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GDB 56.0 Wrap Up: Moral victories don’t pay the bills, Oilers fall 3-1 in Pittsburgh

At least we won the Corsi? Final Score: 3-1 Penguins

As much as it bums me out to say, we’ve reached the ‘Jesus take the wheel’ portion of the 2018-19 season where all we can really do is sit back and brace ourselves for whatever twists and turns come next. After taking a peek at the schedule, it’s hard to not to look this upcoming road trip and realize that it’s kind of finish line for the Oilers’ playoff hopes. If they could somehow find a way to lock up six points then we’d be right back in the mix with a chance to make something happen, but anything less than that points to selling at the deadline again and there lies the rub. At this point, if we’re really being honest with ourselves, which scenario is more likely to happen? Playoffs? Sellers? If I was a betting man, I’d be putting Gregor’s money on ELPH being back on the menu once again.

Anyway…

As for the game itself, I was admittedly nervous about how things would play out from the moment the puck dropped. I was worried that the Oilers would sit back and allow the Penguins to do their thing, but that’s not at all what happened. Instead, the boys hit the ground running and pulled out one of the better starts that we’ve seen recently, and they were able to use that jump to build themselves an early lead. Unfortunately, that’s where the good news stopped. As the game progressed, the Penguins were able to settle their own game down and start poking holes in the leaky ship that is the Oilers’ defensive zone coverage. It’s not that the Oilers played poorly, they actually kept themselves in the fight much better than I expected, but the mistakes they made were glaring and they couldn’t get the saves needed to cover them up and that just can’t happen against a team like the Penguins.

This loss is especially frustrating because the Oilers probably played well enough to get at least a point out of this game, but we’re well past the point where moral victories do anything for us. Such is life in Oilersnation.

The wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

  • Leon Draisaitl opened the scoring after he and Connor worked their magic on a 2-on-1 that Matt Murray had absolutely no chance of stopping. McDavid set Draisaitl up on the tape and Leon wasted no time of ripping the wrister past Murray to give the Oilers an early one-goal lead.
  • I’m here for the eight-game McPoint streak.
  • Mikko Koskinen got his first start in a little while and I was very curious to see how he’d match up against the Malkin-less Penguins. Koskinen had allowed 15 goals over his last four starts and it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure out that he needed to be way better than that against Pittsburgh. What I’ll say is that I thought Koskinen played reasonably well, but there’s no way that the Bryan Rust shorthanded goal should have gone in. Had Koskinen stopped that shot, we’d likely be talking about a different outcome rather than adding another loss on the pile. That said, I thought he made plenty of saves to make up for the gaff but it’s the kind of goal that sticks out on a loss night, ya know? Koskinen finished the night with 31 saves and a .939 save%.
  • Oscar Klefbom got his first point after missing nearly two points with broken fingers and I was happy to see him get it. That dude is so important to the Oilers’ defence that I almost had a heart attack when he took a slash to his injured hand early in the game, but was very happy to see him come back and finish things up.
  • There’s always something spectacular about when Connor and Sid go up against each other. Both guys seem to crank their games up a little bit and it’s always fantastic to watch. As a hockey fan, this is the individual matchup that I look forward to the most.
  • Getting 39 shots against the Penguins is no joke and it’s a shame that the boys weren’t able to cash anything else in past Murray.
  • Oilers finished the night at 57% in the faceoff circle. Yay?

