Just like we drew it up! Final Score: 4-3 Oilers in the shootout
The last time the Oilers and Panthers met up, the Oilers were outshot, out chanced, and outscored and I was curious to see how they’d rebound for the rematch. I don’t know what it is about the 2018-19 Oilers playing down to their competition but it’s been a problem all season, and November’s loss to the Panthers certainly qualified. To me, struggling teams like Florida are ones that the Oilers need to beat more times than not, especially if they have any hope of hanging onto their playoff dream. Early on, this game played out just as you’d expect from two teams that are teetering along the .500 line. Mistakes were made, turnovers were had, and both teams traded goals on shots that should probably have been stopped. It was the kind of start that gave you a ‘who the hell knows what’s going to happen’ feeling in your gut and an excuse to pour a medicinal rum or two while waiting to see things played out. Both teams have good players that can score and inconsistent goaltending, and that’s a combination that had me fastening my seatbelt in preparation for whatever was coming next.
As the game moved into the second period, the Oilers were actually lucky to have the game tied based on their meagre shot totals and they certainly needed to figure out how to do a better job of getting pucks through to the net while also limiting the time spent in their own end. Instead, what we got was another flat start to the period by the home side which allowed the Panthers to do, more or less, whatever they wanted with the puck and it wasn’t exactly surprising to see them restore their lead. The good news is that they were never able to extend their lead beyond a single goal, and that gave the Oilers just enough daylight to even up the score up on three separate occasions. For a team that looked so defeated against the Sharks, you have to appreciate the resiliency needed to stick with the gameplan even when things looked grim. Obviously, a lot of the credit has to go to Connor McDavid as his brilliance saved the Oilers (and all of us) from what seemed like an impending loss, but that’s the magic of having him. He’s like a real life Game Genie and for that I’m thankful.
While I’m not sure that the Oilers necessarily played well enough to deserve the win, we can debate on that in the comments section, Steve Miller has always inspired me to take the money and run.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Only 26 seconds after the Panthers opened the scoring with a goal Talbot will certainly want back, Darnell Nurse tied things up in almost the same way. Nurse was trailing the play and picked up a pass up from Alex Chiasson near the blue line and managed to sneak a wrister through Reimer. Darryl had a huge night on the blue line for the Oilers as he finished his night with a monstrous 31:49 on the ice, a big goal in the first period, eight shots on net, four hits, and two blocks.
- Edmonton was down by a goal and nearing the third period when they were given a rare 5-on-3 power play opportunity to tie things up and right the ship. Unfortunately, the boys squandered that opportunity pretty horrifically as they weren’t really able to get much of anything done. The good news is that the captain was able to tie the game up only moments after the penalties ended and, even though they may not have deserved it, the Oilers had a tie game heading into the third period. Then, in the final seconds of the third period, the Oilers had their goalie pulled and were in desperate need of a goal, and it was McDavid once again to tie things up and give his team life. What a night for #97. Connor McDavid is an absolute treasure and I don’t care about the people that say I fawn over him too much.
- Cam Talbot got a second straight start after having a tough night against the Sharks, which marked the first time he’s been back between the pipes after a loss since Ken Hitchcock has been behind the bench. What I wanted to know was how Talbot would handle this start after being pulled against the Sharks. Would he be the guy that got a shutout in Anaheim, or would we see the one that’s rocking a .889 save% on the season? As turns out, a little of both. I know he’ll probably want that first goal back, but the only reason the Oilers were able to win this hockey game was that Dadbot outplayed the guy at the other end. Talbot finished the night with 27 saves and a .900 save%.
- Leon Draisaitl had 28:34 worth of ice time and two huge assists tonight, including when he set Connor for the game tying goal with under 10 seconds to play. Great game by Leon.
- I really liked Kris Russell’s game tonight. As always, he kept things simple, threw his body around, and did whatever was needed of him to help the team win. Russell finished the night with 24:05 on the ice, two blocks, two hits, two PIMs, and a +2 rating.
- I like when the Oilers win 54% of the faceoffs. I like that a lot. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was a team-high 80% on the dot.
- Thank you, James Reimer!
- Yeah, buddy! Needed them points and I need me some Brum. As always, you can join in on the #BoozeNotBeets win cast conversation over on my Twitter account.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Frank Vatrano opened the scoring for the Panthers after his wrist shot snuck through Cam Talbot’s arm and chest protector, and that’s a puck he has to stop. Fortunately, the Oilers got the goal back almost immediately, but that’s a shot that needs to be stopped.
- Denis Malgin restored the Panthers lead on a seeing-eye shot that made its way through a bunch of Oilers before ending up in the net. I wish I would have been able to see a reverse angle of the goal because I wonder how much of it Talbot was even able to see. Traffic aside, the Oilers got caught with some spotty defending and Malgin was able to capitalize.
- Henrik Borgstrom gave the Panthers the lead for the third time after his centring attempt bounced in off Caleb Jones and Adam Larsson. Combined with the strange own goals against the Sharks on Tuesday, the Oilers have spent about as much time scoring on their own net as they have at the other end of the ice.
- That 5-on-3 power play was ugly, man. Yikes. I found that they were way too stationary on the PP and that allowed the Panthers to hang out and wait for the shots to come in.
- Are you surprised to find out that the Oilers got outshot again? You’re not, are you? (30-24)
- Another big shout out to Peter Chiarelli for trading a serviceable forward in Drake Caggiula for an overpaid defenceman that’s only been in the lineup three times since being acquired. Add another colossal failure to Chiarelli’s resume. Unbelievable.
|09:06||Florida||Frank Vatrano (12) ASST: Bogdan Kiselevich (7)||1-0|
|09:32||Edmonton||Darnell Nurse (6) ASST: Alex Chiasson (5), Connor McDavid (40)||1-1|
|04:28||Florida||Denis Malgin (5)||2-1|
|19:38||Edmonton||Connor McDavid (25) ASST: Darnell Nurse (16), Leon Draisaitl (30)||2-2|
|14:02||Florida||Henrik Borgstrom (4) ASST: Bogdan Kiselevich (8), Mike Hoffman (19)||3-2|
|19:52||Edmonton||Connor McDavid (26) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (31), Alex Chiasson (6)||3-3|
|Edmonton||Goal – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins|
|Florida||Missed – Jonathan Huberdeau|
|Edmonton||Goal – Connor McDavid|
|Florida||Missed – Aleksander Barkov|
— TheUnknownTech (@TheUnknownTech) January 11, 2019
The Oilers being outshot 2:1 by the Panthers does not make me feel comfortable about our playoff chances.
— Matt Henderson (@Archaeologuy) January 11, 2019
— ??♀️ Elle ???? (@EastSideElle) January 11, 2019
We all figured FLA was going to score there, right?
— Mike (@tpr0012) January 11, 2019
Suck it Floreda pic.twitter.com/ARuXOJcvb6
— Lucas??McCanada (@McCanada2112) January 11, 2019
REAL LIFE PODCAST
Welcome, friends, to the very first Nation Real Life episode of 2019! This week, we recap the Christmas and New Years break, look at the Real Life staff sightings in the wild, Wanye’s adventures in social media, and try to figure out what’s going on with the Edmonton Oilers.
Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 1/10/2019 – 9:45 pm MST