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GDB +2.0 Wrap Up: One goal in two games won’t pay the bills, Oilers fall 1-0 in overtime

I don’t know if my heart can take this. Final Score: 1-0 Jets in overtime

I don’t think I’m talking out of school here when I say that Wednesday night’s loss was a gut punch that none of us needed after spending the entire day (and week) jacked up with excitement. That’s not to say that the Oilers were horrible, I actually thought they placed decently well for about half of the game, but I don’t think anyone would argue that the boys will need some extra juice if they’re going to even up the series. As always, the first step in getting the job done was to get a stronger start than what they put up in game one and I honestly felt like the Oilers were able over the first handful of shifts before the Jets seemed to find another gear and start to take over. Though, I guess it does help that the Jets were able to get two powerplays on a pair of phantom calls that would have never been called in a million years on Wednesday, but I digress. Beyond the first couple of shifts where they had some gas, I felt like the Oilers were widely outplayed in the first period and the fact that they had to rely on Mike Smith as much as they did was problematic, to say the least. Outside of a few pockets of pressure here and there, the Oilers needed to dig deep and come up with a much better effort in all three zones, and I honestly felt like they were incredibly lucky to head into the intermission with the game tied at bagels.

Heading into the second period, I was expecting that the Oilers would pick up the pace and play like the team that steamrolled through Winnipeg in the regular season, but that was not what we got. I don’t know what was going on with the boys but they looked timid and almost unsure of what they’re supposed to do with the puck rather than moving it with confidence, and it was disappointing to see them struggle to get anything going. All season long, we’ve watched the Oilers score enough to suppress their issues but that touch seems to have all but disappeared and I was starting to freak out about it a little bit. But as the period wore on, Edmonton was able to settle things down a little bit and found themselves with more zone time than we saw earlier in the game, but they still weren’t getting to the greasy areas of the ice enough or making Hellbuyck’s night all that difficult. With the game still tied at zero with 20 minutes to play, all the Oilers had to do was win the third period but they were going to need all four lines to contribute in meaningful ways if this outcome had any chance of happening. It was a simple dream, but it was a good one. While my wish of a balanced attack only kinda happened if I’m being generous, the third period did play out much more evenly as both the Oilers and Jets had their share of quality chances without being able to find to convert on any of them.

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At both ends of the rink, the goalies were absolutely dialed in and it was almost fitting that they carried a scoreless game into overtime so that the first goal would end up the winner. So when the OT period started, it became pretty obvious that both sides were going to throw everything at the net that they could, knowing that any shot could be the winner. Tragically, it was the Jets that were able to cash in on their scratch ticket first after Paul Statsny picked up the winner by lobbing a wrister through an Oilers screen from high above the circle. Down two games to zip in the series, the Oilers find themselves heading into Winnipeg with their backs up against the wall. It’s gut-check time, boys.

The wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

  • Mike Smith was back between the pipes and looking to right the ship in game two, and we needed him to be at his best in order to make that happen. Not only was Smith able to come up with the effort we needed from him, but I think most of us can agree that he was by far the best Oiler tonight and that it wasn’t really close. The fact that the guys couldn’t come up with a goal to help him out was absolutely tragic and I’m gutted that this effort by him was wasted. Smith finished the night with 35 saves and .972 save%.
  • I thought Adam Larsson had a solid night for the Oilers that was complete with hits, blocks, and all kinds of physicality and I wanted to give him props for his efforts because it did not go unnoticed. That said, I also know he screened Mike Smith on the game winner which has me torn but I still think he was decent anyway.
  • I’m going to put Kailer Yamamoto’s name in here because I feel like we need to pump him up with some good vibrations for the universe because this guy looks like he may never score again. Take my energy, Yamo.
  • At least I can inform you that the Oilers won 57% of the faceoffs. Gord help us.
  • The Corsi Gords should be happy when they check in on tonight’s game and see that the Oilers outshot the Jets by a 38-36 margin.

THE FACE PALMERS

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  • Can Dave Tippett make the adjustments he needs to or will he be outcoached for the second straight playoff series?
  • Paul Statsny’s scored the game’s only goal in overtime to not only win the game but also to give the Jets a commanding 2-0 lead in the series.
  • So I will definitely say that Connor Hellebuyck was rock solid tonight — it’s endlessly annoying to have owned him all season to have things up like this in the playoffs — but the Oilers still didn’t do enough to make his night very difficult. There were many shots without traffic. There were many shots from the outside. As much as I appreciate the shoot from anywhere mentality, unless you’re going to have traffic and people crashing the net then you may as well send him a bouquet of flowers to go along with the inflated stats.
  • The entire forward group is in here. One goal over two games is a disaster no matter how you slice it.
  • I don’t understand rolling with the dump and chase strategy when you don’t finish your checks or haul ass to get the puck back. It was frustrating me on Wednesday and it was frustrating me again tonight.
  • I hate that I have to give the Jets credit for finding a way to shut Connor and Leon down again, and it was endlessly frustrating to see how effective they were, especially since the game plan seemed to involve a lot of hanging off both of them since the refs weren’t calling anything.
  • Regardless, it’s very clear how much the Oilers need McDavid and Draisaitl to lead the charge offensively and to have them both shutout for two games has been a disastrous result.
  • I think the reffing would be more consistent if a tank filled with manatees randomly pulled penalties out of a hat every eight or nine minutes.
  • Is anyone else a little bit confused about why Kahun plays over Ennis? What about Kassian? Hell, I’d give Kassian’s minutes to Koskinen at this point.
  • The powerplay was a disaster and I don’t know how the team that finished at first in the league can look so disorganized when they really needed to make something happen. To be fair, the PP looked better in their later chances but it still wasn’t nearly good enough as the Jets seemed able to read all of their plays without having to worry too much about a Plan B or C coming their way.
  • For the second straight game, I am asking where the hell is Hunter? I demand answers!

SCORING SUMMARY

#GOODCONTENT

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