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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



  • 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.

  • Gary

    We beat Buffalo. We beat Buffalo. We beat Buffalo. Wait, what, we were outshot 43-25. We beat Buffalo. Holy smokes how quickly I have turned from a serial season pumped up ticket holder to someone that really dislikes this organization. I seriously do, I hate every thing about this ownership group. all of em. Bring Slats back.

  • Oilers_1978

    Congrats oilers…please play like this except for tha turnovers against van and calg..

    Fire pc and please someone steal his phone…i am afraid what a disastrous trade he is going to make?????

  • Axe

    great win, Mcdavid looked awesome out there..so happy for Lucic and kassian …Wednesday’s game against the Canucks will tell us a lot about this team!! Please Chia don’t set us even further behind with a dumb big trade!!

  • Consultant

    Oiler players heard Chia was taking calls again, fear, panic and desperation drove them to the win.
    “Listen boys, we lose and this idiot is gonna to make a trade, we know he is capable of anything except winning a trade, it’s a must win, come on boys!”

    • 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.

    • 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!

          • 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?

          • 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.

  • Prairiechicken

    Reminded me of when Vancouver had 4 goals on their first 6 shots against us a month a while ago
    Between that and their putrid power play … that was a rough night for sabres fans. We can relate.

  • OilersBro

    Simply put, we win games when guys crash the net. A couple of greasy goals this game, and a 4-0 win against Anaheim the same way. We don’t have a lot of snipers so get big bodies crashing the net and taking up space for screens and weird bounces.

  • Oiler Al

    So that’s what secondary scoring looks like! Good job.Kuddos to Koskinen, played solid. McDavid could play this game on one leg and still score.[funny breakaway].

  • Odanada

    A great and glorious win with secondary scoring leading the way.
    But it’s very hard not to view this as an outlier, and if this spurs management to endorse Chia to trade away the future to drive for the playoffs with this roster, then I can’t help but think that it would be a fools errand.
    Chia’s record speaks for itself and quite frankly, about the only thing ON agrees on is that Chia should already have been fired. To trade picks/young talent for players aged 30+ would just further demonstrate that management does not know how to run a successful team in 2019. To trust Chia to engineer that trade shows a decided lack of managerial acumen and a level of desperation that is jaw dropping.
    The new GM should be the guy to decide what to do with our assets, not the guy who has continually wet the bed without shame while his boss looked the other way.
    A great and glorious win.
    I watched the whole game and was happy for Kosko, Looch, Kass and the team. But I am not blinded to the realities of this season and the continual display of mismanagement.
    Chia still has to go – and so does his boss. The only deal I would allow them to make is the attempted T-deadline trade of Lucic – a straight contract dump. Let’s not kid ourselves; this game was an outlier. If we can pump up Looch’s tires and ship him elsewhere at the deadline, it will likely benefit everyone – including Milan.
    Sure it would be great to watch them slip into the post season and knock off Calgary, but does anybody think they’ll make a good run for the Cup? Time for a real hockey man with a real plan to take over this listing ship.

  • DraiCup

    So much fun to watch Connor having his way with the Sabres defense. both defensive lines had weak showings though.
    Mikko saving the day in the first we capitalzed on our chances.
    I could see Talbot go at the deadline but not sure if it’s a good idea. Man, I wouldn’t wanna be the GM of this team atm

      • QuitForRealThisTime

        Oilers D is still “injured”….fixed. Klef and Sekera are (or ‘were’ in Sekera’s case I suppose) kind of major parts for this D. Not a world beating D but a decent one when healthy.

  • TKO

    I really hope the Oilers pull it together. i mean, everyone around them are faltering so if they dont make the playoffs it would be shocking. But i wouldn’t get to excited about the touchdown against Buffalo, because for whatever reason they just didn’t have a defensive game plan and were atrocious in their own end. this game was a gimme, but hopefully fires up the oil to finally put some damn effort into it!

  • camdog

    Just need to limp er in until All Star break. Klefbom well come back and the core we’ll be refreshed. Hopefully PC doesn’t make any trades in that time that handicap the team.

  • dsanchez1973

    Why is Draisaitl playing over 21 minutes and Nurse over 24 minutes in a game that was completely decided early in the third period? These guys couldn’t have used a little extra rest?

  • I thought Benning was not very good in the game. Two dumb penalties. And near the end of the game, Benning had the puck on the Sabres blue line and instead of passing to Connor who was begging for the puck: “Benny!”, the d-man dumped it into the corner. He was getting worked on the boards and in battles.

    What happened to this guy?

  • Of the remaining games, the schedule is a little easier as far as competition.
    Better teams: 16
    Worse teams: 20

    Assuming they beat all the worse teams, that’s 40 max points. They have 47 now. 87 points is not enough (89 minimum to make playoff Wildcard spot). They are going to have to have at least 22 wins and 14 losses (.610).

    Sorry guys, I just don’t think the odds are good when they’re a .500 team. When Klefbom and Sekera return, maybe the odds improve, but

    The honest best scenario for the future is:
    –Chiarelli is fired now
    –Don’t trade 1st round pick
    –Don’t trade Puljujarvi or Yamamoto for a rental
    –Trade Talbot for a good and cheaper backup goalie, if not, don’t trade him (who you gonna get to replace him?)
    –Sign Chiasson and Kassian before trade deadline or rent them for picks and sign them Jul 1
    –Trade Rieder, Spooner, Benning, Manning
    –They don’t make the playoffs and Chiarelli is fired for sure