Klefbom with back-to-back game winners! Final Score: 3-2 Oilers
Heading into tonight’s game against the Kings, the Oilers were coming off a big OT win against the Stars and the last thing they needed was to get into a win/lose/win/lose rhythm. Besides, the Oilers did not look good at all against the Kings on Sunday night and they could not afford to let that same type of performance happen again. Two points. Needed to have them at all costs. End of story. If I’m being honest, I was probably more nervous about how this thing would turn out than either of the teams that were playing because of the inconsistency we’ve seen over the last month. This season has been emotional, man, and it’s been a battle to go through the ups and downs of another weird run in Edmonton. So when the Oilers started the game with hustle, enthusiasm, and an eventual two-goal lead it felt like everyone that was nervous about another bad game could relax and breathe a little bit. I mean, it didn’t last long, only about half of a period, but it was cool to have a few minutes of feeling in control.
After finishing the first period by allowing a pair of goals that allowed the Kings to stay in it, the Oilers got back to having the jump we saw in the opening minutes. They were aggressive on the forecheck, supported each other well, got the saves they needed, and generated plenty of opportunities for themselves in the offensive zone. But with both teams getting strong goaltending performances and the game knotted up, it wasn’t overly surprising to see this game end up tied going into the third period. Not only are we living in the Hitchcock era, these close games are his jam after all, but this thing had the feel of a ‘next goal wins’ type of vibe through the final 40 minutes. The only real question was which team was going to get it. Fortunately for all of us, the Oilers were able to pull off the not so common goal-challenge win that kept the game time at two apiece and set the stage for Oscar Klefbom to close things out for the second night in a row.
It may not have been the revenge beatdown I was hoping for, but Oilers chopped all the wood and carried all of the water needed to finish the night with two points. It may not have been the prettiest win, but it was beautiful to me.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- How about Jesse Puljujarvi getting a big goal to open the scoring tonight? Big fella put the work, drove to the net, and earned himself a greasy goal. I love it.
- Alex Chia’s son is hands down the best value contract in the NHL. Case closed. Don’t bother arguing with me. The guy scored another powerplay goal by parking himself in front of the net and being ready for when the puck eventually comes to him. It’s a simple strategy that is working incredibly well. The guy is on a heater like we’ve never seen, and the man knows to never leave the table when you’re on a heater.
- Oscar Klefbom got the Oilers another powerplay goal after Nuge set him up on a tee and he blasted the puck through Jonathan Quick. Klefbom had a few chances to score tonight but ended up missing the net. He made no such mistake with his second goal of the season that came late in the third period.
- Every morning when I wake up I thank the good Gord for Connor McDavid. The captain was fantastic against the Kings and was an absolute handful for anyone that was tasked with defending him. The guy’s speed is ridiculous and the way he accelerates with the puck is truly a pleasure to watch. Only one point for McDavid tonight but he was dancing all night and likely deserved more.
- Mikko Koskinen has played in four of five games since Ken Hitchcock has been behind the bench and the big man is doing everything he can to keep it that way. Koskinen was mostly solid again tonight and he did everything he could to give his team a chance to win, including some huge saves throughout the game. Koskinen finished the night with 30 saves, a .938 save%, and his fourth win at Rogers Place. He was lucky on the disallowed goal, but rock solid everywhere else.
- How about another casual two-point night for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (he should have three but they seem to have taken away the assist on Chiasson’s goal)? Nuge is having a sneaky good season and it’s been fun to see his game evolve of the last few years. Weird to think that RNH is still only 25 years old and I’m excited to see what Hitchcock can do to push him even further.
- First point I want to make is that the Oilers actually won a goal challenge. Amazing! Second thing is that Hitchcock’s challenge absolutely bailed out Mikko Koskinen on what would have been a horrible goal against. That’s two wins in one.
- You’ve gotta like getting two big powerplay goals to power the boys to a win. Tonight, they kept things simple, threw pucks at the net, and were rewarded for their efforts.
- These blue jerseys are so much better than the orange. Please wear these every night. I beg you.
- Considering what just happened on Sunday, the boys really needed to make sure they didn’t get a repeat performance. Two points against the Kings had to happen I’m thrilled to be doing a #BoozeNotBeets wincast rather than putting back beets. Join in the misery over on my Twitter account.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Why can Dustin Brown only score against the Oilers? He got his fourth against them tonight — it’s ridiculous.
- Jeff Carter tied the game up at goals apiece after the Kings got themselves into a 5-on-3 powerplay, and the Oilers weren’t able to lock things down.
- Shout out to Kevin Quinn for mentioning that the Kings had yet to score a powerplay goal on the road. Basically, as soon as he finished his sentence Jeff Carter put one home. I know he actually had nothing to do with it because blaming the announcer doesn’t make any sense, but it was still annoying in the moment. You know what I mean.
- I will not complain about the refs or the dozens of times they miss calls on McDavid. I will not. Don’t ask me to do it. Just because they were terrible yet again doesn’t mean I’ll comment on it. I’m a bigger person than that.
- I hate whoever the guy was that went out and bought a McDavid Kings jersey. At first, we thought it might be an All-Star Game jersey from a couple of years ago but then we had multiple people confirming that it was, in fact, a Kings jersey. Imagine buying that thing.
|01:21||Edmonton||Jesse Puljujarvi (2) ASST: Drake Caggiula (3), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (17)||0-1|
|09:33||Edmonton||PPG – Alex Chiasson (11) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (15), Oscar Klefbom (11)||0-2|
|13:49||Los Angeles||Dustin Brown (8) ASST: Anze Kopitar (9), Alex Iafallo (6)||1-2|
|19:29||Los Angeles||PPG – Jeff Carter (5) ASST: Anze Kopitar (10), Drew Doughty (13)||2-2|
|17:40||Edmonton||PPG – Oscar Klefbom (2) ASST: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (18), Connor McDavid (21)||2-3|
— Marcel Schoenhardt (@mschoenhardt) November 30, 2018
I refuse to acknowledge the permanency of the Orange. It's a fad. Like the pumpkin spice of Oiler jerseys.
— David Smitten (@DavidSmitten) November 30, 2018
Ah, that explains the reffing then – they’re just never in position for some reason.
— Oilers Spoonerism Alert (@OilersNerdAlert) November 30, 2018
I HOPE YOU SET YOUR PVRS A CALL WENT OUR WAY
— Ryan (@IAmByks) November 30, 2018
When Nugent-Hopkins is angry at your call, you know you're doing a bad job.
— Rex Codex Libris (@CodexRex) November 30, 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, 11/29/2018 – 10:00 pm MT