GDB Wrap Up 40.0: Back on the bandwagon, Oilers win 3-1 in Arizona

Thanks to the Arizona Coyotes for being such kind hosts. Final Score: 3-1 Oilers

If ever there was a golden opportunity for the Oilers to end their losing streak and get back on track, it was tonight against the Arizona Coyotes. Coming into this matchup, the Oilers were winners of six of their last seven games against the Coyotes and I saw that as the perfect chance to get a win and get this train back on the rails. I mean, sure it’s upsetting to be looking at the schedule and hoping for winnable games, but that’s where the Oilers are at right now and I didn’t care what it took to get two points, only that they got the job done. And let’s be honest, if the Oilers couldn’t start things off with a win in Arizona then the outlook doesn’t exactly get much brighter when they roll into California to finish up the road trip. And after putting the lines through the blender at yesterday’s practice, I was curious to see how Hitchcock’s new concoctions would respond. Early results were less than positive.

In the first period, the Oilers barely looked like willing participants let alone a team that was trying to score goals and end a losing streak. They were heavily outshot, too often bailed out by their goaltender, down by a goal, and were being badly outplayed by a Coyotes team that’s supposed to be awful. Needless to say, it was a start that really dampened the mood around here. Fortunately, the boys looked like a different hockey club in the second and third periods as they seemed much more comfortable at both ends of the rink. Over the last 40 minutes, the Oilers defended much better, weren’t cheating on breakouts, kept getting big saves, and when they got into the offensive zone it actually seemed like they had a plan for what they wanted to do. I mean, it also helps when McDavid puts up three more points on the board. At the end of the day, the Oilers’ best players were able to overpower the Coyotes’ defenders and they weren’t able to come up with an answer to people McDrai off the board.

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Sure, all of the goals were all scored by Connor and Leon again, but beggars can’t be choosers and I think we’ll all happily take the win at this point.

For the first time in 2019, we wrap. 


  • Leon Draisaitl tied the game up at one when he perfectly deflected Adam Larsson’s point shot through Adin Hill’s five-hole. Larsson got the snapped the puck towards the net quickly and Leon timed it perfectly as he waded into the high slot and used that big ol’ paddle of his to get a tip on it.
  • Connor McDavid was electric tonight and there was no better example of that than on his goal when he used his rocket legs to not only catch up to a play that was far ahead of him but finish it off with a perfect deke through Hill’s legs. The captain added the empty-netter in the final minute of the game to seal the deal. McDavid finished the night with another casual three-point performance which gives him 61 on the year. I know I ended off 2018 by saying that I’m grateful for Connor McDavid, and that’s the way I’m going to start 2019 as well. Thank you for all you do, Connor. Thank you.
  • Zack Kassian deserves some love for the pass he made on Connor McDavid’s goal that showed the kind of touch the big man has in those hands of his. He set Connor up with a beautiful area pass in the high slot that only the captain could get to and it resulted in the Oilers taking over the lead.
  • Clearly, Mikko Koskinen has earned the trust of his coach as he got another chance to get right back in the net and lock things down as we’ve seen him do all season. The last few starts haven’t gone Koskinen’s way, and if there was ever the perfect time for him to regain his form it was here tonight, and he did exactly that. Early on, Koskinen was a rock between the pipes and arguably the only reason that the Oilers found themselves down by only a single goal after the first period was over. Koskinen was great all night as he finished the game with 29 saves and a .967 save%.
  • Darnell Nurse was a horse for the Oilers tonight, finishing his night with a team-high 25:07 on the ice, two shots on goal, four hits, and two blocks. That’s a big night for Darryl.
  • I liked Jesse Puljujarvi’s game tonight. No, he didn’t score but he was much more involved in plays and on the forecheck than we’ve seen over the past couple of weeks. By my eye, I noticed him around the puck a lot more tonight than I have in a while, and that’s a positive for the young Finn that’s still trying to gain some traction. Puljujarvi finished with 12:48 on the ice, two shots on goal, one hit and a blocked shot.
  • Adam Larsson played a heavy game tonight and he was throwing his weight around any chance he got. Not only that, I thought he really did a nice job of calming things down below the goal line, so I was pumped to see him get an assist on Leon Draisaitl’s second-period goal as a cherry on top of the fine work he did in his own zone.
  • Oilers finished the night at 55% in the faceoff circle and one of those draws led directly to Leon Draisaitl’s goal. Better to win ’em than lose ’em.
  • FINALLY! WIN! win! WIN! win! Win Cast coming up in a couple of minutes. As always, you can join in on the #BoozeNotBeets conversation over on my Twitter account.