THE FACE PALMERS

  • This loss hurt because it, again, shows that the Oilers are able to keep up with a very strong team in this league but that they can’t prevent the mistakes that turned this game from finishing with points in the bank to another loss on the board.
  • Bryan Rust got the Penguins on the board with a shorthanded goal after Pittsburgh was able to cause a turnover at the blue line in their own zone. From there, they walked down the other way and Rust was able to finish off the play with a weak goal to the short side that Koskinen will surely want back.
  • Teddy Blueger (????) gave the Pens the lead after he found some space for himself right in the slot with no Oiler covering him whatsoever. Letang fed the puck into the slot/crease area and Blueger timed it perfectly as he found his way into the area to knock it past a sprawling Koskinen. As it turns out, momentum is a real thing and it was a problem.
  • Jared McCann added the empty-netter to close the game out and add another dagger into our collective hearts. Le sigh.
  • Oilers finished 0/2 on the power play on a night when they desperately needed to make something happen. Instead, they gave up a shortie that ended up tying the game and turning the momentum in Pittsburgh’s favour.
  • If you think Leon Draisaitl is the problem with this hockey then please take a fork and stab it into your temple because you don’t know what you’re talking about. Is he a perfect player? No. Is he the problem with this team? No. Don’t be ridiculous.
  • WHY IS PULJUJARVI IN EDMONTON AND NOT WINNING IN BAKERSFIELD? Why is Yamamoto able to develop slowly but Jesse is not? What the hell is going on with this organization?
  • How about a loss to the Penguins to kick off this road trip? 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
04:45 Edmonton Leon Draisaitl (33) ASST: Connor McDavid (51), Oscar Klefbom (13) 1-0

2ND PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
02:30 Pittsburgh SHG – Bryan Rust (16) ASST: Matt Cullen (11), Brian Dumoulin (18) 1-1
06:10 Pittsburgh Teddy Blueger (3) ASST: Kris Letang (36), Sidney Crosby (42) 1-2

3RD PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
19:00 Pittsburgh EN – Jared McCann (11) 1-3

#GOODCONTENT

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

REAL LIFE PODCAST

Welcome, welcome, welcome to yet another brand new episode of the Real Life Podcast! With the Oilers’ season sinking like a rock, the boys spent this week trying to figure out how we can turn the narrative around to something a little more positive. Can it be done? The boys certainly tried their best.


Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 2/13/2019 – 8:00 pm MT

      • RJ

        Jay W was the “elite” assistant that was going to take the Oilers PP to another level and didn’t, so there’s that.

        Last year’s club also didn’t have the talent this year’s club does (Benson, Marody stats). Most importantly, this year’s goaltending is greatly improved over last year’s. Starrett is a ridiculous 17-3-1.

        Did Jay W suddenly become a goalie whisperer? Doubtful.

        The team is doing much better than

  • Oiler Al

    Koskinen not letting that cup cake on the shortie and McDavid scoring on the PS,might have changed the tone of the game…. what would have changed the tone, is scoring more than 1 friggin goal!!! in the game.This is getting ugly.

    • Glencontrolurstik

      I just gotta say that the writers for the Oilers, have had a season off. They just wrote around 20 articles about Oiler doom n’ gloom and eeny, meeny, miney… moe them… Not a ton for them to do this season…

  • Axe

    If there was ever a must win tonight would have been it for me. So can we please stop mentioning the playoffs… This season is officially over.. There is no way in hell they can make it.. Time to sell what we can at the deadline and hopefully hire a competent GM..another frustrating, ugly and wasted season.. Thanks Nicholson for not having the foresight to fire Chiarelli last summer…

  • macinmillwoods

    Another reason playoffs for this team are far-fetched…look at the cap space available to the 5 teams Edmonton has to pass to get to the the last wild card spot. If they really wanted to they could all improve their teams to make a push. Oilers don’t have that option. Yet just a couple of days ago a couple of blogs headlines were “should the Oilers be buyers or sellers”. Are you kiddin me?

  • DoubleDIon

    Created by and named after Oilers Entertainment Group CEO and Vice Chairman Bob Nicholson, the Bobby Nick’s Burger is as sweet and spicy as the man himself. Layered on a toasted brioche bun, an Alberta Beef patty sets the stage for cheddar cheese, dill pickles, jalapeños, leaf lettuce, tomatoes, red onions and is topped off with some crispy smoked bacon. Mustard and a signature sauce created by Bob himself round out the juicy burger.

