92

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.

The wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

  • 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.

THE FACE PALMERS

  • 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.

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
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

2ND PERIOD

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

3RD PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
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

#GOODCONTENT

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

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.


Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 1/14/2019 – 10:00 pm MST



          • Big Nuggets

            This is the problem with the trade ideas, getting a player looking for his final payday contract is not what the Oilers need to be doing right now. I would like Laughton from Philly. still young, will probably round into a great 3rd line center, maybe 2nd line. If they would take Puljujarvi for Laughton I would have to consider it. Puljujarvi has the high potential but it’s not translating.

            I seem to be the only one that thinks a 3rd line center would be more valuable than a scoring winger. I think the bottom 6 wingers would have more success with a quality center. Khaira could move back onto Nuge’s wing, maybe Spooner could get his groove back if there was stability at center. It would help players find their roles instead of always being shuffled around trying to find some combination that doesn’t bleed shots against.

          • DraiCup

            like that guy named Strome from the Rangers f.e. 😉
            Actually I agree the oilers need younger talent with term but then again every team is on the lookout for these kind of players. Talbot is expiring so a decision has to be made…do you trade him or let his contract expire. Might as well take a gamble on someone like Simmonds who is also expiring.
            I know… Poopoopanties was a first rounder and he’s 20. Caleb Jones is 21 and he was a 3rd rounder…you know where I’m getting at….what contract are you giving Poopanty in the summer? 2 mill for how many years of hope he develops?

    • Ted

      That smells of MacTavish … He tried getting Simmonds once before! …. Not sure about moving Pizza out yet but please do package Talbot along his play has increased my level of anxiety. He’s not a number one!

    • The Whispererer

      Right; because we need a 30 year old $4 million forward whose game is in decline and is UFA this summer at 31 years old more than we need a 20 year old who could have a Simmonds-like career ahead of him.
      Talbot for Simmonds straight up sounds about right.

      • Kelly Youngblood

        I don’t like the idea of including Puljujarvi in that deal either, but its the rumour. If Edmonton could get back a second round pick or convince Philly to take Spooner or Manning that’d make losing him a bit easier to swallow.

        • Todd the electron rod

          Remember when the keys to the franchise were handed over to some youngsters who were highly touted but hadn’t proven a thing at the NHL level? You might remember them as “The core”. The future even.
          Taylor, Jordan, Ryan. 6 years at $6 million. How did that work out?
          If all you are selling me on Pizza is potential I am not buying.
          Put up or shut up. No NHL numbers? Well then no NHL dollars.

  • KootenayDan

    The Sabres are not a good team neither are the Oilers. I am not even sure what we were watching tonight but I was happy for Kassian and Looch they played a good game. Benning is a train wreck and Manning is worse. Connor is just an unreal player fun to watch.