GDB 74.0 Wrap Up: Undefeated in the Nicholshots era, Oilers win 4-1 over Columbus

What kind of paperwork do we need to fill out to play Columbus every night? Final Score: 4-1 Oilers

Remember the last time the Oilers played against Columbus? Of course you do. Our boys strolled into CBJ’s barn, threw down one of the most impressive games of the season, and walked away with two big points that looked like the start of something bigger. Instead, here were are only a couple short weeks later and rather than talking about a playoff push, we’re trying to figure out why the team’s CEO would think it’s a good idea to blame Tobias Rieder for not making the playoffs in front of a room full of people. Yeah, I know he apologized and said he and Rieder laughed about it, but I’m still trying to wrap my head around this one. Though, considering that I’ve been an Oilers fan my whole life, I’m not sure why I would be surprised by the weird things that go on with this hockey team.

As for the game itself, I wanted another taste of what happened the last time these two teams met. I’m not saying that I was necessarily expecting another 4-0 shutout, though it would certainly be nice, but maybe something with that same type of effort and intensity? I don’t think that’s too much to ask, right? Unfortunately, at least to start, what we got was an absolute snoozer that saw both clubs firing only six combined shots on net by the time the game was a period old. To be fair, things picked up in the second period as both teams managed to generate some shots on net and trade a pair goals, but even then, there wasn’t a whole lot to get excited about outside of a few flashes here and there. Periods of boredom aside, with the game tied heading into the third period, the Oilers had a chance to add two more points to the coffers and throw up another roadblock in front of Columbus’ playoff drive.

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Much to the delight of my beet-stained insides, the three big boys took things over in the third period and put the game on their backs as they produced six points between them on the team’s three goals, powering the Oilers to a big 4-1 win.

The wrap.

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  • The Oilers tied the game up at one apiece on a play that started with some strong board-work by both Josh Currie and Joseph Gambardella that resulted in a loose puck that sprung Kyle Brodziak for a clear chance on goal.
  • Zack Kassian gave the Oilers their first lead of the night after he found himself as the business end of a perfectly executed 2-on-1 with Connor McDavid that left the goalie with absolutely no chance. The goal was Kassian’s 14th of the year which ties his career high in goals, something he last accomplished back in 2013-14 with the Vancouver Canucks. The guy has been rolling since Hitchcock bumped him up with Connor and it’s been fun to watch him take advantage of the opportunity.
  • Connor McDavid scored his 37th goal of the year after Leon Draisaitl fed him a perfect saucer pass that set him up with all the time and space he needed to strip the goaltender down to his undies and spank his bum. Hell of a goal for the captain. I’ve always got time for McPoints, and want it to be known that I’m grateful for each and every one of them.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored the Oilers’ fourth goal and set a new career-high with his 25th goal of the season after Leon Draisaitl set him up with a wonderful opportunity from the slot. From there, Nuge ripped a wrister through Korpisalo’s arm and body, nailing the coffin shut in the process.
  • Leon Draisaitl lazily put up another three points tonight, including some absolutely beautiful passes to set up McDavid and RNH. What a guy.
  • Joseph Gambardella picked up an assist on Brodziak’s first period goal which resulted in his first ever NHL point, and for that reason, we speak his name.
  • Mikko Koskinen got yet another start tonight and I was very interested to see how he’d do given the fact that he got an early hook on Tuesday night in St. Louis. Much to our collective delight, Koskinen was rock solid tonight despite not being overly busy. In the end, he made the saves he needed to make and it gave the Oilers the confidence they needed to get the job done. Koskinen finished with 18 saves and a .947 save%.
  • Can we talk about how nice it’s been to have Andrej Sekera back in the lineup? The guy’s poise with the puck has been so very missed and I forgot how much I appreciated the little things he does.
  • The Oilers did a very nice job of keeping the Blue Jackets from getting shots on goal tonight. Despite their own struggles with getting pucks on net, you’ve gotta respect the fact that the Oilers only allowed 19 shots on net tonight.
  • Do I love the Oilers winning 55% of the faceoffs tonight? Yes. Yes, I do.
  • Torts’ press conference should be fun.
  • There shall be booze! As always, you can join in on the #BoozeNotBeets win cast conversation over on my Twitter account.
Canadian government open to working with NHL on hub city


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  • David Savard opened the scoring for Columbus midway through the second period after he found his way to the slot just in time to perfectly deflect a hard pass from Nutivaara past Koskinen and into the net. Considering the game had so few shots at that point, it was anyone’s guess who would crack the code first.
  • The NHL site had the Oilers with 14 giveaways tonight (Columbus had eight) but I think that number is a little bit high.
  • How was there only one penalty called all game? It’s not that I’m complaining, we all know the Oilers’ PK has been suspect over the years, I just find that to be a strange stat.
  • I still can’t believe that Bob Nicholson thought it was a good idea to throw Tobias Rieder under the bus in front of a bunch of season ticket holders. Yeah, I know he apologized, but there’s no way that this kind of crap doesn’t affect what’s going on in the dressing room. For a team that loves to talk about character as much as the Oilers do, it’s pretty shocking how often they make themselves look like they don’t know what the words means. That said, Rieder may never score again.



