GDB 37.0 Wrap Up: Connor McDavid (and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins) unstoppable in 7-2 win over the Kraken
By baggedmilk5 months ago
To honour Seattle we will listen to Nevermind on full blast. Final Score: 7-2 Oilers
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When I found out this afternoon that Leon Draisaitl wasn’t going to play in this hockey game, I was admittedly concerned as you would expect a person to be when one of your best players is on the sidelines. I was worried that the Oilers would struggle to produce enough offence with half of the Dynamic Duo unavailable in a game when we really needed him. That’s what I spent my day worrying about. So when the Oilers opened the game with four goals in the first 10 minutes, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t equally as stunned as the Kraken fans in attendance at Climate Change Arena. I mean, the Oilers were up by a field goal before a bunch of people had even got to the seats, and it doesn’t get much better than that, especially on the road against a team you’re tied with for a playoff spot in the Pacific Division standings. Up by four goals heading into the intermission, the tricky part was going be keeping it going in the second and third periods.
As both teams got back in the ice for the second period, the first thought I had in my mind was how the Oilers were going to handle the storm that was sure to be coming their way. I could only imagine what Dave Hakstol was saying in Seattle’s dressing room after getting pumped for four goals at home in the opening frame, and that told me that Edmonton was probably in line for some major pushback. And right on cue, the Kraken got themselves on the board with an early goal from Daniel Sprong that came in the first couple of minutes to give his team some life. The good news is that the Oilers were completely unphased by the early marker and responded with a pair of quick ones to not only negate the goal against but further extend their lead in the process. As unexpected as the results were, I think I can safely speak for all of us when I say it was a great time. Even when Seattle added a second goal to cut the lead to *checks notes* four goals, it never felt like the Oilers were in danger of losing control of this hockey team. Sure, there were moments of pressure in the Oilers’ defensive zone, but as a whole, Edmonton was running away with this thing.
With a period left to play and a sizeable lead in their pocket, the Oilers didn’t have to do a whole lot apart from avoiding sitting back and letting Seattle try to chip away at their lead. I didn’t really care if they scored any more goals — I did very much want to see Klim Kostin pick up his first NHL hat trick — but they needed to keep pushing forward to avoid giving Seattle any extra chances. As it turns out, Connor McDavid decided that he wanted to put the Kraken out for good as he delivered the fatal blow midway through the period (as if they weren’t already dead lmao) on a strong individual effort that saw him use his speed and sneaky wrister to register the Oilers’ seventh goal. From start to finish, the Oilers played with all kinds of urgency and it was nice to see them get rewarded for their hard work, hustle, and 60 minutes of effort. I loved seeing the Oilers flex their killer instinct against a team that’s struggling right now, and the fact that it comes with a four-point swing in a divisional showdown is the cherry on top of the sundae. At the end of the day, this was a huge night for the Oilers and I very much look forward to seeing how Seattle responds when these two teams meet up five days from now.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Zach Hyman opened the scoring (1-0) on the power play after a beautiful passing play from McDavid and Nugent-Hopkins set him up for a tap-in at the goalmouth. Hyman added another power play goal (6-1) midway through the second period after McDavid basically banked the puck into the net off of him as he was standing near the post.
- Only 45 seconds after Hyman got them on the board, Klim Kostin extended the lead (2-0) with a dangle to his backhand from in tight after a pair of one-touch passes by his linemates set him up with time and space to make a play. Only moments after Sprong got Seattle on the board, Kostin responded quickly with his second goal of the night (5-1) after deflecting Darnell Nurse’s point shot/slap pass perfectly through Jones’ legs from his post in the high slot.
- Only 39 seconds AFTER THAT, Darnell Nurse got the Oilers third goal (3-0) after trailing the play into Seattle’s zone, picking up a pass from McDavid in the high slot, and burying his shot up and over Grubauer.
- At the midway point of the first period, Jesse Puljujarvi put the Oilers up by four (4-0) after McDavid found him all alone in front of the net with enough time to Crockpot a roast. With the puck on his stick and miles of space around him, Puljujarvi did a nice job shoveling the puck through the goaltender for his 3rd goal of the season.
