Damn you, Khudobin! Damn you! Final Score: 3-2 Stars in the shootout
I was thinking about the Dallas Stars this morning and it made me flashback to the early 2000s when the Oilers always seemed to match up with them in the first round of the playoffs. Back in those days, our budget boys were a touch short on skill but more than made up for it with the way they got on the grind and kept battling until the final buzzer sounded. Honestly, we were just happy to make the dance and if the boys managed to win a round then it was all gravy. These days, and I know that this is a strange thing to admit given the cornerstone pieces on the current roster, I’m really starting to miss those scrappy teams that scratched and clawed for everything they got, and even when they were didn’t win you knew it wasn’t for lack of effort. I feel like there have been too many times this year where we haven’t been able to say that, ya know?
As for tonight’s game, the Oilers had another wonderful opportunity to keep themselves in the mix by winning a game against a tired Dallas team that played last night in Calgary. Much to our collective delight, the Oilers showed up ready to play and they came out flying in the first period, controlling the pace and manufacturing the chances needed to build themselves an early lead. As the game moved on, Dallas’ play improved slightly as they got settled in but they could only ever manage to respond to what the Oilers were doing rather than wrestle control away. That said, the Oilers ran into a red hot goaltender that kept his team in the game even though they probably didn’t deserve to be. Despite outshooting the Stars 42-22, the Oilers couldn’t get more than the two goals past Anton Khudobin and that gave Dallas the daylight they needed to get back into it.
At the end of the day, the Oilers did basically everything they needed to do to win this hockey game but Anton Khudobin ruined those plans. As much as it sucks that we’re talking about one point instead of two, sometimes you just have to tip your cap to a goalie that stood on his head and that’s exactly what happened tonight.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Leon Draisaitl opened the scoring for the Oilers tonight after he blasted home a cross-ice pass from, who else, Connor McDavid after the captain found him with space and set him up for the one-timer. The goal not only gave the Oilers the lead but his 47th of the season was also his 100th point. What a year for Draisaitl.
- Connor McDavid scored the Oilers’ second goal of the night with a ridiculous between the legs move that not only fooled Khudobin but also the other 18,000 people in the building. Just a ridiculous goal by McDavid.
- You ever wonder which version of Mikko Koskinen you’re going to get on any given evening? Me too. Fortunately, tonight’s start provided us all with another opportunity to strap in, flip a coin, and take bets on which giant Finn would be showing up to guard the cage. Would we get the guy that looks like he could stop bullets or the one that makes us all feel uncomfortable when anything gets thrown on net? Though I wouldn’t necessarily say he was to blame for the two goals he allowed in regulation, he wasn’t able to outduel his opponent at the other end of the ice. Koskinen finished his night with 20 saves and a .909 save%.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins got an assist on Leon Draisaitl’s first period goal which gives him 65 points on the year. Hell of a season for the Nuge and I feel like now is as good of a time as any to remind everyone that he’s only 25 years old and going to keep getting better. #KeepNugeForever
THE FACE PALMERS
- Alex Radulov got the Stars on the board and cut the Oilers’ lead on the power play after he one-timed a cross ice pass from Seguin high over Koskinen’s glove hand. Yeah, I know we’re talking about another glove side goal again but I don’t know that Koskinen had much chance on this one.
- Miro Heiskanen tied the game at two apiece after he took a pass in the high slot and absolutely ripped it past a heavily screened Koskinen who didn’t even move on the play.
- Anton Khudobin was every shade of annoying tonight. Had it not been for him then this game wouldn’t have been close. Lame.
- When you outshoot the other team by a 2:1 margin and lose then you know that something went wrong somewhere. The answer? Khudobin was a real problem.
- Kris Russell left the game in the second period after blocking a shot and did not return until the start of the third. If Russell leaves the game with an injury you know the guy is hurt because he doesn’t normally seem to have a pain threshold.
- Oilers won only 48% of the faceoffs tonight which is a sad sight for this bagged-blogger. I mean, it’s not the worst number to see but there’s definitely room for improvement.
- Edmonton finished the night at 0/1 on the power play. Why did they only get one chance? That’s a good question, but one that we’ll never find the answer to.
- Speaking of special teams, Dallas was able to score on one of their two power play chances and that goal kicked off their comeback.
- Tobias Rieder’s stick is possessed by demons. It’s the only explanation.
- I hate beets so much. As always, you can join in on the #BeetCast conversation over on my Twitter account.
|04:59||Edmonton||Leon Draisaitl (47) ASST: Connor McDavid (74), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (37)||0-1|
|01:08||Edmonton||Connor McDavid (40) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (54)||0-2|
|06:20||Dallas||PPG – Alexander Radulov (26) ASST: Tyler Seguin (44), Roope Hintz (10)||1-2|
|07:47||Dallas||Miro Heiskanen (12) ASST: Jason Dickinson (14), Roope Hintz (11)||2-2|
|Edmonton||Goal – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins|
|Dallas||Missed – Alexander Radulov|
|Edmonton||Missed – Leon Draisaitl|
|Dallas||Goal – Tyler Seguin|
|Edmonton||Missed – Connor McDavid|
|Dallas||Missed – Miro Heiskanen|
|Edmonton||Missed – Sam Gagner|
|Dallas||Missed – John Klingberg|
|Edmonton||Missed – Alex Chiasson|
|Dallas||Goal – Jamie Benn|
Shoulda been 200 #lazy
— mike sinclair (@MeekerBeastman) March 29, 2019
It’s important to keep the beard quality high while Jujhar is out of the lineup
— That’s Horst Schist! (@geology24_7) March 29, 2019
Gambardella definitely drinks old fashions.
— The Towel Boy (@TheTowelBoy) March 29, 2019
— Rick Weidemann (@RPW_1832) March 29, 2019
Rieder is rocking the same luck I had back at urban lounge circa 2002
— nic. (@dangersuede) March 29, 2019
Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 3/28/2019 – 9:45 pm MT