GDB 28.0 Wrap Up: The Wild’s reign of terror is over, Oilers end losing streak to Minnesota with huge 5-2 win
By baggedmilk11 months ago
That’s a huge win, boys! Final Score: 5-2 Oilers
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When the NHL started putting together the schedule for the 2022-23 season, I feel like someone in that office had a beef with me because giving us three games against the Minnesota Wild in the span of under two weeks feels like a personal attack. Not only are they an incredibly frustrating team to watch at the best of times, but they’ve absolutely owned the Oilers over the last couple of years and I really didn’t feel like capping off my week with another trainwreck against the Wild. So when the Oilers opened the scoring with an early goal from McDerek Ryan, I was happy about the start but still wary about getting excited too early. I mean, the Oilers gave themselves the lead eight days ago before they ended up losing 5-3 in Minnesota so I wasn’t about to count my chickens. Even when Connor McDavid extended the lead to two goals with a brilliant piece of power play execution, I still had my guard up as though something horrible was going to happen. Unfortunately, because of my worries and mistrust, I also feel as though I may have manifested the Darnell Nurse mistake that led to Eriksson-Ek’s goal towards the end of the frame to half the lead just ahead of the intermission.
With a 2-1 lead in their pockets and plenty of hockey left to play, the Oilers simply had to find a way to get the next goal and avoid giving up two in a row. It’s not that being in a tie game is the worst situation to find yourselves in, but after building themselves a lead with some cushion there was just no way they could let that happen. I didn’t care whether one of the boys had to offer up his own mother as a sacrifice to the Hockey Gords, the Oilers could not allow the Wild to even things up under any circumstance. And just as I feared, the Wild knotted the score with a power play goal in the first few minutes of the period and I could already feel that familiar sinking feeling bubbling up in my guts. I don’t know how or why the Oilers do this to themselves, but it seemed like we were watching a slow-moving car crash and I was worried about the result. Not again, I thought as I fetched myself another rum and coke. All was not lost, however, as the Oilers did not let Zuccarello tying the game affect their spirit or will to compete. And before long, Kailer Yamamoto tied the game with his first goal of the year, putting his team back up on the scoreboard with a chance to pick up two big points.
Up by a goal with 20 minutes to play, the Oilers had to keep pushing forward and refuse the urge to fall back into some kind of prevent defence to ride out the clock. You and I both know that never works, meaning the only way forward was to get more goals on the board. And since we knew that the Wild would be pushing as hard as they could to tie the game for a second time, the first step would be to weather the early storm that was inevitably coming their way. Once that initial push was out of the way, I loved the way the Oilers responded with a flurry of chances in the offensive zone that saw them firing pucks on net with purpose. When the boys are buzzin’ like that, it’s only a matter of time before a power play opportunity follows, which is exactly what happened and the opportunity they needed to grab some breathing room. With Leon Draisaitl’s marker restoring the Oilers’ two-goal lead, all they had left to do was close out the period without soiling themselves and it looked like our prospects were pretty good. Even so, I didn’t trust the Wild to not have some kind of magic shenanigans up their sleeves, and I wasn’t completely comfortable locking this win in until we heard the buzzer.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
Phtooshop: Tom Kostiuk
- Derek Ryan opened the scoring early (1-0) with a hardworking goal that saw his line get into Minnesota’s zone and grind their way into
- Connor McDavid extended the lead (2-0) on the power play with a snipe from the circle after Ryan Nugent-Hopkins fed him with a ridiculous pass that gave the captain more time and space than probably anyone would have expected.
- Kailer Yamamoto restored the Oilers’ lead (3-2) on a deflection from the slot after he got his stick on Darnell Nurse’s point shot and bounced the puck past Marc Andre-Fleury. Yamo desperately needed to get a goal and now that he’s got his first I really hope that the floodgates open a little bit.
- Leon Draisaitl put the Oilers up by a pair once again (4-2) with a power play goal from his office after Nugent-Hopkins fed him with a sneaky little pass that the former MVP wasted no time of burying.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins wrapped the game up with an empty netter (5-2) after walking into the zone and sniping the top corner. Think my guy is feeling it? With three points on the night, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has eight points (4G, 4A) in his last 5 games and I could not be happier about this heater he’s on.
- Stuart Skinner was back between the pipes for the sixth time in the last seven games and looking to rid us of this horrible Minnesota Wild black cloud that has been hanging over us after seven consecutive losses. And just as we’ve come to expect, Stu was fantastic for the Oilers and came up with the kind of performance that allowed them to weather any mistakes without getting burned, and that ultimately proved to be huge. Skinner finished the night with 42 saves and a .955 save%.
- I love nothing more than watching the Oilers power play punish the other team for cheating, and I am thrilled to report that they did it again on two of three chances with the man advantage.
- I’m getting set to name myself as the President and CEO of the Klim Kostin Fanclub. It seems like every single game the guy does something that makes him noticeable and I’m starting to love this trade more and more by the day.
- Minnesota’s seven-game winning streak over us is over!
PRESENTED BY BETWAY
THE FACE PALMERS
- Joel Eriksson-Ek pulled the Wild to within one (2-1) after he picked Darnell Nurse’s pocket behind the net, pulled the puck out into the slot, and dangled Stuart Skinner for a beautiful finish.
- Mats Zuccarello tied the game (2-2) on the power play with a goal from in tight after the Oilers couldn’t stay out of the box and were seemingly more than happy to keep giving Minnesota chances to tie the game.
- Are you surprised to read that penalty kill gave up one goal in five shorthanded situations? You’re not, are you? I didn’t think so. Oddly, killing 4-of-5 on the PK will actually improve the Oilers stats in this department.
- Despite the win, the Oilers still gave up the puck too much. The NHL site had them listed with 14 giveaways but I think that might be a shade light.
- After outshooting the Coyotes heavily on Wednesday, the Oilers were back on the other end of the shot clock battle as the Wild fired 44 pucks on Skinner whereas Edmonton got 38 shots on Fleury.
- Unfortunately, I must also report that the boys won only 49% of the faceoffs. It wasn’t horrible, but I demand perfection.
|2:45||Edmonton||Derek Ryan (4)|
Assists: Devin Shore (3), Klim Kostin (2)
|8:59||Edmonton||Connor McDavid (25) (Power Play)|
Assists: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (18), Tyson Barrie (14)
|11:24||Minnesota||Joel Eriksson Ek (10)|
|6:22||Minnesota||Mats Zuccarello (9) (Power Play)|
Assists: Kirill Kaprizov (17), Jared Spurgeon (9)
|12:54||Edmonton||Kailer Yamamoto (1)|
Assists: Darnell Nurse (12), Cody Ceci (4)
|3:43||Edmonton||Leon Draisaitl (19) (Power Play)|
Assists: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (19), Connor McDavid (29)
|19:51||Edmonton||Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (14) (Empty Net)|
Assists: Leon Draisaitl (27), Zach Hyman (19)
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