What. A. Finish. Wow! Final Score: 4-3 Oilers in OT
As I wrote in this morning’s GDB, games against the Hurricanes are still must-win affairs for me even though it’s been more than a decade since we lost to them in the Stanley Cup Finals. Yeah, I know they’re supposedly the fun team with the storm surge that everyone loves, but I still keep a deep seeded hatred for them bubbling in my heart for the sadness and disappointment that they brought into a 21-year-old Baggedmilk’s heart all those years ago. No, I’m not saying that winning a Sunday matinee will magically erase those feelings of heartache that have been locked away for more than a decade, but I am saying that it would probably help. Is that too much to ask? I didn’t think so either.
Since we all know how important a good start is for overall team success, the opening of today’s game could not have gone much worse for our boys as they found themselves down by a goal only 12 seconds after the initial puck drop. I can’t be sure, but I doubt it was the way Tippett drew it up, ya know? The good news is that Leon Draisaitl’s rampage tour continued and the future MVP tied the game up at one apiece with a slick little wrister from the side of the net. The fun didn’t last, though, as the Hurricanes had a knack for carving through the Oilers’ defensive coverage, resulting in chances on net and culminating in a breakaway goal by Aho. Not at all discouraged, the visitors pushed forward with counterpunches of their own that the Hurricanes had a very hard time handling and they kept it going until they were able to even things up for a second time.
After getting themselves into some penalty trouble and giving the league’s best powerplay unit some time to work, Carolina inevitably coughed up the lead and allowed the momentum to swing Edmonton’s way until Josh Archibald was able to put his team on top. Up by a goal with 20 minutes to play, the Oilers had the chance to close out a perfect weekend if they could find a way to keep their foot on the gas while also locking things down defensively. Unfortunately, the Hurricanes weren’t going to just lay down and die without fighting back, and they managed to score a late goal to tie the game up for the third time and sent it to the bonus period. And for the second time today, Josh Archibald was the hero as he took a sweet feed to the slot from Leon Draisaitl and slipped the puck through Reimer to lock up another massive win.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Shortly after the Hurricanes opened the scoring, Leon Draisaitl came to the rescue with a tying goal (1-1) after Jujhar Khaira found him at the side of the net with some space to shoot at. Draisaitl had a little bit of room on the glove side and it was all he needed to bury his 34th goal of the season and even the game up at one apiece. As usual, Draisaitl was fantastic again today as he added another three points to his mindboggling totals as he continues to run away with the NHL’s scoring lead. M-V-P! M-V-P! M-V-P!
- After falling behind on the scoreboard for the second time, it was Kailer Yamamoto’s turn to tie things up with a powerplay goal that came from a quick snapshot in the slot that took a couple of friendly bounces before finally crossing the goal line.
- Only 28 seconds after Yamamoto tied things up, Josh Archibald took a sweet pass from Tyler Benson at full speed that left him alone on James Reimer where he was able to roof the puck over the goalie’s right shoulder to give the Oilers their first lead of the day (3-2). Archibald wasn’t finished with one goal, though, as the tenacious one closed out the game in OT (4-3) with a slick little move that James Reimer just couldn’t handle. If I were a betting man, I’d put something down on Ken Holland re-signing Josh Archibald soon because he’s the kind of bottom-six player that any team would love to have.
- Back between the pipes for his 30th start of the 2019-20 season, Mike Smith was looking to build on a fantastic performance on Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning and I was hoping that he’d be able to do it again. While I wouldn’t say that it was a perfect game for Smith, he made the saves needed to outduel his opponent and close out a win which is exactly what you want from your goaltender. Smith was especially great in OT as he made some massive stops, including a breakaway by Sebastian Aho that was immediately followed by Archibald’s game winner. Smith finished the day with 28 saves and a .903 save%.
- A huge shout out goes to Tyler Benson for collecting his first NHL point on Josh Archibald’s second period marker.
- Oscar Klefbom played a monstrous 30:57 today to go along with an assist, two shots on goal, two blocks, and a hit. That’s a hell of a game for a guy that also played some big minutes yesterday.
- After striking out yesterday in Florida, the Oilers’ powerplay got back on the scoresheet today (1/3) with a timely goal in the second period that they needed to tie things up.
- Not to be outdone, the penalty killers also excelled as they were able to kill off all three chances they faced, including a pair of massive kills in the third period to maintain the one-goal lead.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Trevor Van Riemsdyk got the Hurricanes on the board (1-0) with his first goal of the season only 12 seconds into the opening frame after he deflected a point shot as it was making its way through traffic to beat Mike Smith low to the glove side.
- I’m going to go ahead and suggest that allowing Sebastian Aho to have a breakaway with time to dangle is probably a bad idea, right? Anybody disagree? No, I didn’t think so. Aho added a second goal late in the third period to tie the game up (3-3) after he found a little bit of space in the slot as a result of some shoddy defending and hammered home the centering pass through Smith’s legs.
- Refs were weird again, and I say that on behalf of both teams. Consistently inconsistent?
- I’m going to mention the fact that the Oilers won only 41% of the faceoffs because I’m a faceoff guy, but I’m not going to make a big deal of it.
- It was game four of the McDavidless era and I still don’t like it.
- I also don’t like that we have to cheer for the Ducks to beat the Canucks tonight. *shudders*
|00:12||Carolina||Trevor van Riemsdyk (1) ASST: Jaccob Slavin (24), Sebastian Aho (23)||0-1|
|06:28||Edmonton||Leon Draisaitl (34) ASST: Jujhar Khaira (3), Darnell Nurse (21)||1-1|
|05:19||Carolina||Sebastian Aho (32) ASST: Jaccob Slavin (25)||1-2|
|14:33||Edmonton||PPG – Kailer Yamamoto (9) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (60), Oscar Klefbom (28)||2-2|
|15:01||Edmonton||Josh Archibald (8) ASST: Tyler Benson (1)||3-2|
|14:58||Carolina||Sebastian Aho (33) ASST: Andrei Svechnikov (31), Teuvo Teravainen (44)||3-3|
|03:57||Edmonton||Josh Archibald (9) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (61)||4-3|
Fun fact: Calgary's leading the league with first shot goals with 9. Talbot only has 3 surprisingly, Big Sieve Dave has the other 6
— jrobro (@jrobros40) February 16, 2020
My son, who is not showing that he will ever have a career in the NHL has a better chance of scoring an NHL goal for the Oilers than Patrick Russell does.
— Garett (@g_dika) February 16, 2020
So the 2019-20 Oilers are putting up the best PP% (29.59%) since the 1978-79 Islanders (31.15%)? They're literally hitting a level that Gretzky, Messier, Coffey and Co. never hit (they topped out at 29.25% in 1982-83). Against modern goalies. THIS IS HISTORIC & AMAZING.
— Michael Parkatti (@mparkatti) February 16, 2020
Must be spending too much time with that lazy Leon.
— Jordan (@Walljordan) February 16, 2020
I love how Archie pulled off the McDavid point blank fake roof daddy snipe.
McDavid is rubbing off i think.#Letsgooilers
— The Mad Hatter (@samakehurst91) February 16, 2020
I haven't seen the Oilers play this well without the puck and support the puck like they do since 2006 or so…..
Love me some Tippett.
Needs to stop shaving his lip though and grow this sweet bastard back: pic.twitter.com/lWhaIG9UV5
— Woodguy (@Woodguy55) February 16, 2020
— Jignesh Patel (@Jignesh780) February 16, 2020
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