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As a lifelong Oilers fan, that was one of the weirdest 3-2 OT losses you will ever see

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baggedmilk
1 month ago
The Oilers came into Monday’s game with the St. Louis Blues riding a three-game winning streak and very much still in the mix for the Pacific Division lead, provided that they can keep the good times rolling. Unfortunately, the good times ended at the Enterprise Center, as the Oilers fell to the Blues by a 3-2 overtime final.

THE GOAL REVIEWS

How can you write a recap of last night’s game against the Blues without mentioning the three goal reviews that ultimately swung the score in a meaningful way? I can’t be the only one to think it’s wild that there were three reviews in a game that ended with five total goals. On the first one, I was fine with the call on Kane’s goal because it looked like a high stick, but it was pretty close, and you’d have to think the call on the ice was a big part of the result.
The next two goal reviews made no sense to me at all, but I want to talk about the second one first. I thought it was a weird challenge by Kris Knoblauch on Brayden Schenn’s 1-1 tying goal near the midway point of the second period, but I also understand why he’d want to take the risk. Personally, I thought it was a good goal and didn’t understand the challenge, but  at the same time, you can’t blame Knobby for trying based on the garbage goal reversal that happened to RNH only moments beforehand.
If the goal Nugent-Hopkins scored doesn’t count but the one by Schenn doesn’t get reversed for basically the same thing, how can anyone have faith that the league is doing this process objectively? I’m no tinfoil hat guy, but both Nuge’s goal and Schenn’s goal should have counted, but for some unknown reason, only one of them was called back. That’s the kind of nonsense that annoys everyone that’s trying to enjoy the sport because the rules never seem to be consistent.
For a league that’s always gagging for offence, these are the kinds of decisions that will never make sense to me because neither forward really impacted the goalie’s ability to make a save, but only one of them was called back. Who knows what goals are in 2024, friends. It’s all dumb.

WHAT EVEN WAS THAT LOSS?

We’ve watched a lot of weird Oilers games together over the years, but last night’s matchup was one for the books. Over and above the goal reviews that we just talked about, this game had a weird flow to it from buzzer to buzzer. From the second period that felt like an eternity to get through to the lack of power plays to Brandon Saad’s line change breakaway winner, there won’t be many positive takeaways for the Oilers.
Instead, the best thing they can do is take the point, learn any lessons they can, and move on with their lives. The good news is that the Kings lost in regulation in Winnipeg, so getting a point up on them is actually a small silver lining to be happy about, but for the most part, I’m happy the series with St. Louis is over. They’re a frustrating team to play against and I say that even before they get their share of help from the video review booth.

MATTIAS EKHOLM IS RED HOT

Am I talking out of school if I say that Mattias Ekholm is the best defenceman all-around the Oilers have had since Chris Pronger? Say what you will about his boots, but the guy is so steady on the ice that he calms the game down, and that’s a quality worth its weight in gold on this team. Mattias Ekholm rules.
That’s me gushing about Mattias Ekholm without even pumping his tires for having 23 points in his last 23 games. When the puck is on his stick, I believe in my bones that he’s going to make the right decision, and that’s why it’s been so awesome to watch him get rewarded with some points on the board. As far as guys who play in every situation and are criminally underrated, I’d be putting Mattias Ekholm on the list.

OTHER THINGS WORTH MENTIONING

-Stuart Skinner was back between the pipes for his 54th appearance of the season, and tasked with giving his teammates the goaltending they’d need to extend the Oilers’ winning streak to four games. And while finishing with a .897 save% is nothing to write home about, I would have said Stu had a decent enough night between the pipes had it not been for Jordan Binnington standing on his head at the other end. Though, to be fair to Skinner, it would have been nice to get that one extra save via the coach’s review.
-Leon Draisaitl extended his point streak to eight games with the game-tying goal, giving him six goals and 13 points over this current stretch.
-Give Connor McDavid 97 assists on the season. The march to 100 helpers continues, friends.
-Evander Kane had a goal called off because of a high stick, and it was a rough dose of bad luck because he desperately needed that one after going 18 games without. What I really liked, though, was how he responded by keeping himself in the mix. I know that some folks aren’t into scraps, but Kane got into a good one with Tyler Tucker in the back half of the second period, and I liked seeing him try to get some energy going for himself and his teammates.
-At least Kane wasn’t alone, as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was also denied a goal he needed because of a horrible coach’s review. Who knows what counts as a goal in this league, you know? Either way, it’s a shame that, like Kane, a goal that could have really done some good for Nuge down the stretch was called back for something so ridiculous. That was a goal, and yes, I am biased.
-Another game against the St. Louis Blues, and another night where I’m disappointed that Nelly and the St. Lunatics didn’t show up. Sad.
-Do you remember old western movies when two guys would square of in a duel, and the winner would be the one that didn’t get shot? Those were pretty cool, right? That’s kinda like faceoffs. They’re just as cool as old fashion gun slingin’ and that’s why I’m devastated to tell you that the Oilers won 43.9% of the draws.

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