In this house, we bet the over! Final Score: 5-4 Oilers
With disappointing losses in Detroit and Buffalo bookending a solid game in Boston, I was very curious to see how the Oilers would respond tonight in St. Louis. And since the Blues were coming into this game on the second half of a back-to-back set and missing a few key pieces of their lineup, I thought the Oilers had a solid chance to avoid their first losing streak provided that they could hit the ground running right from the opening faceoff. We needed them to have a good start so that they weren’t chasing the game again, but unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened as the Oilers kept taking needless penalties and basically gifted St. Louis with free chances to score. I don’t know when we need to start worrying about how brutal these starts have been lately, but it’s pretty tough to win in this league when you’re always trailing out of the gate. Thankfully, they were able to knot things up at one apiece with a buzzer-beater goal by McDavid but had it not been for Koskinen then the boys could have easily been down by a field goal. To put it lightly, they needed to pick it up.
Moving into the second period, the Oilers looked infinitely better than they did early on, which allowed them to put the Blues back on their heels and manufacture offensive chances in droves. With the tides starting to turn, it was only a matter of time before the Blues started taking penalties, and once they did, the Oilers’ league leading power play got to work with a huge goal that gave the boys the lead. But even when the Blues were able to tie things up, it wasn’t too long before the boys were able to wrestle the lead back with a pair of goals that twinkled the twine in less than 10 seconds. By no means am I saying that the period was perfect — they still relied on Koskinen way too much for my liking — but they found different ways to get the job done without relying solely on their special teams. With a two-goal lead in their pocket and a period left to play, the most important thing I thought they needed to do was make good choices with the puck to try and limit the Blues’ ability to create. The bad news is that none of that happened, and St. Louis was able to erase the deficit by simply outworking the Oilers and taking advantage of their sloppy defending. This game turned from having us all excited about a win to praying for at least a point so fast it made my head spin.
Fortunately, the Hockey Gords must have wanted the Oilers to win because they hooked us up with a Yamamogoal in the final minute of the game to lock in two points and avoid the embarrassment that would have come with any other result. It may not have been the prettiest win we’ll ever see, but those two points in the standings are absolutely beautiful to me.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- With only a few seconds left before the first period buzzer, Connor McDavid tied the game (1-1) with a perfectly placed one-touch shot after Zach Hyman found him in the slot with a crisp pass to his wheelhouse. The goal marked McDavid’s 600th point in only his 421st game, which is the sixth-fastest in NHL history that anyone has reached that plateau.
- Leon Draisaitl cannot stop scoring goals and that’s why it was no surprise to see him give the Oilers their first lead of the game (2-1) with a power play snipe from his office near the goal line. McDavid to Draisaitl and in the net, you know how the story goes. Can we also talk about how Draisaitl got ANOTHER THREE-POINT NIGHT? The dude is ridiculous.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ended the drought with a massive goal (3-2) after Leon Draisaitl found him in the slot with just enough time to rip a low shot that fooled Binnington. By my eye, this was RNH’s best game of the year and it seemed inevitable that he was going to get on the board with the way he was playing.
- Ryan McLeod scored his first NHL goal (4-2) with a backhander after driving to the net hard and landing at the perfect time. Not only was I fired up to see the kid get his first, but it was also a lot of fun to see the bench just as fired up about it as he was.
- With only 27 seconds left to play, Kailer Yamamoto gave the Oilers back the lead (5-4) on a beautiful one-timer from Draisaitl that set the former 22nd overall pick up on a tee.
- Mikko Koskinen was back between the pipes for his ninth start of the season and it seemed like he was the only one to get the memo about when the game started. Keeping his team in the fight well beyond what they deserved early on, Koskinen was fantastic for his team as he made all kinds of huge saves to keep the score within reach before eventually defending the lead. Had it not been for him, we probably would have been talking about a loss before the first period was even over and you’ve gotta give the big man some love for the performance he put in because he was great. Koskinen finished the night with 35 saves and a .897 save%.
- I thought Zach Hyman had himself a fine evening as he factored in on the first two Oilers goals that really seemed to get the ball rolling.
- The Oilers’ power play is such a gift, isn’t it? There have only been two games this team hasn’t got one with the man advantage, and they would not add another on this night as they picked up a PP goal on one of three chances.
- Seeing as the Blues have the second-best power play in the NHL, I thought the Oilers’ PK might be up against their stiffest competition of the season so far, and even though they allowed a goal on five St. Louis opportunities, I’m still putting them in the bright side because the four they did kill off were hugely important.
- Your patience has paid off, my friends, because you’ve finally arrived at the part of the Wrap Up where I tell you that the Oilers own 62% of the faceoffs.
- Thursday on the Real Life Podcast, Tyler Yaremchuk agreed to wear a romper to our Viewing Party if we can raise $1000 for the Edmonton Humane Society before November 27th. Well, as of this point, we’re already at $770 dollars in so I’m thinking we get there. Want to help? Make your donation here.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Jordan Kyrou opened the scoring in the back half of the first period (1-0) with a power play goal after the Oilers just could not figure out how to keep the game at even strength. As much as the Oilers have a killer power play, the Blues do too so to give them as many chances as they got early on was a recipe to get burned. Barbashev added a second goal to pull the Blues back to within a single goal (4-3) after taking a pass down low near the goal line and absolutely roofing his shot.
- Robert Bortuzzo tied the game (2-2) with a wrister from the high slot that beat Koskinen up high after the Oilers got caught scrambling in their own zone and unable to clear.
- Vladamir Tarasenko tied the game midway through the third period (4-4) after a giveaway by Bouchard at the opposing blue line gave them a free zone entry that they made no mistake on.
- I don’t think I have to tell anyone reading this why taking three penalties in the first period was a horrible idea.
- The third period was incredibly frustrated for so many reasons. Not only did the Oilers cough up their two-goal lead due to mistakes and shoddy defending which was annoying enough, but to have them outhustled by what was supposed to be a tired team was as maddening as it gets.
- The Oilers lost the Corskis tonight as they were outshot by a 39-32 margin.
Nuge goal (manifesting)
— Kennedy (@kennedystrash) November 14, 2021
I’ve never said a bad word about you, offside challenge. Best rule in hockey*
*I reserve the right to change this opinion
— Jason (@AdamsOnHockey) November 15, 2021
If we don't get scored on, how else would we be able to rally back?
— dohfOs (Martin Lundén) (@dohfOs) November 15, 2021
BURN THE WITCH https://t.co/QdfKcR3hSS
— Jason (@AdamsOnHockey) November 15, 2021
Sweet hockey teeth
— 🏒 The Schwabby: Afterlife🏒 (@Schwabber1) November 15, 2021
The Oilers have a long tradition of Ryans, but a lesser known tradition is the long line of excellent Ryan Hair.
— WheatNOil (@WheatNOil) November 15, 2021
Draisaitl is on pace for over 180 points this year…
— Brenden Escott (@BrendenEscott) November 15, 2021
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