Special teams disaster. Final Score: 5-4 Flyers in OT
I’m not going to lie to you guys, I was very nervous about how this thing was going to go. With the Oilers playing their first game after the bye week and the Flyers rolling all week long, it was hard to imagine things going all that smoothly for our boys. In my head, I was thinking of a team that likely needed time to shake off some rust while trying to make it happen against an opponent that is red hot right now. Combine those two facts and you don’t exactly have the makings of a tasty burrito. So when the Flyers opened the scoring on their first shot of the game, I wasn’t exactly brimming with sunshiney feelings, ya know? The crazy thing, though, is that the Flyers scoring first wasn’t at all a reflection of how the game actually started. No, it’s never ideal to fall back by an early goal but the Oilers didn’t let that affect them, instead, they kept the hammer down and basically pinned Philadelphia in their own zone with relentless pressure. To put it lightly, I was feeling hopeful.
After wrapping up the best first period we’ve seen in months, I was very interested to see how the Oilers would follow it up. We’ve all seen periods where we thought that the Oilers played well, but this one felt different. This time, the Oilers were as engaged and energized as we’ve seen in recent memory and I was desperately hoping that they could keep that going for the full 60 minutes. While the Oilers weren’t able to suffocate the Flyers in the second and third periods as they did in the first, they didn’t just roll over either. They still got their chances and they did a decent job of keeping Philly under wraps at even strength. In fact, I thought they were playing well enough to pull out a win despite the Flyers finding ways to grind their way back into the game. With the Oilers carrying a one goal lead into the third period, giving themselves the chance to come back from the break on a high note, I thought that all they needed to do was stay out of the box. If they could do that then they’d be alright. Unfortunately, keeping the game at even strength was too tall a task and a special teams disaster wiped out what should have been a great win. This one stings.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Ty Rattie tied the game up at one apiece after Milan Lucic sprung him on a breakaway and he made a nice little backhand play to beat Hart down low. Rattie hadn’t scored in 21 games and I can’t think of a better time to end that drought than today in Philly. Great finish by Rattie.
- Fresh haircut, same results for Connor McDavid as he registered his 30th goal of the season on an absolutely beautiful play by the captain. From where he started in his own zone to where he finished, Connor was basically wearing a couple of Flyers like a cape but he still managed to find some space and snipe a beautiful wrister past Hart to give the Oilers their first lead of the game.
- Adam Larsson gave the Oilers a two-goal lead with his second goal of the season off of a beautiful shot that beat the goalie high over the blocker side. Larsson took a nice pass at the top of the circle with all kinds of time, and he used the space to fire a perfectly placed shot into the upper half of the net. Really nice puck movement by the Oilers and a better finish from Larsson a day after the anniversary of his father’s passing. That’s a great moment that I’m sure he will remember for a long time.
- Zack Kassian had a really nice game today and I wanted to give him a shoutout for it before he even scored the shorthanded goal that temporarily restored the Oilers two-goal lead. Kassian was great all night tonight and I was pumped to see the guy get rewarded for his efforts because he was hustling all game long. Kass finished with two points on the day and it’s almost unlucky that he wasn’t able to get more based on how well he played.
- Cam Talbot got the start today and I was really interested to see how he’d do given the break and realization that he’s likely playing for a job elsewhere. I thought he played well enough to win, but he, along with his teammates, was a nightmare on the special teams and that ended up being the difference. I don’t know why this team looked so different at 5-on-5 than they did when up or down a man, but that ended up being their downfall. Talbot finished with 34 saves and a .872 save%.
- Today’s assist moves Jujhar Khaira up into sixth place in Oilers’ team scoring. Honestly, I’m reaching for bright sides right now and I thought JJ was a good place to start.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Sean Couturier opened the scoring for the Flyers as he finished off a tic-tac-toe passing play that completely dissected the Oilers’ PK box. All Couturier had to do was keep his stick on the ice and he had a tap-in.
