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GDB 45.0 Wrap Up: Finding new ways to lose, Oilers fall 3-2 to the Coyotes

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.

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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 wrap.

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

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  • 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.

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
06:46 Edmonton Connor McDavid (27) ASST: Ty Rattie (6) 0-1

2ND PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
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

3RD PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
01:54 Arizona PPG – Conor Garland (8) ASST: Clayton Keller (22), Alex Galchenyuk (17) 3-2

#GOOD CONTENT

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OILERSNATION RADIO

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.

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Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 1/12/2019 – 11:00 pm MST


  • Stickhandler

    Oil could be in a real pickle if we lose to yotes in OT tonight, i almost hope but highly unlikely it happens cause we got a deep, heart and soul team, and Van wins too.

  • camdog

    I’m pretty sure Cagguila and Strome have more goals combined than our entire bottom 6. I used to do the math to confirm but as Chia would say “math is hard, go with the gut.”

    Problem with the forward group is that after the top 3-4 is they have no identity. It’s not just that they don’t score. They aren’t tough, they aren’t fast, they aren’t skilled, they aren’t gritty, they aren’t defensive specialists, they aren’t positionally strong.

    Worst part is I don’t see the group underperforming. Some of the younger guys will figure it out in a year or 2. Some won’t. Some of the veterans would be able to perform better in a different system, but for the most part there’s half a dozen that probably don’t play in the NHL for another team.

    There just doesn’t seem to be a plan with the forward group. Lucic’s game gave caved over a year ago. Seems like the plan was to cross PC’s fingers and hope he got it back, just like with Sekera.

    • Big Nuggets

      I hear you on the ‘no identity’ comment. It’s sort of a mixed bag of players, some of which are more suited for the AHL. Although I think the forwards are taking the blame for the lack of scoring depth when its not really their fault. I reckon defense is like the foundation of a team and this defense has a serious lack of skill. You can’t build a team game on top of such a weak defense. It also doesn’t help that there is no real 3rd line center. With a healthy defense and a legit 3rd line center I think the scoring depth would emerge.

      Pete’s moves this season have really dug the screws into the coffin. The Spooner deal in hindsight has not worked out. Strome right now would be many times more useful. The Manning deal was awful from the start. I can’t get over Chia going after Manning of all players. The guy that injured McDavid and admitted to doing it on purpose. The angriest I have ever seen McDavid was after that Manning b.s. and Chia decides he wants to bring that guy to the team. I swear a random guy on the street would do a better job than Chia.

  • Stickhandler

    the fluff you fans were fed following their lucky year 2 years ago has to increase the sense of hopelessness, embarrassment and despair you feel over this “team”. Quit buying that orange koolaid and join JG and crew and start drinking purple gatorade.

  • Schmidt Head

    Couple of thoughts……

    Luck? What is luck?

    I’ll tell you. Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. In this case, the preparation was hard work;… on the part of the Coyotes… the opportunity was the sloppy, lousy, disinterested play of the Oilers.

      • Quoteright

        Talent and effort are not the only Ingredients in success. You have to believe.
        Also it’s the blender that is always on full tilt that would make chemistry difficult.

    • Clayton

      I get tired of people complaining that other teams get all the luck. How many Draft Lotteries did the Oil win? Talk about luck. The two ‘lucky’ goals last night consist of a forward going to the net, yes, the puck bounced off him twice and into the net, but both goals he was pretty much in the paint. Sometimes you create your own luck. And…for the record the off the face goal likely was going in without the facial deflection.

  • Abagofpucks

    The team isn’t losing because of coaching and it’s not losing because of goaltending, its the lack of talent in the bottom 2/3s of the team. Most of this team just simply can’t get it done due to talent issues. And its not there fault there not that good they are what they are. The problem is management, that’s who brought them in and that’s where the problem lies. Until that OMG changes, this team will never be a team that can win.

  • Abagofpucks

    Hitchcock is a great coach and we are lucky to have him. Their isn’t a coach in the league that could turn this bunch into a playoff team. And i’m pretty sure Hitch would say it too but Katz would fire him if he actually came out and said it. I believe he wont sign on next year anyway because this team is screwed up at the management level. PC did this with the blessing of the other idiots running the team, and we know who they are.

  • Prairiechicken

    I’ll never complain about going to the rink with my kids … but man … I kinda wish I would have promised to take them to the water park today instead of the Skills competition.

  • nijames

    I can’t believe I just read both he Sun and the Journal and nobody is whining about the Ref’s picking on McDavid. A refreshing change, when can we as Oiler fans just accept that other teams out work us and earn their pay cheques. Connor certainly earns his but after that the picking are slim.

  • NailsBomb

    Chia can’t take all the blame. Most of it but not all of it. How are our Pro-Scouts still employed? Swing and a miss on practically every trade in the past few years it’s obvious that they’re not providing adequate insight. (just found out 1 of them is Messier’s brother…. It’s all starting to make sense now)

    • Clayton

      I agree. I laugh when people complain about the Oilers missing out on drafting Barzal and people point out Oilers were not going to draft him there anyways…nice work scouting team!!!

  • The Immortal

    how the hell does rattie get a glowing review? his assist on connors goal was a fluke and he ended the game on the bench.. i feel like the old guy on zoolander

  • BabyBoomer

    before players … we need a major shake down at the senior management level …. not dissimilar to what the Leafs did a few years back … until then, same old, same old.

  • Big Jacks Meat

    We need a GM with the same vision as Hitch. I know little , but I trust this coach. Speaking of vision Chia ? I have a vision , of you leaving town never to be heard from again in the NHL World.

    • Serious Gord

      Hitch is a throwback. We are the only team left that would hire him. He’s got the fundamentals down better than tmc and tactically he is far better but he’s yesterday’s man.

  • OILERSORDEATH

    F$%k the Lames and their lucky BS season, don’t worry you will come back to reality. I’d be crying too if I had to rely on a kid named Jenny and a 50 year old Dman! Lolololo!!

    • Clayton

      Lol! Yea, except ‘Jenny’ has the same number of points as Captain ‘OverPaid’ McDavid and gets paid half as much! And that 50 year old defenceman, well he is only 3rd in scoring from defencemen, has nearly twice as many points as the best Oilers DMan, and he happens to lead the league in +/-, so he must be able to play the D thing pretty decently too. On top of all that he epitomizes what a Captain is. He has 1000% the leadership that Connor has shown this year. The Oilers have $21M tied up with Leon and Connor. For $21M the Flames have ‘Jenny’, Monahan, Lindholm, and Giordano. Don’t get me wrong, I hate the Flames as much as the next guy, but want to see how to right the ship here, look at the blueprint down south for starters!

    • Serious Gord

      There has been much discussion of luck on this site of late. The flames are an excellent, balanced (and well-coached team) with significant depth. When opportunity comes their way they are able to capitalize.

      The oil are pretty much the opposite.

  • Big Jacks Meat

    I really don’t want to add insult to injury , but didn’t we give up a 2nd round draft pick because the Oilers hired Chia ? yeah , I bet most of us forgot. This just ticks me off even more. Bruins are still laughing I am sure.
    Can you believe that ? a second for this inept GM. Ok I need to go for a walk.