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GDB 3.0 Wrap Up: The Real Steal powers Oilers to 5-2 victory over Islanders

Enjoy that third round pick, Calgary. Final Score: 5-2 Oilers

Don’t you just love a good Eastern road trip? To me, there’s nothing better than bailing on work early, beating rush hour traffic, and landing in my favourite spot on the couch to sit and watch an Oilers game. Now, I understand that most of you have adult jobs and aren’t able to pull the chute on life like I am, I certainly recognize how lucky I am to do this for a living, but I think we can all agree on and appreciate the opportunity to crack open a couple of cold ones before the sun goes down. I don’t know why but these early starts just seem to hit a little bit differently, ya know? Hell, even if these things go bad, you still have the rest of the night to let the anger subside and move on with your life.

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The good news is that the Oilers came ready to play and they turned that energy into a few prime scoring chances early. Even when the Islanders were able to grab a lead, the Oilers didn’t stop pushing forward and it wasn’t long before the Real Deal, James Neal, was able to turn the tides with three straight goals (he added a fourth in the third period). Even with hats being thrown for Neal, all four lines consistently found ways to keep the hammer down and the Islanders really struggled to handle the pressure. Outside of a few shifts here and there where New York was actually able to generate some chances and zone time, the Oilers were in complete control of this hockey game and it was a marvellous sight to behold. I don’t know if this is because the season is only a week old or if the Oilers are actually real, but I haven’t seen this team play with this kind of gusto in years.

The wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

  • James Neal tied the game up at one apiece after running a nice little give-and-go with Nugent-Hopkins that opened up some space for the new guy to blast a slapshot through Varlamov. Nuge didn’t end up getting an assist on the play but it was a nice little bit of puck movement from the two linemates that are starting to form some chemistry. Only moments later, Neal scored a second goal on the power play after Connor McDavid found him at the side of the net where he was able to fire a quick wrister through Varlamov and into the net. Think he was done? Of course not. James Neal converted the natural hat trick midway through the second period with a second powerplay goal and I honestly thought I was going to die from laughing. Amazingly, even the hat trick wasn’t enough for Neal as he ended up with a fourth goal in the third period after he sunk one past Greiss from a bad angle. To say that the guy was hot tonight would be offensive to the language. At six goals on the season so far, Neal is already over halfway to last year’s production and I can’t stop laughing at the fact that this trade actually happened.
  • Zack Kassian kept the onslaught coming with his third goal of the season in the back half of the second period. As he’s done all year, Kassian drove to the crease with his stick on the ice and his linemates were able to weave some magic and find him on the doorstep. If the guy keeps playing like this, he’s going to shatter his career-high of 15 goals.
  • Remember the band Everclear? Pretty sure they wrote Everything to Everyone about Connor McDavid. Once again, the captain was electric tonight and he seemed to have the juice to put up points at will. Frankly, the fact that he “only” finished with three points on the night is almost surprising.
  • Mikko Koskinen got his first start of the season tonight, and, to put it lightly, I think all of us were intrigued (nervous?) to see how that was going to go. That’s not to say that we don’t trust Mikko to put in a quality start, he’s certainly proved he can do that in the past, but his inconsistency has caused many of us to keep our guards up. Fortunately, the big man was up for the challenge tonight and he put in 60 solid minutes between the pipes. Koskinen finished the night with 25 saves and a .926 save%.
  • How about Oscar Klefbom with another assist to go along with his team-high 26:44 worth of ice time? Dude was a machine tonight.
  • Casual two points from Leon Draisaitl again! Dude is a stud and I love him.
  • Riley Sheahan made his regular season debut tonight after missing the last couple of games due to concussion protocol. From where I blog, I was excited for Sheahan to come back because having him in the lineup is a clear upgrade over having Colby Cave fighting above his weight class on the third line. Welcome to the Oilers, sir!
  • I like Matt Benning’s game tonight and I wanted to make a point of talking about it since I know a lot of folks around here aren’t fans. From start to finish, Benning was making nice reads on the puck and if he had any luck he probably would have had himself a goal to go along with a very nice all-around game.
  • Isn’t it weird to watch the Oilers kill penalties and not automatically assume that a goal is coming? Wild!
  • Not to be outdone, the powerplay did some fine work tonight to the tune of two goals on five chances. Outside of allowing the shortie to open the scoring, the Oilers were very dangerous with the man advantage and my body was ready for it.

THE FACE PALMERS

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  • Anthony Beauvillier opened the scoring with a shorthanded marker after he slipped behind the coverage and found himself in alone on Mikko Koskinen. On the breakaway, Beauvillier made a nice little dangle to his backhand that had the goalie guess and he used the space to absolutely roof the puck.
  • Matt Martin got the Isles’ second goal of the night by parking himself in the front of the net with his stick on the ice. From there, Noah Dobson found him with a perfect pass and he was able to raise it up and over Koskinen to pull NY to within three goals.
  • Oilers only won 42% of the faceoffs tonight, but, you know… who cares right now?
  • I don’t care what any of you say, I still miss Jordan Eberle.
  • Honestly, not a whole lot to complain about tonight. This could be the shortest “Face Palmers” section in years.

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
14:14 New York SHG – Anthony Beauvillier (2) ASST: Leo Komarov (3) 0-1
17:53 Edmonton James Neal (3) 1-1
19:29 Edmonton PPG – James Neal (4) ASST: Connor McDavid (4), Darnell Nurse (2) 2-1

2ND PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
06:31 Edmonton PPG – James Neal (5) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (5), Connor McDavid (5) 3-1
08:46 Edmonton Zack Kassian (3) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (6), Connor McDavid (6) 4-1

3RD PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
06:51 Edmonton James Neal (6) ASST: Tomas Jurco (2), Oscar Klefbom (4) 5-1
13:32 New York Matt Martin (1) ASST: Noah Dobson (1), Casey Cizikas (1) 5-2

#GOODCONTENT

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THE SEASON LAUNCH PARTY

If you’ve ever been to one of our events, you’ll already know that your ticket to the event will not only guarantee you memories that last a lifetime, a swag bag that will help power to your through life, but it also helps us raise money for a local charity all at the same time. This time around, we wanted to make the event as accessible as possible so that we can pack the Brewhouse and kick off the season with as many Nation citizens as we get in the building. And since the party starts so early on a Saturday, the Brewhouse is able to offer an all-ages event, meaning this is the perfect event to bring your kids to.

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Where: The Canadian Brewhouse – Lewis Estates (1320 Webber Greens Dr NW)
When: Saturday, October 12th, with doors opening at 10 AM and the hockey game starting at 11 AM
How much: Tickets are $15 each with net proceeds going directly to the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation.
The bag: Exclusive Season Opener Party tee, Brewhouse GC, Oodle Noodle GC, stickers, and a ticket to enter all of the draws and raffles
How: Tickets are available here.


Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 10/08/2019 – 7:40 pm MT