GDB 30.0 Wrap Up: Draisaitl’s face should be on the Predators jerseys, Oilers win 6-3 in Nashville
By baggedmilk11 months ago
This is Leon Draisaitl’s team now. Final Score: 6-3 Oilers
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After the way the Oilers filled their pants with poo and shame last night in Minnesota, I was very intrigued to see how the boys would respond only 24 hours later against a team they’ve had success against recently. Even without the fact that they’ve owned the Nashville Predators over the last couple of years, I was thinking that every single player in a white uniform needed to show up to the rink pissed off about the way things went against the Wild. I wanted to see them take out their rage against the Predators. I wanted Nashville to suffer. Unfortunately, I look like a real dick when I’m hoping for destruction and the Oilers give up a goal on the first shot only 1:15 into the hockey game. Thankfully the tough start was but a mere speedbump as the boys found their legs as the period progressed, and they turned that hustle into two straight goals by Zach Hyman and a handful of sand to the eyes in the form of buzzer-beater by Leon Draisaitl to extend the lead to two. Even though the start was ugly, you have to give the Oilers a tonne of credit for not letting it affect them in the slightest.
Heading into the second period, I wanted the Oilers to keep the pedal to the floor and not give the Predators even an ounce of hope that they could climb back into this game. And while that did eventually happen, it took a few minutes for the Oilers to get back on their horse, which allowed the Predators the lane they needed to halve the lead and pull themselves back to within one. Apparently, Leon Draisaitl took that personally as he responded to the goal in under a minute, continuing his streak of doing whatever the hell he wants against this franchise. Undeterred, Nashville kept fighting and their relentlessness put them in plenty of positions to score, and with the way Campbell’s night was going to that point, it wasn’t overly surprising to see them narrow the gap once more. I’m not trying to rag on the guy, but you know what I mean. Fortunately, Connor McDavid stopped the comeback in its tracks with a beautiful power play rush that saw him carry the puck from coast to coast before burying his shot through the goaltender. By no means was it a perfect period, but for the second time, the Oilers carried a two-goal lead into the break.
Up by a pair with 20 minutes to play, the Oilers had some breathing room but not nearly enough to feel comfortable. They needed to close out this game with purpose and avoid trying to sit back in some kind of prevent defence. With the Predators up against the ropes, I wanted to see the Oilers land a killer punch and put this game to bed rather than having us all in a situation where we’re holding our breath for minutes at a time. Is that too much to ask? I didn’t think so. Yet, despite my own personal wishes, the Oilers seemed content to spend big parts of the period clogging up the neutral zone and only sending one guy in on the forecheck. As much as it was working for them, I never understood why teams that are leading down the stretch get away from the style of play that put them in the lead in the first place, but I digress. What matters most is that the Oilers got the job done and managed to keep Nashville off the board in the final frame, securing an eighth straight win over the Preds and pulling themselves to within a point of second place in the Pacific Division.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- After going a couple of weeks without a goal, Zach Hyman has now scored in back-to-back games after he tied the game midway through the first period (1-1), and I could not be happier for the dude. He always works his bag off and you knew he was going to put the puck in the net — and have it count — sooner than later. Hyman added a second goal in the back half of the first period (2-1) after he found a loose puck near the goal mouth and hacked away until it even eventually crossed the line. Hyman completed his first career hat trick (6-3) with an empty netter at the end of the game to nail the coffin shut and lock in two points.
- Leon Draisaitl continued his reign of terror over the Nashville Predators with a buzzer-beater (3-1) at the end of the first period after Nugent-Hopkins fed him with a perfect one-timer pass that the Mayor of Nashville teed off on. Less than a minute after Johanson cut the lead in half, Draisaitl restored the two-goal lead (4-2) with a shot from the dot that beat Lankinen between the arm and boy for a goal he absolutely should have stopped. As always, Leon Draisaitl destroyed the Predators to the tune of another five-point night. Just ridiculous.
