Brutal finish to what was an incredible start. Final Score: 5-4 Stars in OT
As I wrote in this morning’s GDB, the rivalry between the Oilers and Stars has calmed down a lot over the years but that doesn’t mean that my hatred from them has too. I feel like a lot of people think the war is over but I’m still out in the jungle, waiting for the battle to come back online. It’s the kind of deep-seated hatred that was planted in my youth and now that I’m in my 30s, I feel the responsibility to make sure that kids remember how horrible this Stars franchise truly is. I need to make sure that the youth knows about the struggle we all felt and battled through in the early 2000s. But since we can’t yell at Marty Turco and Mike Modano anymore, the next best thing we can hope for as a means of avenging those playoff loses would be to hand the current iteration of the team an ‘L’ that stops their winning streak. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I also knew (read: hoped) that our boys would step up to the challenge.
The first step in my plan for Dallas domination was to set the tone and get a good start. Unfortunately, it was the Stars that found a way to open the scoring with an early period goal, but the good news was that their lead only lasted for 11 seconds. Much like Thursday night, the Oilers played with pace in the early going and were not at all phased by being down a goal, battling their way back to not only to tie the game but wrestle the lead away. As the game progressed through the second period and into the third, the Oilers looked like they were poised to coast into a second straight victory, but I didn’t expect them to take the “coasting” angle quite so literally. To say the least, the third period was an awful showing for Edmonton and they allowed the Stars all the chances and offensive opportunities they needed to claw their way back into a game that they had no business being in. To me, it was like the boys got cocky or something and simply expected the win to come to them rather than putting their foot on the Stars’ neck and choking them out until the final buzzer sounded.
At the end of the day, we should be talking about a second straight win as the team heads out on their road trip, but instead, the boys will be forced to learn a lesson about the importance of playing with urgency for the full 60 minutes. You could give Dallas credit for the comeback, but I can’t help but feel like this was more a case of the Oilers blowing the lead and losing a point. I guess we’ll just take the lesson and move on.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Only 11 seconds after the Stars opened the scoring, Jujhar Khaira came roaring right back with a nice little dangle and finish to tie the game up at one apiece with his second goal of the season. The Oilers needed to get a response quickly and I loved seeing that it was a bottom six forward that came up with the tying goal. But Jujhar wasn’t done with a single, he followed up his first period marker with a beautiful snapshot goal in the middle frame that restored the Oilers’ lead (3-2) and swung the momentum back in their favour. 🔨🔨
- In the final minute of the opening frame, Leon Draisaitl put home his 16th goal of the season to not only give his team the lead but also to extend his point streak to 12 games, and tack on his 42nd point of the season. Are you surprised that I’m back in the Wrap Up pumping Leon’s tires again? You shouldn’t be. I mean, I don’t have the words of the capacity to accurately describe how incredible he’s been this season so all I’ll say is that he’s making me happier than Pogs + Golden Eye combined. If you’re a 90s kid like me, you’ll know exactly how incredible that is.
- Ethan Bear put the Oilers up by two goals after he snuck his way into the slot on the power play and perfectly finished off the cross-crease pass from Connor McDavid. Despite playing very well, Bear hadn’t scored a goal in 13 games and I loved seeing him be rewarded with both some power play time and a big goal to cap it all off. I love this kid’s story and I cannot cheer for him loudly enough. Ethan Bear is an absolute unit.
- After putting up a half dozen points against the Avalanche on Thursday night, I was very excited to see what Connor McDavid would do for an encore and he did not disappoint. For the first 40 minutes, McDavid was a sorcerer on the ice and was basically able to do as he pleased with the puck, making the Stars look like they weren’t even playing the same game. It’s like the guy has a Game Genie that no one else has access to except for maybe Leon Draisaitl. Either way, Connor had another excellent out and finished the afternoon with three more points on the pile and I cannot thank the Hockey Gords enough that he is an Edmonton Oiler. Unbelievable.
- For the second straight game, I liked the way that Caleb Jones played. It’s not that he was overly flashy or anything like that, but he game a simple, quiet outing and I say that as a compliment. I’m a big Caleb Jones guy and I think he’s only going to get better with the more minutes he plays, and it’ll be very interesting to see how the pairings shake out when Adam Larsson comes back from his injury.
- The Oilers needed their PK to be good again today and it was exactly that. The boys killed off all both chances they faced and have now discarded 20 straight penalties without a goal against.
- At least Sekera didn’t score?
THE FACE PALMERS
- Jason Dickinson opened the scoring with a seeing-eye wrister through traffic as he was falling. It was the kind of weird goal that we haven’t really see too much of this season. While I certainly wouldn’t hang this one on Koskinen, I bet he’d say that he probably would have to have another chance at it if he could.
