Most of that game looked like what I imagine a fart to taste like. Final Score: 5-2 Sharks
I’d be lying to everyone reading this if I said that I wasn’t nervous about how this hockey game was going to play out. The Sharks are rolling right now and they tagged the Oilers for a touchdown in each of their last two meetings and I was really not wanting to sit through a three-peat. That’s just not the best way to kick off a Saturday evening, ya know? Even with Klefbom back, the Oilers have a tendency for porous defending and that’s a recipe for disaster against a team with as many offensive weapons as San Jose can throw over the boards. If they were going to find a way to win then the Oilers were going to need everyone on the bench to elevate themselves and for the goaltending to be as good as it was against the Wild on Thursday. If they couldn’t get that done, the table was set for a fresh look at just how far away this team is from being a threat in the West, and I really wasn’t ready to sit through that movie again.
After working through a temporary stalemate in the opening minutes of the first period, the Sharks were able to open the scoring which took the crowd out early and put the Oilers in chase mode. Unfortunately, Edmonton’s pursuit mode must take a while to engage because rather than pushing back to try and tie things up, they ended up dropping a second goal only moments later. Frankly, had it not been for some luck and a few big saves then this game would have been over before the first period was over, though, if we’re being honest, it’s not like things got much better from there. From start to finish, it was depressing to watch the Oilers struggle to counterpunch against a team that is noticeably fighting at a higher weight class than them. Even when the Oilers managed to get themselves on the board, they were never truly in the fight. At best, this was a lopsided victory. At worst, this was a game where we all knew in our heart of hearts what the outcome would be before the game even started.
To put it another way, the Oilers looked like they had about as much of a chance to win this hockey game as I do to live out the rest of my life as a fire truck, and I don’t think many of us are surprised by that. Thanks, Pete.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins got the Oilers on the board with a power play goal after he picked up a rebound in the slot a roofed over the falling tender. With the Sharks up by three goals, the Oilers needed any signs of life they could muster and Nuge’s goal certainly qualified. I mean, the goal didn’t matter much in the end but I did appreciate knowing that the team had an actual pulse.
- Zack Kassian showed some very nice hand-eye coordination as he knocked a puck out of the air to beat the goalie and put up a second Oilers goal on the board. Unfortunately, Kass’ goal was too little too late but it was definitely a nice display of skill and touch from the big man.
- I want to give Adam Larsson some love for the huge hit he threw on Tomas Hertl. Yes, I’m reaching for bright sides.
- Brad Malone led the team in shots with five. No other Oiler had more than two. Bright side? Maybe? Bah, I don’t know anymore.
- Best defenceman for the Oilers was easily Darnell Nurse tonight. As he’s done a lot lately, Darryl led the team in ice time with 26:58 after playing a lot of minutes all situations, finishing his night with one shot on net, four hits, and a block.
- I just want to take a quick minute to say how much I appreciate Oscar Klefbom. After having him out of the lineup for nearly two months, it’s been nice to watch him do his thing over these past few games. No, he’s not yet up to speed and we shouldn’t expect him to be after missing so much time but it’s clear that he’s sorely needed on this blue line. Klefbom finished the night with 22:17 minutes, two shots and five blocks.
- At least the Oilers didn’t lose 7-2 this time? *ducks from flying fruit*
THE FACE PALMERS
- Did you guys know that the Oilers have the most regulation losses at home in the NHL? You do now.
- Kevin Labanc opened the scoring for the Sharks after his shot from the high slot deflected in off Kevin Gravel’s leg, a shot that Talbot didn’t have much chance on. It was a tough-luck goal for Talbot, but that’s kinda the way things have been going around here lately, isn’t it? Labanc sniped a second goal on the power play in the second period when he was gifted with all kinds of time and space in the slot, beating Talbot high on the glove side. Unsurprisingly, he was able to complete his first career hat trick early in the third period after his line was, once again, able to do as they wished in the offensive zone.
- Only a few minutes later, Evander Kane put the Sharks up by a pair after he got set up with a tap in by Donskoi and Hertl. If I was a Sharks fan, I would have appreciated the precision of the passing put on by this line, but I love the Oilers so all I got was another dose of sadness.
- By the time Hertl scored the fifth Sharks goal of the night, I was more focused on how many beers I had left in my fridge. I’m trying to work out the math and figure out how what’s the number of brews I’ll need to get to put back to forget that this game ever happened.
- After playing very well against the Minnesota Wild, I wasn’t really surprised to see Hitchcock go back to Cam Talbot again. Hitch has said over the past couple of days that he’s going to play the guy that he thinks gives him the best chance to win and doesn’t really care about the contract Koskinen signed three weeks ago. That was not the case tonight. I wouldn’t go so far as to blame Talbot for the lose, the team in front of him wasn’t much better than he was, but I would certainly say that he needs to be much better than what we got from him tonight. Talbot finished the night with 26 saves and a .839 save%.
- Oh man, did I ever feel bad for Ty Rattie after he took a clapper to the ankle at the end of the first period. Immediately before the play that sent Rattie out of the game, I thought Connor actually beat out the icing call that sent the puck back into the Oilers zone but the linesmen disagreed, and it was very unfortunate to see Rattie get hurt immediately after the resulting draw.
- The Oilers got roasted in the faceoff circle tonight, winning only 40% of the draws they took. Again, I know some stats folks aren’t big on faceoffs but I’m always of the opinion that it’s better off to start a sequence with the puck than chasing it.
- Of course I have to eat beets again. Why not? This bet is going to haunt me forever. As always, you can join in on the #BeetCast win cast conversation over on my Twitter account.
|10:39||San Jose||Kevin Labanc (7) ASST: Joe Thornton (18), Marcus Sorensen (8)||1-0|
|12:18||San Jose||Evander Kane (24) ASST: Joonas Donskoi (15), Tomas Hertl (26)||2-0|
|06:10||San Jose||PPG – Kevin Labanc (8) ASST: Timo Meier (29), Evander Kane (23)||3-0|
|12:00||Edmonton||PPG – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (17) ASST: Alex Chiasson (10)||3-1|
|01:36||San Jose||Kevin Labanc (9) ASST: Joe Thornton (19), Brenden Dillon (16)||4-1|
|04:24||San Jose||Tomas Hertl (25)||5-1|
|14:03||Edmonton||Zack Kassian (8) ASST: Adam Larsson (13)||5-2|
— Matt Inglis (@Inglis_14) February 9, 2019
The leafs are playing shut up
— Wyatt 🤡 (@weastman55) February 10, 2019
Little chance they blow a third period lead tonight #Oilerspositives
— MrSmith (@IIMrSmithII) February 10, 2019
@jsbmbaggedmilk Maybe you need to stop predicting wins in the game day blog. Might be the reason for the jinx…
— Raj G (@RajveerG) February 10, 2019
Who is this hero? Show yourself! pic.twitter.com/T7pDUM7gIi
— Baggedmilk – Oilers Beet writer (@jsbmbaggedmilk) February 10, 2019
— brad stepanko (@BradStepanko) February 10, 2019
Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 2/9/2019 – 8:00 pm MT