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GDB 27.0 Wrap Up: Bring soup and medicine to Connor, Oilers lose 4-1 in Dallas

Life without Connor is a dark and cold existence. Final Score: 4-1 Stars

When the Oilers faced off against the Stars for the first time last week, the game played out exactly as you’d imagine it would when two Ken Hitchcock systems went head to head. As the game went into overtime with the score tied at zero, I like to imagine that Hitch felt a sense of pride bubble up inside of him as he soaked in the moment of his two most recent teams playing 60 full minutes of scoreless hockey. Mmmm defence. Personally, I could care less if the Oilers only score once in a game provided that they get the win. At this point in the Infinibuild, I think most Oilers fans would be happy to settle into the trap all night if it meant wins going up on the board. Unfortunately, scoring one goal and winning the game only works when you’re able to completely lock things down in your own end and that did not happen tonight.

Before the news broke that Connor wouldn’t be playing tonight due to illness, I was expecting another low-scoring game that could go either way, but with the captain out it felt more like we might have to head out into the streets and look for sacrifices. The Oilers haven’t been scoring a whole lot lately and to have their leading scorer out due to illness is not a good combination. Certainly, some kind of stray animal or intern is worth offering to the Gords for a little bit of secondary offence, right? All I know for sure is that with Connor McDavid sick and out, all expectations for what to expect went out the window. Considering the guy has been in on almost half of the team’s total goals, all I could think about was who would pick up the slack. As it turns out, the answer was not really anyone. That’s not to say there wasn’t effort, I actually thought the Oilers battled hard for most of this hockey game, but they didn’t have the offensive horses to score the goals needed to complete the comeback and get the job done.

Here’s hoping Connor is only out for the one game.

The wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
  • It’s been 40 games since he last scored, but Jujhar Khaira finally got himself on the board with his first of the season. Khaira made a strong play to the net and fought to knock home his own rebound, solving Khudobin for the first and only time tonight. Garbage time or not, that was a solid goal for a guy that really needed one.
  • I thought Leon Draisaitl had a good night tonight considering the extra responsibility that got thrown on his shoulders because of Connor McDavid’s absence. Though he didn’t score, Draisaitl probably deserved to be on the scoresheet for more than the one assist as he logged a truckload of minutes (25:25) and made plays on basically every shift.
  • The more Hitchcock plays Mikko Koskinen the more intrigued I get by the goalie situation in Edmonton. Koskinen wasn’t the same lights out monster tonight that we’ve seen over his winning run, but I’d also say that he wasn’t getting a whole lot of help, especially in the third period. Koskinen gave his team a chance to stay in it but he needed more than the one goal, something that just never happened. Koskinen finished the night with 21 saves and a .875 save%.
  • I thought Kris Russell had a really nice game tonight. He was moving his feet well, broke up plenty of offensive chances by the Stars, and, as usual, was always willing to sacrifice his body to make a play. I thought he had a strong night.
  • Chris Wideman only played 6:36 tonight but he got his first assist with the Oilers.
  • I don’t know what it is about having Darnell Nurse’s old man in the building, but ol’ Darryl loves punching faces when his old man is around. Nurse got in a beauty scrap tonight with Devin Shore and you’re going to want to check it out again over at hockey fights.
  • At least Tyler Pitlick and Taylor Fedun didn’t score!?

THE FACE PALMERS

  • Jason Dickenson opened the scoring for the Stars tonight after he finished off a lucky broken stick passing play that ended up right on his stick. Dickenson was the business end of the tic-tac-toe play that ended up in the back of the net after some very quick puck movement.
  • Brett Ritchie put the Stars up by two goals after driving to the net and finishing off the cross-crease pass from Mattias Janmark. Koskinen couldn’t get across in time and Ritchie was able to give his team some insurance. And would you be surprised to find out that was his first goal of the season? You wouldn’t be, would you?
  • Jamie Benn put the Stars up by three goals on a perfectly deflected shot-pass from the point. Benn was cruising through the offensive zone and timed his approach to the net perfectly as he arrived just in time to tip the Gavin Bayreuther (yes, that’s a real person) pass into the net.
  • Esa Lindell added an empty-net goal late in the third period to nail the coffin shut.
  • Connor McDavid is a wizard and I won’t believe otherwise unless someone shows me the receipts, but even the mightiest of sorcerors get sick sometimes. Without Connor McDavid, you really get a chance to see how flawed this roster is and that point was on full display tonight.
  • Is it just me that seems to notice that Darnell Nurse gets caught puck watching a lot? Can’t be just me, right? Let me know in the comments.
  • Oilers went 0/3 on the powerplay on a night when they were gagging for goals. I know Connor wasn’t playing but you still have to be able to make it work with the man advantage.
  • The Oilers’ PK has been really effectively lately but they could only kill off one of the two Dallas chances with the man advantage. The Stars had plenty of good looks at the net on both of their opportunities and it wasn’t overly surprising when Benn got his goal.
  • I know some people wonder why I even bother to mention faceoffs but to me, it makes sense to want the puck on your stick as early into the play as possible. Anyway, the Oilers had a tough but not horrible night on the dot, winning 45% of the draws they took.
  • It’s been a little while since I’ve had to eat beets and I’m pretty bummed out that I have to dive into a can right now. As always, you can join in the conversation over on my Twitter account.