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  • Ugly start for the Oilers. Through 20 minutes, they were outshot 16-7, outscored, and looked more like they were hanging on for dear life. Ugly period, and they were fortunate that Koskinen was there to bail them out.
  • Brad Richardson opened the scoring for the Coyotes after being the recipient of some nice puck by the Coyotes as they moved around the Oilers’ zone like they were working on a drill at practice. Honestly, I felt bad for Koskinen on the play.
  • Nothing doing on the power play tonight (0/3), though the Oilers did get some chances on their first opportunity of the night. Even though the lack of power play goals didn’t burn them tonight, it would have been nice to see the Oilers bury the Coyotes, ya know?
  • Who scores first: Tobi Rieder or Milan Lucic? Both guys are cursed imo.
  • Speaking of secondary scoring, is that a real thing?
  • The Oilers have been outshot a lot lately and that was the case again tonight as the Coyotes bested them 30-24 on the shot clock.



12:08 Arizona Brad Richardson (11) ASST: Richard Panik (7), Kevin Connauton (5) 0-1


02:49 Edmonton Leon Draisaitl (22) ASST: Adam Larsson (11), Connor McDavid (38) 1-1
13:43 Edmonton Connor McDavid (22) ASST: Zack Kassian (2), Leon Draisaitl (29) 2-1


19:15 Edmonton EN – Connor McDavid (23) 3-1


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Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 1/02/2018 – 11:00 pm MST

    • CityofWhat

      Strong goaltending and your top players,
      well, being your top players usually result in a win. Also solid game from Larsson.
      Or maybe it was just the coyotes ohh well a win is a win no matter how you slice it.

      About a month ago I said McDavid will catch Mikko Rantanen in the chase for art ross and after tonight he is 1 back of him and I got some slack for that, there were some doubters but now Kucherov is 4 ahead and in less than a month or few more games McDavid will not look back and run a way with it. Good start to 2019 except for Lucic not getting of the schneid but at this point it’s not really that surprising.

    • Alfonso

      Oil with 41 points in their 40 games thus far, that’s a .513 points % and it’s also a pace that brings them into no man’s land with 84 points. They would need 54 points in the remaining 42 games to reach the coveted minimum of 95 points to potentially grab a wildcard spot …

      So does anybody think this hapless team is capable of going 25-13-4 which is a .643 points %?

      • Butt-head

        That’s going to depend a lot on goaltending. Koskinen was back to his early form last night and it made a huge difference by not going down by a lot early. Defensive mistakes happen to every team, if you get one or two big saves when needed it’s often the difference between winning and losing. Neither goalie has been good during the 6 game skid, if that turns around we may still have a chance at the wild card. The Avs and Ducks have been losing a lot also, so we’re not out of it yet. If Vegas beats the ducks tomorrow, a win in LA and Anaheim this weekend puts us back on the right side of the line.

      • Beer_League_Ringer

        I have to believe.

        @Green Bastard
        You can lead a hornse to a joint, but you can’t make him insale or whatever. Worst case Ontario, It’s Corey and Trevor trashing all the comments.

      • BobbyCanuck

        3 guys walk into the urnals, a Harvard Man, a Notre Dame grad, and a NAIT grad. They all take a leak and proceed to the sink

        Harvard Man ‘At Harvard they teach us topay close attention to details, and never leave a job unfinished’ as he washes his hands 3 time just to make sure

        Notre Dame grad ‘We were taught that told cleanliness is is next to Godliness’ as he washes his hands twice

        NAIT grad; lightly rinses hands, and says ‘At NAIT they tought us not to piss on our hands’

    • Beer_League_Ringer

      OK, OK… There IS something awry about the Trashes and Cheers. There is zero chance Bung gets 27 Cheers for his generic “worst GM in the league”-type comment.

