GDB 16.0 Wrap Up: Skinner was excellent between the pipes, leading Oilers to 4-2 win in Florida
By baggedmilk1 year ago
Told you guys it would be a 4-2 win. Final Score: 4-2 Oilers.
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I can’t be the only one that saw another matinee on the schedule and rolled my eyes so hard that they nearly fell out of my head, right? I know a 2 pm MT start is actually a four o’clock in Florida, but that’s still a weird time for a puck drop and I was nervous that we’d be watching a third straight daylight disaster. I don’t know what it is about matinees that the Oilers just cannot figure out, but it’s a real problem given how many of these things we play this season. So when we made it to the midway point of the first period and the Oilers still didn’t have a shot on goal, I could almost hear the Nation’s collective frustration bubbling up like an active volcano. How else are you supposed to feel when you make it through 10 minutes of action without even mustering a single shot on goal? To make matters worse, it wasn’t just that the boys couldn’t get any shots on net but also that the Panthers were absolutely shelling them in their own end. Thankfully, Stuart Skinner came ready to play because if not for him then the Oilers would have easily found themselves down by at least a goal or two.
Despite having a rough start and being handily outplayed, the good news was that the Oilers still found themselves in a tie game with the opportunity to turn things around. Seeing as they probably should have been down on the scoreboard by this point, the Oilers needed to find a way to take advantage and get themselves a goal to steal an unexpected lead. And in the early going, I thought this evil plan might actually come together as it was the visiting side that had all of the legs and used those wheels to manufacture some quality scoring chances. Sure, the Panthers were able to counter from time to time, but they weren’t anywhere near as dominant in the middle frame as there were in the first, which eventually left a window open just enough for the Oilers to slide through and snatch the first goal of the game. Now with the lead and Skinner looking rock solid behind them, the boys wrapped up the period with a lead on the scoreboard and a chance to win a game that looked like it was running away from them early on. I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t see this coming based on how the first period went.
Up by a goal with 20 minutes left to play, the Oilers had a chance to close out their road trip on a high note, but it was going to take a complete team effort to get the job done. Needless to say, we couldn’t hit the ice with another dud period like we saw in the first or else the Oilers’ one-goal lead would evaporate just as quickly as it came, making a strong start a critical component to closing the game out. So when the Oilers took a penalty only seconds after the opening draw and gave up the tying goal only moments later, I was ready to throw my phone through the TV but cooler heads prevailed. Undeterred, the Oilers got right back to work with a flurry of offensive zone time, and within five minutes, the boys were able to get that goal back with a bullet shot from Tyson Barrie. Not done there, the Oilers quickly extended their lead with Warren Foegele’s second goal in his last three games, giving the team some insurance they would need only 51 seconds later. Thankfully, that was as close as Florida would get as Stuart Skinner managed to shut the door down the stretch and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins nailed the coffin shut with an empty-net goal in the dying seconds to wrap up a very impressive (and important) road win. Two huge points.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Tyson Barrie opened the scoring (1-0) with a blast from the point that made its way through traffic after Ryan McLeod set him up with a pass to tee off on. Up to that point, the boys were driving me nuts with their refusal to put pucks on net and that’s why it was frustrating to see them get rewarded for actually shooting when they had the chance. Either way, the Oilers got on the board first and that’s what matters. Barrie added a second goal in the third period (2-1) with another blast from the point that beat Knight on the glove-hand side, restoring Edmonton’s lead in the process.
- Warren Foegele gave the Oilers some insurance (3-1) with a beautiful snipe from the circle after he picked up Leon Draisaitl’s drop pass and ripped it without delay, beating Knight down low with a shot he had no idea of how to stop.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins restored the Oilers’ two-goal lead (4-2) and nailed the coffin shut with an empty netter from distance after McDavid found him open along the boards with an open lane to shoot.
- Stuart Skinner was back between the pipes for his sixth start of the year and looking to get his team back in the win column after a very disappointing finish in Carolina on Thursday. Up for the challenge, Skinner was fantastic from the opening draw to the closing buzzer and had it not been for him then the Oilers would have realistically been out of contention before the first period was even over. Skinner finished the game with 40 saves and a .952 save%. After an appearance like this, how can you not play the guy on Wednesday against LA?
- Shout out to Mattias Janmark for picking up his first assist of the season on Tyson Barrie’s first goal of the game.
- Another nice game for Jesse Puljujarvi on the first line as the big Finn was able to track down pucks and get it to his linemates on several occasions. I know he needs to score more — it’s the most obvious hole in his game right now — but I do appreciate the good things he does on the defensive side of the puck.
- The Oilers weren’t fantastic on the PP today but they still managed to pick up a goal on one of their five chances with the man advantage. You love to see it.
- I’m thrilled to inform you that the Oilers won 53% of the faceoffs. It’s beautiful, isn’t it?
PRESENTED BY BETWAY
THE FACE PALMERS
- Sam Bennett tied the game (1-1) in the opening minutes of the third period on the power play with a shot from the high slot after the Oilers failed to clear a loose puck in the slot, leaving the former-Flame with a wide open net to drain the puck into. Only 51 seconds after Foegele’s goal, Bennett picked up his second of the night with a drive to the net and backhanded flip shot that just barely made it through Skinner’s arm and body.
- Nothing drives me crazier than seeing the Oilers make it through an entire period with only seven shots on goal. I know the Panthers were buzzing in the first, but that’s the kind of execution from our end that’s just begging for another loss.
- Speaking of not shooting the puck, what is the deal with the Oilers trying to force passes through on 2-on-1 rushes like shooting on the goal isn’t ever an option? It’s so frustrating.
- Are you surprised the Oilers gave up a goal while shorthanded? You’re not, are you? Florida finished the day at 1-for-3 with the man advantage.
- I know my complaining won’t do anything but I hate that Sportsnet crowbarred Leafs coverage into the Oilers game without giving us any analysis of the game they were currently broadcasting. Just gross.
- Oilers were outshot 42-32 as the trend of being dummied on the shot clock continues.
Talk to me, Twitter. Hit me up at @jsbmbaggedmilk and Wanye at @Oilersnation and you could find yourself landing in this very spot.
BETTER LAIT THAN NEVER
On the latest episode of Better Lait Than Never, I looked at the Evander Kane injury and how that is a devastating loss for the Oilers. Who will step up in his absence? Someone has to do it. Subscribe to Better Lait Than Never for FREE on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and wherever else you get your podcasts from!
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