GDB 36.0 Wrap Up: Stuart Skinner steals one in Calgary, Oilers power play the difference in 2-1 win
By baggedmilk11 months ago
Thanks, Stu! Final Score: 2-1 Oilers
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It’s weird to come into an Oilers game at this stage of the season and have no idea what to expect, right? That’s where I was at today anyway. When Tyler and I were recording Oilersnation Radio, we talked about how frustrating it is to never know what’s coming in a year when we should be watching dominance more often than not. So when the boys started the game with no legs and poor puck choices, I wasn’t exactly feeling hopeful that we were going to see the effort required to beat a Calgary Flames team that seems to feast on our mistakes. And when the Oilers could only muster a trio of shots on goal past the midway point of the frame, the vibes were about as positive as a fart-filled elevator full of people. But as the period progressed, the Oilers found their form a little bit which allowed them more time in the offensive zone and ultimately chances to put pucks on net. After weathering an early storm that saw the Flames run the show for the first 10 minutes, the play started flowing back and forth much more evenly. Something to build on? I certainly hoped so.
With the first goal looking like it was going to be a big one based on the way the first period went down, my hope was that the Oilers would find a way to grab it based on the way they finished the frame. The tricky part, of course, would be to get a quick start to the period to maybe catch the Flames slacking. But as we’ve seen countless times before, the first handful of shifts back from the intermission were pretty ugly for the Oilers, and that sloppiness allowed Mikael Backlund to open the scoring on the back of a rebound he found right in the slot. Thankfully, the boys showed some nice resilience as Tyson Barrie knotted the score just under three minutes later with a blast from the point that beat Markstrom on the glove side. It was the counterpunch that the Oilers needed, keeping themselves in the mix despite getting generally outplayed. Tied once more, these two teams had this game flowing in a way where it truly felt like it was going to take a greasy one to get the job done. The major question then became which goalie would make that critical mistake. Through 40 minutes, it didn’t look like either Skinner or Markstrom had any interest in being the one to let the rubber match slip away. Tied at one with a period left to play, the Oilers had a chance to grab a point or more provided that they didn’t allow themselves to cave under the pressure.
Unlike what we got in the second period, the first step to making that happen was to be a willing combatant from the moment the puck dropped without taking a minute or 10 to get their asses in gear. I wanted to see some desperate hockey for once, ya know? But once again, it was the Flames that had all of the legs. Almost as if hanging on for dear life was a plan, the Oilers were getting worked in every way, and had it not been for Stuart Skinner then this game would have been long over. But then just when you thought that the Flames were going to reclaim the lead, the Oilers got a third power play attempt that Connor McDavid used to slide his team into a lead they probably didn’t deserve. But with a lead in their pocket and Skinner looking unbeatable, it started to look like we might steal one. That was, of course, if they could get through the final push. Time slowing down as the seconds ticked away, the Flames put 24 shots on net in the third period to the Oilers’ paltry four, but it was Stu’s heroics, some luck from the post, and the power play snipe by McDavid that ended up being the difference. Say what you will about how we got here, but those are two big points for the Oilers.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Tyson Barrie tied the game (1-1) with his 100th NHL goal on a clapper from the point that made its way through some light traffic before fooling Markstrom on the glove-hand side. With the goal, Barrie finds himself tied for eighth in NHL scoring amongst defencemen with 28 points (5G, 23A) this season.
- Connor McDavid gave the Oilers the lead (2-1) on the power play with a snipe from the slot after he took a pass along the boards from Draisaitl, walked toward the centre of the ice, and picked his spot perfectly. How hot is Connor McDavid right now? I’m glad you asked. That goal extended Connor’s point streak to 16 games (15G, 17A, 32 points).
- Stuart Skinner was back between the pipes for his 12th start in the last 15 games and looking to get the Oilers back in the win column after a disastrous outing by everyone in an Oilers uniform against Vancouver before the break. From start to finish, Stu was easily the Oilers’ best player, and had it not been for him then I really doubt the Oilers would have been able to hang around in this game for very long. To put it another way, Stuart Skinner goalie’d the Flames in a way that only ever happens to us and I think everyone in that locker room owes him an edible arrangement. Skinner finished the night with 46 saves and a .979 save%.
- In a surprise to no one that’s been paying attention, the Oilers got another huge goal from their power as they wrapped up the evening with one goal on three chances with the man advantage.
- The penalty kill has really started to progress over the last few weeks and tonight was another example as the Oilers killed off the lone shorthanded situation they faced.
- That regulation win put the Oilers back in a Wildcard spot.
PRESENTED BY BETWAY
THE FACE PALMERS
- Edmonton did not deserve to win this hockey game but I will absolutely enjoy it anyway.
- The Calgary Flames opened the scoring (1-0) after a defensive breakdown in the Oilers’ zone gave the Flames a few clean looks on net until a rebound eventually kicked out to a spot in the slot that Mikael Backlund would not miss from.
- For most of this hockey game, the Oilers looked like they had never played together before. Passes were ahead or behind by a foot, they had no mojo in the offensive zone, and the only reason they didn’t get tagged with a goal or two is that Skinner came ready to play. Frankly, the boys were lucky to make it through the first 10 minutes or so without getting burned.
- Connor McDavid took a knee by Mackenzie Weegar in the second period and not one Oiler did anything about it. Yeah, the score was tied but that’s your captain and I think it’s gross that not even one guy went to give Weegar a shot or a push or even a sternly worded letter. We really miss Evander Kane, don’t we?
- Leon Draisaitl left the game in the second period and I don’t think I have to explain to anyone reading this how much of a problem that is for this hockey team. I humble myself before the Hockey Gords for allowing him to come back to us.
- The passes to no one in particular were a real issue for Edmonton and I wish I had an accurate count of how many times they fired a puck to a ghost teammate or whatever they thought was happening in those moments.
- Another game, another instance of the Oilers getting outshot. At this point, I’m just annoyed that this keeps happening sure you could say that many of the Flames’ 47 shots came from the outside but there were also plenty of instances where those pucks on net caused a whole lot of chaos.
- I’m not surprised to see that the Oilers won only 47% of the faceoffs in a game like this.
No Goals Scored
|1:12||Calgary||Mikael Backlund (7)|
Assists: Andrew Mangiapane (8), Blake Coleman (8)
|4:58||Edmonton||Tyson Barrie (5)|
Assists: Kailer Yamamoto (6)
|7:28||Edmonton||Connor McDavid (31) (Power Play)|
Assists: Leon Draisaitl (36), Zach Hyman (22)
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