- Mikko Heiskanen tied the game up (2-2) for the Stars after sneaking his way into the slot and roofing Jamie Benn’s centring pass high over Koskinen into the top shelf. Benn outworked a couple of Oilers in the corner to walk out of the pile with the puck and his pass to Heiskanen set the defenceman up on a tee. Not much that Koskinen could have done about this one.
- Blake Comeau brought the Stars back to within one goal (4-3) after tucking home a rebound that was caused by a bad angle shot that Koskinen wasn’t able to direct away to safety. Actually, it was the kind of ‘shot for a rebound’ play that I wish the Oilers would try more so it was hard to be angry about the way it was executed.
- Tyler Seguin tied the game up at four apiece after he was set up on a tee to blast off on a shot from near the blue line that, in my opinion, Koskinen probably should have stopped. It was a tough goal at a horrible time and that’s a bad combination, to say the least.
- Jamie Benn completed the comeback with an OT goal after the boys were once again caught puck watching.
- What was the deal with the Oilers allowing an early goal in all three periods + the bonus frame? Not ideal to say the least.
- To take that last point a step further, that third period was arguably the ugliest 20 minutes we’ve seen from the Oilers in a while and I plan on drinking the memories of that one away tonight. With a win in their sights and likely on their minds, the Oilers dropped the ball and allowed themselves to be outshot 15-4 in the final frame. Woof.
- After sitting out the past couple of nights, Mikko Koskinen was back between the pipes for the Oilers and trying to keep his stellar season going. Personally, I know that I threw a lot of shit at the guy over the summer and I could not be happier to be wrong, eating crow with every single win he puts up on the board. Through 40 minutes, I thought that Koskinen played very well but he, along with his teammates, seemed to lack focus in the third period and it resulted in them coughing up the leading and ultimately dropping the game. Tyler Seguin’s tying goal, in particular, is certainly one that Koskinen should have had, but I’m going to go ahead and suggest that we should let this one slide and see how he rebounds in his next start. Koskinen finished the game with 31 saves and a .861 save%.
- I’m not making this a big deal or anything, but I’d like to see some better decision making from Darnell Nurse in his own zone. I felt like he got caught puck watching a few times and I think we can all agree that he’s generally better than that.
- As much as I love the offence the first line is able to produce, they need to be equally good in their own end and that wasn’t the case tonight. Maybe that trio was looking to transition to offence too quickly? I don’t know the answer but I assume they’ll be much better in the next game.
- The biggest loser in all of this is me for having to delete a big chunk of the Wrap Up and re-write it. I’ll take the blame for thinking they were going to close that one out.
|08:57||Dallas||Jason Dickinson (2) ASST: Tyler Seguin (10), Roman Polak (1)||1-0|
|09:08||Edmonton||Jujhar Khaira (2)||1-1|
|19:26||Edmonton||Leon Draisaitl (16) ASST: Connor McDavid (24), Darnell Nurse (7)||1-2|
|00:48||Dallas||Miro Heiskanen (5) ASST: Jamie Benn (7), Jason Dickinson (2)||2-2|
|03:34||Edmonton||Jujhar Khaira (3) ASST: Connor McDavid (25), Oscar Klefbom (14)||2-3|
|18:41||Edmonton||PPG – Ethan Bear (3) ASST: Connor McDavid (26), Leon Draisaitl (27)||2-4|
|05:21||Dallas||Blake Comeau (2) ASST: Andrew Cogliano (3), Radek Faksa (5)||3-4|
|18:11||Dallas||Tyler Seguin (5) ASST: Miro Heiskanen (9), Anton Khudobin (2)||4-4|
|01:14||Dallas||Jamie Benn (2) ASST: Tyler Seguin (11), Esa Lindell (4)||5-4|
The spot is gone. #SpotWatch
— TheTowelBoy (@TheTowelBoy) November 16, 2019
I would hope it’s just a bunch of pictures of all the shin pads that gave their lives to protect his shins.
— Geoff Walker (@Walker8Geoff) November 16, 2019
Mikko Koskinen should be arrested for this save. Unreal. pic.twitter.com/3PxDAgHX7h
— 𝗔𝗱𝗮𝗺 (@OilersAdam) November 16, 2019
— Real Steal 18 (@RPW_1832) November 16, 2019
Can we talk about JUJahr's muzzy right now. I'm in section 209 and I think I'm pregnant.
— Chevy 🌋 (@ThatTommyCkid) November 16, 2019
Oilers snatched defeat from the hands of victory with that brutal showing in the third. Lots of brutal to go around in that period.
— Pray For Playoffs 2020 (@TylorFaoro) November 16, 2019
— Ryder (@ryderfm) November 16, 2019
The man is a warlord and deserves to be commemorated by a new tee. Check out the Neon Leon version 3.0 tee that is now available at NationGear.ca.
Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 11/16/2019 – 5:10 pm MT