GDB 35.0 Wrap Up: Oilers get goalie’d, blow a two-goal lead, and fall to Canucks 5-2 at Rogers Place
By baggedmilk11 months ago
It happened again… Final Score: 5-2 Canucks
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Even though my brain spent the day telling me that the Oilers should have no problem beating the Canucks tonight, my heart has loved this team since I was a kid, and I can tell you many tales of heartbreak about games that I personally believed that the Oilers should win. Sometimes you see a situation that feels like a sure thing — a mediocre team playing its third string goaltender on the second half of a back-to-back set — but the end result is a devastating loss that sends the Nation and social media into a fury. Kinda like last weekend’s loss to the Ducks, ya know? *spits* And even though I absolutely loved the way the Oilers started this hockey game, seeing Collin Delia deny them on some grade-A chances in the first few minutes had me feeling like we were in for a turd under our metaphorical trees. But then, as if Santa was listening, the Oilers cashed in a pair of goals in the back half of the period, including a buzzer-beater by Connor McDavid, and all of a sudden the outcome didn’t seem so grim. The tricky party was going to be keeping the good vibes going.
With a two-goal lead in their pocket and 40 minutes to play, the Oilers needed to keep the pedal to the floor and shut the door on any kind of Canucks comeback attempt. As much as I don’t respect Vancouver as a franchise, I also understand that this is a team that came back three separate times last night against the Kraken and I’d rather that the Oilers not give them the chance to do it again. But just as I was writing that last sentence, J.T. Miller halved the lead with one of the weirdest bad luck goals that I’ve ever seen after his shot from the high slot popped up on Skinner and fell into the back of the net. Once that goal went in, I think we all knew that the Oilers were at risk. If Edmonton couldn’t find a way to respond in short order then it was almost like they were paving a path for the Canucks to walk themselves back into a tie game. And after the boys missed out on a handful of quality opportunities including multiple attempts with the man advantage, J.T. Miller converted on the power play at the other end and the game was knotted at two. All of a sudden, that familiar feeling of dread was creeping back into frame.
Heading into the third period, I was already feeling salty about the way the second period unfolded and the last thing any of us needed was for the Oilers to drop a game that was supposed to be a layup. Somehow they needed to channel their focus into what’s been working for them rather than how angering it would be if they blew it. Besides, the Canucks played last night so you’d have to think they’d run out of legs eventually, right? Right?! Yet, their gas just never seem to run out, and even though the Oilers continued to pepper their net with shots and chances, they just couldn’t put this game in the rearview mirror. And because they were getting goalie’d again, the Canucks were allowed to stick around in a game that should have been over for them in the first period. So when the visitors rattled off three more goals in the third period — five straight overall — I hate to say that I wasn’t even surprised. I mean, what else should we expect when the Edmonton Oilers are going up against a team that has a goaltender you’ve never heard of? Maybe this thing was a scheduled loss from the jump.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Derek Ryan opened the scoring (1-0) with a deke to his forehand on a beautifully executed breakaway after Warren Foegele put him in alone with more than enough time to play a play.
- Connor McDavid extended the lead (2-0) in the dying seconds of the first period after a beautiful passing play by Hyman and Draisaitl set him up for a tap-in into a wide-open net. It was a tic-tac-toe play that had the Canucks spinning and helpless. It was beautiful.
- As we head into the Christmas break, I just want to say how much I love Klim Kostin. That trade rules so far and I don’t know how you can take him out of the lineup ever again. Thank you.
- Brett Kulak had a really strong game defensively and was probably responsible for killing at least one or two goals against.
- He had a quiet night, but I was very happy to see Ryan McLeod back in the lineup.
- Amazingly, Ethan Bear didn’t score.
- I can’t even enjoy the fact that the Oilers won 58% of the faceoffs.
- Same goes for the rare 33-30 shot clock win.
PRESENTED BY BETWAY
THE FACE PALMERS
- Make this the fourth winnable game in the last week and change that the Oilers goofed on. Horrible.
- JT Miller pulled the Canucks back to within a single goal (2-1) after his shot from the high slot hit Stuart Skinner in the shoulder, popped 10 feet up into the air, and fell softly over the goal line. That play couldn’t happen again if you tried it 100 times. Miller added a second goal at the end of the second period (2-2) on the power play after Petterssen set him up at the side of the net with a chance he wouldn’t miss.
- Bo Horvat gave the Canucks their first lead of the night (3-2) after a shot off the backboards kicked right to him, leaving the backdoor open and Skinner unable to get across on time. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins lost had Horvat initially but lost him for a second, which was all the time he needed to cash in the chance.
- I hate you, Collin Delia. I say that with all due respect. You get it.
- Ilya Mikheyev sealed the deal with a goal late in the third period (4-2) after he took a pass in the high slot from Horvat and buried the shot past Skinner on the glove side.
- The penalty kill continues to be the bane of my existence. Vancouver cashed in on 1-of-2 of their opportunities with the man advantage and I am displeased once again.
- I can’t believe I’m saying this but the Oilers’ power play got shut out on three power play chances by the worst PK in the league and looked pretty awful while they were at it.
- I thought Leon Draisaitl was not very good in this hockey game. Looked like he was already on the plane out of town tbh.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a rough night defensively and it was a real bummer to see his line follow up a gem in Dallas with a stinker against the Canucks.
- Stuart Skinner was back between the pipes for his 20th start of the season, and I was looking forward to watching him do his thing and try to lock in his 11th win of the season. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be for Stu as both he and his teammates just didn’t have their best stuff. That’s not to say that Skinner was bad or anything, but when you’ve got a save% in the .800s it’s fair to say that there was room for improvement. Skinner finished the game with 25 saves and a .862 save%.
|9:42||Edmonton||Derek Ryan (5)|
Assists: Warren Foegele (3)
|19:55||Edmonton||Connor McDavid (30)|
Assists: Zach Hyman (21), Leon Draisaitl (35)
|0:41||Vancouver||J.T. Miller (12)|
Assists: Conor Garland (10), Oliver Ekman-Larsson (14)
|18:33||Vancouver||J.T. Miller (13) (Power Play)|
Assists: Elias Pettersson (25), Bo Horvat (10)
|12:25||Vancouver||Bo Horvat (23)|
Assists: Tyler Myers (7), Conor Garland (11)
|17:19||Vancouver||Ilya Mikheyev (11)|
Assists: Bo Horvat (11)
|19:19||Vancouver||Bo Horvat (24) (Empty Net)|
Assists: Elias Pettersson (26), Tyler Myers (8)
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 was talking all things Christmas and how happy I am that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins could not be hotter right now. Merry Christmas, everybody! 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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