Booo Ducks. Oilers lost 4-3.
When baggedmilk asked me to do tonight’s postgame, I said no problem! I mean after all, it’s a Christmas miracle that he’s even walkin– yeah you know what, he’s probably a few too many Vegas beers deep to be walking right now…
Onto important things now, like how the Oilers nearly walked out of Anaheim with two points after being down 2-0 following the first frame. We knew that there might be some weird things happening with the addition of three new guys in Andreas Athanasiou, Tyler Ennis, and Mike Green and surely that came in the first frame. Edmonton gave away way too many pucks including a bad one by Riley Sheahan that led to the Ducks first goal. It was a tumultuous frame and honestly, Edmonton was probably lucky to only be down by 2 after 1. Ennis and Athanasiou looked shaky in the first alongside Connor McDavid, but that was to be expected.
But as the game went on, you could see the chemistry start to build and build between the trio. Honestly, they looked really, really good when it was all said and done. McDavid finished the night with three assists, while Ennis (16:18 TOI) and Athanasiou (16:50) both had one goal and one assist. Ennis seemed a little more comfortable earlier on winning board battles and finding space in the offensive zone, while Athanasiou took a bit more time to adjust.
Ennis goal was great work by the whole line and where you could start to see the chemistry building. McDavid found Athanasiou, who hit Ennis in stride for the tip-in. Just a thing of beauty. Can’t forget our boy Leon who scored his 37th goal, and 99th point of the season on the powerplay.
The Oilers third goal of the night was just a thing of beauty. Athanasiou broke out of the Oilers zone with speed, dished it to a stationary McDavid near the Ducks blue line who led Ennis with a no-look pass into the offensive zone. Ennis slid down to the side of the Ducks net and got a shot away, and Athanasiou was there to clean it up. All in all great work by both of the new guys.
On the backend, Green appears to have a solid overall game despite looking out of place on the Oilers first goal against. It was probably a bit of an oddity as it was still in that early stage of the game.
Nonetheless, things look promising for an Oilers club who are still missing a ton of key pieces including Oscar Klefbom, Zack Kassian, James Neal, and Joakim Nygard — not even including that Kailer Yamamoto was announced to have suffered an ankle injury that will keep him out for multiple weeks.
The newest Oilers additions all had solid games for the Oilers and are providing a great new element for the Oilers. It’s really going to be interesting to see how Dave Tippett manages the roster when the cavalry returns.
The Oilers have a quick jaunt to Vegas tonight as they look to take on a Golden Knights club fighting for a playoff spot. It’s going to be a huge two points, and many friends of the Nation are there cheering on the boys in blue.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Everyone on the #NationVacation to Vegas looks like they’re having a great time!
- After the Ducks scored their opening goal, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a good look and drew a penalty. They had a really good chance, but didn’t register an official shot (post!).
- ENNIS AND ATHANASIOU GET POINTS ON THE OILERS FIRST GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!
- They both looked good in their first game with the Oilers. Need some time to adjust to the new team, of course, but boy they both got wheels.
- What a great powerplay the Oilers had leading up to the Draisaitl goal. Huge, huge kudos to Ethan Bear for keeping so many pucks in at the blue line.
- That third goal with Andreas Athanasiou’s rocket skates was tremendous.
- Did anyone catch the brilliant puck handle by Draisaitl in the second period at Anaheim’s blueline? He no-look 180’d to grab a puck heading into the offensive zone. The dude is killer good.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Uh, what was with that first goal Anaheim scored? Sonny Milano one-handed a puck past Mike Smith after everyone lets him walk in? Can’t let that happen.
- Ugh. Second goal was just as bad as the first. Too many sloppy giveaways — five, to be exact, in that first period.
- Reffing continues to be such a talking point and tonight’s wasn’t much better. Boo refs.
- The McDavid penalty in overtime was plain bad.
- Smith continuously seems to get way too low in net when he’s facing shots. He’s 6’5, and it just seems weird that he gets beat high so often.
- Those early goals really ended up costing Edmonton and they can’t let that happen tomorrow against Vegas.
|05:46||Anaheim||Sonny Milano (6)||0-1|
|13:12||Anaheim||Nicolas Deslauriers (4) ASST: Jacob Larsson (7), Michael Del Zotto (11)||0-2|
|09:09||Edmonton||Tyler Ennis (15) ASST: Andreas Athanasiou (15), Connor McDavid (54)||1-2|
|04:23||Edmonton||PPG – Leon Draisaitl (37) ASST: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (32), Connor McDavid (55)||2-2|
|12:33||Anaheim||Adam Henrique (24) ASST: Danton Heinen (16), Josh Manson (6)||2-3|
|15:25||Edmonton||Andreas Athanasiou (11) ASST: Tyler Ennis (20), Connor McDavid (56)||3-3|
|02:05||Anaheim||PPG – Sonny Milano (7) ASST: Adam Henrique (15), Ryan Getzlaf (27)|
WIN A TRIP TO THAILAND
Our friends at Oodle Noodle and AMA Travel want you to win a trip to Thailand! To enter the contest, all you have to do is follow @oodle_noodle and AMATravel on Twitter, share the post, and tag your travel buddy — it’s just that easy! The contest runs from February 1st to March 15th so get your entries in today.