  • FISTO Siltanen

    Losses to TB, SJ and Jets are on the GM. He hasn’t done enough to better this team.

    Losses to the Canucks (twice) and Blues are 100% on the players. All they need to do was try and they couldn’t even do that.

    • camdog

      The players have been trying all year. Blaming the players is weak. Without Klefbom and Russell, the Oilers defence is putrid and their forward group has 3 NHL players. Their just isn’t enough talent on this team.

    • Towers-of-dub

      I wouldn’t get too worked up over a loss to TB. They’ve lost 7 times in half a season. They’re a good team. Probably the best team in the league.

  • OilTastic

    this is a game they should win and did so i can exhale ! the thought of falling behind the rising LA Kings, which we win inevidebly do, AND the ‘Yotes, which would put us in LAST in the division, is very scary !!

    • Todd the electron rod

      Ohoh… Alextheoilerfan says… “As a goalie, Giant Costco has fundamental positional errors in his game and Talbot should have been given the start”.

      Followed up by Dusty… “Dadbot and his cutesy twins Ghostbuster mask makes me happy inside. Why is the starter on the bench?”

      But seriously folks, Mikko slides around on those giant pads effortlessly and flashes that glove at opportune times.

      With Mikko starting the first shot first goal phobia is fading.

  • Datsyukian

    A great beginning of the new year so far! The Oilers finally got a win, Canada got schooled by Finland at the Juniors, and Russia trounced the Slovaks, hopefully on the way to the gold medal. Россия, вперед! LOL

    • BobbyCanuck

      Only when, and if, the players actually decide having a good shot makes a difference in the bigs…could be waiting a while, due to the lovely pass first mentality of the whole team, and yes that included the McDavid

  • The future never comes

    Lucic and Reider are not cursed, one fell off of a cliff and is not an NHL player and the other takes outside wristshots from just inside the blueline. Neither are threatening. Its not a curse.

    • El Cid

      Pull the “A” and sit him in the press box until he demands a trade or retires. I don’t care if it’s for the rest of his contract he brings absolutely nothing.

  • Abagofpucks

    So during the 1st period they got 7 shots no goals, in the 2nd they got 12 shots on net and scored 2 goals. So you would think by that they would really push to get shots on net in the 3rd right…… but no, they only managed to get 5 shots on net in the final period and the last was an open netter for Mcd. I don’t understand this teams reluctance to shoot, it goes against all logic and drives me insane.

  • El Cid

    Glad we got the win but the song remains the same, no secondary scoring. The Oilers don’t win this game without Mcdavid. Koskinen looked good also again Chia can trade Talbot for that 5th rounder he gave away…….

  • percy

    Bring up Montoya, figure out how to dump Loochs contract and trade Talbot for a power winger. If we get lucky and make the playoffs we can acquire a backup or another winger. Pool party ?…… he maybe was great in junior but I don’t think he is NHL material. Imo.

  • CMG30

    Two points much needed. Still changes nothing in the need to turf our bumbling GM and his enablers. The only point in watching games now is for the few good individual preformances…

  • Oiler Al

    Probably more life in frozen horse turds on the road,than that of the Oilers in the first period! 4 of the 7 shots were on the power play.Kosky kept them in the game. How much more babble can there be about the non-scoring of lines 3 and 4 and now line2. Nuge looks like he has lost interest.Cant blame him, baby sitting the big Finn.

    Take the 2 points and run like heck.Better have a better start in LAK.

    • Not to mention everytime he finds chemistry with any winger Hitch changes up the lines. I thought the JP Nuge JJ line was playing well before JJ’s suspension. Its almost like the brain trust of the oilers dont want him to have a career year.

  • Heschultzhescores

    We score the most pretty goals in the league due to our overpassing tendancy. Now if we can increase the garbage goals like the Fkanes are famous for, we can get that secondary scoring we lack. Our grinders need to put the puck to the net and Crash! This endless cycling round the perimeter, and zero shots is never gonna produce goals .