From good, to bad, to ugly. Oilers lose 3-0.
Sometimes you know from the get-go things are going to be tough.
While Edmonton was undefeated on the year in the second half of back-to-backs, there was lots of reason to be optimistic going into tonight’s horrendously late start against Vegas. Edmonton had a great first frame and a few good chances that they almost capitalized on, but boy, was the rest of the game a different story.
And to make matters worse, the Oilers lost newcomer Andreas Athanasiou early in the third period to a lower-body injury that nobody seems to know the cause of at this point. Mike Green also had a knee-on-knee collision late in the game. Let’s hope he’s ok.
When Edmonton faltered in the second frame and allowed Vegas to push bad hard into it, one bright spot was the play of Mikko Koskinen. He let in what I’d say is a weak goal in the first to a Max Pacioretty snipe, and it seemed to put a chip on his shoulder. He shut the door in the second period for the Oilers allowing them to stay in what could still be considered a tight game at that point — after all, it was still 1-0 after 2.
But when the Oilers couldn’t score on a full two-minute powerplay to start the third period, the wheels fell off the wagon. Two quick ones from Edmonton effectively ended their night.
Edmonton had their good looks, too, with Leon Draisaitl playing on another level as he looked to score his 100th point of the season. Truth be told, not only Draisaitl but Connor McDavid rung a number of shots off the post. You could say the game would’ve been different had one or two gone in, instead of out.
But all in all, Edmonton was playing heavily shorthanded. It’s shouldn’t be an excuse, but what is a team supposed to do when you’re without players like Kailer Yamamoto, James Neal, and Zack Kassian up front and Oscar Klefbom on the backend? The replacement players the Oilers have in the lineup for this quadruplet of players is nowhere near the skill level of those they are replacing.
It’s a tough spot to be in no matter what and it’s time for the Oilers to lick their wounds, pick up their socks and get back to work. Despite the loss Edmonton still sits third in the Pacific Division and the silver lining is Kassian’s seven-game suspension for kicking is now finished.
He’ll be back in the Oilers lineup Saturday night when the Winnipeg Jets pay visit to Rogers Place.
On Twitter: @zjlaing
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Everyone on the Nation Vacation is in Vegas! They were at the game! Baggedmilk surely looked like Homer above at some point Wednesday night.
- At least there’s lots of booze for the Nation Vacationers in Vegas.
- Edmonton had a great first shift and the DRY line got a great look. Nice way to start the game, especially after getting a powerplay chance minutes later.
- McDavid just keeps using those rocket skates and it’s so fun to watch. He had a beautiful zone entry on the powerplay in the first period that completely took all the Golden Knights off guard.
- I was critical of Koskinen for letting in the first goal from Vegas, but the dude shut the door in a bad second period from Edmonton. Props.
- Leon Draisaitl really wants that 100th point on the season. He had a few real good looks.
THE FACE PALMERS
- After Edmonton literally poured the pressure on Vegas through the first period, the first real shot on goal chance Vegas gets they score. Reaaaaaallllllyyyyy coulda used a save from Mikko Koskinen there.
- A good first period did not translate into a good second period. Edmonton let Vegas back into the game in probably the worst way possible. Silver lining – Vegas didn’t score in the second.
- Edmonton seemed to struggle mightily on the special teams tonight. Powerplay didn’t want to click and Edmonton gave up a PP goal in the third.
- Not scoring early in the third on the powerplay of their own seemed to really stick the nail in the Oilers’ coffin.
|16:04||Vegas||Max Pacioretty (30) ASST: William Karlsson (28)||0-1|
|01:15||Vegas||Max Pacioretty – Hooking – 2 minutes|
|03:52||Edmonton||Adam Larsson – Tripping – 2 minutes|
|11:57||Vegas||Paul Stastny – Tripping – 2 minutes|
|15:03||Edmonton||Patrick Russell – Tripping – 2 minutes|
|20:00||Vegas||– Too Many Men – 2 minutes, Served by Jonathan Marchessault|
|04:02||Edmonton||Ethan Bear – Tripping – 2 minutes|
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