    READ MORE: Introducing the Bobby Nick’s Burger

    “It’s quite the honour. I had the privilege of creating a few different burgers and this was the fourth one we looked at. This is going to have a little bit of bite, there’s no question,” said Nicholson. “It has Alberta Beef, some fresh lettuce and tomatoes and is then topped off with jalapeños to give it that extra bit of wow”

    Meanwhile down the QE2 Flames management was trading for Lindholm and Hanifin.

    • DoubleDIon

      It makes me so happy that your “forensic audit” guy has spent his time creating 4 different burgers and doing press releases for it while the team flounders. Dont worry, they proudly use Alberta beef.

      • Todd the electron rod

        With beef raised in Calgary area I’m sure.
        3.8% chance of playoffs.
        Time to focus on draft articles.
        And other important things like whether Arizona can be caught in the standings.

  • Heschultzhescores

    Woukdn’t a super successful businessman like Katz not scratch his head and say to the OBC “if you guys are so great, why is my kid on the stage with first round picks every year?”

  • Svart kaffe

    Had the opportunity to watch the game. Didn’t take it. Seems like a wise decision. Can’t even remember when I last thought these guys had a chance to win a game, let alone make the playoffs.

  • Towers-of-dub

    Nice work on the first to penguins goals there Connor! Within 10 feet of the scorer for both goals and no effort to check whatsoever. Best player in the league. $12.5MM/yr, but can’t be bothered to slash a guys stick to prevent a goal. If only he was being paid a bit more maybe he could add some defensive awareness to his game. Ohh…maybe I’m wrong here, the pens first goal was a shorty against so maybe on the power play McDavid doesn’t need to be defensively aware, at least not for $12.5MM/yr. that hopeless inability to make even a simple check in your own zone should let everyone know that Sid the Kid is still the class of the league, while Connor the Goner is just a good offensive player who can’t get his teammates to elevate their game. It was clear tonight who the best player in the league is. It’s the one who dominates the game even tho he only got 1 point. McDavid, on the ice for 3 goals against, and not a single word of accountability afterwards. It’s a joke. Maybe Gregor or one of the other ass munchers on here can ask him about his inability to get his stick on someone 10 feet away and prevent a goal. He’s supposed to be the fastest guy in the NHL, but floats by both goal scorers both times. Anyone of the hard hitting journalists on OilersNation want to ask him what his thought process was on the first 2 goals, when he had the best seat in the house to watch the team he captains lose a game ina 4 minute span? Anyone on here have the stones to say “Connor, is there a reason you couldn’t tie up Teddy Blueger‘s stick on that second goal?” Gregor? Can you ask that question?? The fact is, this team was better with lesser players.

    • kelvjn

      Not to disagree, the lack of accountability and defensive awareness from the top players had been a team problem for a long time.

      The other thing to look into is the 25min/game usage. When you are out that much you cannot reasonably be expected to go pedal to floor 100% of the time. This is especially a problem when booth Leon and Conner are doing this as there are two float and cherry picker on the ice ~40% of the time to go around.

      Time to cut back ice time and raise the intensity /60. Less TOI will translate to less points (both personal and team) but accountability is more of a scarcity right now.

  • Sammy D

    What is JP and/or his agent have threatened to go back to Finland if he gets assigned to the AHL, and the Management team are caving in to his demand to stay in the NHL or go home? It’s the only reason I can come up with for him still being up here…

  • This team has to trade 3 or 4 of their top 7 players in order to bring in players from winning organization and change the losing, me first attitude that the top Oilers players have. Until they do this they will continue to underachieve, lose and be selfishly content with their individual stats at the expense of the teams success.

  • You just got LITT up!

    ON … did anyone else notice the look on McDavid’s face, the look that said “f8k this, I’m done with these bozo’s”. McDavid’s gone, he will request a trade. No chance he sticks around on a rebuilding / lottery team. He will not ruin his career.