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
10:59 Dallas Jason Dickinson (5) ASST: Mattias Janmark (6), Brett Ritchie (2) 0-1

2ND PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
No Scoring

3RD PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
01:51 Dallas Brett Ritchie (1) ASST: Mattias Janmark (7) 0-2
07:24 Dallas PPG – Jamie Benn (12) ASST: Gavin Bayreuther (3), Alexander Radulov (13) 0-3
14:36 Edmonton Jujhar Khaira (1) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (17), Chris Wideman (4) 1-3
17:46 Dallas EN – SHG – Esa Lindell (4) 1-4

#GOODCONTENT

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OILERSNATION RADIO

A new week means a new episode of Oilersnation Radio and this episode is chock-full of Edmonton Oilers content that you can slip right into your earholes. This week, we cover the Valentin Zykov waiver claim, whether the Strome for Spooner trade is worse than Eberle for Strome, the “retro” jersey debut, and another look at the Milan Lucic goal bet.


Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 12/03/2018 – 11:00 pm MT

  • Jimmy_Gatz

    Who gets all the blame despite being arguably the best Oiler tonight? That’s an easy one… Maybe the Oilers should indeed trade Leon Draisaitl. His reputation among Oilers fans is lost and his trade value should be high enough, so that Chiarelli could get Alzner or Seabrook for him …

    • Dan_h

      I feel like this conversation is shaping to one that has already happened around these parts.
      Dustin penner scores goals but he is big, he should be a fighter and a goal scorer he is so big. And he looks slow because his stride is so big.

  • Mitch_Stevens

    What’s sad is that many reasonable and truthful comments get trashed. Without McDavid this team WOULD have a difficult time competing in the AHL. With McDavid out of the lineup, why can’t other guys come forward (Draisaitl, RNH) and take the reigns and lead the team?! I think we have every reason to question those guys’ leadership capabilities. I’ve never drunk the RNH Kool-Aid and I don’t understand why do many fans have. Point per game aside, Draisaitl only shows up when he wants to.

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    Okay so last night I was a tad bit distracted thus resulting in my “meh, onto the next one”.

    Yes it was a loss, and yes having McDavid doesn’t help matters (hopefully it’s for a short while), but on all honesty, I didn’t think they looked that bad. Yes, the game was boring, but they limited some of Dallas’ chances. The score doesn’t help matters, but I thought the Oilers created some quality chances. But having McDavid would’ve absolutely helped tonight

  • Fridaydapper

    Paying 6mil for 4th line Lucic and the poolparty bust kind of sank this team. I don’t see things getting any better for a few years. Feel bad for McDavid

  • Old school

    To answer your question regarding Nurse and puck watching – yes he does .. l find it interesting for all the moaning about certain players skill Nurse gets a free ride ..they have a decision to make regarding this player in the near future and what he is and how much to pay him.. he isn’t a one two D and likely never will be .. he is useful in his physical capacity but hasn’t evolved in his offensive game … isn’t a quality passer and doesn’t think the game well..in other words he’s making what he should make . People think he’s an untouchable and he isn’t .. the money is going to be a problem and he should be packaged and moved for the right deal

    • camdog

      Yup…He’s good at skating puck out as well. None of the d are really good at the outlet pass. The Oilers brass /Katz believe the problem with D was solved with drafting of Bouchard…Katz was no doubt told that Bouchard would change this season. If he knew Bouchard was 2-3 years away PC would have been fired. Nice for the Old Boys to have a gullible owner.

