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GDB 17.0 Wrap Up: The Corsi failed us, Oilers lose 5-2 to St. Louis Blues

Sad panda. Final Score: 5-2 Blues

I don’t know if you guys have been keeping an eye on the standings yet or not, but the Pacific Division is as tight as it gets right now in the NHL. Heading into tonight’s contest with the Blues, the difference between first and sixth place was only three points and, for me, that suggested that this game was a must-win for the Oilers. I know it’s only November and nobody wins the Cup this early, but I still wanted to see the boys maintain their position at the top of the Pacific by finding a way to take advantage of a team on the second half of a back-to-back set. Seeing as they were up against the defending champs, I was expecting everyone to be ready. Needless to say, the Oilers had to be dialled in if they were going to throw two more points on the pile because the Blues are a hell of a hockey team regardless of playing last night in Vancouver.

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Considering the Oilers were going up against a “tired” team with a struggling Jake Allen between the pipes, it was crucial that they get their legs going to try and get as many opportunities on net as they could, especially early. The good news was that they accomplished exactly that, even grabbing themselves a lead with an early goal by Connor McDavid. For the second straight game, the boys were able to grab an early lead and set themselves up for success. The bad news was that their lead didn’t last very long as the Oilers took a tough penalty and were promptly punished for it. Moving through the second period and into the third, plenty of chances were exchanged at both ends of the ice but it was only the St. Louis Blues were able to capitalize. Edmonton got plenty of shots, but couldn’t get much in terms of finish. And even though the Oilers were able to get a goal from Zack Kassian midway through the final frame to pull the game to within one, the Blues never really looked like they were in much danger of giving up their lead.

Once again, the Oilers were only able to get goals from their top line and until that changes then we’re likely in line for more nights like this when they have a chance to win but don’t have the horses to make it happen. All-in-all, that’s a tough loss.

The wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

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  • Connor McDavid opened the scoring early in the first period after picking up a nifty little pass from Leon Draisaitl at full flight and ripping a wrist shot through Allen on the short side. McDavid had his rocket legs going all night long, which caused all kinds of havoc for the Blues’ defenceman any time he had the puck.
  • Zack Kassian brought the Oilers to within a single goal (3-2) after he took a pass from Draisaitl at full flight just as he was streaking into the zone and he ripped a perfectly placed wrist shot high on Allen’s blocker side. The goal was Kassian’s first in 13 games and it made the final nine minutes of the game so much more interesting than it otherwise could have been.
  • I will never get tired of talking about how good Leon Draisaitl is or how impressive he is on the offensive side of the puck. The guy is absolutely dominant right now and it’s been a lot of fun to watch him demolish the competition so far this season. Yesterday at Nation HQ, we were talking about how lucky the Oilers were to grab him at #3 in his Draft year and how grateful we are that the Buffalo Sabres decided to take Sam Reinhart at #2 instead. What a gift!
  • At least David Perron didn’t score?

THE FACE PALMERS

  • Only moments after the Oilers opened the scoring, Jaden Schwartz tied the game up at one apiece on the power play after he got his stick on an Alex Pietrangelo point shot as it made its way through traffic. Tomas Jurco took a weak hooking penalty on the play and you just know that Dave Tippett won’t be happy about that.
  • Midway through the second period, the Blues took the lead (2-1) with a second power play goal with Alex Pietrangelo as the shooter. Only this time, his point shot went straight in rather than being deflected out front. You could tell Mike Smith was pissed off after the goal but I couldn’t tell whether or not it was because he let the shot in or because of something that was going on in front of him.
  • Robert Thomas extended the Blues’ lead to two goals (3-1) when his wrist shot from the left side made its way through Mike Smith between the arm and body. Frustratingly, the Oilers had some nice pressure going at the other end of the ice but just couldn’t score, and as we’ve seen so many times before, the Blues walked the puck down the other way and buried it.
  • Tyler Bozak got the empty netter for the Blues after he threw it down the ice in desperation and got one of the luckiest bounces I’ve seen in a while.
  • Ivan Barbashev added a second empty-net goal because the Oilers decided that pulling Smith when down by a pair was necessary for some reason.
  • I know Joel Persson had a screw up on Monday which led to Carl Soderberg’s goal, but I personally believe that he’s a better option to play than Brandon Manning. Having Manning in the lineup means that Kris Russell has to play on his off-wing which obviously isn’t ideal.
  • It was a tough night for the Oilers’ penalty kill as they allowed two goals on three St. Louis chances. You can’t be perfect every night, I supposed.
  • I think we need to find some kind of sacrifice or contact a witch doctor to get the Oilers’ power play back to where it was in the first couple weeks of the season. I know they got a goal tonight (1/3) but they haven’t looked the same with the man advantage in a while.
  • Tonight was not a good night for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and I’m being kind here. The guy looks like he’s playing with zero confidence right now and he desperately needs a goal to bounce in off his ass or something. To put it lightly, he’s not looking like the same guy right now. The wild thing is how pissed off some people are getting at him right now, but can we all agree that we shouldn’t turn his dry spell into him being a whipping boy? Can we do that for once?
  • Mike Smith was back between the pipes after an all-world performance on Saturday in Pittsburgh, and I was looking for him to pick right back up where he left off against the Penguins. Outside a few mistakes here and there, Smith has been lights out for the Oilers and they needed him to be great again tonight against the Blues. Unfortunately, Smith was only okay tonight and he didn’t get the run support needed to bail him out. Mike Smith finished the night with 20 saves, a .870 save% and his first assist as an Edmonton Oiler.
  • WE WANT THE TIPSTACHE!

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
02:46 Edmonton PPG – Connor McDavid (8) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (15), Mike Smith (1) 0-1
06:02 St. Louis PPG – Jaden Schwartz (3) ASST: Alex Pietrangelo (7), David Perron (9) 1-1

2ND PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
07:10 St. Louis PPG – Alex Pietrangelo (6) ASST: Ryan O’Reilly (13), Brayden Schenn (6) 2-1
15:18 St. Louis Robert Thomas (3) ASST: Jaden Schwartz (11), Justin Faulk (6) 3-1

3RD PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
11:02 Edmonton Zack Kassian (4) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (16), Connor McDavid (18) 3-2
19:01 St. Louis EN – SHG – Tyler Bozak (2) 4-2
19:27 St. Louis EN – SHG – Ivan Barbashev (1) ASST: Alex Pietrangelo (8), Carl Gunnarsson (3) 5-2

#GOODCONTENT

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Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 11/06/2019 – 9:15 pm MT