That. Was. Ugly. Final Score: 3-2 Red Wings
With this being the last game before the All-Star Break, the Oilers needed to do everything in their power to put together three solid periods and end the night with a win. They needed to hit the ice like their literal balls were on the line and use that horrible fear as motivation to propel them forward with endless tenacity. Seeing as the Detroit Red Wingers are ranked dead last in the NHL right now, I didn’t think that expecting a win is an unreasonable ask, though we have been fooled before. The first step in my masterplan was to make sure not to allow a goal on the first shot of the game again, and when that hurdle was cleared I felt like we were already off to a better start. When they made it all the way through a full period without allowing a goal against, I actively chose to ignore the fact that Detroit is in last place in the league and instead and embraced the idea of a possible win. It only took a scoreless period but the Oilers once again found a way to lift my spirits and shine a little bit of light back into the strange and dark relationship that we have going on.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite so easy to forget that Detroit is in last place when they opened the scoring with a questionable goal in the first few minutes of the second period. And it was certainly at the front of my mind when they extended their lead to two goals only a few minutes later. Uninspired and generally disappointing in every way, the Oilers played this game like they were already off on vacation and only showed up because they were being paid to be there. Even when they managed to get a goal and drag themselves back in the fight, they allowed themselves to fall apart almost instantly and it sabotaged their own comeback attempt. Outside of actually outshooting their opponent for once, I’m having a hard time finding positives in what we just watched. I don’t know how the Oilers managed to look so horrible against a team that they should be every single night, but they are the sultans of surprise and will always come up with new and interesting ways to lose.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Leon Draisaitl gave the Oilers some hope after Darnell Nurse’s point shot rebounded right to him at the side of the net and he pumped it into the open cage. How anyone can honestly believe that Draisaitl is part of the problem with this team is beyond me, but I’m certainly thankful to have him.
- Matt Benning pulled the Oilers to within one after he clapped home a late goal from the high slot that made its way through traffic and over a fallen Jimmy Howard. Benning scored with just enough time to give us hope that the comeback was possible and I bit hard on the hope.
- The penalty kill was arguably one of the best parts of the hockey game, and it’s almost a shame that the Oilers couldn’t play the entire game down by a man. They finished the night killing off all three penalties they took.
- Could this be the game that gets Peter Chiarelli fired? Dare to dream, friends. Dare to dream. Sleep tightly tonight and say your prayers.
- The Oilers won 55% of the faceoffs they took and they did a great job using all of that extra possession time they got as a result… okay so maybe none of that happened but they did win more draws than they lost! Yay?! Anyone?
- I bet Todd McLellan is having fun being paid to NOT have to coach this mess.
- Sensing that I was feeling down, Miss Milk walked into the room with a bowl of fresh guac and its silky goodness was literally the highlight of my entire evening.
- WIN, BUDDY! As always, you can join in on the #BoozeNotBeets win cast conversation over on my Twitter account.
THE FACE PALMERS
- What is it going to take to get this management team out of here? Holy f***.
- It is absolutely disgraceful how flat the Oilers came out tonight given the overall importance of this hockey game. Where was the passion? Where was the care factor?
- Dylan Larkin opened the scoring for the Wings early in the second period after he beat Koskinen with an outside shot that the goaltender is definitely going to want back. Larkin managed to sneak that one in from way outside and he had all kinds of space to work with.
- Luke Glendening extended the Wings’ lead to two goals only a few minutes later as took advantage of an Oilers team that seemed to have been lulled into some kind of trance. Glending added a second goal in the third period when he walked right past Brandon Manning like he was a pylon and sneaking a stinker between Koskinen and the post. To put it lighty, it was a horrible sequence. Clearly, there was a spell cast somewhere that allowed them to look so inept against a team so bad.
- The NHL site had the giveaways listed at 12-7 against the Oilers but I don’t buy that for one minute. The Oilers were giving up the puck like bagels at breakfast and there is no way that number is accurate.
- That first power play of the night was absolutely shocking to watch. The Oilers couldn’t connect on any of their passes, they gave up the puck at every turn, and they ended up cancelling the thing out by getting caught for too many men. I was hoping that things would improve as the night went on but getting better is the last thing that happened.
- A day after signing a contract worth $13.5 million, Mikko Koskinen was back between the pipes and looking to rebound after a tough weekend. Whether he was starting the game or coming in to relieve Talbot, Koskinen really didn’t get much help from the team in front of him and I was hoping that he wouldn’t have to be a one-man army tonight against Detroit. But like the team ahead of him, this wasn’t Koskinen’s best night as he’ll probably want two of Detroit’s goals back. That said, I’m certainly not hanging this loss entirely on his shoulders either because the team in front of him was absolutely gross. Koskinen finished the night 24 saves and a .897 save%.
|04:03||Detroit||Dylan Larkin (21) ASST: Gustav Nyquist (32), Tyler Bertuzzi (15)||1-0|
|10:01||Detroit||Luke Glendening (7) ASST: Darren Helm (7), Andreas Athanasiou (12)||2-0|
|04:31||Edmonton||Leon Draisaitl (27) ASST: Alex Chiasson (7), Darnell Nurse (18)||2-1|
|06:28||Detroit||Luke Glendening (8) ASST: Andreas Athanasiou (13), Filip Hronek (7)||3-1|
|17:34||Edmonton||Matt Benning (2) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (34), Connor McDavid (44)||3-2|
— oilspoils11 (@oilspoils11) January 22, 2019
I've seen enough. Leon Draisaitl is our new backup goaltender!
— Peter Chiarelli (@FakeOilersGM) January 23, 2019
“You have to lose to the worst to be the worst.” #Oilers proverb.
— Courtney Theriault (@cspotweet) January 23, 2019
True, but with all the trades Chiarelli has made, the oilers are also missing half their team
— Jerod (@J__Venne) January 23, 2019
I’ve never seen the same ship sink as much as this one. Hahaha what a lemon
— Ryan (@IAmByks) January 23, 2019
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Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 1/22/2019 – 10:00 pm MST