A little rest will do ya good. Final Score: 3-0 Oilers
This morning I wrote in the GDB that I was feeling nervous about how the Oilers were going to come out against the Jets for their first game in a week. Were they going to be rested and ready to roll with a fiery passion or would they look rusty and sloppy and unable to handle the inevitable pressure that the Jets would surely throw at them? As always, it was important for the Oilers to get a quick start but I felt like that was even more so here tonight as they looked to gain their timing back in what could be a playoff matchup a few weeks from now. My own fears aside, the Oilers started their night with plenty of energy and used that gas to manufacture more than their share of high-quality chances, multiple breakaways included in that mix. The problem was that Connor Hellebuyck decided to play the way he can for the first have of the game, which meant that all of those shots from in close were for not. The chances looked cool and all, but drippin’ like James Dean doesn’t pay the bills in the NHL, ya know? The hustle was there, but the finish was not.
Moving into the second period, the Oilers opened the frame with the same energy and hustle they started with but the results were also the same and it was incredibly frustrating to watch. Thankfully, the Oilers didn’t allow their frustrations to creep in as their hard work was eventually rewarded with the powerplay opportunity that they needed to break the stalemate. And let’s be honest, had it not been for Hellebuyck then the Oilers would have been running away with this thing, but because of his strong start, the Jets remained within reach which could have turned into a problem. The Oilers were buzzing, the Jets were not and yet the score remained close. Up by a goal with 20 minutes to go, Edmonton needed to keep the hammer down and do everything they could to cash in some insurance, which is more or less what they were able to do. While I would suggest that the boys did fall back into the trap a little bit more than I would have liked, it’s hard to argue with the way they were able to wait for their chances and tack two more goals onto their totals.
At the end of the day, this game went about as well as we could have hoped as the boys looked solid from start to finish and closed out a win against a team they’re chasing in the standings. Two big points, my friends.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Tyson Barrie opened the scoring for the Oilers (1-0) on the powerplay with a blast from the point after McDavid set him up for a one-timer from the high slot. Before the goal, I was actually thinking that Barrie was struggling a bit with his shot choices as many of them were hitting guys in the shinpads in a way that would have made Andrej Sekera smile.
- Jesse Puljujarvi extended the Oilers’ lead (2-0) after a dominant shift by the first line that left the Jets scrambling and disoriented. From Draisaitl to McDavid to Puljujarvi and in the net, the cycle that led up to the goal was about as perfectly executed as you can imagine.
- ALEX CHIASSON added a little bit of salt to the wound with another powerplay goal (3-0) after he parked himself in front of the net and got his stick on another blast from Barrie at the point.
- Mike Smith was back to work and looking for his 15th win of the season, and I was hopeful that he’d be rested and ready for a showdown with the former Vezina winner. From start to finish, Smith was fantastic for his team and I don’t think there’s really much else you can say about a guy that just wrapped up his third shutout of the season. Smith was perfect on the night and finished with 26 saves.
- With two assists on the night, Connor McDavid collected his 22nd multi-point game of the season. Needless to say, he’s pretty good at this whole hockey thing.
- Leon Draisaitl finished his night with another tidy two-
goalpoint performance. As always, the dude was an absolute unit on the ice and nearly impossible for the Jets to handle.
- I was happy to see that Kailer Yamamoto got an assist because he was absolutely buzzing from the opening puck drop to the final buzzer. I can’t get enough of this kid.
- I can’t be the only one that thinks Ethan Bear is starting to look more like the guy that really anchored the top-four last season, can I? All night long, Bear made quality decisions with the puck and those choices helped his team move the puck in the right direction more often than not. Bear finished with 17:34 in TOI to go along with one shot on goal, two hits, two blogs, and a takeaway.
- The Oilers powerplay came through with two goals on six chances and it was nice to see them get something done after being shut out in their last game against the Flames.
- Not to be outdone, the penalty kill was perfect on all three of Winnipeg’s chances (abbreviated or not) with the man advantage.
- When you have the two best players on the planet, the only option is to make a t-shirt that reflects their brilliance. Shine bright, boys. Pick up the Dynamic Duo tee here.
THE FACE PALMERS
- If I’m going to nitpick, I wish the Oilers would have run away with the shots total as it looked early on in the game.
- I don’t have to tell anyone reading this about how annoying Connor Hellebuyck was early on in this hockey game but I was happy to see him even things out in the end.
- Seven days have passed since your ol’ pal Baggedmilk let you know that the Oilers won only 44% of the faceoffs. That’s the consistency you can bet on, my friends.
- Despite leading on the shot clock early, the Oilers were outshot by the Jets by a 26-25 margin. We once again apologize to the Corsi Gords.
Much excitement, much disappointment
— Isaac Lamoureux (@IsaacLamoureux) April 17, 2021
The boys are extra oily… Little rusty on the finish though
— Dylan (@dboychuk89) April 17, 2021
Patrick Marleau has been in the league since well before any salary cap and in those days players were paid in bumblebees. "A second round pick and 5 bumblebees", you'd say.
— Ryan (@IAmByks) April 18, 2021
What they lack in airports they have in face spiders.
— K (@Germoid) April 18, 2021
Just a friendly reminder that Jesse Puljujarvi is 22 years old. He’s still years away from his prime, folks
— Adam (@OilersAdam) April 18, 2021
I ❤️ the McTuft 😍🤩😍
— Rusty Shackleford (@AdmiralRusty) April 18, 2021
connor hellebuyck connor hellebuyck
vs other nhl teams vs the edmonton oilers pic.twitter.com/eIyMWtvhyY
— zach laing (@zjlaing) April 18, 2021
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