Decent effort, unfortunate result. Final Score: 3-1 Hurricanes
Before tonight’s game started, I made the mistake of heading over to Hockey Reference to have a look at the numbers from the last time these two teams met up. What I had forgotten is that the Hurricanes, not generally known for being offensive world beaters, were able to put up a touchdown against our boys and that refresher started flooding my brain with horrible memories that were like little daggers stabbing at what’s left of my Oilers-related happiness. That said, today was a new day so I approached this game with the same open mind and hopefulness that I always do. Unfortunately, I’m convinced that I must be doing something wrong with my thoughts and prayers because the Oilers, once again, allowed a goal less than a minute into the game and had two go in on the first three shots against.
With the game settling down after a wild opening couple of minutes, I actually thought the Oilers did a nice good job of cranking up their intensity and pushing the pace of play rather than sitting back and waiting for the Hurricanes to do their thing. I thought the boys put out the kind of effort that we ask for on a nightly basis and it’s unfortunate that they weren’t able to have their hard work translate into goals on the board. That’s not to suggest that the Hurricanes were playing an airtight defensive game, they weren’t at all, but the Oilers just couldn’t figure how to open the floodgates and solve the puzzle. Despite the many moments when it looked like they were going to get something going offensively, the Oilers couldn’t buy more than a single goal which has basically been the sad story of the season.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Only moments after the Hurricanes opened the scoring, Leon Draisaitl responded by cashing in on a perfectly executed 2-on-1 with Zack Kassian. Kassian sent a perfect pass across the crease to Draisaitl and he made no mistake of draining his shot into the empty net that was waiting for him.
- Connor McDavid was his usual ‘destroyer of worlds’ self tonight and it will always be fun to watch him do his thing on the ice. The speed, the hands, the explosiveness… His range of skills are like a cocktail full of awesome and I will never, ever tire of spending time watching him. On so many nights, Connor McDavid is one of the only enjoyable things about watching the Oilers play and I will never take that for granted.
- After playing very well outside of a single bad goal against the Penguins, it wasn’t overly surprising to see Mikko Koskinen back between the pipes tonight. Outside of the opening moments when he allowed a pair of goals on the first three shots of the game, I thought Koskinen settled things down quite well and made the saves needed to keep his team in the hockey game. That said, Koskinen was outduelled by McElhinney and that’s a tough pill to swallow considering the team in front of him probably deserved better. Koskinen finished the night with 24 saves and a .889 save%.
- I liked the way Zack Kassian played with Connor and Leon tonight. From start to finish, he was contributing with some nice touches and it was almost bad luck that he didn’t finish his night with more than a single point.
- Despite not showing up on the scoresheet, I thought Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a really strong game between Milan Lucic and Alex Chiasson. RNH set both guys up with a few quality scoring chances and it was a shame that he wasn’t rewarded with anything for his efforts.
- Alex Chiasson led the Oilers with eight shots on goal tonight. If only he was still rocking that 30% shooting percentage, huh?
- The penalty kill was a perfect 2/2 on the night. Yay?
THE FACE PALMERS
- Nino Niederreiter opened the scoring only 37 seconds into the game after the Oilers got outworked in their own zone and the Hurricanes were able to move the puck around the zone effectively. Niederreiter added a second goal late in the third period on a 2-on-1 to seal the deal for the Hurricanes and basically end any slim hopes Oilers fans had for getting back into the Wild Card race.
- Less than a minute after Leon Draisaitl tied the game up at one, Lucas Wallmark restored the lead after the Oilers allowed the Hurricanes an odd-man rush that they made no mistake of converting. Once again, the Hurricanes’ puck movement was on point and the Oilers got caught puck watching, leaving Mikko Koskinen high and dry for another grade-A chance against.
- Oilers finished the night at 0/3 on the power play in a game when they really, really needed to get something done on the man advantage.
- Speaking of power plays, I’m pretty sure the Niederreiter hit from behind on Klefbom should have been more than two minutes. That was brutal.
- Tough night for Adam Larsson as he won the green jacket for the Oilers with a -3 rating. I know +/- isn’t the best stat to cite at all, but it is worth noting that he was on for all three goals against.
- Curtis McElhinney is very annoying and I didn’t appreciate the way he got in the way of so many shots.
- The Oilers got roasted in the faceoff circle again, winning only 41% of the draws they took.
- Tobias Rieder may never score again and I never would have seen this coming.
- The Oilers really needed to win that hockey game. Gross. As always, you can join in on the #BeetCast conversation over on my Twitter account.
|00:37||Carolina||Nino Niederreiter (16) ASST: Sebastian Aho (41), Justin Williams (22)||0-1|
|01:32||Edmonton||Leon Draisaitl (34) ASST: Zack Kassian (7)||1-1|
|02:16||Carolina||Lucas Wallmark (7) ASST: Teuvo Teravainen (35), Micheal Ferland (17)||1-2|
|16:23||Carolina||Nino Niederreiter (17) ASST: Sebastian Aho (42)||1-3|
I predict we win in a shoot out, 28 to 27
— ellebee (@ellebeeZzz) February 16, 2019
There’s no way Wallmark is a name and not a knock-off greeting card from India.
— WheatNOil (@WheatNOil) February 16, 2019
Seems like Oilers have been trailing 2-1 for, like, 3 days.
— Bruce McCurdy (@BruceMcCurdy) February 16, 2019
Beet-free for [ -3 ] game(s).
— Anthony Flynn (@anthonyjflynn) February 16, 2019
We’re not worthy of Connor or Frank
— Adam (@OilersAdam) February 16, 2019
How much of your BMI is composed of beets right now??
— William James (@William_J87) February 16, 2019
Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 2/15/2019 – 8:30 pm MT