You needed that one, gentlemen. Final Score: 3-2 Coyotes
Looking at the schedule leading up to the All-Star break, the Oilers have some winnable games ahead of them that they can hopefully build upon as they continue their quest to get back into the playoffs. The first step was to beat the Coyotes. When these teams last met, Mikko Koskinen gave his team some stellar goaltending and the big boys on the first line put up three goals, finally snapping the six-game losing streak that was a miserable end to an up-and-down month of December. It may not have been the perfect win that hockey scholars will study for years to come, but the boys did what needed to be done to walk away with two points. They needed another one like that. Even though the Oilers squeaked out the victory against the Panthers on Thursday, it wasn’t exactly the prettiest close you’ll ever see and I was hoping for something a little bit more comfortable tonight against the Coyotes. I was hoping for a little more breathing room. Maybe something like a casual three-goal victory kind of night, ya know?
So when the Oilers opened the scoring midway through the first period on a nice little play from Ty Rattie and Connor McDavid, I felt like my dreams of a Saturday night spent enjoying an Oilers win were about to come true. I thought that we were off to the races. But the Coyotes wouldn’t go away. Instead of folding as a result of the early McGoal, the Coyotes kept pushing forward. Despite the injuries, their dogged determination and effort were noticeable all night long and it was that resilience that ended up being what they needed to overcome the losses in personnel. In other words, they made their own luck. And yeah, the optimist could say that two of the goals that beat Talbot came from lucky bounces, but the bigger point is that the Coyotes were willing to get greasy and do what was needed to earn their opportunities. Rather than handling a depleted opponent, this thing turned into a disaster for the Oilers as they get shutout in the standings and lose a game that they desperately needed.
At the end of the day, the Coyotes simply outworked the home side, got some lucky bounced as a result, and ended up with a win that they deserved. Frankly, I’m not sure that there’s enough Axe Body Spray on earth to cover up the stink from this one.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Connor McDavid was his usual ‘destroyer of worlds’ self tonight and it was fun to watch him put on a clinic against the Coyotes defenders with his ability to generate speed with the puck. The captain opened the scoring for the Oilers after Ty Rattie flipped saucered a pass towards where he was going and Connor was able to catch up to it in the Coyotes zone before burying it past Kuemper.
- After a tough giveaway that led to the Jordan Oesterle’s game-tying goal, Kris Russell redeemed himself with a huge goal late in the second period that evened things up at two after he picked up a centring feed from RNH and draining it with Kuemper out of position.
- Thursday night’s game against the Panthers wasn’t the prettiest start Cam Talbot will ever have, but he found a way to outduel James Reimer at the other end and close out a win for his team. It was an up and down game and, to his credit, Talbot managed to make enough saves to get the two points. Talbot didn’t get that same luck tonight. While I wouldn’t hang this loss on him, the entire team looked disengaged for most of the night, I’m not going to pretend like 26 saves on 29 shots and a .897 save% is a good thing either. Tough luck leads to a tough start. I’m guessing Koskinen will be back in against Buffalo.
- It was another big minute night for Darnell Nurse as the defender put up a whopping 27:58 on the ice to go along with four shots on net, three hits, one block, and an even +/- rating. Very nice night for Darryl. It will be nice when Klefbom is back and came spread out of the responsibilities, but Nurse had another fine outing of filling in tonight.
- Shout out to Ty Rattie for making the most of his opportunity to play alongside Connor McDavid after being a healthy scratch on Thursday night against Florida. I thought Rattie looked good back up in the spot that was once his during the Todd McLellan era, and he was rewarded with a nice assist on Connor McDavid’s first period marker.
- Ilya Lyubuskin is a fun name to say.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Getting outshot and outworked by a team that’s missing seven of their regulars is absolutely embarrassing. Shocking effort at home. This marks the 14th time in their last 15 games that the Oilers have been outshot.
- Are you surprised that former Oiler Jordan Oesterle was the one to open the scoring for the Arizona Coyotes? You’re not, are you? The whole play started after a brutal giveaway by Kris Russell behind the net that led to the Coyotes maintaining zone control and the eventual goal by Oesterle from the point.
- Conor Garland gave the Coyotes the lead in the worst possible way. Garland got knocked down in the crease by Adam Larsson and, as he was getting up, the incoming puck hit him the face before bouncing into the net. That’ll be one of the toughest goals he’ll ever score. Yikes. After getting 10 stitches as a result of the using his face as deflecting device, Conor Garland came back in the third period with another power play goal after he drove to the net and had the puck bounce off of his skate and into the net. How about a night when the kid gets two goals without actually shooting the puck?
- Arizona went 2/2 on the penalty kill tonight and it’s tough to win like that. I know that Garland scored both goals with lucky bounces but still…
- The NHL site had the giveaways listed at 18-8 for the Oilers and I believe it. They were turning the puck over like giving it away is literally the point of the game.
- Tobias Rieder may never score again. I never would have seen this coming.
- Did Brandon Manning play tonight? No, no he did not. Chia’s on it. Somehow this guy gets to keep his job and that is shocking.
- They needed to win that hockey game. Gross. As always, you can join in on the #BeetCast conversation over on my Twitter account.
|06:46||Edmonton||Connor McDavid (27) ASST: Ty Rattie (6)||0-1|
|01:16||Arizona||Jordan Oesterle (3) ASST: Lawson Crouse (4), Mario Kempe (2)||1-1|
|03:08||Arizona||PPG – Conor Garland (7) ASST: Jordan Oesterle (7), Alex Galchenyuk (16)||2-1|
|17:00||Edmonton||Kris Russell (2) ASST: Zack Kassian (4), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (26)||2-2|
|01:54||Arizona||PPG – Conor Garland (8) ASST: Clayton Keller (22), Alex Galchenyuk (17)||3-2|
What did we do to deserve Connor McDavid
— Adam (@OilersAdam) January 13, 2019
I wish we scored off our faces
— Wanye (@WanyeGretz) January 13, 2019
ERRYDAY WE RUSSELLIN
— Tim (@Timmah780) January 13, 2019
Nugent-Hopkins, playing on a line with Kassian and Lucic, sets up Kris Russell for the tying goal.
— Rob Tychkowski (@Rob_Tychkowski) January 13, 2019
At least the #Oilers are losing in the most creative ways.
— Courtney Theriault (@cspotweet) January 13, 2019
Beet-free for [ 0 ] game(s).@jsbmbaggedmilk
— Anthony Flynn (@anthonyjflynn) January 13, 2019
This week, things get heated when we start going through Peter Chiarelli’s handiwork and the refs blatant disregard for player safety, but then cooler heads prevail when we break down Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ 500 games with the Oilers and Milan Lucic finally breaking his slump.
Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 1/12/2019 – 11:00 pm MST