GDB 39.0 Wrap Up: New year same result, Oilers lose 4-3 to Winnipeg on NYE

Maybe 2019 will be better. Final Score: 4-3 Jets

With the year winding down and the Oilers toiling away near the bottom of the Western Conference standings yet again, all any of us could have ever hoped for was one more win to finish up 2018 on a positive note. With the anger from the five-game losing streak, yesterday’s bizarre trades, and Chiarelli’s press conference from this morning still boiling over, I felt like the universe owed us a solid and needed to throw a little luck our way to help brighten the mood a little bit. Besides, with so much venom flowing in Edmonton right now, would it really have been all that surprising if the Oilers were somehow able to pull off the old switcharoo and close out the year with an unexpected win against the Jets? I didn’t think so. So when McNuge opened the scoring late in the first period, I thought we were on way to not only ending the five-game drought but also the NYE winless streak that’s been going on for more than a decade.

Unfortunately, as is often the case, I got too excited too early and ultimately ended up disappointed after watching what was once a lead turn into a deficit in the snap of a finger. I don’t know what it is about the Oilers and giving up quick goals right now, but it’s a trend that’s been punching holes through their dinghy for weeks and one that cannot end soon enough. When you combine tough goals against with a lack of secondary scoring that the Oilers have been suffering all season, then you’re not exactly setting yourself up for success. With another loss now on the board, the fact that the Oilers are crashing towards the bottom of the Western Conference standings is starting to sink in and is absolutely mindblowing. For the second straight year, we’re heading into January with the Oilers on the outside of the playoff picture with seemingly slim hopes that things will get turned around in time to make a difference. Even worse is that the organization is trying to save the season with the exact same people steering the ship into the group. For me, that’s worse than the loss we just watched.

For the last time in 2018, we wrap. Happy New Year, everyone!

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below


  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins opened the scoring for the Oilers after he broke into the offensive zone with Connor McDavid and slipped a wrist shot through Hellebuyck after the captain found him with the puck. Nuge finished the night with two points after he was in on Leon Draisaitl’s power play goal as well.
  • Leon Draisaitl scored his sixth power play goal of the season midway through the second period after Darnell Nurse set him up on a tee from his favourite spot along the boards. He scored another on the backhand at the halfway mark of the third period after Connor McDavid found him behind the defence and he got it off his stick in a hurry.
  • Thank you for another year, Connor McDavid. You’re one of the only reasons to these games on so many occasions and I wanted to end off 2018 with a quick note of appreciation. Thanks for being you, and for adding another couple of assists to the McPile. Please don’t leave us.
  • Caleb Jones, I see you. The guy has gotten better and better since being called up and has, all of a sudden, become one of Hitchcock’s most trusted options. I don’t think he’s necessarily ready yet, but I certainly am having a good time watching him figure it out. Jones finished the night with 23:56 which was second to only Darnell Nurse.
  • I thought that Petrovic (20:21) and Manning (12:54) both did fine tonight considering this was their first game with the team without so much as a formal practice to help them get into the swing of things. Neither guy leaked chances and neither of them looked out of place, and for the first game with a new team that’s all you can really hope for. Not only that, Petrovic got his first assist as an Oiler on RNH’s first period goal.
  • I don’t know why the Oilers only got one power play chance tonight but they scored on it! Not only that, but they were also able to keep the Jets off the board on both of their power play opportunities which won them the special teams battle for the first time in a while.
  • Shout out to Joe Gambardella for making his NHL debut tonight and getting out there for 5:27 worth of ice and a memory that will last a lifetime. We tip our caps to you, sir.
  • The Oilers’ blue jerseys are so much better than the orange ones and I don’t care what anyone says. Personally, I wish for the Oilers to go back to these as the full-time uni in 2019.
Edmonton Oilers defenceman Caleb Jones confirms he tested positive for COVID-19


  • Jacob Trouba tied the game up at one apiece after the Jets were able to cause a turnover in the Oilers zone and get it back for a point shot that made its way through traffic. Matt Benning could have made a better choice with the puck and it ending up costing the team the lead.
  • Less than 90 seconds after Trouba got the Jets on the board, Brendan Lemieux gave Winnipeg their first lead of the night after he found a loose puck in the crease that he was able to sneak over the line. Giving up two quick goals has been a serious problem for the Oilers on this losing streak and these two markers by Trouba and Lemieux could be used as a case study. Lemieux scored a second goal late in the third period after he set up in the slot and got his stick on a shot from the point, deflecting it perfectly past Koskinen and into the top corner.
  • Only 29 seconds after Leon Draisaitl tied the game at two apiece, Blake Wheeler restored Winnipeg’s lead with a sharp angle shot that made its way through some bodies and in past Koskinen.
  • According to Sportsnet, the Oilers are now 0-13-3 on New Year’s Eve. I don’t know what kind of paperwork we need to fill out to get these games removed but I’m going to go ahead and spend some time looking.
  • Outshout (36-24) once again. Brutal.
  • Tough to win when only three guys on your team can score/contribute. More points for McDraiNuge and not many for anyone else.
  • The NHL site had the giveaways listed at 17-12 against the Oilers but I feel like that’s light. Anyone else?
  • Mikko Koskinen got the start tonight after imploding against the Canucks on Thursday night, and I was ready to forget about that loss and watch the big man get back to playing the lights out flavour of goaltending we were seeing from him on the winning streak. Unfortunately, Koskinen lost is fourth straight start for the first time all year after he was unable to keep things completely locked down. Personally, I thought the Oilers had a good chance to win this hockey game but couldn’t get that one extra save they needed. Koskinen finished the night with 32 saves and a .889 save%.
  • Matt Benning has been struggling lately and I wonder if he’ll stick in the lineup over Petrovic once Russell gets back?
  • Second straight New Year’s Eve game against the Jets, second straight #BeetCast. As always, you can join in on the #BeetCast conversation over on my Twitter account.
  • We’re nearing the end of 2018 and Peter Chiarelli is still the GM somehow.
Corey Crawford will reportedly be on the Hawks' 31-man roster in Edmonton, Brent Seabrook will not



