At least the first period was fun? Final Score: 6-2 Avalanche
In last night’s wrap up, I wrote about how it was getting tough to be excited about game days and that point seemed amplified tonight. Even though we all kinda felt like the playoffs were nothing more than a pipe dream for a while now, the possibility of making it was mathematically intact (albeit on life support) and that gave us all hope for a miracle. Fully aware of the unlikelihood of sneaking in despite the horrible Western Conference, I was still enjoying the little window into fantasyland that math had been providing. Until the calculators told us that the dream was dead, there was room to be delusional. Now that that’s over… well… we’ve all been dished up a tough beet to swallow. I don’t know if a break between games would have made getting excited about the final three games a little bit easier, but I can tell you that sitting down to knock out 2000 words about what happened tonight wasn’t exactly at the top of my ‘for fun’ list. As a fan and a blogger, tonight was rough.
On the bright side, the Oilers came out flying in the first period and built themselves a two-goal lead, which actually did a pretty good job of turning my spirits around. Call me a sucker all you want, but at least I’m well aware of how vulnerable I am to the Oilers luring me back into their evil web at the first sign of success. I was sitting on my couch during the first intermission thinking that things had actually been going pretty well. The downside, of course, was when the boys dropped trou’ and left a turd on the ice in the middle frame, coughing up their lead by allowing four straight goals in a span of 7:48. I guess life comes at you fast, huh? To say that this game was an emotional rollercoaster after how it started to where it ended would be a massive understatement, but at the same time, it’s not overly surprising given how the Oilers often find ways to get us excited only to disappoint us and leave our hearts filled with sadness.
As our parents used to all say, I’m not mad about tonight’s loss but I certainly am disappointed… again.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- The game is over now.
- Milan Lucic opened the scoring for the Oilers after he parked himself in front of the net and got his stick on the Matt Benning point shot. The big man hadn’t scored in a while but he had some touch on the deflection that gave him six on the year.
- Darnell Nurse increased the Oilers’ lead to two goals with a beautiful individual effort that saw him dangling through the offensive zone and beating Varlamov with a goal that he would certainly want back. With this goal, Darryl became the first Oilers defenceman to register 40 points in a season since Sheldon Souray and Tom Gilbert both did it back in 2008-09.
- How about another two-point night for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins? With tonight’s assists, RNH set a new career-high for helpers and increased his season total to 67 points.
- At least we didn’t get outshot? 🤷♂️(29/29)
- Do you like when the Oilers win 52% of the faceoffs taken? Of course you do. I mean, it didn’t matter in the end but I’m really short on bright sides.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Nathan MacKinnon got the Avs on the board and cut the Oilers’ lead to a single goal after he broke in alone on a power play breakaway and made no mistake of burying his chance past Koskinen. The Oilers got themselves into penalty trouble as Brad Malone took back to back minors and MacKinnon wouldn’t be denied on the second chance.
- Moments after MacKinnon’s goal got the Avalanche on the board, Tyson Barrie tied things up at two with a wrister from the circle that Mikko Koskinen has to stop. Yeah, the shot went in just inside the corner but it wasn’t particularly hard and probably should have been knocked aside.
- With their third straight goal of the period, Alex Kerfoot gave Colorado their first lead off the night after he found himself with some space in the slot and perfectly placed to knock in a rebound in the empty cage. Kerfoot added a second goal in the third period when he crashed the crease and found a loose puck that he was just barely able to sneak over the line. I don’t really understand how there was a challenge of a challenge and I kinda forget that that’s a thing that happens now.
- Colin Wilson added a fourth second-period goal after he pulled off a spin-o-rama from the circle that beat Koskinen low to the stick side. As a warning, you’ll have to re-watch this goal in every highlight pack over the next day or so.
- Sven Andrighetto scored the Avs’ sixth goal of the night, but if I’m being honest, I had stopped caring by this point.
