Perfect time for Klefbom’s first. Final Score: 1-0 Oilers in OT
Remember how well last week’s California road trip started off? The Oilers grinded out a big win against the Sharks on Tuesday night, setting us up for a strong finish to the three-game set that just never materialized. As the week went on, the Oilers seemed to get progressively worse and it was incredibly frustrating to watch them give up points they needed against teams they should beat. As a result, I really wasn’t sure which team would show up to play against the Stars. Would we see the team that never quit, like the one that beat the Sharks a week ago? Or would we see the team that looked like ass, like the one that looked completely disinterested against the Kings? That question was answered early when the Oilers came out of the gates like a house on fire and the fact that they weren’t able to score was mostly due to Anton Khudobin and bad luck. Aside from cashing in a goal, a problem that persisted for 60+ minutes, they couldn’t have done much more to get the start they wanted. Even without scoring, the first period was very encouraging. The problem, of course, is that we’ve been fooled before.
With a scoreless first period in the books, I was still having a hard time figuring out what to expect from the remaining 40 minutes. Considering we’re Oilers fans, we know damned well that there’s just as good of a chance that they follow up a good period by letting the wheels fall off as there is that the boys continue playing well. We’re basically gambling with our happiness on a shift-by-shift basis. But in true Hitchcockian fashion, the rest of the game played out exactly like the first 20 minutes in that both teams kept things locked things down defensively and scoring goals seemed as likely as a Jackson 5 reunion. To be fair, both sides had plenty of opportunities to close things out, but the goaltending was superb. On the home side, the fact that the game was scoreless heading into overtime, I think, was more due to the Oilers being a bit snakebitten rather than it was not deserving of it. At the end of the day, no one cares how you win, I’ll take a 1-0 win over a loss any day of the week, they just care that two points go up on the board.
It may not have been the perfect outing, but the Oilers were able to shut the door defensively, get great goaltending, and close out a close game.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Congratulations to Ken Hitchcock for his first win at home as the Oilers head coach. Even though he’s already seen and done it all, it must still be a pretty cool feeling for the hometown boy. Congrats to you, sir.
- Mikko Koskinen was back between the pipes tonight and he was absolutely perfect for the second time this season. With Talbot struggling as much as he has been (0-6 in his last six starts), the Oilers desperately needed Koskinen to grab the ball and run with it and he’s done an excellent job of that so far. He stopped all 28 shots he faced tonight and could find himself raising The Answer title belt very soon.
- Oscar Klefbom has been getting a lot of shot on net so far this season but he hasn’t been able to score. It seems like every time Klefbom got something on net it would hit the goalie in the chest or he’d never get any luck on a bounce, but that changed in OT tonight. After taking a perfect pass from Draisaitl, Klefbom managed to sneak the puck through Khudobin’s arm and body.
- I really liked Ryan Nugent-Hopkins game tonight, especially his work on the penalty kill. It can’t just be me that’s noticed how the guy is slowly turning into a silent assassin on the PK and how he’s starting to get shorthanded chances on the regular.
- Jesse Puljujarvi got a chance to play on the second line tonight, and the big Finn certainly did what he could to make the most of it. He had his legs moving, looked confident with the puck, and did a nice job of reacting to his linemates. Puljujarvi finished his night with one shot, one hit, one blocked shot in 14:33 on the ice.
- You’ve gotta like a night when the boys are perfect on the penalty kill. The Oilers killed off both chances they faced with special credit going to Koskinen for shutting the door.
- The Oilers have really struggled in the faceoff circle lately but they finished their night at 51% on the dot. More of that please.
- We really needed a win tonight and I’m thrilled to be doing a #BoozeNotBeets wincast rather than choking down more late night beets. Join in the misery over on my Twitter account.
- I was sure that either Tyler Pitlick or Tyler Fedun was going to score tonight but I am happy to report that it didn’t happen. Frankly, with the game as tight as it was I wouldn’t have been surprised if either of them scored the winner.
THE FACE PALMERS
- McDavid’s OT goal should have counted. Yes, I’m complaining about it.
- Why do the Oilers make goalies like Khudobin look like an all-star? It’s driving me crazy how often they hit these guys right in the chest. Thank the good Gord we didn’t get burned for it again tonight.
- I really wish the Oilers would shoot more on their power play. If you got points for ripping passes around then there would be no one better than our boys, but that’s not how it works so someone is going to have to be a little more selfish. Please. Oilers went 0/2 with the man advantage tonight.
- That chance Jamie Benn got with only a second or two on the board almost gave me a heart attack.
- I don’t want to dump on the guy but I’m starting to think that Milan Lucic may never score again. On Oilersnation Radio, I guessed that his next goal will come against Tampa in the game right before the Christmas break. Leave your guess in the comments section, I’m curious what you guys think.
- Not to be outdone, Ty Rattie may never play again. Can anyone have been more upset about the Hitchcock hiring than Rattie? Doubtful.
- Remember, kids. Jamie Benn is a selfish lover. If you don’t know why, look it up.
|02:42||Edmonton||Oscar Klefbom (1) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (14)||0-1|
— Brett Luchanski (@BLuchanski) November 27, 2018
This has to be a science experiment. We need funding. And a control group.
— Mike Simpsonite (@WazMagoo) November 28, 2018
I feel like this zero zero game gets Hitchcock's engine revved right up. Basically his system vs his system. @OilersNation
— TJ Arnett (@trentonjay87) November 28, 2018
Somebody dove into the The Answer hype a little early 😰 pic.twitter.com/IWJnsfOLNX
— Cam Lewis (@cooom) November 28, 2018
Hey, the Oilers won a challenge with Anaheim, it's time to lose the next 38 in a row again!
— Oilers Fan in BC (@iguessilldothis) November 28, 2018
THE REAL LIFE PODCAST
Welcome, friends, to the 100th episode of the Real Life Podcast! Since its inception, the Real Life Podcast has seen its share of roster turnover, good and bad news for the Oilers and beyond, and now it’s time to look back on the first 100 episodes to try and make sense of it all.
Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 11/27/2018 – 10:00 pm MT