GDB 46.0 Wrap Up: All hail secondary scoring, Oilers win 7-2 over Buffalo

Everybody gets a goal! Final Score: 7-2 Oilers

After the horrific effort that we saw against the Coyotes on Saturday night, it was hard to imagine the Oilers being any worse tonight against the Sabres. Admittedly, it was a low bar to clear but I was confident the boys would be able to clear it. That said, trying harder wasn’t going to be enough. Buffalo has more scoring options than the depleted Coyotes do, and even if the Oilers managed a better effort than we got on Saturday, there were still going to be plenty of hurdles to clear if they were actually going to walk away with two points. They needed better goaltending, some kind of defensive plan to action, their best players to be exactly that, and, if they were really lucky, maybe a goal or two from someone other than McDraiNugeSson. It was a simple dream, but it was a beautiful one.

As you can imagine, my dream of watching a balanced Oilers win looked more like a nightmare when the Sabres scored on their first shot of the hockey game. But before I could even finish firing off a tweet to complain about another brutal start, Zack Kassian turned things around by potting a first shot goal of his own, evening up the score and setting the Oilers off on a run of three straight goals. To put it another way, the opening period of this hockey game was an emotional rollercoaster and all we could do was strap in and hope that the highs would outnumber the lows. But even when the Sabres broke the streak and pulled themselves back to within one, luck remained on the Oilers’ side as they continued their offensive onslaught despite being outshot overall. Goals were coming from everywhere, Koskinen was dialled in, and it was one of those nights where the Oilers were just not going to be beaten. The Sabres could have put 12 up on the board and the Oilers would have found a way to get 13 goals.

I don’t know why it is that some nights just go your way in sports, but the Oilers had one of them tonight. Despite the shots against, basically everything went their way and it was the kind of victory that I think every single one of us needed right now. We don’t get blowouts often so I’m sure as hell going to enjoy it when we do.

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The wrap.

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  • Only moments after the Sabres scored on their first shot of the game, Zack Kassian turned around and pulled off the same trick at the other end of the ice. I hadn’t even finished complaining about Sheary’s goal in this very wrap up before Kassian went and tied things up. Later on in the first period, Kassian got his second after he broke into the slot with Tobi Rieder on a 2-on-1, and he made no mistake when faced with the empty net. Nice pass by Rieder, nice finish by Kassian.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored his 15th goal of the year by being in the right place at the right time and having Caleb Jones’ shot bounce in off of him. It was the kind of goal that the Oilers have had going against them lately, and I was stoked to see them be on the right end of a bounce for once. Nuge finished the night with two points as he quietly continues his pace for the best season of his NHL career.
  • What do you get when you give Connor McDavid a clear breakaway from your own blue line? A goal. I mean, what else were you expecting? When I heard that Connor was sick for the skills competition yesterday, I was super nervous that he wasn’t going to be able to play today and I was unbelievably stoked to see him in the lineup. Without McDavid, the Oilers are a tire fire and I don’t know if I was ready to handle another McDavidless evening.
  • After going 42 games between goals, Milan Lucic didn’t have to wait nearly as long for his third as he intercepted the puck in the high slot and absolutely roofed a snapshot past Hutton, ending the goaltender’s night. Great solo effort, takeaway, and shot by the big man. Had enough? No you haven’t. Lucic scored AGAIN in the third period after he ripped a heavy shot that made its way through Ullmark’s legs and into the net for his fourth of the year. If Lucic can actually get himself going then he’s worth more to this team than any trade that Chiarelli can make right now.
  • Jealous about the wicked awesome scoring party that was going on around him, Leon Draisaitl joined in on the fun with a third-period power play goal that acted as the extra point on the touchdown. As per tradition, Connor McDavid set the play up and Leon was there to clean up the garbage and I loved every second of it.
  • Mikko Koskinen got back between the pipes for the first in a while, and I was really hoping that he’d be able to regain a little of that swagger that he had before the Christmas break. Outside of the first shot goal that literally made me laugh out loud, Mikko Koskinen was rock solid for the Oilers and a huge reason that they were able to win this hockey game. For the 15th time in 16 games, the Oilers were outshot again and had it not been for Koskinen then this game could have very easily gone the other way. Maybe if another shot or two found their way past him that the offensive outburst would never have happened, but I’m thankful we don’t have to worry about that as the Oilers got both the pitching and hitting they needed to win this one comfortably. Koskinen finished his night with 41 saves and a .953 save%.
  • That, right there, was another big night for Darryl on the back end as he finished the night with an assist, one shot, three hits, and two blocks in his 20:46 on the ice. Darnell Nurse now has 17 points in his last 19 games as he continues to ramp up his play in the absence of Oscar Klefbom.
  • Adam Larsson played a team-high 24:17 tonight and finished with an assist, one shot, three hits, and a block. Solid night for the Swede after a tough outing against the Coyotes on Saturday.
  • Who blogs for this website and likes when the Oilers win 56% of the faceoffs? That’s right. This guy does.
  • Big shout out to Carter Hutton. You do fine work, buddy.
  • That was a weird funkin’ win, but we’ll take it! As always, you can join in on the #BoozeNotBeets conversation over on my Twitter account.
Today is the anniversary of Fernando Pisani's legendary game five goal


