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GDB 79.0 Wrap Up: Mathematically eliminated, Oilers fall 3-1 in Las Vegas

Bring on the draft lottery! Final Score: 3-1 Golden Knights.

The last time the Oilers were in Vegas, we made our way down there with a crew of fine Nation citizens to watch the game and it was arguably one of the most fun weekends that I’ve ever had. Seeing them back there tonight makes me wish that I was getting blasted down on the strip again rather than being stuck here, but I guess, we’ll just have to wait until next season to do it all over again. In the meantime, I just wanted the Oilers to win the hockey game and even up the season series. Sure, another win won’t matter in the grand scheme of things and would actually decrease the Oilers’ draft lottery odds, but, at this point, I’d still much rather that over having to crush beets at midnight again. As I’d soon find out, my hope for a win vanished about as quickly as it appeared.

Early on, the Oilers started the game with the same rope-a-dope approach that we saw the last time the team visited Vegas and it worked about as well too. With 10 minutes passing before the Oilers were able to register their second shot on net, it seemed like we were in for the kind of night that fills the heart with sadness and that’s more or less what happened. While things got better in the second and third periods, it was clear that the Oilers struggled to get anything done when McDavid’s line wasn’t on the ice and that will be one of the biggest issues the next GM will have to solve before next season. At the end of the night, the Oilers got outplayed and the result wasn’t all that surprising. Vegas is deeper, they got more chances, they have more guys that can score, and their goalie outplayed Edmonton’s which, as we know, was/will always be the recipe for a winning cocktail.

With Colorado picking up a point and the Oilers dropping tonight’s game, the playoff dream has officially ended. On to the draft lottery.

The wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

  • Connor McDavid got the Oilers on the board and cut the Knights’ lead to one goal with a quick snapshot that beat Subban cleanly, and gave the team a burst of energy that they desperately needed. The goal was McDavid’s 41st of the season which ties his career high and adds more salt to the wound that Peter Chiarelli left open and infected.
  • He didn’t score tonight, but Leon Draisaitl did add another assist to his pile tonight, and for that reason, we speak his name.
  • Mikko Koskinen got his 23rd straight in the last 24 games for the Oilers tonight and I was watching to see how he would respond after getting shelled against Anaheim on Saturday. In that game, Koskinen got beat high and to the glove side for most of the Ducks’ goals and it’s becoming clear that it’s an area of concern for the Oilers moving forward. And while he’ll certainly want one or both of tonight’s goals back, Mikko Koskinen was not the reason the team lost tonight. He made varying flavours of saves all night long and it kept the team in the game, something they probably didn’t deserve based on the way Vegas controlled the play. Koskinen finished the night with 28 saves and a .933 save%.
  • Zack Kassian’s production in the second half of the season has been impressive and I wanted to give him another shout out for seizing the opportunity to play on the top line. Kass got the primary assist on Connor’s goal tonight, giving him 11 on the season.
  • Props to the penalty kill for battling through the two opportunities that Vegas had.

THE FACE PALMERS

  • Colorado got the points needed to officially bump the Oilers out of playoff contention tonight. At least they made it to the last week of the regular season? Maybe? Anybody? *sigh*
  • Outshot 31-19. What else do you need to know?
  • Jonathan Marchessault extended the Knights’ lead to two goals after he picked up a turnover at the Vegas blue line and walked the puck into the Oilers zone, beating Koskinen through the legs with a backhand that probably should have been stopped. Initially, I thought the Oilers were in a decent spot to defend the play but the goalie has to make a save, something that clearly did not happen.
  • With the goalie pulled, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare added an empty net goal to put the final nail in the Oilers’ coffin.
  • Cody Eakin opened the scoring for the Golden Knights after he fired a quick wrister through traffic that beat Koskinen high over the blocker side. I don’t mean to pick on Koskinen, I really don’t, but it is fascinating how a dude that tall gets beat up high as often as he does.
  • The Oilers’ power play was baaaaad tonight, in that they weren’t able to get anything done and it wasn’t really close. Over the course of their two PP chances, I’m pretty sure you could maybe give the Oilers one or two legitimate chances to score and I feel like that’s being generous.
  • The NHL site has the giveaways as 7 to 6 (Vegas/Edmonton) and I don’t buy that for a second. I know the Oilers didn’t have the puck much but I feel pretty confident in saying that they had more giveaways than six.
  • Do I want the Oilers to be winning more 46% of the faceoffs they take? Yes. Yes, I do.
  • With the Oilers luck, Tobias Rieder is going to sign somewhere else for league minimum next season and go out and score 15 goals, right? You know it’s going to happen. I know he didn’t play tonight but I was thinking about it, and I’ve convinced myself that he’s going to torch us in the future somehow.
  • Late night beets are the worst kind of beets there are, and I’m not happy about having to do it two games in a row.  As always, you can join in on the #BeetCast conversation over on my Twitter account.

