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GDB 55.0 Wrap Up: We’re gonna need a bigger boat, Oilers lose 5-2 to San Jose

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 wrap.

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.

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
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

2ND PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
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

3RD PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
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

#GOODCONTENT

Talk to me, Twitter. Tweet at @OilersNation and @jsbmbaggedmilk for your chance to land in the Best of the Tweets.


Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 2/9/2019 – 8:00 pm MT

  • Oiler Al

    I think the Oilers approached this game as” why even bother tryin,can’t beat these guys anyway”.Out for a Sunday skate, from Mc David on down. Talbot letting in 4 cup cakes could be deflating as well.

  • Rob19

    Good Lord I hope the Prospects don’t leave Edm, that’s the only playoff team we’re gonna see for a while (and it’s affordable to watch them, in a nice facility too)

  • Gary

    What happened to the “Full Court Press’ for offence, just more noise from Nicholson?
    If I didn’t mention that I did not renew my season tickets this year and am now a tier 9 fan (So glad I did) is it possible to have the 50/50 numbers posted on the GDP post?

  • CMG30

    The only good news here is that another sad letter to the season ticket holders will not not cut it. If Katz wants to save his fanbase hes going to need to make real changes to management…

  • RIP

    my goodness do i feel sorry for those that paid to go see this game. Not to mention ridiculous money for beers, jerseys and food. To watch an effort and skill level that produces no excitement or good feelings at all. What a tire fire of an organization.

  • Heschultzhescores

    I’m finding a huge difference in intensity watching the Leafs vs Montreal and Calgary vs Vancouver. Those teams seem hungry every shift. The Oiler’s seem like their pre-game meal is from a deep fryer with Oil that needs changing.

  • slats-west

    “When you put skill ahead of work you get that result, we never gave ourselves a chance” K. Hitchcock Feb 09, 2019

    This should be put on everyone’s locker and should hang as a 20 foot banner inside the room until things change. This has been their motto for the last 10 years, and I’m. It sure why. Tonight they were a disinterested, lethargic group. Sad.

  • DannyGallivan

    Turned the game off after the first period as they had no compete. Look at the bright side. Chia is gone and we are now 26th, only 6 pts out of the race for the first overall pick. Sound familiar?

  • Odanada

    Get out the broom Katz
    Howson, Schwartz – fire them yesterday
    Bob Nicholson – fire him today
    Hire a guy OUTSIDE of the organization to search out a new head of hockey ops. Once that is decided, announce that K-Lowe, MacT, Gretz etc will stay to help transition the new Boss, but will then be taking a well earned retirement from the organization. It’s just talk, as they are frozen out immediately – we can give them a big round of applause at the home opener next year, at which point they start their new lives wintering in Arizona.
    The new Boss will hire his own guys to run the show and import his own water if necessary.
    The new Boss will also have to meet with the players and sort through the psychological mess they’ve become and get them focused.
    It is an epic task and can only be accomplished through cleaning house – 80s Oilers be damned.

  • usetobewise

    How can what happened with Leon Draisaitl on the second goal be acceptable? A lazy give away pass high in the offensive zone by him which creates a transition going the other way. He allows a 3-on-3 to become a 3-on-2 as he completely quits skating on the back check (Geee why would he want the puck back? He had only just coughed it up) allowing Kane to skate to the corner of the net to receive the pass directly on his tape. Doesn’t that shift pretty much some up why they are losing games? He should have been sat for at least a period, but ideally the rest of the game. How can you promote a culture of accountability by allowing that stuff to carry on?

    • Leichs

      Lol Drai might be the most overrated player in the league. Without McD he would never hit 30 goals and 70 points. Weve all seen him center his own second line and pretty much turn invisible. Although its tough to generate anything anchored to guys like Lucic, Spooner and Reider lol. Sure he scores a couple goals every few games but hes good for at least three blind pass turnovers and lazy backchecks every single game. Id trade him for a Boeser or Pasternak in a heartbeat no question. I keep Nuge over Drai.

      • Datsyukian

        They won’t trade Pastrnak for Draisaitl. I like Draisaitl, but objectively Pastrnak is just more valuable and skilled player overall. He is in the same league as Crosby, Kucherov, McDavid, etc. Draisaitl is a “second-tier” superstar.

