McDraisaitl forever. Final Score: 4-2 Oilers
Can I be honest with you guys for a second? In the hours leading up to today’s game, I was feeling nervous about what to expect from the Oilers as they searched for their eighth straight win over the Ottawa Senators. While it’s definitely been nice to see the boys continually put the boots to the Sen, I was concerned that they might be tempted to look past this game or in some way just expect to beat them rather than working to earn it. I guess that’s what happens when you love a team that’s been hurting you for the last decade, ya know? My baseless worries aside, the Oilers had a very strong start to the hockey game, earning more than their share of quality looks on net and using one of them to build themselves an early lead. Frankly, the Senators were lucky to make it out of the first period down by only a goal because the boys were buzzing and easily could have had two or three. I was excited, you were excited, and this weird afternoon start was off to the races on the right foot.
With a lead in their pocket and plenty of runway left to go, I was looking for the Oilers to flex their killer instinct by extending the lead and showing the Sens where the bear shits. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be this time around. In the early going, the boys were skating with purpose and firing plenty of pucks but they just couldn’t buy the insurance they wanted, which allowed a window for the Sens to slide in and knot up the score before Draisaitl’s ridiculous shot from the parking lot. But even though the Oilers were able to restore their lead, the Senators were playing well and it was going to take a lot more work before the outcome was written in pen. Despite their record and spot in the standings, the Senators are a team that can certainly burn you if given the chance and the Oilers definitely had moments where they were forced to weather a storm. Up by one with 20 minutes to play, we basically got an exact replay of what happened in the middle third as the Sens were able to tie the game up in the opening moments on the back of some strong puck movement and hard work. As I said, they just wouldn’t go away.
Tying the game was as close as the Sens would get, though, as the Oilers’ big boys were simply too much to handle and it was the kind of game when neither Connor nor Leon was about to be stopped.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Leon Draisaitl opened the scoring with a powerplay goal on a perfectly executed one-timer with Connor McDavid after the captain put the cross-ice pass in his wheelhouse. Draisaitl followed the first one-timer up with another towards the end of the second period, and when I say the goal came from a ridiculous angle there is no good way for me to describe it other than to say he was behind the goal line. I don’t even know how that shot went in. Draisaitl completed the hat trick (4-2) with a buzzer-beating empty-net goal that he sunk from distance.
- Connor McDavid restored the Oilers lead (3-2) after what was one of the most incredibly dominating shifts I’ve ever seen. For nearly three minutes, the Oilers’ top line did as they pleased in Ottawa’s zone Another casual four-point night for McDavid. We’re so blessed to have him and I’ll never stop talking about it.
- Mikko Koskinen was back between the pipes and I couldn’t think of anyone on the roster that needed a good game more than him. Not only did we all need him to play well in order to secure a win, but also for himself as he works to regain his confidence. And as hoped, Koskinen was up for the challenge as he was solid from start to finish, and made the kind of saves he needed to make to close out the win. Kostco finished with 28 saves and a .933 save%.
- Jesse Puljujarvi played very well and it’s almost unlucky he wasn’t able to get even a secondary assist or something as a reward for his fine play alongside the dynamic duo.
- Considering the Oilers had three powerplay chances and the Senators are terrible, it would have been nice to see them get more than one goal but I think we can all be happy that they were able to cash one in with the man advantage.
- I will also give credit to the penalty killers for handling both of Ottawa’s powerplay chances with relative ease.
- I wonder if Dave Tippett will consider playing Larsson with Nurse for a bit to give Tyson Barrie a break? Larsson is playing about as well as he has all season and it might make sense to give that top pairing a better shutdown compliment for Darnell.
- I liked Ethan Bear’s game again and I wanted to make sure we’re all on the same page about how much he’s playing these days after his slow start and concussion. Bear finished with an assist and 2 PIMs in his 13:30 of TOI.
- Caleb Jones is starting to look more comfortable in my eyes and I wonder if he’ll go on a run of games the way Lagesson did before him. Jones played 11:45 and finished with one shot and two blocks.
- I’m a big Josh Archibald guy. The guy will never score a tonne but you can never question his effort or hustle, and I appreciate him for it.
- The Oilers outshot the Sens by a 35-30 margin. Please enjoy our small victory, Corsi gods.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Josh Norris tied the game (1-1) after parking himself in front of the net with his stick on the ice and pumping Thomas Chabot’s centring pass through Koskinen. My problem on this one was that Nurse was right there but couldn’t tie up Norris’ stick which allowed for the easy redirection. Anyone else agree?
- Connor Brown continued his run of five straight games with a goal after he took a pass in the high slot and beat Koskinen up over the glove to tie the game (2-2) for a second time. The play looked harmless enough, but you have to give Brown some credit for the perfectly placed from distance.
- I don’t think the Oilers did a very good job of supporting each other with passing options in the offensive zone. There was a lot of rimming the puck around the boards, but not a whole lot of stick-to-stick passing.
- They also took their foot off the gas after the first period, allowing the Senators to come back not once but twice in this hockey game.
- Tyson Barrie has to be playing hurt because he does not look to be moving the same way right now. It looks like he has a hitch in his giddyup.
- You knew with 1000% certainty that there would be a point in this Wrap Up about the Oilers winning only 38% of the faceoffs and here it is. My consistency is remarkable, isn’t it?
- Did Evan Bouchard play anywhere today? No. No, he did not.
Koskinen makes the save . . .
— Robin Brownlee (@Robin_Brownlee) April 7, 2021
To lazy to even celly
— Dano (@mightyoil) April 7, 2021
Draisaitl has mucked it up against both Tkachuks within the last 5 days
— Ryan (@IAmByks) April 7, 2021
Maybe Matthew is adopted? Brady is the true Tkachuk heir?
— dangersuede esq. (@dangersuede) April 7, 2021
Like those old McDonald's commercials with sundin
— james wilson (@MeekerBeastman) April 7, 2021
Remember when Drai karate chopped that guy in the throat? Awesome.
— Arch (@Archaeologuy) April 7, 2021
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