Draisaitl, McDavid, and Koskinen strike again. Final score: 4-1 Oilers.
The first period was an odd one. The boys were on their heels to start the game and were making some lousy giveaways in their own end. This is sort of what we’re accustomed to as of late. Koskinen made a couple big saves and a couple defensive lapses from the Flyers lead to some scoring chances of our own. Eventually, the puck got into the hands of Connor McDavid to Leon Draisaitl to Alex Chiasson, then bada-bing-bada-boom, the puck is in the net. Chiasson was flying this period and tallied a lot of scoring chances. His goal put the Oilers on the board and created some good momentum for the remainder of the period. Both the Flyers and the Oilers exchanged unsuccessful power plays, and we headed into the dressing room with a 1-0 lead.
The second period began with a four-minute penalty kill as Drake Caggiula drew blood for his high stick on Nolan Patrick. The Oilers did a heck of a job on the PK and even built some momentum out of the long penalty kill. This eventually lead to an unsuccessful powerplay of their own, followed by some terrific shifts and puck pressure in the offensive zone. Connor McDavid scored a beauty from behind the goal line by banking the puck off of the Flyers goalie’s back, then just seconds later Adam Larsson pots a goal top shelf. Despite being on the penalty kill for almost half the period, the Oilers had a rock solid period.
The team came out absolutely flying in the third period. They didn’t let the Flyers touch the puck for the first eight minutes and it was some of the most fun hockey I’ve seen this year from them. Also, what was with the crowd being so loud? They seemed to be enjoying the team’s success at home and it seemed to be buzzing in there. Of course, exactly after that great start to the period, the Flyers took the control they’ve been looking for all game long. The Oilers went a few shifts in a row unable to clear the puck out of our zone or get the puck in deep to the Flyers zone. This eventually lead to a goal by Sean Couturier at the end of a long shift in our own end. The Oilers managed to hold on for the rest of the game and Connor McDavid put the nail in the coffin with an empty net goal.
Overall despite a handful of defensive lapses and penalties, the Oilers played a very well-rounded game. I definitely wasn’t expecting this kind of pace from them after the heavy schedule they’ve been on but it’s safe to say they impressed us all tonight. The Oilers have won six straight games at home and are a tough team to beat in the Hitchcock era.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Alex Chiasson scored his career high, 14th goal tonight with the Oilers. The guy has been an unreal pickup for us and I thought he’d barely score 10 goals this season. Atta be Chiassserrrr!
- With assists to Alex Chiasson’s first goal tonight, Leon Draisaitl extends his point streak to five games, and Connor McDavid extends his to eight games. Both Leon and Connor ended the night with three points each.
- I couldn’t get enough of Jujhar Khaira tonight. He was flying up and down the ice and he wasn’t afraid to egg on Wayne Simmonds and anybody else on the Flyers. Him playing on a line with Puljujarvi was entertaining because anytime someone even looked at 98, Jujhar was in their face about it.
- Connor’s first goal of the night involved one hell of a takeaway-forecheck, and in-between legs shot by Draisaitl, followed by Connor shooting it from behind the goal line to score. If that’s not entertainment then I don’t know what is! This wasn’t just a lucky goal either, Connor was going for the bank off of the goalie’s back and he couldn’t have placed a better shot.
- Adam Larsson scores his first goal of the season and first goal in 43 games! This was just seconds after Connor McDavid’s goal from an epic give-and-go pass with Spooner.
- Tobias Rieder showed off his speed a couple times tonight, specifically on the penalty kill when he broke away for a clear breakaway in the second period. He ended up fanning on the shot BUT THAT’S NOT THE IMPORTANT PART OF THIS POINT
- The Puljujarvi-Nuge-Khaira line had another incredible night. They were buzzing in the offensive end throughout the whole game and were even mixing it up a little after the whistles. I love it!
- I thought Caleb Jones had a good NHL debut tonight. He played 11:23 minutes and seemed pretty comfortable out there. This was a great way to dip his toes in the water and I look forward to seeing more games from him.
- Mikko Koskinen had another stellar night and is now 7-0 at home. Would you have ever thought this was possible when we first signed him? Admittedly, I was shitting on Koskinen before I even saw him play, and I apologize for that.
- Connor McDavid only played 18:51 minutes tonight which is a big decrease from what Hitch has usually been playing him. If we can win games by three goals with Connor playing less than 20 minutes per game, it will go a long way for us.
THE FACE PALMERS
- I feel weird typing this because Koskinen has played nothing but solid between the pipes for us this year, BUT – I’m shocked that no one has capitalized on all of the juicy rebounds he leaves in the slot. I mean, I’m so happy no one does, but It amazes me that he’s played so well, yet lets out so many rebounds.
- The Oilers took five penalties tonight which is far too many in my opinion. Fortunately, they had a good penalty kill going and killed all of them, and the Flyers have been struggling with special teams on the road. Hopefully we’ll be more disciplined in the future.
- The Oilers played a great game but I do think Koskinen’s solid play covered up a lot of the ugly defensive mistakes we made. It appeared at times the boys struggled to break out of the zone, especially in the third period. There were a couple of shifts in a row we couldn’t get the puck out which eventually lead to Couturier’s goal.
|12:37||Edmonton||Alex Chiasson (14) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (24), Connor McDavid (29)||0-1|
|12:37||Edmonton||Connor McDavid (18) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (25), Darnell Nurse (8)||0-2|
|14:08||Edmonton||Adam Larsson (1) ASST: Ryan Spooner (2), Darnell Nurse (9)||0-3|
|10:03||Philadelphia||Sean Couturier (13) ASST: Jakub Voracek (17), Claude Giroux (28)||1-3|
|19:24||Edmonton||EN – Connor McDavid (19) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (26)||1-4|
Alex Chiasson is going to sign a dumb contract next year. Oh man.
— Matt Henderson (@Archaeologuy) December 15, 2018
I’m starting to wonder if these guys really believe as long as Koskinen is in net there’s no way they’ll lose. They’re playing ridiculously confident. #Oilers
— David Shortt (@AdMan0828) December 15, 2018
*Caleb Jones' first pass goes tape to tape*
me: SEND HIM UP TO THE TOP PAIRING!
— Chris Gordeyko (@TheNationChris) December 15, 2018
The Flyers deserve a big fat loss after that stunt they pulled in Calgary the other night
— Ryan (@IAmByks) December 15, 2018