  • Ted

    Two thumbs on the Hitchcock rant on the players …. Enough one way play Draisaitl. It’s a both ends of the ice game!! BE A LEADER YOUR GETTING PAID LIKE ONE! Is Draisaitl German for Lazy? …. I’m convinced Talbot is French for High glove Short side. …. When your best player on the evening is Brad Malone what does that say! It says management has no clue what ripe is and has no judgement on talent. It’s time sell and get some of our younger talent playing! ITS IMPOSSIBLE TO KEEP ON WATCHING THIS GO NOWHERE! Remember the kid line! …. Could you imagine the Canucks having groomed Peterson in the minors till he was ripe! They wouldn’t be in the playoffs like they are! … How can a franchise be so bad …. I’ll tell you how! THERE IS NO PLAN! …. well you have been exposed to this mediocrity for to long! So do something! What your sitting on is obviously not working! … A plea from your fanbase! Something in the water, what a joke! Make a different! … Management your like Draisaitl on the back check, NON EXISTENT!

    • Leichs

      Also wtf is with Jesse P?? Why in the hell is he in this league right now losing confidence night in and night out instead of playing 15 minues on a team that is currently lighting the AHL on fire? Guarantee those guys are having a hell of a time playing hockey games right now. Probably cant say the same about Jesse.

  • Serious Gord

    89 points now to make the wildcard.

    27 games left.

    The oil can lose a maximum of 9 games in regulation to hit that total. (18-9-0)

    It just seems impossible that they can transform into a team capable of doing that.

    2. Hitch and others (mcdavid) have said repeatedly that this team’s offensive abilities are to weak for it to win games by scoring lots of goals – that defensive play and low scores are the only path to victory.

    The problem is that the team is worse defensively than it is offensively.

  • Dark Knight Returns

    Hello writers in the Nation!
    I’m writing to request an article: given that the Oilers won’t make the playoffs and you guys might feel the financial pain from advertising going thin into the Spring, can you put together an article or a series of articles on who could the Oilers be getting back from each team when McDavid requests a trade?
    So for example, if McDavid is traded to Anaheim, what do you think is the return?
    If traded to Arizona, and see on.

    That would be an interesting series and we might as well warm up to the idea.

    #FreeMcDavid
    He deserves so much better.

    • slats-west

      This won’t happen. There is about 17000 McDavid jerseys at every game (as some have said that’s indicative of a bigger problem). The article should be on Draisaitl. I think he’s a great offensive talent but the only real return for a feasible trade is for #29 not #97. Return could a top 6 legit winger and a #1/2 dman by NHL standards (not the current Oiler braintrust) and a top prospect. MCDavid trade is a death sentence and there is no competent mngt team that can pull it off – you really want Bob Nicholson & Co making that trade of a decade? Really? You would end with something like Jeff Carter, Toffoli and Martinez. Please NO!

      • Dark Knight Returns

        You’re right. 200%. But when (not if) McDavid requests a trade…. what do we get?
        I know I know I know “he is a class act he will never do that”…. I’d argue he OWES NOTHING to the Oilers, they’d done nothing for him and nothing for this to be a winning team.
        If you’re top employee in your company but your career is at a halt by staying there…. do you stay? If you leave to a company that pays you the same but where you will thrive, can I blame you?

        • slats-west

          Fortunately (or unfortunately) the NHLPA is not normal Labour Law. The Oilers own McDavid there’s a difference. He may leave after his term, just not before.

          For Drai’s salary +9MM that should translate to the fwd + Dman based on current salaries for both. The prospect is the kicker for getting Drai over other teams.

      • nijames

        Unfortunately I believe you are over valuing Draisaitl. You would not get a top 6 forward and a number 1/2 d-man for him. Never a 1/2 d-man, a top 6 forward and a good prospect or high draft pick probably.

      • You just got LITT up!

        Bingo! McDavid will request a trade from this loser organization. The Oilers are rotten and it’ll take years to fix. Mcdavid won’t waste his career playing on lottery teams. Think about this, the oilers suck with mcdavid … They are gonna be brutal without him.

  • Big Nuggets

    Remember when this team beat the sharks in the playoffs, the sharks looked like an old team headed for a rebuild and the Oilers team was full of young players. What happened? Epic management failure it seems. It boggles the mind how bad this team was mucked up.

    • Odanada

      What happened? People who didn’t know what they were doing were allowed to hire someone who didn’t know what he was doing and he in turn, was allowed to hire an abject failure as a GM.
      Now the guy who still doesn’t know what he is doing is working with the other guys who don’t know what they are doing and together they are beating the bushes for someone dumb enough to come here and work under them.
      If a restaurant served this up, no one would eat there and it would close.

  • Beer_League_Ringer

    How can we still be talking about a heart transplant for the dressing room? I’m starting to think there are some key guys with off ice issues. I hope I am wrong and it’s just immaturity.