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
15:27 Vegas Cody Eakin (22) ASST: Brandon Pirri (6), Alex Tuch (32) 0-1

2ND PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
00:51 Vegas Jonathan Marchessault (25) 0-2
04:01 Edmonton Connor McDavid (41) ASST: Zack Kassian (11), Leon Draisaitl (55) 1-2

3RD PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
19:53 Vegas EN – SHG – Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (6) ASST: William Karlsson (32), Brayden McNabb (12) 1-3

#GOODCONTENT

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

SEASON ENDING ROAD TRIP

Based on the last two times we’ve done this trip, this is a weekend that you really don’t want to miss and to get a little silly with 50 of your fellow citizens while behind enemy lines takes everything to another level. And since I already know that you want to be there with us, let’s get to the details, shall we? Cool? Cool.

Give me the details, guy:

  • When? Saturday, April 6th, 2019
  • How much? The depends on how many people are coming with you. To put it another way, we’ve got a range of options including single occupancy ($335/person) up to groups of four ($250/person).
  • Why? Because we love to party
  • Where do you buy tickets? Right here, friend. But be warned, just like the last time we did this, the trip sold out quickly and procrastinating will be your enemy.

Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 4/1/2019 – 10:45 pm MT



  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    Alright it’s official. Connor is now pissed. Yet these guys will do NOTHING to make him happy this summer. I fully, FULLY expect Connor to ask for a trade if we don’t make the playoffs next year

    • Lazarus

      Yep. He is not happy AT ALL to be watching Johnny and Tkachuk skating into the playoffs as Conner picks up his golf bag. I’d say Edmonton better be making the playoffs next season too. Conner never wanted to be in Edmonton to begin with..he isn’t going to give that dumpster fire another 4 years

      • Freddie the fog

        @ Lazarus…Who said that ? Mcdavid ? Where did you come up with that one ? And before you say look at his reaction on draft day , that was taken out of context . And he probably couldnt get his head around the fact that he was going to Edmonton when everyone likely told him he was most assuredly going to Buffalo. Which would have been close to home for him. But how much better off would he have been in Buffalo ? As far as on ice success goes id suggest not much.

  • J.P Michaels

    Glad this Drama is over, finally the e is in front, didn’t expect it any other way. What ever Team Rieder joins (if it is on this side of the Atlantic) may he be more successful than he was in edm. Like so many players this season who haven’t scored for 10, 20 games they came to edm and they got a goal or two. Why should it be any different for Rieder??!!!

  • Himynameistaylor

    WELL AT LEAST KOSKINEN HAS A WHOLE SPRING AND SUMMER TO IMPROVE HIS CRAFT HE’S SO YOUNG AFTERALL IT’S NOT LIKE HE’S GOING TO REGRESS OR ANYTHING

  • GK1980

    Keep 3 current D and maybe keep a current guy for bottom two pairings but if they can somehow get 2 decent defencemen this summer it will do wonders for this team. That’s all. This should enhance the goalie stats and offence single handedly.

  • GK1980

    Seeing cags fight big Buff makes me infuriated how chia could trade this guy. I have a ton of choice words for chia and he is not welcome in this city anymore!

  • TruthHurts98

    Like I said all year they’d be drafting top 5-10. Trashed for it until late in the season. Look at the lineup out there after the top 3 centres, how could any of them even make the 4th line on playoff team??? Maybe Kassian and Chiasson but that’s it. This team needs a major overhaul in the roster, management, coaching etc. But good luck ever seeing that happen.

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    I get Hitch is under contract, but there is no way I bring back Hicth as head coach. The Assitants should not be back either, I have seen nothing out of the assitants, no improvements in the defensive systems nor any will to change it nor fix it all season and that let stick our stick out at the opposing player with the puck while my partner skates 6 feet away from my side while we skate as far back in on our goal as we can has to be one of the worst and most easily defeatble systems I have ever seen and the oilers coaching staff have stuck to it all year and having the guys act like they are tether together by a piece of rope 6 ft long just has left a gaping hole for the opposition and the coaches failed to see this all year. The guys in fornt of the net continously getting caught puck watching, guys continously letting puck carrier skate all the way deep into the zone never steering the guys to the outside nor even slighlty attempting to push the puck carrier off the puck or pressure them… no no not the kinder gentle oilers defensive system. The Oilers defensive system was an abyssmal failure and yes the players bare some responsibility but the coaching staff bares the majority, you can tell the players couldnt figure it out and didnt know how to play it and sure as heck didnt have any faith in it.