No Scoring


11:35 Columbus David Savard (6) ASST: Markus Nutivaara (14), Ryan Dzingel (28) 1-0
13:17 Edmonton Kyle Brodziak (6) ASST: Joseph Gambardella (1), Josh Currie (3) 1-1


00:45 Edmonton Zack Kassian (14) ASST: Connor McDavid (70), Leon Draisaitl (49) 1-2
14:02 Edmonton Connor McDavid (37) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (50), Darnell Nurse (28) 1-3
16:15 Edmonton PPG – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (25) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (51), Andrej Sekera (3) 1-4
Throwback Thursday: This week in 2011, Edmonton Oilers draft Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Oscar Klefbom in first round


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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, 3/21/2019 – 9:45 pm MT

  • D

    This is where that unnecessary, lazy loss to New Jersey really hurts the Oil. Win that game, and they’re within three points of the final playoff spot right now.

  • Arfguy

    I am glad that they won. I am loving that we have players like McDavid, Draisaitl and RNH.

    However, I will be glad when the new era of Oilers begin. I am already sick of boring Hitchcock hockey. Columbus is struggling and I’ve already seen relentless offensive pushes by teams like St. Louis and Vegas. Good teams that can keep pushing. They cannot win against teams that push. They need to attack more. Claude Julien is getting more players to play an up-tempo game with less talent (IMO) over in Montreal. Hitchcock’s system is not feasible in the modern NHL.

  • Oiler Al

    Forgot to take their skate guards off in the first period.Played well in the next two periods.For a team making a push, I taught Jacket’s game didn’t show that expected energy. I know its B/B but its playoff time.

  • Rufio Barcoli

    Next year Sekera will be a part of a third defense pairing along side Bouchard.

    Russell and Nurse will both be traded this off-season to fetch an all star defenseman and free up money for them.
    Depending on where they finish, and the luck of the draft, look for Oilers to trade this year 1st round pick this year.

  • Abagofpucks

    Wouldn’t it be nice if Caleb Jones has his brothers game in the future.
    Nudge with 25 goals so far, Leon with 3 assists tonight and 94 points.
    Conner brilliant as ever, Nurse is getting better and close to 40 points.
    All we need is a smarter GM, one that can actually win trades.

  • Abagofpucks

    If i was going to trade 2 defensemen next year i would seriously consider trading larsson -22 and Russell. i like Russells shot blocking ability but, i just think we could package him in a deal next year. Trading nurse would be a big mistake, say what you want but he is getting better.

    • Arfguy

      I gotta agree. I am not seeing why anyone would want to trade Nurse. I find his game to be better overall than that of Klefbom. I find Nurse to be a better skater, shooter and physically sturdier. Klefbom’s got a great contract and I can see all kinds of interest for that contract.

      If the Oilers want to create space, my targets are Larsson, Klefbom, Russell and Lucic. Lucic would be a priority, as I still not seeing the value of him being on the second line the last few games.

      • Arfguy

        Whatever gain we would have had with Rieder not being re-signed will go to Koskinen. That leaves about $1.9 from Petrovic, most likely $800K from losing Rattie. We gain about $2.7 million after this season. Some of that will go to Puljujarvi and some to (I think now, since he was not trade) to Chiasson.

        That basically means that they’ll have to find a way to shed contract on defence. I would keep Sekera, as I feel that the defence core was missing whatever veteran presence Sekera brings. That means one of Russell, Klefbom and Larsson will have to go. Personally, I do like Benning. I think he gets too much flak from Oilers fans, but I don’t think it’s deserved. He is a third pairing and should be played as such. I would concentrate on keeping Nurse. I see more upside to his game.

        Ideally Lucic, Manning, Russell and one of Klefbom and Larsson will need to go.

  • Lazarus

    Only 86 comments on the game day ? Dont you guys BELIEVE?! Oilers Domination to follow and all that!
    All I see here are broken crushed battered Oiler fans. Sad


    • regw

      Dont let the proverbial door hit your sorry butt on the way out, and your “deposit” on the “dropped” DJ’s mike should pay for the rectal damage you deserve….

  • Ted

    Can’t even comment on the game! As I went it cow town to see what I was missing! … And apparently we are missing a lot! … Calgary’s fourth line got all three stars as they were dominant on the night! I think Turtle got one late! Any way I see what we are not and that is a unit and everyone is on the same page! Fast quick on the tape passes that defensively you can’t defend! Coming out of your own zone with ease repeatedly and never struggling! … Not the result I had hoped for but I learned what it should look like with the right buy in! Peters has got them rolling! …. Too bad we are so far behind! In the Twenties again for as long as Katz has owned the team! And doesn’t care cuz the seats are full! BOOM

  • CMG30

    Throwing a 4th liner under the bus for the failure of a team would be comical if it wasn’t so sad. When will management take responsibility for assembling a roster that everyone ‘felt comfortable’ with? Until Nicholson comes out and says: “We’ve done our forensic audit and we’ve determined that the people in charge of putting this team together for the past decade+ clearly don’t know what they’re doing so we’ve bulldozed the entire front office and we’re starting from scratch” followed by: “My final order of business will be to show myself out the back door because my performance to this point has determined that I’m as much a problem as the rest.” Until that happens we’re dead in the water barring a McMiracle…