Short bench, bad reffing, and a game to forget. Final Score: 4-1 Avalanche
Coming into tonight’s game, the Edmonton Oilers had a chance of picking up eight out of a possible 10 points on their road trip and I don’t need to tell anyone here how massive of an opportunity that was. And seeing as this is a lighter game week than we’ve had in the past, closing out the roadie with another win would have done wonders for keeping the rest of the Pacific Division at bay, and it was the only outcome I was about to accept. Furthermore, the Avalanche were still without both Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog in their lineup which was another rare opportunity that the boys needed to take advantage of exactly as they did a couple of weeks ago. I know I talk about developing a killer instinct a lot, but I couldn’t help but look at a game like this one and think that it was an excellent chance to work on kicking a team while they’re down, or, at the very least, missing two of their most important players.
As always, the first step in achieving our two-point dream was for the boys to get off to a fast start and test the Avs’ goaltender early and often. Instead, what we got was an onslaught by the Avalanche in the first few minutes and an Oilers team that was too often watching rather than engaging. The good news is that Mikko Koskinen was dialled in, and his brick wall-ness afforded his teammates the time they needed to settle in and get their game rolling. Unfortunately, that’s where the fun stopped. In the second period, the Oilers were back on their heels for the bulk of the frame and beyond as a result of losing a couple of guys and some horrible officiating that left them shorthanded for five+ minutes. As a result, the Avalanche had momentum swing to their side, used it to pound seemingly endless shots at Koskinen, and all Edmonton could really do was hang on for dear life until the buzzer sounded. With the game tied heading into the third, both sides had a chance to close the game out and I was hoping that the Oilers were going to be able to find their legs again, but sadly, it was not meant to be.
At the end of the day, the Oilers had a solid first period but could never recover from the sequence that saw both Alex Chiasson and Adam Larsson removed from the game. From too much time on the PK to too few defenders, the Oilers had a laundry list of obstacles to overcome and it was simply too daunting to handle on this night. Sometimes these games will happen and we’ll just have to learn our lessons and move on.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- After missing the last couple of games with an illness, Jujhar Khaira made an immediate impact upon his return as he opened the scoring for the Oilers with a wonderful second effort play that saw him grind along the boards, pick up the loose puck, try a wrap-around, find his own rebound, and finish it off. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that it was a hell of a shift by Jujhar and I was pumped to see him finish it off with a goal. The hammer was swingin’ and Khaira now has four goals in his last four games!
- Mikko Koskinen was back between the pipes tonight after closing out his ninth win of the season on Sunday night against the Coyotes, and I’d argue, despite what the scoreboard said, that he was one of the best Oilers on the night. From start to finish, Koskinen made plenty of huge saves for his team but he was only human and thus unable to stop them all. To put it another way, how lopsided could this game have gotten had it not been for him? Koskinen finished the night with 46 saves at a .920 save%.
- I want to give Sam Gagner another shout out for filling in for Nugent-Hopkins admirably over the past two games. What will be interesting to see is whether or not his fine play will be enough for Dave Tippett to keep him in the lineup, or if he’ll come out because his style of play doesn’t fit in with the bottom-six goals the coaching staff has for those players. Place your bets?
- Big ups to the penalty kill, especially for the fine work they accomplished in the second period when dealing with the five minute major to Adam Larsson and two-minute 5-on-3 that was thrown in there for good measure. If we’re looking for bright sides, the Oilers’ PK has to rank right up there because they were about as good as it gets in this one.
- Props to Gene Principe for bringing back the clip of Jim Playfair losing his mind and throwing his clothes on the ice during the first intermission. That shit is hilarious and I never get tired of that clip. So funny.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Nazem Kadri tied the game up at one apiece after firing home a low snapshot to the glove side that Koskinen just couldn’t grab. To that point, the Avalanche had just finished their ridiculous five-minute power play and the momentum was fully in their corner and the Oilers just couldn’t do enough to curb it. By the time Kadri scored, Colorado had already had an array of primetime chances that were turned aside but this last 2-on-1 was just too much to handle.
- Matt Nieto gave the Avalanche their first lead of the night by being the business end of a perfectly executed 2-on-1 with Nathan MacKinnon. The Oilers were giving up odd-man rushes all night long and it was almost fortunate that they didn’t give up more than they did.
- Speaking of Nathan MacKinnon, he made it a 3-1 game after a rebound bounced right to his stick and he was able to hack it just over the goal line.
- Logan O’Connor scored his first NHL goal after picking up a turnover near the crease and roofing it over Koskinen. The Oilers were undermanned, absolutely gassed, and just could not fend off the attack.
- The last 40 minutes was pretty tough to watch as the Oilers were absolutely dominated in almost every facet of the game. That said, I can’t imagine how tough it must be to compete in the NHL when you’re down to four defencemen so the Oilers’ lack of gas has to be taken into account here.
- Can someone please explain to me how Adam Larsson got a five-minute penalty and a game misconduct for that elbow in the second period? A penalty? Okay, sure. But five minutes and a game? Give me a break. Though, I don’t know why we should be surprised considering the refs were garbage all night long.
- Oilers won only 35% of the draws tonight. Not ideal.
- I’m not sure how the Avalanche got only a single penalty (that wasn’t coincidental) tonight, but I guess they’re such good boys that they never do anything wrong whatsoever. The Oilers had 29 minutes of penalties assigned against them while the Avalanche had only eight. *fart sound*
- I miss you, NUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE! Here’s hoping RNH can make it back in the lineup for Saturday’s matchup with the Canucks.
|13:17||Edmonton||Jujhar Khaira (5) ASST: Darnell Nurse (10)||1-0|
|10:50||Colorado||Nazem Kadri (8) ASST: Joonas Donskoi (8), Calle Rosen (1)||1-1|
|03:05||Colorado||Matt Nieto (5) ASST: Nathan MacKinnon (20), Joonas Donskoi (9)||1-2|
|04:07||Colorado||Nathan MacKinnon (15) ASST: Ian Cole (9), Ryan Graves (5)||1-3|
|05:37||Colorado||Logan O’Connor (1) ASST: Valeri Nichushkin (3)||1-4|
Huge shout out to the @OilersnationHQ , @jsbmbaggedmilk, Frank and @thesquireyeg for helping make my fiancé’s day. I’ve been in and out of the hospital for a few months and I wanted to do something special for her. Needless to say these guys didn’t disappoint and are AMAZING! pic.twitter.com/oCQLYLd8uL
— Brandon (@Brandiebear88) November 27, 2019
That's the mustache of a man who's done fucking around and is getting on with his career. pic.twitter.com/vO8AE8gS8n
— Woodguy (@Woodguy55) November 28, 2019
Jujhar’s moustache can solve a Rubik’s cube in less than 2.9 seconds
— Maysy Man 🇨🇦 (@MaysyMan) November 28, 2019
Searching Twitter for any explanation for how that could possibly be a game misconduct: pic.twitter.com/ZtCzg17sSK
— Alice Moran (@Alice_Moran) November 28, 2019
— Ty Hilgersom 🇨🇦 (@tyhilg7) November 28, 2019
HAHAHAHA then we can’t get the guy out of the box because he didn’t get his helmet back so we’re short handed for no reason??? Wtf is going on
— Rusty Shackleford (@AdmiralRusty) November 28, 2019
THE BLACKOUT COLLECTION
We’ve upgraded every aspect of this year’s gear and we cannot wait for you guys to check it out! The 2019 Blackout collection is coming soon and available only at NationGear.ca.
Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 11/27/2019 – 11:00 pm MT