- In the dying moments of the second period, Connor McDavid gave the Oilers some insurance (5-3) with a beautiful coast-to-coast goal on the power play that saw him carve through traffic before snapping a quick wrister past Lankinen. When McDavid is buzzing like he was on this one then I promise you there is nothing on earth that any defender is going to do to stop him. How about another casual four-point night for the captain?
- Jack Campbell was back between the pipes for his first start since falling to the Minnesota Wild on December 1st, and I was expecting him to show us all that he’s not happy about losing the net to Stuart Skinner. That’s not to say that I think there’s beef there or anything, but rather that I wanted to see Campbell’s competitive side come out. So when he let in a stinker on the first shot of the night, I have to admit that I wasn’t exactly feeling confident in what was to come. The good news is that Soup settled down more and more as the game continued, and what I liked most is that he locked things down completely over the final 30 minutes. Campbell finished the game with 29 saves and a .906 save%.
- I like seeing Jesse Puljujarvi get rewarded with a few shifts on the first line after he put forth one of his better efforts of the night. I truly believe that the goals are going to come if the big fella keeps putting in this kind of work.
- With another assist on the night, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins now has eight points in his last five games (3G, 5A).
- Just a quick shout out to Evan Bouchard for the slap pass that led to Hyman’s first goal of the night. Dad knew exactly what he was doing.
- The Oilers got a special teams sweep as they scored on both of their power play chances while also killing off all five shorthanded situations they faced.
- I never knew I could be as happy about the Oilers outshooting the opponent as I was tonight. Instead of pucks getting pumped on their own net, the Oilers managed to outshoot the Predators by a 37-32 margin and I won’t be afraid to celebrate this small victory.
PRESENTED BY BETWAY
THE FACE PALMERS
- Only 1:15 into the hockey game, Cody Glass opened the scoring (1-0) on the first shot of the hockey game. If you’re going to try and give Campbell some credit, the shot went through a little bit of traffic before making its way through the five-hole, but on the other hand… well… you know.
- Ryan Johanson pulled the Preds to within a goal (3-1) with a one-timer from the left circle after Philip Forsberg found him with a cross-ice pass that he could rip toward the net. The strange part about the goal is that it went to the far post rather than the near side as Campbell probably expected.
- Dante Fabbro pulled the Preds back in it for a second time (4-3) with a snipe over Campbell’s glove after Trenin found him in the high slot with all kinds of time and space to pick his shot.
- Did anyone else see Connor McDavid break his stick on the PK only to get stuck on the ice without one? At the end of that play, he tried to block a shot with his hands and if he ever does that again I’m going to write a strongly worded letter to his parents. No, Connor. Not with your hands. Thank you.
- Yes, I am going to complain about the Oilers only winning 48% of the faceoffs.
|1:15||Nashville||Cody Glass (2)|
Assists: Roman Josi (16), Colton Sissons (5)
|8:19||Edmonton||Zach Hyman (11)|
Assists: Evan Bouchard (9), Connor McDavid (31)
|14:50||Edmonton||Zach Hyman (12)|
Assists: Leon Draisaitl (28), Connor McDavid (32)
|19:55||Edmonton||Leon Draisaitl (20) (Power Play)|
Assists: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (20), Tyson Barrie (16)
|3:22||Nashville||Ryan Johansen (8)|
Assists: Filip Forsberg (16), Mark Jankowski (3)
|4:19||Edmonton||Leon Draisaitl (21)|
Assists: Zach Hyman (20), Connor McDavid (33)
|9:53||Nashville||Dante Fabbro (1)|
Assists: Yakov Trenin (4), Roman Josi (17)
|18:55||Edmonton||Connor McDavid (26) (Power Play)|
Assists: Leon Draisaitl (29), Tyson Barrie (17)
|17:23||Edmonton||Zach Hyman (13) (Empty Net)|
Assists: Leon Draisaitl (30), Cody Ceci (5)
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BETTER LAIT THAN NEVER
Nick Alberga has been covering the Leafs for a long time so he had some pretty strong takes on what’s happening with Jack Campbell right now. My guy didn’t pull any punches to say the least. 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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