Bear! Bear! Bear! Final Score: 2-1 Oilers
Coming into tonight’s game, there was absolutely no reason, in my mind, that the Oilers shouldn’t be able to run the show against the Red Wings. Frankly, Detroit is a rebuilding team that the boys need to put the boots to every single time and seeing anything less than that would be massively disappointing, especially considering Dave Tippett called his team out after Wednesday’s win against the Flyers. Despite winning that game, the Oilers got dummied in the second period and had it not been for some outstanding goaltending from Mikko Koskinen then we could have easily been talking about two straight losses rather than a sixth win overall. As much as the rope-a-dope worked for Ali back in the day, I’m not a big fan of the Oilers testing their luck with this strategy nor do I like seeing them back on their heels for sizeable chunks of the night against beatable teams. Fortunately, we got a better effort tonight.
When the game started, the Oilers hit the ice with speed and finesse, generating some early pressure and zone time that probably should have resulted in a goal or two. You could tell early on that the Oilers are the better of these two teams, but the problem was that they couldn’t find a way to convert on any of their chances which left the window open for Detroit to hang around. In the second period, the Oilers stuck with their game plan and kept throwing pucks at Jonathan Bernier, eventually sneaking a pair of goals through him. Even after Detroit answered with a goal of their own to close the gap to within one, the Oilers never really wavered in their approach and basically spent the final 20 minutes chipping away at the clock until the final buzzer sounded. Outside of a few shifts here and there where the Red Wings were able to maintain the zone, I never really felt like the tides were turning or that our boys were ever in too much trouble. To me, this was a sound win for the Oilers despite the fact that the score probably should have been more lopsided than it ended up.
Thanks to solid goaltending and stellar penalty kill, the Oilers find themselves with 14 points in the bank and an emotional win for their new GM. All-in-all, that’s a decent Friday night, my friends.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- James Neal scored his ninth goal of the season tonight to open the scoring and give his team the lead. Nine goals. I’m just gonna let that ring out for second… Nine. Enjoy that third round pick, ya turds.
- Will I stop talking about Ethan Bear? No. No, I won’t. Once again, the kid was rock solid on the Oilers’ blue line and he makes the kind of plays that really calms things down on the ice, a skill that has been few and far between around these parts. So to see him get rewarded with another goal after firing a seeing-eye wrister from the point that made its way through traffic and into the net made me every shade of happy. Bear is easily one of the best stories of the season so far.
- This is me, once again, pumping Leon Draisaitl’s tires because the dude is an absolute warlord for this team right now. The guy has at least a point in every single game the Oilers have played this season and I can’t come up with the words to say accurately describe how good he’s been.
- I don’t think I’m talking out of school when I say that Mikko Koskinen was one of the best Oilers on Wednesday night, so it wasn’t exactly surprising to see him get another start against Detroit. In the three games he’s played so far, Costco has been rock solid between the pipes and tonight’s start was no different. Though he wasn’t as busy as his counterpart, Koskinen made plenty of big saves that maintained the team’s led and provided them with a solid foundation. The big man is providing this team with quality goaltending right now and I am pumped for him. Koskinen finished the night with 25 saves and a .962 save%.
- Shout out to Darnell Nurse for adding two more assists to his totals. I thought Darryl skated the puck well tonight and, at least by my eye, his passing seems to be improving as we move along as well.
- Alex Chiasson got his first point of the season tonight and I think he’s looked really nice alongside Nuge and Neal. Who knows how long that trio will stick together but I like the way they worked together tonight.
- Oilers put up a season-high 37 shots on goal and likely should have had more than two goals had Bernier not been so annoying.
- I’ll go ahead and say that I’m a big fan of these third jerseys and I thought they looked slick on TV. Thoughts?
- Who loves the Oilers going 52% in the faceoff circle? Me. Thank you.
- Wouldn’t you love to know how much money Ken Holland put up on the board tonight? You’d have to think it’s a sizeable sum, right? Either way, he gets his first win against his former club and that has to feel good.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Mike Green got the Red Wings on the board after his wrister from the high slot deflected in off of Tomas Jurco. Leading up to the goal, Detroit had the cycle running pretty good in the Oilers zone and the home side got a little bit scrambly before Green was finally able to finish things off.
- How annoying was Jonathan Bernier tonight? I called it on today’s Oilersnation Radio when I said that the Oilers should probably trounce the Red Wings but just watch their goalie put in a Vezina calibre performance. WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING TO US!?
- The power play didn’t score tonight — what gives? I keed. They had some solid chances to score with the man advantage but just couldn’t get the finish.
- There were a lot of empty seats at Rogers Place tonight. I’m not putting this in the face palmers because I think not going to the game is a problem, I’m simply pointing it out to show how upset Oilers fans really are about how things have gone over the last couple of years. Do you blame them? I don’t.
|07:39||Edmonton||James Neal (9) ASST: Alex Chiasson (1), Darnell Nurse (5)||0-1|
|12:22||Edmonton||Ethan Bear (2) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (10), Darnell Nurse (6)||0-2|
|16:37||Detroit||Mike Green (1) ASST: Tyler Bertuzzi (5), Madison Bowey (1)||1-2|
5 sheets per trip around the sun gives him MANY options.
— Kerry McGowan (@306Kerosene) October 19, 2019
Remember when Larkin cheated the fastest skater competition? Pepperidge Farm remembers
— nrXic (@nrXic) October 19, 2019
So, we all love Ethan Bear, right? That's one of those universal things, right?
— Travis Dakin (@TravisDakin) October 19, 2019
Hanging the L is fun. Thanking The flames on their twitter account for every Neal goal might be even more fun
— Jesse Goddard (@Jessekgoddard) October 19, 2019
Undefeated in alternate jerseys! @OilersnationHQ
— Graham Aberg (@GMAberg) October 19, 2019
This new shirt is a steal of a deal and you won’t have to trade an overpriced fourth-liner to get one. Click the link here to buy
Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 10/18/2019 – 9:45 pm MT