The effort was there, the finish was not. Final Score: 3-2 Bruins
Even though the Oilers came into tonight’s game riding a three-game losing streak, I was actually feeling pretty good about squaring off against the Bruins since the boys have played them tough over the last few years. Maybe I was just feeling hopeful (or delusional) but I actually told anyone that would give me their attention how I thought this was a game I thought the Oilers would win, ending not only their losing streak but their unfortunate run of slow starts. The first step, of course, was making it through the first few minutes without giving up a goal. And when they cleared that hurdle — with two successful penalty kills mixed in to boot — it honestly seemed like the Oilers got the kind of start they needed to potentially cut this losing streak off at three. The boys were moving and the vibes were good. Then, as if we were all feeling too good about the first period, the Bruins found the scoreboard first with a shorthanded goal after Brad Marchand was sent in alone on Stuart Skinner, finishing off the play with a well-executed deke to his backhand. FFS. At least it was a new way to fall behind, I guess?
Moving into the second period, I actually didn’t think the Oilers needed to adjust much at all as they were playing quite well despite the deficit on the scoreboard and the general lack of finish. Sure, I always want to see more shots on net, but for the most part, the Oilers were working their game plan and I was looking for them to keep that going as the game wore on. But in a very similar fashion to what we saw in the first, the boys were putting in the work but they just couldn’t beat Ullmark in net, which gave the Bruins a second window to capitalize on a turnover and extend their lead to two goals. Thankfully, the Oilers were able to claw one back with their power play towards the end of the period to give themselves a chance to earn at least a point, but they were going to need some help/luck/someone to step forward with a big goal to make it happen. Down by one with a period to play, the Oilers kept the pressure on, manufactured offensive chances, and continued to fire shots on net, and it looked like the hustle was going to pay off as the boys were able to score the tying goal with their second power play marker of the night. Unfortunately, the Hockey Gords decided that it was not meant to be as the Oilers as the Bruins were able to cash in the game winner in the dying moments of the third peruod, erasing Edmonton’s comeback and wiping at least a point off the board.
At the end of the day, this was a game where the Oilers played well enough to win but they just couldn’t get the cards needed to win the hand. The effort was there, the shoot-first mentality was too, but they just couldn’t get the finish they needed as the snakebite continues to rip through the locker room.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Leon Draisaitl halved the Bruins’ lead (2-1) with a power play goal after being set up for a one-timer from his office near the goal line. Not only was it a huge goal for the Oilers in terms of getting themselves back in the game, but also for the first PP unit that has struggled to score lately. Draisaitl tied the game (2-2) with a second power play goal in nearly the exact same location after McDavid found him down low for a one-timer attempt that he pumped into the top of the net.
- Two more McPoints on the pile!
- Stuart Skinner was back between the pipes after a couple of nights off and I was looking for him to stabilize what’s going on in net and help the boys end this skid. Even though he wasn’t as busy as his counterpart, I thought Skinner had a decent night though nothing to write home about. He made some big saves to help the Oilers tie the game in the third period but he just couldn’t get one more save to get the thing to overtime. Skinner finished the night with 27 saves and a .900 save%.
- The Oilers got two big goals (2/5) from their power play on a night when they needed it to claw their way back after falling back by a pair early on.
- I can’t believe how excited I was to see that Cody Ceci would be back in the lineup after missing the last handful of games with COVID.
- Markus Niemelainen had another five hits on the stats sheet and I very much appreciate the way he throws the body around.
- Oilers won the Corskis, outshooting the Bruins by a 43-30 margin.
- Looking at the fancies, the Oilers wrapped up the night with a 57.96 CF% and a 57.49%.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Make that 15 games where the Oilers give up the first goal.
- Brad Marchand opened the scoring (1-0) on a shorthanded breakaway — let that sink in — after Tyson Barrie’s sweet giveaway at the opposing blue line. At least that’s a new way of giving up the first goal of the game?
- Jake DeBrusk (of course) extended the Bruins’ lead (2-0) with a power play goal after the Oilers failed to clear the zone when they had a chance, gifting the Bruins with the puck and plenty of space to make a play.
- Matt Grzelcyk got the game winner (3-2) with just over two minutes left to play in the third period — his first of the season I should add — after the Oilers got hemmed in their own zone for (basically) the first time all night. This was absolutely heartbreaking given how well the Oilers played and how much work went into coming back.
- Depth scoring, where are you?
- The penalty kill gave up another goal (1/3) as the Oilers continue to struggle a little bit in shutting teams down in shorthanded situations.
- What does Evan Bouchard have to do to get a chance with the first unit power play if it’s not leading the team in scoring by a defenceman? Yes, I know Tyson Barrie got a pair of PP assists.
- Taylor Hall is now 30 years old and he’s never once had a chapstick sponsor. His agent failed him.
- Warren Foegele may never score again. The guy had plenty of quality chances again in this one but he just could not get anything to stick.
- I missed the broadcast dog.
- Kris Russell left the game in the second period after taking an awkward hit near the boards, and if I was to take a guess on the problem, it looked like he either hurt his wrist or shoulder or collarbone. Regardless of what the injury ends up being, you could tell that it’s a major problem because Kris Russell does not leave the ice for no reason.
- Throwing salt in the wound, the Oilers won only 43% of the faceoffs.
So @jarrodsharp94 text me to say that Better Lait Than Never already has sponsor interest even though I haven't recorded an episode yet. Pressure is on to actually do it huh?
Step 1) Create voicemail box
Step 2) Link: https://t.co/ChscslJnQ5
Step 3) …
Step 4) McAfee 💰
— Baggedmilk, Oily Boy (@jsbmbaggedmilk) December 10, 2021
The Oilers need a “New Balance” on the PP
— William Mikespeare (@tpr0012) December 10, 2021
Leon Draisaitl is tied for 19th in power play goals amongst NHL teams this season
— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) December 10, 2021
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