Oilers 3, Canucks 2 (SO) post-game Oil Spills: The Answer debate rages on

A win is a win. That one certainly wasn’t pretty, as the Oilers edged out the Pettersson-less Canucks in a shootout, but all that matters at this stage is the two points.

What happened?

This game was all about special teams. JJ Khaira opened up the scoring on the penalty kill when he broke the ankles of over half of Vancouver’s power-play unit with a couple of spin moves before going roof over Jacob Markstrom. Shortly after that, though, Vancouver tied the game by converting on that same power play.

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Before the end of the first period, Connor McDavid gave the Oilers a 2-1 lead with a gorgeous snipe over Markstrom on the power play.

The Canucks tied things up in the second on what would be the only even-strength goal of the game. They also almost went up 3-2 on another power-play goal, but, luckily enough, the call was reversed after an off-side challenge. After getting second life on that challenge, Mikko Koskinen was perfect. With a few seconds left in the game, Bo Horvat broke free and nearly broke everyone’s heart, but Koskinen stood tall.

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The overtime period was absolutely wild. The teams went back and forth, but neither could get a puck in the net. The Canucks almost had the win, but Darnell Nurse somehow managed to keep the puck out of the net with his skate. Leon Draisaitl would go up the ice on a breakaway immediately after, but he was stopped by Markstrom.

It took five rounds, but Alex Chiasson finally gave the Oilers the win with a snipe over Markstrom’s blocker side.

By the numbers

Like I said earlier, this was a special teams game. Both the Oilers and Canucks played very tight at even strength, especially in the third period. The Oilers did carry the game pretty handily when it came to possession, but actual scoring chances were split right down the middle.

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  • The third period of that game is exactly why the loser point needs to be killed. The league needs to either go to some kind of three points for a regulation win, two for an overtime win format, or they need to just go to wins and losses. The third period was painful to watch as both teams played the trap to earn themselves a guaranteed point. The three-on-three overtime period was excellent, and then it came to an end in an anti-climatic shootout. Obviously, the thing I care most about is the two points, but this game could have been a lot more exciting if the two teams were going for the win in the third or the overtime period was longer.
  • The formula for the Oilers is simple — allow no more than three goals. When the Oilers allow three or fewer goals, their record is 21-2-1. When they allow more than three goals, their record is 2-19-2. That’s an insane split. Basically, what it suggests is that Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl can bail the team out offensively only to an extent. The rest of the Oilers need to be able to shut the other team down in order to let their top gunners grind out a win.
  • The Answer debate rages on! Mikko Koskinen was absolutely perfect after Vancouver’s third goal was disallowed. He made a few big stops in the third when he had to, he was strong in the overtime (thanks a little to a big save from Darnell Nurse), and he was a rock in the shootout. But Alex Chiasson scored the shootout winner. So who’s The Answer?! Can it be both of them?!
  • I really, really hope the Oilers send both Jesse Puljujarvi and Kailer Yamamoto to the AHL. Neither is really helping the team win right now and the team isn’t helping their development. It’s a lose-lose situation. Puljujarvi played just six minutes last night and wasn’t noticeable at all in the third.

  • Cowbell_Feva

    Agreed 100%
    Send both the kids down. This is getting ridiculous how the Oilers mismanage their prospects.

    That Stat on the Oilers record when allowing 2 or less goals is frightening. Completely shows how pathetic the secondary scoring has been.

    Captain Obvious here, but Chiarelli better make a move to address these areas of weakness or the wildcard spot will be a pipedream

      • Redbird62

        The fraternity of Stanley Cup winning GM’s is quite small, and the fact that Chiarelli has won one and that within 2 years of taking over the Oilers (I concede he and the team were gifted McDavid) the team went from constantly being well below the playoff cut line to within one game of a conference final. In all facets of life, good past performance will always be given more rope. And its Katz’ money so he, with input from Nichols and perhaps others ultimately gets to decide how long that rope is. I suspect, unless there are really extenuating circumstances, that the rope does not extend past this season if the Oilers miss the playoffs.

  • Ra-bet

    Yea they definitely need to send the boys back down( for the rest of the year). Put Rattie back in and acquire Ferland or one of the other wingers available. Rattie is quick and can make great passes. His finish isn’t the best but it’s better then an undeveloped 20 yr old any day of the week.

  • Vanoil

    Seriously? Yamo got to play with Nuge and Lucic, and Nuge was being double shifted at times. Take Lucic off that line and give Yamo and nuge a positive possession player with speed and skill — Reider? Maybe then Yamo will be productive. I was at the game last night and it was painful having to watch Yamo skate 200 both ways to cover for Lucic b/c he was the rookie on the line. Not fair to expect a tired kid pick-up the slack and then some on that line. As for PJ 100% agree with you. There was a reason he only played 6 minutes last night. He and Brodziak fared better on the bench than on the ice.

    • Cowbell_Feva

      I didn’t see Yamamoto push the needle at all.
      Tried to force passes and clearly gets knocked around. I’m not about to say Lucic is great. But he did start a rush from his own end with a few nice moves and then hit Yamamoto at their blueline….where the rookie had 27 going to the net he fired a hope pass 4 feet ahead of Nuge and the play turned the other way and 27 beat Yamamoto back on the forecheck.

      I think he needs a good year in the AHL to mature and get stronger.

  • HelpMeBabyJesus

    Desperation means more pain is coming our way. Chia will not be able to make a deal to shore up the forwards from a position of strength so he will lose the deal. Trading Yamamoto makes the most sense.

  • Killer Marmot

    I agree that the current points system encourage conservative play. It’s to a team’s advantage to be in as many overtime games as possible, even if it loses most of them. And the best way to make it to overtime is to be in a low-scoring game.

    Not a recipe for excitement.

  • Gravis82

    Lets just change the seeding system for one year to total goals scored. Team that scores the most goals in a season gets seeded 1st place. That would be fun.