14:50 Edmonton Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (14) ASST: Connor McDavid (36), Alexander Petrovic (2) 0-1


04:39 Winnipeg Jacob Trouba (4) ASST: Josh Morrissey (18), Adam Lowry (6) 1-1
06:02 Winnipeg Brendan Lemieux (2) ASST: Andrew Copp (3), Jack Roslovic (6) 2-1
18:03 Edmonton PPG – Leon Draisaitl (20) ASST: Darnell Nurse (13), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (22) 2-2
18:32 Winnipeg Blake Wheeler (6) 3-2


07:23 Edmonton Leon Draisaitl (21) ASST: Connor McDavid (37) 3-3
14:02 Winnipeg Brendan Lemieux (3) ASST: Joe Morrow (1), Andrew Copp (4) 4-3


Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Talk to me, Twitter. Tweet at @OilersNation and @jsbmbaggedmilk for your chance to land in the Best of the Tweets.

Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 12/31/2018 – 10:45 pm MST

  • Ol_OneNut

    The eight starting wingers had 11 goals all season. They finished the game still with 11 goals all season.

    Pontus Aberg has as many goals as all eight guys tonite! SMFH!

    Doing a great job Chia! Keep it up!

  • Pizzy2

    Spooner is terrible, he gave the puck away in the 3rd and then stood around while Winnipeg was pressuring for a goal. Why did Pete make this trade? Makes mo sense!

    • Odanada

      Forecasts of Spooner’s offensive gifts were greatly exaggerated. He’s like Strome without the solid defensive play.
      That was a bad trade. Does anyone remember who made that trade?

  • Bobnett

    Nuge must have really worked on his conditioning, able to carry 2 heavy weights around all night. Everybody worries about Conner asking to get out. I would worry that Nuge might ask. He couldn’t get worse wingers anywhere else.

  • Butt-head

    Lucic is even worse than just not scoring. Almost every time the puck touches his stick he either bobbles it, gives it away, or gets rid of it quickly because the bumbling oaf can’t skate and stickhandle at the same time. He was painful to watch tonight. I doubt he would even make the roster for the Condors playing like that.

    • nijames

      Lucic is a player that is built for the big slow NHL, that game went away about the same time Lucic signed his 7 year $42 million contract. I don’t blame him for signing that deal any one would have. Chia just threw away $42 mill of Daryl Katz’ money, oh no wait actually taxpayer money with the deal Katz has on that arena.

  • oilredemption

    Every God forsaken year. Every damn year. Start fairly Well, November they bomb, go on a mini run before Christmas, bomb right after Christmas, lose on new years, lose 90% of those dreaded afternoon tilts, a big injury loss at end of January that halts any chance of getting back into it, get Jack swat at the deadline, severely miss the playoffs, play fairly well down the stretch giving false hope for the following year, luck out at the draft, shine the new toy at the draft, sign a few project players and Rinse and Repeat

    • Real Oiler Fan since 83

      I feel your pain man. I honestly don’t know how Katz, Lowe and Craig can even look each other in the eye tonight as they enjoy there champagne in some Mansion. Total utter embarrassment.

      • Odanada

        They’re not hockey men. One is a billionaire who knows nothing about the game, but owns a team for amusement purposes. The other two are former warriors who have sold their souls and become arrogant, smarmy used car salesmen – betraying both the game and their legacy in the process. The “boys” need to get back on the “bus” (taking most of the front office with them) and together they need to drive to the Napa Valley and take up permanent residence next to a vat of red.
        Was that too harsh?

      • Johnny Zylon

        They don’t look at the win/loss column, they look at gate receipts. They look at how much money they make and in that regard they are successful. Oiler fans can complain all they want but until the on-ice product affects the cash flow everything is groovy. Katz is making money—he is happy.

  • Hockeytalkguy

    Well….there isn’t anything more to be said about management, the lack of secondary scoring, the defence, etc. We here at the nation have said it all, many many times over. Wishing you all a healthy, happy prosperous New Year! Cause it can’t get any worse….can it?

  • crobar

    Jets didnt really play great, even tho they won the shot totals. But man is that team deep. Almost everybody on that team wins a game for them somehow…..

  • KMA

    What can you say? Started the last night of the year on a losing streak and will begin 2019 as losers. This is not the type of consistency paying fans have in mind.

    • FlamesFanOtherCity

      I don’t think it’s Flames fans trolling you.
      Every team has battled injuries this season.
      Hitch comes out and whines about reffing.
      Chia does squat to change the team for the better.
      Chaisson is not a top 4 payer on any team, but is a decent depth player.
      Blame the coach all you want, but the team is not constructed to win.
      No top 4 D-men available? I’m sure if you asked you would find one.
      Or perhaps do that looking in the summer.
      The holes in scoring and defense were there.

      Hockey fans feel bad for seeing McDavid play on an unept team, but are happy to see Chia manage them from a playoff capable team with multiple first overalls to a lotto team. Keep up the good work Chia.

    • CityofWhat

      Taylor Hall is one of my favourite Oilers of all time. The guy showed passion but most Oiler fans seen that as him whining. Besides the obvious 3 where is the passion on this team?

  • TruthHurts98

    6 games and counting, so easy to predict. Sigh. Top 5 pick upcoming… oh wait. NO!!!! PC traded it for a player no one’s ever heard of and promptly signed him to infinity for the salary cap max.