    • FutureGM

      head-on-a-swivel is a necessary skill at any level and I find many Oiler Dmen fail to do this too often. I know a lot of people have Klefbom and Nurse as untouchables, I feel the opposite. It appears clear, unfortunately, that neither Kbom or Nurse will be a true #1 guy leaving both guys in the roster spot #2LHD. With Sekera there now, Russell in #3LHD slot and Seth Jones coming up to replace 3LHD and hopefully move up the time has come to trade KBom or Nurse + a piece for a solid #1LHD. Doesn’t need to be a stud, but of Vlasic quality.

  • camdog

    Cagguila, Chaisson and Lucic were the 3,4,5 Oiler forwards for minutes played at forward. As much as I’ve liked Cagguila and Chaisson this season, they are playing well above their abilities. With McDavid the team still struggles to score enough. Their simply isn’t enough talent on this team. Complaining about the only 2 skilled forwards playing last night isn’t based on the reality of the situation. The reality is we have a GM that has built a team lacking in talent, a team that isn’t going to win often without McDavid.

    • Rufio Barcoli

      Yes, because NHL is just soooo full of talent.
      The other teams have so much of it and are willing to part ways with it, but stubborn ol’ Chia just won’t answer the calls.

  • Oilswellthatendswell

    McD plays 24 minutes a game and is the top producer on the team. I am not defending the guys on ice last night because really only they know who gave the extra 10 percent more effort to cover for their captains absence, but I don’t care what team you are in this league, if you lose your best player who totes the most minutes, your bound to lose the first game. With line juggling and minutes needing filled and new roles needed to be played, it is almost inevitable. Toronto lost Matthews for 12 games or whatever it was and I think they lost the first 2 or 3 games even with the talent they have. I know for sure they lost the first game because it was to the stupid Lames. I’m still happy with the 4-2-1 record we have with the Hitch era and will be praying Conner will be healthy by tomorrow and can carry these lame sad sacks through another 3 game winning streak (or more!!!)!!!

    • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

      And they didn’t look that bad! It’s wasnt like Dallas was skating circles around Edmonton. We were outshooting them for a majority of the hockey game. Hell, we got some great chances in Dallas’ zone.

      • Oilswellthatendswell

        I agree. The first 2 periods were very Hitch style hockey (showing the impact he has had already on the team) and I thought Oilers were keeping good pace with them. A couple mistakes in the third seemed to be costly at the time. Boring hockey? Yes, but they were in it for a good portion I thought.

      • GK1980

        I agree, they just didn’t have any finish last night. Game could have gone either way. I just wish Nuge could start zipping those sneaky wristers into the net like he used to in his early years. Kass with a break away and Nuge and Drai with partial breakaways. Some of those need to go in.

  • Randaman

    So much for depth. Now we are even more convinced that we are a shallow one line team. Anyone that disagrees with this is sadly mistaken or drunk on Koolaid

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    You morons really want to start running our second best player out of town? Seriously? I only ask, because I seem to remember 15-odd years of this fanbase screaming for a skilled centre with size. Now we have one who’s a PPG player and has already dominated a playoff series, and some of you want him gone?

    • grumpyKoala

      He dominated 1 playoff series 2 year ago, I don’t think anyone doubt how magnificent he is if/when he ever decide to play with passion, effort and dedication. So far none of these term will ever be associated with him. You don’t go far when your best player ”play” with that attitude.

    • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

      That’s the Oilers fan way. As soon as a player struggles, they’re not worth the time or effort from this fan base. Then they whine and moan about it until that player is gone, then cry crocodile tears when that player has success somewhere else. Look at Schultz and Dubnyk as exhibit A and B.

  • Spiel

    A glimpse in to what would have been had the lottery balls not favored the Oilers in 2015.
    Edmonton’s odds were to pick 3rd overall and that would have been Dylan Strome. Unbelievable luck!

  • jesse says yep

    First page of comments is a hilarious blend of post game frustration and over reaction compared to the second page of morning after thought out comments. For a game where the Oil out chanced the other team in every way, but couldn’t put the puck in the net, people sure are down on this team. They just won 3 in a row at home and played a pretty solid game on the road without their superstar. Sure I would have like to see more push from Drai and a couple of guys step up with some offense, but this wasn’t the end of the world.
    I dont like Hitchcock’s decision to keep the goalie pulled when we got that late powerplay though. The Oil had some momentum, a man advantage and a bit of time to work with. I would have preferred they not give the other team a free shot at putting the final nail in their coffin.