    • Derian Hatcher

      There are improvements my best friend could make to his game -no doubt, but just take a minute, close your eyes, and imagine, really imagine, where this team would be without 97. You can open your eyes when you stop shivering. This team has a solid core with one of, if not the best player on the planet to build around. A competent GM would have done this by now. If competence is hired, there is still hope.

      Or, if some would rather, just blame Connor.

      His forth season and when he looks at the lineup board he sees #44 as his RW. No offence to Kassian, but he is no where near that player. Nice work Oilers.

      • Towers-of-dub

        without McDavid, the team would be built completely differently. I’d be happy with a group of hardworking lunchbucket guys. Look where every other team in the league is without McDavid. Above Edmonton in the standings. that’s where.

        • camdog

          That’s what we got do you want PC back? That was PC/Nicholson/ Katz’s plan, Lucic, Kassian, Brodziak, Larsson, Russell, Manning, a Gryba, Maroon – the entire roster was to built to be lunch bucket players, to surround Connor – lots of guys that have trouble moving puck or playing with pace. It doesn’t matter how big your lunch bunket is if you can’t keep up.

      • Quoteright

        12.5 million reasons why he has to be able to play with Cassian type contracts
        He has an 8.5 mill winger
        Nuge has and has always had hot garbage that cycles constantly
        He should be the captain

  • hagar

    Now THAT was a must win game. It must have been the twentieth must win game for some reason, but that was actually it. They are done as done gets, only thing left is curiousity about how they play from now on. I am not sure what to expect from these clowns now.

    • Expect the same clown show. The entire hockey world, not just the NHL knows management needs to be purged, but Katz refuses to do what is right for the fanbase, while he bathes in taxpayers cash. Nothing will change. WHEN McDavid has had enough and asks out, maybe that will wake him up, but I doubt it. His 80’s buddies are more important. He should be embarrassed, ashamed, and furious. CRICKETS!

      • hagar

        Yes sir. Its not about money with the obc, that is the problem. I am not sure if the fan base will ever be more important to Katz than friendship with the old oilers. Its nice having an owner with money, but in this case, it is hurting us. If we had an owner that actually had to worry about his investment in the team, we would be better off.
        Even though the seats are still selling, any owner that cared about the money would already be addressing the situation, infact, they would have addressed it years ago.
        Give a starving man a sandwich and he is happy as can be… Give a super rich man a ferrari, and he complains that he has no place to park it. We are the bums wanting a sandwich, and the oilers team is Katz’ ferrari. We want it waaaaaaay more than he does, but there is nothing we can do about it.

        • Rufio Barcoli

          Well until with a man with a sandwich buys the Oilers: you, and every other sports fan in the world, are going to put up with prices in a Ferrari.

          What makes you think that Katz doesn’t care about his investments in the team?
          How would you be better off? Emotionally??

          You want what way more than Katz does?
          Money? Or the Oilers to succeed? How do you know?

          Why would Katz put business before friends?
          Would you? Are you the type of man that puts friendship over business?

          • hagar

            I think he cares more about his investments his owning the oilers has manipulated than he does the team itself. The realestate surrounding the oilers more than the team itself.
            I want the oilers to succeed way more than Katz does, i have my own money.
            I know he isnt putting business before friends.

          • Outright idiotic statements. Business of any kind is ruthless. His actions (or lack there of) as you call them, clearly demonstrate’s his loyalty lies with his buddies and not the state of the franchise. It would bankrupt any other business. Just curious, do the Oilers pay you
            bi weekly or once a month?

  • OldOilFan

    Maybe we need to bring back “single game elimination” to the playoff format…

    Take the top 4 non-qualifiers and seed them into “elimination” games before the regular playoffs start. At least it would make for some good TV immediately after the regular season ends.

    2 winners move on to begin the usual best-of-7 rounds.

    • Ted

      STOP WITH THE MCDAVID WANTS A TRADE! …. he of all people will be on board when the ship gets right and he will win his share! MCDAVID WILL HOIST A CUP AS AN OILER! … so enough of the stupid McDavid will want a trade! Grow up!