    Sorry the defensive first systems are a thing of the past we saw that against the stars when Hitch had the Oilers come out and try and play the trap to protect the lead and the stars saw we were going to play the trap and they could go full bore because we were going to sit back and play defence and the stars threw everything they had and scored and then the Oilers had to fight to get back into it and then boom ot and we lost. next game Hicth decides to play the trap from the start of the game against the ducks…a team that played the night before and was down players… when we should have been playing foot on the gas pedal, and what happens boom we are down 2-0… bad decisions….
    I like Hitch he is a good coach but Hitch’s coaching style hasnt kept up to todays NHL and its getting thumped. I dont think Hitch nor any of the assitants should be back… I see no reason to bring any of them back, there has been jno improvement from last year to this year, the PP, PK and defensive systems anbd goalies were all just as bad… and in no way should Schwartz be back;;;; no even as joey moss’s Assistant. There needs to be a huge house cleaning…but the whole coaching staff needs to go

    • GK1980

      A new coach or assistants next year won’t matter either man. We have seen this before. You keep the assistance this year so they can get the new coach up to speed and get the team rolling early. Replacing everyone is a bad mistake but hey it s the oilers….

    • J.P Michaels

      If i was Hitch I would have walked away midseason or so, I’m sure he could have done some better things with his spare time. It’s not on Hitch that the Team is where it is nor was it on Todd McL. It’s bad trading over the past years
      Good Players left and AHL Players came in return

  • Sven

    Flames sit all four of their top four defense men and two of their top six forwards-

    Flames 7 : Kings 2

    I’m starting to see the over/under on the number of Oiler jerseys tossed onto the Saddledome ice following the season finale in Cow Town April 6th approaching an even dozen

    • Reg Dunlop

      Can’t see it happening. Nobody cares anymore, players, ownership, fans. Nobody. The gong show here used to be entertaining at least, now it is just old, tired and dull.

  • Stallions #35

    Haha…the Reider prediction about league minimum and scoring 15 goals is so Oilers. I think he is better that he showed this year, hell if we can say that about Lucic year after year at 6 mill…I can use it for a guy at 2 mill. Oh Oilers… I am loyal to the team but this management is killing me.

  • Sorensenator

    The Oilers are not good but they didn’t play hard or with any intensity at all. This is a different team almost every game, they steadily outplayed the Stars last week and beat the hell out of LA yet they completely mail it in for a game against Anaheim and a very lackluster one again with Vegas. After steady goaltending and secondary scoring their biggest improvement need seems to be moral.

  • blobbo

    It would have been better to get eliminated before this. They could have fooled around with goaltending and farm kids rather than this fruitless attempt at grabbing a playoff spot.

    A very depressing season. At least they finally got around to punting Chiarelli. This team would have probably been better off keeping the McTavish/Nelson combo. It would have been impossible for them to do worse.

  • Schmidt Head

    Yes, that thing that anyone with a brain could plainly see was going to happen ever since Thanksgiving, is finally “official.” Oh, the drama of it all!!!

    Now we can all get on with the next chapter in our own little reality show – “Oilers Off-season Follies.” The OBC will get together for beers and a bit of self-worship and draw names out of a hat to see who gets which job next year. Then they’ll proceed to trade away some of our gold for clumps of crumpled tin foil which will subsequently be signed to multi year mega contracts.

    And once again next year, the fat sloppy kid will be running for the bus as it pulls away, trying to pull his pants up and waving his lunch box shouting “hey, wait for me!! while the other kids laugh at him”

  • That's My Point

    7 years ago, in 2012 when the Oilers got their 3rd FIRST overall pick, I thought that FINALLY they’d make the playoffs and improve as a team.
    What happened to this franchise??
    How is it possible that an EXPANSION team is kicking their butts?
    Something tells me this runs DEEP into the organization.
    Islanders have their top player leave for nothing in return, get a new coach and they have 99 points in only 80 games. (only 77 points in 82 games last season) Oilers have only 77 points currently and I’m thinking it’ll take MORE than a good coach to turn this around. AND hopefully our best player doesn’t bolt.

  • CMG30

    Going forward, the biggest problem facing this team is a huge deficit in professional evaluation of players among the top brass. Outside of the handful of high end picks, nobody in this organization seems to understand what makes a good player. Next up on the list is player development and cap management. All the arrows point to the front office being the issue, I wonder if we will see some accountability there this summer?

  • camdog

    This season can be summed up to me as in fighting with management. It’s well known that there were disagreements, that they weren’t talking. I’m guessing some of the Old Boys wanted PC gone going into the season and he knew this. What ever happened in the office, it’s a first, and that’s saying a lot considering it’s been over a decade of this…

  • OilersBro

    My buddies and I were having a conversation about how to get the message across while still supporting the team… I know this is sketchy as hell but next year I’m streaming all my games on reddit instead of buying TV packages that include the Oilers. If I want new gear, i’ll buy it fake. For games i go to in rogers place, i’ll have my food and beers in the downtown core beforehand. I still want to support this team but I’ll be darned if Katz gets a dime from me if he continues to let incompetent people like Bobby Nick’s run this team. I’m cheering for the players, not the team at this point.