- It’s tough to win hockey games when you allowed five-straight goals without being able to respond in any way.
- For some reason, Ken Hitchcock thought it was necessary to give Mikko Koskinen another start despite the back-to-back games and I just can’t figure out why? I know Koskinen is the starter for next year and that the team wants to see how he’ll handle a heavier workload, but the stats are pretty clear on whether or not it’s a good idea to play a guy in two straight games. At least to start, Koskinen was very sharp and made some huge saves that allowed the Oilers to build themselves a lead. The problem was what happened next. Over the course of the final 40 minutes, Koskinen got torched from some tough goals that cannot go in on your starter and it created another round of chatter about what the Oilers are going to do in net. How are they going to solve this? Koskinen finished his night with 23 saves and a .793 save%.
- Oilers failed on both of their special teams as they got shutout in their lone power play attempted, and allowed a goal on one of three against.
- I can’t help but think of Tobias Rieder and the fact that there’s a very good chance he’ll run through an entire season with the Oilers without scoring a goal. That’s shocking to me. As I said last night, I assume he’s going to sign somewhere at league minimum for next season and end up with 12 goals and all of us will be shocked but not at all surprised.
- With tonight’s goal by Lucic, Cam took a commanding 4-1 lead in the Lucic Goal Draft which means he’ll be buying horrible shirseys for everyone on the ON Radio Podcast. I don’t know what he’s going to get for me but I already know I won’t be happy about it.
- Beets again? Why not. As always, you can join in on the #BeetCast conversation over on my Twitter account.
|09:20||Edmonton||Milan Lucic (6) ASST: Matt Benning (11), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (38)||1-0|
|13:01||Edmonton||Darnell Nurse (9) ASST: Sam Gagner (7), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (39)||2-0|
|04:56||Colorado||PPG – Nathan MacKinnon (40) ASST: Gabriel Landeskog (39), Tyson Barrie (45)||2-1|
|05:56||Colorado||Tyson Barrie (13) ASST: Nikita Zadorov (6)||2-2|
|07:43||Colorado||Alexander Kerfoot (14) ASST: Matt Nieto (19), Erik Johnson (17)||2-3|
|12:04||Colorado||Colin Wilson (12) ASST: Matt Calvert (15), Ian Cole (13)||2-4|
|07:30||Colorado||Alexander Kerfoot (15) ASST: Gabriel Landeskog (40), Tyson Barrie (46)||2-5|
|15:07||Colorado||Sven Andrighetto (7) ASST: Tyson Jost (14), Gabriel Bourque (6)||2-6|
If we had that guy we'd be in the playoffs!
— Marcel Schoenhardt (@mschoenhardt) April 3, 2019
1st and 3rd aren't their best either…
— 🥍 Derek Blasutti 🥍 (@dawgbone98) April 3, 2019
Man, that went oilers in a hurry!
— Paul Fitzharris (@kiwi_pfitz) April 3, 2019
Matt Hendricks would not allow this, let me tell you. https://t.co/vbSXdol6MW
— T-Hup, The Pope of Chili-Town (@thupka1982) April 3, 2019
Buy him out, then sign him again for what he’s making right now and it’s still less than what you are paying him next season haha. Oh boy. https://t.co/OrU2McvQz3
— Dustin Nielson (@nielsonTSN1260) April 3, 2019
DRAFT LOTTERY PARTY
As you may have heard, the Draft Lottery has been scheduled as its own show this year instead of being aired during the intermission of some random game. This gives us a great opportunity for the fans to come together and do what we do best, win draft lotteries. Jack Hughes is up for grabs in the number one spot and how funny would it be if we won again? #StriveForFive, amirite?
- Where? At the Northside Canadian Brewhouse (12711 97 St NW, Edmonton, AB)
- When? Tuesday, April 9th at 6 p.m
- How much? The event is FREE to enter!
Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 4/2/2019 – 9:45 pm MT