Mikko steals a point and the team should be thankful. Final Score: 3-2 Golden Knights in OT
When we were down in Vegas to watch the Oilers game against the Golden Knights, I thought that the boys played reasonably well but they just couldn’t get anything past Marc-Andre Fleury. A week and change later, the boys had the opportunity to not only get some revenge but also reclaim their place atop of the Pacific Division, but to make that happen, they were sure as hell going to have to play a lot better than we’ve seen over their last few outings. Against the Stars, Blackhawks, and Blue Jackets, the Oilers looked like they dragging pianos around and they seemingly couldn’t complete two passes in a row to save their lives, so I was hoping that the last couple of days gave them the practice/rest/whatever they needed to eliminate those speed bumps ahead of tonight’s rematch. Dare to dream, I guess, huh?
Seeing as Vegas played last night in Calgary, I was looking for the Oilers to hit the ice with plenty of energy to try and get a better start than we’ve seen over the past few nights, a task that became much more difficult with their captain on the shelf due to illness. And while the boys did cash in an early goal from Alex Chiasson to grab themselves a lead, they were still too many steps behind where they needed to be as they allowed Vegas to push the pace, produce plenty of offence, and eventually tie the game at one apiece. Thankfully, Mikko Koskinen was, once again, up for the task and made all kinds of saves that kept the game tied rather than having his team down by a field goal as they probably deserved. Moving into the second period, the home side had to be drastically better in all three zones or risk getting left in the dust, but that was apparently not in the cards. Unfortunately, my dreams of a better effort did not come close to happening as the Oilers looked more like they were content to hang on for dear life than they were to throw anything towards Vegas’ net. Frankly, the fact that the score stayed tied was a miracle.
Heading into the third period with the game tied, the Oilers had a chance to get a point or more out of a game that they had no business being in and, I guess, that was a small victory in itself. Thanks to Mikko Koskinen’s brilliance, the Oilers were able to hang around and put themselves in a situation where winning the final period would be enough to steal another one. While the Oilers were able to score the first goal in the third period, they weren’t able to lock things down defensively which gave the Golden Knights the opening they needed to tie things up and take the game to the extra period. To be honest, Vegas probably deserved to win this thing in regulation so having the Oilers steal a point because of their goalie was a blessing, and I wouldn’t exactly say that I was surprised to see them get closed out in OT. Yeah, the Oilers had a couple of chances, but Vegas was relentless. All-in-all, it was another disappointing effort for the Oilers and they need to figure out how to turn this ship around before it comes back to bite them in the ass. You definitely take the point, but they need to figure their shit out.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Alex Chiasson opened the scoring for the Oilers in the first half of the opening period after he parked himself in front of the net and got his stick on Oscar Klefbom’s point shot for a perfect deflection that Fleury just couldn’t do anything about. The goal kept Chiasson on the mini heater he’s been on that’s seen him put up three goals in his last four games.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins restored the Oilers’ lead (2-1) after taking a nifty little pass in the slot from Kailer Yamamoto who was did some incredible work behind the net. From there, Nuge had the puck off his stick and into the back of the net in a flash and he continued his ridiculous heater, extending his point streak to six games.
- After a ridiculous start against the Blue Jackets on Saturday, Mikko Koskinen was back between the pipes for his 33rd start of the season and tasked with shutting down a Golden Knights offence that has scored 13 goals over their last five games. Once again, Koskinen was magnificent and literally the only reason the Oilers weren’t completely blown out because he got shelled from the opening faceoff until the final buzzer sounded, and the fact that they were able to get a point out of this thing is incredible, to say the least. What an effort for the big man. Koskinen finished the night with 45 saves and a .938 save%.
- I thought Kailer Yamamoto was the best Oilers forward tonight as he always seemed to be buzzing around the puck and trying to make plays. He even had a couple of good looks on net but just wasn’t able to cash anything in. Definitely wasn’t for a lack of effort, though.
- If we’re looking for strong efforts, I also think Zack Kassian played a decent game tonight as he was one of the few that was moving his feet and throwing his weight around. Low bar? Maybe.
- At least, the Oilers won 54% of the faceoffs, right? Anybody? Helloooooo? Bah.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Late in the first period, Nicolas Roy tied the game up at one apiece after tipping Nate Schmidt’s blast from the point as it made its way through traffic and beat Koskinen high on the glove side. Based on the bodies in front of the net, I doubt Koskinen was able to see much on the play.
- A few short minutes after falling behind, Jonathan Marchessault tied the game up (2-2) after the Oilers got caught puck watching off the faceoff and weren’t able to pick up the loose man in the slot. To me, this goal was completely avoidable and should never have happened, but these are the mistakes that happen when you’re not playing well.
- Shea Theodore finished the game off in OT after the Oilers, Draisaitl specifically, got caught on the ice for far too long and were absolutely gassed. From there, they couldn’t clear the puck out of the zone and the Golden Knights were able to take advantage.
- The Oilers got absolutely pumped again in the first period and I don’t understand how they allow this to keep happening. To get only three shots on goal in twenty minutes is absolutely gross and they should be embarrassed about what appears to be a total lack of preparation. Unfortunately, the second period didn’t get much better and the lack of shots on net got so bad that the Rogers Place faithful even gave a Bronx cheer when the guys got one.
- Getting outshot 48-24 is a bad look and to have it happen this many games in a row is incredibly disappointing.
- The NHL site had the giveaways at 16-14 for the Oilers and the only way that makes sense is because they never had the puck. Other than that, I saw them coughing it up like they’re trying to spread Coronavirus.
- How did the Oilers not get a single powerplay tonight? I know they didn’t have the puck a whole lot, but not even one? How does that happen? The Golden Knights must be angels, I guess.
- Connor McDavid missed tonight’s game due to illness and I hope that he starts feeling better soon so that he can get back to looking like the unstoppable warlord he is. Gord knows we need him.
- Unless we’re roping steer or there’s more to it, I don’t like scratching Caleb Jones in favour of Kris Russell. Nothing against Russell, I just like Jones’ game better.
|09:00||Edmonton||Alex Chiasson (11) ASST: James Neal (12), Oscar Klefbom (29)||0-1|
|16:58||Vegas||PPG – Nicolas Roy (5) ASST: Nate Schmidt (24), Alec Martinez (13)||1-1|
|06:46||Edmonton||Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (22) ASST: Kailer Yamamoto (14)||1-2|
|11:57||Vegas||Jonathan Marchessault (22) ASST: Reilly Smith (27)||2-2|
|02:13||Vegas||Shea Theodore (13) ASST: Jonathan Marchessault (25)||3-2|
— Wally (@76RAWallace) March 10, 2020
Three shots is a good shift, not a full period.
— StevenX (@StevenX_DFA) March 10, 2020
— Turner L. Watson (@TurnerWatson) March 10, 2020
The virus, or when you have only one speaker?
— New World Oilers (@NewWorldOilers) March 10, 2020
Nuge scored because he was pumped up after that John Denver banger
— Patrick (@OhNoNotPatrick) March 10, 2020
Last 7 games the #Oilers have given up 272 shots.
But have points in 5 of those games!
— Hernan Salas (@HernanDaMan) March 10, 2020
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