At Random: Get the Points
Photo credit:Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
11 months ago
After a couple of recent games in which they fell behind early and roared back like a house on fire to get wins, seeing the Edmonton Oilers flip the script against the woeful Chicago Blackhawks by jumping out to a 4-1 lead and then hanging on for dear life on the way to a 5-4 victory was a change-up.
The bottom line though, as I like to say around here, is the Oilers packed for tonight’s game against the Minnesota Wild with two points in their luggage at 13-10-0 and on a three-game winning streak. Of course, the details matter in the long run, but right now with the line-up depleted and with three teams ahead of them in a tight Pacific Division, you take the points and get outta Dodge.
That was coach Jay Woodcroft’s take after a late start that had the Oilers hustling to their charter flight for the hop to Minnesota and with good reason. This wasn’t quite the same as the “start the car” fast one the Oilers pulled off with four goals in the third period in a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers on Saturday, but it was a less-than-perfect nail-biter. There are no asterisks in the points column.
“We found a way to get two points,” said. Woodcroft after the Blackhawks twice closed to within a goal in the third period but couldn’t get even. “That was our goal heading into the game, to have total commitment to get the result, and we got a result tonight. What do I take away? We got the two points, and we’re ready to move on.”
THIS AND THAT
Oct 29, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers left wing Zach Hyman (18) celebrates his goal with teammates against the Calgary Flames during the third period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Hyman had a goal disallowed for the second game in a row when he pushed Seth Jones into goaltender Arvid Soderblom, but you’ve got to like the way he’s playing. Hyman was in the middle of the mix with three assists in Monday’s 4-3 win over the Florida Panthers and it was more of the same in Chicago. He was held to one assist, on Draisaitl’s winner, but he finished with five shots on goal.
I didn’t much like the hooking penalty Jesse Puljujarvi took on Connor Murphy 200 feet from his own net in the first minute of the game, but I thought he looked involved and on the ball after that. He made a smart play from behind the net with a backhand feed to set up the 2-0 goal by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
Puljujarvi remains stuck at one goal, but he’s had three assists in his last five games and I thought he had one of his better games. “It was a little scrambled in the end, but we won and that’s the really important thing,” he said. “Yeah, it’s really good. We had those little rough games and now we have a couple of wins.”
I thought Darnell Nurse had one of his better games of the season in the 500th game of his NHL career. Nurse made a sweet feed at the side of the net on the 1-0 goal by Draisaitl and finished up a tidy plus-4, playing a game-high 29:09 with six shots on goal.
If the Oilers can make it four straight wins against the Wild tonight, they’ll return home for four straight games at Rogers Place in pretty good shape. They’ll play Montreal, Washington, Arizona, and Minnesota.
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