and did not return. There are too many ways that this is bad news for the Oilers to get into right now, but I’m sure you’ve got a list of your own.
- The Oilers went 0/3 on the power play tonight and really only looked dangerous on one of their chances. Actually, it was weird to me how they could look so good on one chance and so disjointed on the next. Weird night.
- Seeing the numbers of red jerseys in our building is always gross, but I can only hope that they were gouged on the price of the tickets.
|03:13||Edmonton||Matt Benning (1) ASST: Connor McDavid (14), Leon Draisaitl (8)||0-1|
|05:45||Montreal||Max Domi (10) ASST: Andrew Shaw (2), Noah Juulsen (3)||1-1|
|16:31||Edmonton||Leon Draisaitl (11) ASST: Connor McDavid (15)||1-2|
|01:10||Montreal||Andrew Shaw (5) ASST: Jonathan Drouin (9), Jeff Petry (13)||2-2|
|03:06||Edmonton||Drake Caggiula (6) ASST: Alex Chiasson (1), Matt Benning (3)||2-3|
|05:36||Edmonton||Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (4) ASST: Ryan Strome (1), Kris Russell (5)||2-4|
|12:14||Edmonton||Kris Russell (1) ASST: Kevin Gravel (1), Jujhar Khaira (5)||2-5|
|18:04||Edmonton||Darnell Nurse (2) ASST: Connor McDavid (16), Leon Draisaitl (9)||2-6|
Agreed. Miroslav Satan was a hell of an acquisition
— Ryan (@IAmByks) November 14, 2018
The McDavid effect pic.twitter.com/CaeNfEnccy
— Adam (@OilersAdam) November 14, 2018
I think Lucic needs to just beat the hell out of someone to get out of this funk. Anyone. A parking attendant. A waiter. Anyone.
— Ryan (@IAmByks) November 14, 2018
Hey @OilersNation don’t look now but #97 just tied for the league lead in points ? ❤️ ??
— Graham Aberg (@GMAberg) November 14, 2018
THE REAL LIFE PODCAST
Welcome, welcome, welcome to a brand new episode of the Real Life Podcast, the show where the boys set out an agenda for the hour but follow absolutely none of it. This week, the guys wonder whether or not it’s time to look at a coaching change and try to convince ownership that Joel Quenneville should be brought in.
Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 11/13/2018 – 7:45 pm MT