- Connor McDavid kicked the extra point on the touchdown (7-1) after he broke into the zone with time and space, ripping his shot through Jones’ five hole. The goal gave McDavid his fifth point of the night and it’s getting hard to even find the words to accurately describe how unbelievable he is. Can we just take a minute to appreciate how ridiculous it is that Connor McDavid has 72 points in only 37 games? He’s a cheat code, he is the Game Genie, he is the one. He is truly remarkable and we are so lucky to watch him on a nightly basis.
- How happy were you to see Stuart Skinner get a little bit of run support after he stole the show in a 2-1 win against the Flames on Tuesday? I mean, Stu has stood on his head for this team more than a few times, and that’s what made it refreshing to see the boys put up seven goals for him on the road against Seattle. Even so, Skinner still came up huge on more than one occasion, and even though he had a huge lead in this game, it doesn’t at all mean that he wasn’t busy. Skinner finished the night with 36 saves and a .947 save%.
- How about my boy Ryan Nugent-Hopkins locking in a four-point night, giving him nine points (3G, 6A) in his last five games? The Year of Nuge continues and I could not be happier about it.
- You’ve gotta give Dylan Holloway some love for picking up his first NHL fight against Vince Dunn after he chose to defend himself after Dunn connected with a few crosschecks that the refs seemingly had no interest in calling. Even though he’ll probably take the L in this fight, I love seeing the kid stand up for himself.
- I liked the way Jay Woodcroft spread out the minutes in a game when he had all kinds of goals to be able to do it. Up front, RNH played the most minutes at 19:07 (McDavid had 16:01) and I’m hopeful that will leave some gas in the tank for the boys tomorrow against Winnipeg.
- If there’s one thing I love it’s watching the Oilers punish their opponents with the power play, and the Seattle Kraken were the latest victim in their reign of terror. Even without Leon Draisaitl in the lineup, the boys finished the night at 2-for-2 on the man advantage and that makes me one happy blogger.
- Not to be outdone, the Oilers’ penalty kill was perfect in all three shorthanded situations they faced as the team continues to improve when down a man over the past few weeks or so.
- Tonight’s win puts the Oilers in third place in the Pacific Division, leaping over both Seattle and Calgary with 42 points on the year.
PRESENTED BY BETWAY
THE FACE PALMERS
- Daniel Sprong got the Kraken on the board (4-1) early in the second period with his sixth goal in his last eight games, and just like that, Seattle had some life.
- Brandon Tanev pulled the Kraken back to within four goals (6-2) on a scramble goal near the side of the net that reeked as much of garbage as any goal you’d see. Way she goes on these kinds of plays sometimes.
- I really dislike that we were with Leon Draisaitl who missed only his seventh game since 2016, meaning whatever kept him out of the lineup had to be significant. We saw what he did on one leg in the playoffs so I can only imagine what he’s battling right now to keep him out of this hockey game.
- The Oilers were outshot by a 38-32 margin but I think a lot of that was score effects as the Kraken tried to do anything they could to try and narrow the gap.
- Edmonton won only 45% of the faceoffs they took, but I guess I’ll give the boys a pass this time.
|2:44||Edmonton||Zach Hyman (16) (Power Play)|
Assists: Connor McDavid (37), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (24)
|3:16||Edmonton||Klim Kostin (3)|
Assists: Mattias Janmark (4), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (25)
|3:55||Edmonton||Darnell Nurse (6)|
Assists: Connor McDavid (38), Kailer Yamamoto (7)
|9:58||Edmonton||Jesse Puljujarvi (3)|
Assists: Connor McDavid (39), Zach Hyman (23)
|1:50||Seattle||Daniel Sprong (11)|
Assists: Morgan Geekie (10), Ryan Donato (4)
|5:33||Edmonton||Klim Kostin (4)|
Assists: Darnell Nurse (14), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (26)
|6:35||Edmonton||Zach Hyman (17) (Power Play)|
Assists: Connor McDavid (40), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (27)
|7:33||Seattle||Brandon Tanev (6)|
Assists: Adam Larsson (11), Vince Dunn (15)
|10:43||Edmonton||Connor McDavid (32)|
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BETTER LAIT THAN NEVER
On this week’s episode of BLTN, Tyler and I wrapped up the 2022 calendar with a look at some of the biggest Oilers stories from the year. We looked at the trades, the rumours, the news, and anything else that drew some major attention. 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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