That was fun. Did everybody else have fun? I had fun. Cool. Final Score: 6-2 Oilers
After Tuesday’s disaster in San Jose, I couldn’t wait for the boys to get back on the ice and try to avenge the loss. From start to finish, the boys did not look ready to play, their goaltending was poor, and it was the kind of game where the only thing to do was to learn some lessons, flush it and move on. Looking at tonight’s matchup, the Oilers had about as good of a chance as they’ll ever have against the Avalanche as they were running with their third-string goalie while also missing both Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog to injury, a rare opportunity of that they needed to take advantage of. They needed to find the killer instinct we’ve been looking for all season, and use it to kick the Avs while they’re down rather than playing the part of a gracious host. They needed to play angry. They needed to be the team that could run anyone out of the rink. Thankfully, that’s basically what we got.
But I won’t lie to you guys, when the Avalanche opened the scoring just over a minute into the hockey game I started to have painful flashbacks from Tuesday’s horrible effort in San Jose. The good news was that the boys quickly dashed those fears by putting up four straight goals before the first period was over, setting themselves up for a big win if they could keep it rolling. As the game progressed into the second period, the Oilers kept the hammer down and found varying ways to apply pressure in Colorado’s zone. While they didn’t get the offensive outburst we saw in the opening frame, the Oilers had plenty of chances and likely could have added, at least, another two or three goals over and above the two they were able to cash in on. Up by four goals with 20 minutes to go, all Edmonton really needed to do was keep their shit together and not do anything to jeopardize the win. With a 6-2 lead in their favour, coasting to victory was an easy game plan for the Oilers to come up with and one that they wrapped up nicely.
From start to finish, this was a very strong game for the Oilers and a commanding victory I think we all needed to see after Tuesday night’s sadness in San Jose.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- After going 11 games without scoring a goal, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins seems to be finding his offensive jam again and it showed with his snipe of a goal that tied the game at one apiece. Nuge took the pass from Connor McDavid in the high slot and rather than looking to pass, he ripped it into the top shelf with a snapshot that the goalie had no chance of stopping. In what was almost a carbon copy of his first goal, Nuge added another in the final minute of the second period and, once again, it was an absolute snipe from the high slot into the top corner. All of sudden, the guy that was completely snakebitten only a week ago now has four goals in his last three games. #KeepNugeForever
- Connor McDavid gave the Oilers the lead (2-1) with a power play goal after he snapped a quick wrister past Werner on the blocker side. McDavid picked up a loose puck in the circle and rather than trying to pass it over to someone else, he took matters in his own hands and buried his 12th goal of the season. Moments later, McDavid added a second goal on the man advantage with another wrist shot from the slot that Werner had absolutely no answer for. McDavid completed the hat trick midway through the second period with yet another power play wrister that Werner couldn’t handle and with that, the goalie’s night was over. I mean, what else can I really say about the guy on the back of a six-point night other than it was amazing to watch? He was incredible.
- Only moments after McDavid grabbed his team the lead, Zack Kassian extended it to two goals with a tap in after Leon Draisaitl’s wraparound attempt bounced off Werner’s pad and right to him. Arguably, this may have been one of the easiest goals of Kassian’s career so far but it was oh so beautiful to me. This was a great night for Kass which we all should have expected after he opened the game with a crushing hit on Nathan MacKinnon and followed it up by getting into a scrap and beating up Matt Calvert after he rushed in to defend his assistant captain.
- Leon Draisaitl is on a warpath and it seems like his only goal is complete and total destruction, and I am enjoying every single moment of it. I don’t know how good this guy can possibly get but I’m certainly excited to strap myself in and enjoy the ride while he figures it out. With five assists on the evening, Leon extended his ridiculous point streak to 11 games and is through 21 games at nearly a two-point/night pace. Absolutely incredible.
- After having a tough night in San Jose, Mike Smith was back between the pipes for the Oilers tonight and I was expecting a much better effort from him overall. Outside of the odd adventure save here and there, I thought that Smith played very well tonight and he made the kind of saves that provided his team with the foundation they needed to win. Despite was the score said, the Avalanche still fired more than 30 shots on goal so Smith had to be smart to keep this win intact. All in all, it was a nice bounce back game for the veteran after getting pumped for six goals on Tuesday night, and after taking some heat on Twitter this morning, Dave Tippett looks like a genius for giving him the chance. Smith finished the night with 31 saves and a .939 save%.
- How about Oscar Klefbom with a sneaky three-point night? Not only did he play huge minutes (27:30) in all situations, the shredded one was able to contribute on the offensive side of the puck while playing alongside a rookie.
- Big props to Caleb Jones for playing a simple game and looking good while he was at it in his first game since being recalled from Bakersfield. Jones finished the night with 14:40 worth of playing time to go along with one hit and one block.
- How good was the power play tonight (4/6)? Lethal. Deadly. All around sexy.
- Not to be outdone, the Oilers’ PK was rock solid again, killing off all five of the chances that they faced. That’s no small feat, my friends.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Just over a minute into the first period, Andre Burakovsky opened the scoring from in tight with a goal that Mike Smith was clearly not happy about. Burakovsky added a second goal in the middle frame after he picked up a strange rebound off of Smith’s pad and buried the puck into what was basically an empty net. It was a weird one and certainly a goal that Smith would want to have back, but it didn’t burn us in the end so let’s all move on and forget about it.
- Do we care that the Oilers won only 49% of the faceoffs? No, not really. I mean, let’s improve upon it but… meh.
- The game ended with the Avalanche outshooting the Oilers 32-28 and I feel like that’s an interesting stat considering how the final score ended up.
- I kinda wish this game was longer.
- WHERE’S THE TIPSTACHE!?
|01:20||Colorado||Andre Burakovsky (6) ASST: Nazem Kadri (8)||1-0|
|06:16||Edmonton||Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (4) ASST: Connor McDavid (21), Leon Draisaitl (22)||1-1|
|12:14||Edmonton||PPG – Connor McDavid (12) ASST: Oscar Klefbom (11), James Neal (3)||1-2|
|12:42||Edmonton||Zack Kassian (7) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (23), Connor McDavid (22)||1-3|
|15:51||Edmonton||PPG – Connor McDavid (13) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (24), Oscar Klefbom (12)||1-4|
|08:32||Edmonton||PPG – Connor McDavid (14) ASST: Oscar Klefbom (13), Leon Draisaitl (25)||1-5|
|16:36||Colorado||Andre Burakovsky (7) ASST: Erik Johnson (3)||2-5|
|18:15||Edmonton||PPG – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (5) ASST: Connor McDavid (23), Leon Draisaitl (26)||2-6|
Kassian had those crazy eyes.
— McSlammin (@samakehurst91) November 15, 2019
So polite with his snipe you very much.
— Kerry McGowan (@306Kerosene) November 15, 2019
Is he any good? Asking for my Leaf fan co worker
— Insert name here (@blakusta) November 15, 2019
Can you tell me how I'm gonna die?
— Jake (@W0NDERBOII) November 15, 2019
I bought a new hat in case Nuge gets a hatty too!! pic.twitter.com/8QST6rIzB1
— Real Steal 18 (@RPW_1832) November 15, 2019
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Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 11/14/2019 – 9:45 pm MT