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GDB +4.0 Wrap Up: Closing time, Oilers swept after third consecutive OT loss

That’s all she wrote. Final Score: 4-3 Jets in OT

Last night’s loss was undoubtedly one of the toughest ones that I’ve ever seen, and I’ve watched the Edmonton Oilers lose a lot of hockey games in my 36 years. It’s hard to put into words what was going on in my brain as I watched the Oilers implode over the span of time that it takes to warm up soup in the microwave, and I had no idea how much of that sadness was going to carry over into game four. I mean, how could the Oilers not have negative vibes rolling around in the back of their minds after losing in such a spectacular fashion? Put another way, I had no idea how this game was going to go. Would the boys be fired up and motivated to keep the series alive or would they be down and dejected after what happened 24 hours ago? Unfortunately, we didn’t get much good news early on as the Jets were able to open the scoring on the back of a well-executed powerplay and the boys were forced to chase from the jump. While the Oilers were able to counterpunch quickly to reset the table, the Jets reclaimed their lead with yet another deflection goal before the period ended, pushing Edmonton back down the hill to start the climb again.

Moving into the second period, the first order of business the Oilers had to agree upon is staying out of the box because I can’t imagine that taking three penalties ranks highly on the coach’s list of things not to do. Yet, despite the need to crank up the pace, the Oilers inched their way into the frame with a few slow shifts to start before finding the equalizer on a beautiful goal by Nugent-Hopkins. From there, it seemed like we were watching a different team. It was almost like tying the game for the second time was the jolt they needed to get their legs moving because the Oilers started to attack in waves over the final two-thirds of the period, eventually wrestling the lead away with a huge powerplay goal by Chiasson. And for the second time in as many games, the Oilers worked themselves into a spot where they were carrying a lead into the third period, but just like we saw last night, poor puck choices in their own zone allowed the Jets to tie the game on an unearned opportunity. The errant pass by Bear was the kind of play that has been killing them all series long, and I honestly feared that it was going to be the mistake that crushed their spirit. I mean, having two leads evaporate in the moments leading up to overtime has to work out in our favour at some point, right?

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When the extra frame started, I felt my heart and insides in general fill with anticipatory dread about what was to come, thinking back to the heartbreaking feeling we’ve all shared in the last two games. Unlike what we got from the first two OT games, this one dragged on for an extra two+ scoreless periods and I can’t even express how stressful it was as each shot on goal represented a small workout for my cardiovascular system. And yet, despite all of the ups and downs and quality looks on net, our hopes were dashed with a third consecutive OT winner from the Jets, ending the season in a way that’s so far beyond disappointing that I can barely even describe what I’m feeling right now. Maybe you guys can do a better job in the comments.

The wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

  • Only a 1:17 after Scheifele got the Jets on the board, Connor McDavid tied the game up (1-10) with a nice little give and go with Draisaitl that saw McDavid pull the puck around the net and tuck it into the open cage on the wraparound.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins tied the game up for the second time (2-2) with a beautiful shot and retrieval play that saw him pick up his own rebound before finishing the play with a nice deke to his backhand. Frankly, I couldn’t have thought of a better time for RNH to get his first of the series. I wonder if this was the last game I’ll see for my beloved RNH in an Oilers uniform? In terms of coming up big in a contract year, RNH couldn’t have had a more frustrating season and I wonder what that’ll mean for his contract negotiations as we head into free agency. I thought tonight was his best game of the playoffs but that doesn’t mean anything when it comes to what happens with this team tomorrow.
  • Alex Chiasson didn’t play last night but he made an immediate impact in his return, scoring a huge powerplay goal (3-2) that gave the Oilers their first lead of the game.
  • Mike Smith got the start again today and it was the first time we’ve seen him in a back-to-back situation so I honestly had no idea what to expect from him. As he’s done all season long, Smith stepped up in the clutch to deliver another outstanding performance, making every kind of save from routine to hope saving and everything in between. Smith finished the night with 39 saves and a .907 save%.
  • What can you really say about the night Darnell Nurse put in for the Oilers on the blue line? As the game went along the guy didn’t ever seem to get off the ice and the fact that he could stay upright was almost a miracle in itself. Nurse finished the game with 62:07 TOI, two shots, two hits, and six blocked shots.
  • I also want to give Devin Shore some love for what I thought was a very strong game by a guy that had been a healthy scratch earlier in the series.
  • The powerplay was able to get one goal on four chances with the man advantage, but I’ve gotta say again how nice it would have been to convert on more than one time.
  • I just wanted to say thank you to everyone that comes reads the wrap ups and gets into the mix in the comments sections all season long. I know we argue about basically everything, but it’s always amazing to see the incredible community that has been grown around a team that seemingly does nothing but break our hearts.

THE FACE PALMERS

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  • Mark Scheifele opened the scoring (1-0) with a powerplay goal on a tic-tac-toe passing play that ended with #55 clapping a cross-ice pass past a sprawling Smith. Honestly, and I hate to say this, that was a pretty passing play that was executed perfectly. Scheifele added a second goal in the third period to tie the game (3-3) after a gross giveaway by Ethan Bear that gave the Jets a free chance on net that was 100% avoidable.
  • Mason Appleton restored the Jets’ lead (2-1) with another deflection from the slot that changed directions too late for Smith to adjust. I don’t know how many deflection goals the Jets have scored in this series, but I honestly feel like that’s where the difference has been.
  • Kyle Connor closed out the game with a goal in 3OT (4-3) after he was able to get a partial breakaway down the right side of the ice and rip a cross-net wrister through Mike Smith, ending the Oilers season in the process.
  • That was a tough first period for a team that needed to start the game with more desperation, and I honestly thought they were about as sloppy as they’ve been all series. Their passing was off, they took a trio of penalties, and the Oilers started the hockey game like they were playing with zero confidence.
  • The Ethan Bear giveaway that resulted in the tying goal is going to haunt me all summer. I love the guy but that one is really tough to swallow right now.
  • The penalty kill couldn’t lock things down again, giving up one goal on five kill attempts. That said, I will give the boys props for two massive kills in OT.
  • Would have been nice to get a makeup call considering the bullshit we had to watch our players go through but I digress.
  • For the last time this season, I will have to break the news to you that the Oilers won only 46% of the faceoffs.
  • Unfortunately, the Corsi Gords will also be upset as the Oilers were outshot by a 43-40 margin.

SCORING SUMMARY

#GOODCONTENT

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