- Claude Giroux pulled the Flyers back within a single goal after he blew a slapshot past Talbot from the high circle. Giroux’s goal was the second power play goal of the afternoon for Philly and it was especially frustrating to see them execute with the man advantage, something the Oilers were unable to do.
- Only 27 seconds after Zack Kassian’s shorthanded goal, Travis Konecny answered for the Flyers with their third power play goal of the game. Lindblom picked up a loose puck just outside the crease and fed it across to a waiting Konecny who made no mistake when it got to him.
- No OT goal was more obvious than the one Nolan Patrick scored to end this thing. The Flyers were all over the Oilers in the bonus period and it really seemed like only a matter of time before they were able to score the winner, and when it finally came, I doubt anyone that watched was surprised. Brutal finish.
- The power play was a gigantic problem today. That’s not to say that the Oilers looked completely ineffective with the man advantage, they didn’t, but it really would have done a world of good to get something done when they had the chance.
- Wayne Simmonds tied the game up at four apiece with the Flyers’ fourth power play goal of the afternoon with less than nine minutes left to play, and at that point, I really had no idea how this thing was going to turn out, though, the scales were certainly tipped in Philadelphia’s direction.
- I don’t really have to talk about how bad the penalty kill was today, do I? Flyers went 4/5 with the man advantage and, in my opinion, is the biggest reason they were able to win. Special teams matter and the Oilers were a disaster.
- Refs were shit again but whatever.
- No Klefbom today. Boo. Anyone else miss him like I do?
- Of course I have to eat beets again. Why not? As always, you can join in on the #BeetCast win cast conversation over on my Twitter account.
|03:10||Philadelphia||PPG – Sean Couturier (20) ASST: Jakub Voracek (32), Claude Giroux (39)||0-1|
|08:03||Edmonton||Ty Rattie (3) ASST: Milan Lucic (8)||1-1|
|17:33||Edmonton||Connor McDavid (30) ASST: Zack Kassian (5), Jujhar Khaira (13)||2-1|
|08:19||Edmonton||Adam Larsson (2) ASST: Kevin Gravel (3), Connor McDavid (45)||3-1|
|16:54||Philadelphia||PPG – Claude Giroux (16) ASST: Shayne Gostisbehere (16), Jakub Voracek (33)||3-2|
|04:07||Edmonton||SHG – Zack Kassian (6)||4-2|
|04:34||Philadelphia||PPG – Travis Konecny (14) ASST: Oskar Lindblom (11), Sean Couturier (23)||4-3|
|11:02||Philadelphia||PPG – Wayne Simmonds (16) ASST: Claude Giroux (40), Jakub Voracek (34)||4-4|
|02:01||Philadelphia||Nolan Patrick (10) ASST: James van Riemsdyk (11), Travis Sanheim (13)||4-5|
The in-game host at the Flyers just called McDavid, “Connor McGregor”….
I cannot believe this blasphemy. #Oilers
— Gloria Korlou (@LordGloria1) February 2, 2019
If Nuge bounced Carter back that much I’d be tying him down in a wind storm
— Rick Weidemann (@RPW_1832) February 2, 2019
Connor Metta World McDavid just is something else
— Avry's Sports Show (@Avry) February 2, 2019
— Woodguy (@Woodguy55) February 2, 2019
Adam Larsson posted this on Instagram earlier today and then he goes and scores: pic.twitter.com/ymYyr6PKtS
— Tyler Yaremchuk (@tyleryaremchuk) February 2, 2019
Nurse has figured out a way to hold a guy's jersey and still punch him in the face. The guy's an artist. #LetsGoOilers
— Andrew Grose (@GroseAndrew) February 2, 2019
I am thinking that with a PK that sucks this hard STOP TAKING PENALTIES!
— Anthony Flynn (@anthonyjflynn) February 2, 2019
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Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 2/2/2019 – 2:00 pm MST