  • Are you surprised that Conor Sheary scored on the Sabres’ first shot of the net? Probably not, right? Remember, that’s not a good thing to get used to having this happen. Fortunately, Kass did the same thing at the other end only moments later so it didn’t burn us too badly, but I wish I could figure out why this keeps happening to them.
  • Evan Rodrigues got the Sabres’ second goal on a perfectly executed dump a chase play that got the Oilers scrambling and unable to clear the zone. After the first clearing attempt was unsuccessful, the Sabres were able to recover the puck and feed it towards the slot where Rodrigues was waiting.
  • I really don’t like seeing the Oilers get outshot every night and this game marked the 14th time in 16 games that the Oilers have surrendered more than they’ve taken. Admittedly, a bunch of Buffalo’s shots were coming from the outside, but as we’ve seen over the last few games with all the weird deflection goals, sometimes you just need to throw the puck at the net for good things to happen. Buffalo outshot the Oilers 43-25 and I hope every player thanks Mikko Koskinen on their way out of the building.
  • I know it’s hard to be critical of a big win like that, and I don’t plan to be, but I do think that the Oilers gave the puck up too much tonight which certainly contributed to Buffalo’s bloated shot total. Specifically, I think the Oilers need to work on their breakout a little bit.
  • The idea that Pistol Pete Chiarelli is back in the trade market is absolutely terrifying. Elliotte Friedman reported tonight on the NHL Network that Jesse Puljujarvi and this year’s first rounder are both in play. I can wait to find out which Griffin Reinhart type that we get next! These are scary times, friends.
Building a starting line-up from the top one-season wonders in Edmonton Oilers history



01:00 Buffalo Casey Mittelstadt (7) ASST: Conor Sheary (11), Rasmus Dahlin (21) 1-0
02:33 Edmonton Zack Kassian (3) ASST: Kyle Brodziak (3), Tobias Rieder (8) 1-1
03:23 Edmonton Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (15) ASST: Caleb Jones (4) 1-2
04:28 Edmonton Zack Kassian (4) ASST: Tobias Rieder (9), Mikko Koskinen (1) 1-3
08:57 Buffalo Evan Rodrigues (3) ASST: Vladimir Sobotka (6), Rasmus Ristolainen (23) 2-3


00:24 Edmonton Connor McDavid (28) 2-4
04:49 Edmonton Milan Lucic (3) 2-5


03:50 Edmonton Milan Lucic (4) ASST: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (27), Adam Larsson (12) 2-6
05:16 Edmonton PPG – Leon Draisaitl (24) ASST: Connor McDavid (41), Darnell Nurse (17) 2-7


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

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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, 1/14/2019 – 10:00 pm MST

  • 50 Flex

    Lucic has the same amount of goals as James Neal. With 2 more points. And they have played the same amount of games. Who saw that coming at the 46 game mark?

    • Anton CP

      James Neal is the most overrated player for the last decade. Considering that he was dumped by Stars, Pens, Preds, then Knights and somehow the Flames believed that he is worth for 5.75m per.

      • crabman

        That “most overrated player” is having a bad season, and this might even be the beginning of the end for him, but to call a player who has scored 20 or more goals in all 10 of his NHL seasons isn’t overrated. He is one of the most consistent goal scorers in the last decade. Joining the Flames doesn’t change that.
        I will agree 100% that it is a bad contract. It looks to be exactly the same as the Lucic signing. Everyone expected some good years before it got really bad. But everyone expected it to be bad in the long run.

        • Anton CP

          If he is that good of a scorer then why is he easily replaced by all the former teams that he played for? Neal can score but none of the teams he left missed him at all. If you have followed Neal’s career that with all the talents he has that he is highly inconsistent. Even at the career year for him (81 points) that he has a 6-game pointless stretch and with 40 goals scored that only 4 are game winners. His number is deceiving because he can score but his points are largely not contributing to the team’s successes. Now the Flames is finding out the hard way that Neal doesn’t play defense.

          • crabman

            10 20 goal seasons don’t happen by accident. We are constantly told that scoring is the hardest thing to do in the NHL and he has done it for a decade. He is absolutely a complementary player but one heck of one. I can’t believe a fan of these Oilers, like myself, can look at his consistent scoring year after year and scoff at it. This years team is proof of just how hard it is to score in the this league.
            To call him the MOST overrated player in the last decade is just insane. I would argue that until a few years ago he was one of the more underrated players. no one bats an eye at a 20 goal season until you do it every year you have ever played in the best league in the world. There are lots of players that can put a few 20 goal.seasons in a row but 10 puts him with some pretty great company. Will he ever be a hall of famer? No. But to say he isn’t very good because he didn’t score enough game winners and has had slumps makes no sense to me. I will never argue that he is among the leagues elite, but he isn’t a bum either. Until this year he has been a plug and play, take it to the bank goal scorer and in a none cap league would not have changed teams as much as he has.

  • The older I get, the better I was...

    First game I’ve attended this year. Regardless of the skill level of the opponent it was just a fun game to be at. And the biggest reward had to be the huge smile on McDavids face when he scored on the break away. I think he’s earned a bit of fun and it was good to see the team enjoying itself for a change.