This is Connor McDavid’s world and we’re all just living in it. Final Score: 7-1 Oilers
If there’s one thing that I love more than most it’s watching the Edmonton Oilers beat the Calgary Flames in a nationally televised game. There’s just something special about knowing that the whole country is watching our McDavid-led heroes take out the trash, and I was excited for the possibility of having it happen again. You see, during this time of the pandemic, I’m always looking for new and creative ways to keep myself entertained but I don’t have to reach too far when it comes to enjoying the sadness of Flames fans. I know some people felt that yesterday’s win was a boring one, but for me, it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen and I was eager for another taste of those salty tears. The flip side, however, is that a tough outing on Hockey Night in Canada offers the completely opposite effect, making another Oilers win the only acceptable outcome.
Unlike what we saw 24 hours ago, this night started with a little more bite and animosity than the series opener and it started with a high hit from Sam Bennett on Slater Koekkoek that knocked the latter out of the game. With the tensions raised, the Oilers cashed in a quick goal on the powerplay that resulted from Bennett’s hit and it gave them the start and lead they wanted albeit at the expense of a teammate. The Oilers further pushed their cause forward with two more first-period goals, though their insurance was cut in half as the Flames drew back into the mix with one of their own. That lone goal, however, was as close as Calgary would get to being a factor as this was a game where everything the Oilers threw on the net ended up behind the goaltender. It didn’t matter that Ward hooked Markstrom to try and shake things up or that Tkachuk was running around to instigate shenanigans, this game was basically over in the second period and the only thing that was left to do was hope that everyone on our side finished the game healthy.
In the end, this was a night where everything went right for the Oilers from the crease on out to their captain going supernova, and nothing the Flames tried was ever going to change a result that seemed inevitable. I do truly hope they enjoyed the Corsi win, though.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Alex Chiasson remained hot and opened the scoring for the Oilers (1-0) with an early powerplay goal after parking himself in front of the net, presenting a target, and perfectly deflecting Connor McDavid’s centring pass inside the far post.
- The floodgates have opened for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and he continued his hot run with another snipe of a goal (2-0) after McDavid found him near the side of the net and the Flames left him wiiiiiiiiide open with enough time to BBQ. RNH added a second goal (6-1) on the powerplay midway through the second period after he picked the puck up near the boards and snapped a quick wrister past Rittich before he had even moved. Nugent-Hopkins finished with three points on the night, giving him seven in his last five games. Pay the man. #KeepNugeForever
- After being held off the scoresheet last night, I think we were all expecting Connor McDavid to get something done here in the rematch and he did not disappoint, wrapping up the evening with a dominant performance and five points to show for it. With a pair of assists already in the bank, McDavid added a powerplay goal (3-1) late in the first period when he deflected Tyson Barrie’s point shot through traffic and past Markstrom. McDavid added a second goal early in the second (4-1) after stealing the puck in the neutral zone, turning it around, and burying a shot past a helpless Markstrom. Think he was done? No. McDavid wrapped up the hat trick (5-1) midway through the second period after picking up the puck near the net, spinning, and beating Markstrom low. Tonight marked McDavid’s 11th multi-point game of the season which is absolutely ridiculous.
- Josh Archibald converted the touchdown (7-1) early in the third period with a beautiful wrister inside the post after getting sprung loose with some time and space on nice pass by Dominik Kahun.
- Mikko Koskinen was back between the pipes for the first time since Monday’s disappointing loss to the Winnipeg Jets, and to his credit, he bounced back from that tough start incredibly well. Despite what the final score said, Koskinen was nearly twice as busy as Markstrom/Rittich and he had to be sharp to ensure that the offence his teammates put up wasn’t all for not. To put it lightly, Koskinen was fantastic in net for the Oilers and he deserved to get the win after locking things down with 43 saves and a .977 save%.
- Darnell Nurse had another monster night with 32:54 worth of ice time to go along with a pair of assist, three hits, one shot on goal, and a +3 rating. An unreal weekend for #25.
- Tyson Barrie kept his streak rolling with another assist on the pile.
- In my opinion, the Oilers need to get more done with their powerplay and I was expecting them to get some chances as I figured that the Flames would be desperate to do what they could to win, even if it meant getting caught in situations that may lead to cheating. Much to our collective delight, the Oilers were able to tag the Flames for three goals with the man advantage, which is the exact effort I was hoping to see.
- While the PK wasn’t perfect tonight, the boys allowed only one goal on five chances against and I think that’s a fine effort overall.
- I missed Jacob Markstrom when he was gone. Markstrom finished with 10 saves and a .667 save%.
- Thankfully, Dave Rittich was just as generous.
- Glenn Gawdin didn’t score in his first NHL game!
THE FACE PALMERS
- Andrew Mangiapane pulled the Flames back to within a single goal (2-1) after he found a loose puck near the front of the crease and elevated it over the dogpile that was happening near Koskinen.
- I did not like seeing the Oilers give up 19 shots in the first period, especially when you consider that they gave up only 21 in 60 minutes on Friday.
- Actually, getting outshot 44-24 is never good under any circumstances but I’m not going to complain about it given how the night ended up. Besides, a lot of those shots came from the outside and can probably be attributed to score effects.
- Kailer Yamamoto got levelled by two Flames towards the end of the second period and he did not come back to the bench for the third. It goes without saying that losing Yamamoto for any length of time would be a big problem for that second line.
- Slater Koekkoek left the game in the first period after taking a high hit from Sam Bennett that resulted in a nasty-looking fall. It was announced that Koekkoek would miss the rest of the game with an upper-body injury, but based on the way he was hit/fell, that could mean basically anything.
- It wouldn’t be a Wrap Up without talking about the faceoffs and I’m sad to report that the Oilers won only 42% of the draws.
Milan Lucic highlights. pic.twitter.com/RFnYImuhS2
— Dick Whitman (@nwhrfst) February 21, 2021
In my day when games were delayed we just hung around for a few hours until Petr Klima scored in overtime #NHLOutdoors
— Ryan (@IAmByks) February 20, 2021
lol we need 3-point period stats for this mutant. https://t.co/aYVwnjidvp
— 🅱️𝗥𝗢𝗖𝗞 🥅 (@Brock_Seguin) February 21, 2021
@jsbmbaggedmilk does Bieksa have a picture on Vernon Fiddler on his shelf?
— Boi Dre (@TheAndrePrevost) February 21, 2021
— Josh Park (@JoshTPark) February 21, 2021
— TheTowelBoy (@TheTowelBoy) February 21, 2021
And even if you did find another one, they won't have 10 years as an Oiler and the same connection to the city. #KeepNugeForever
— Eric Friesen 🏒 (@EricJFriesen) February 21, 2021
The Flames have scored 1 goal for every 33 shots.
The Oilers have scored 1 goal for every 3 shots.
— RG3 (@rascalgas) February 21, 2021
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