GDB 38.0 Wrap Up: The New Year’s Eve horror continues, Oilers deserved better in 2-1 loss to the Jets
By baggedmilk11 months ago
The power play ended up being the difference. Final Score: 2-1 Jets
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For the last time in 2022, we’re wrapping up an Oilers game to cap off what was undoubtedly a very eventful year. Before the puck dropped, I was thinking back to last January when the Oilers were absolutely horrible and a lot of us thought that they may not make the playoffs. Then, just as the team was scraping rock bottom, Ken Holland brought Woody in to right the ship and what happened over the next few months was magic to say the least. But as we wrap up the year and approach the midway point of a new season, the Oilers haven’t quite played up to the expectations we all had for them through the first 37 games, and that’s why I was hopeful that they would be able to finish the year on a high note. Despite their 3-14-5 record on New Year’s Eve, I was looking for Edmonton to put on a show and keep the good times rolling. Unfortunately, despite a handful of quality shots and chances, the Oilers couldn’t get anything past Connor Helleybuyck which opened the door for Winnipeg to grab the lead late in the period with a questionable power play maker. And despite a fairly solid start to the game, the Oilers found themselves chasing the game again as they head into the break.
Down by a goal with 40 minutes to play, the Oilers absolutely needed to be the ones to grab the next goal or run the risk of giving Connor Hellebuyck a multi-goal lead that he doesn’t seem to cough up very often. But if the Oilers were going to score next, they were probably going to need an ugly one because if the goaltender could see the puck then it was incredibly likely that he was going to stop it. So when had the boys had their legs moving early and peppered shots on net, it felt like it was only a matter of time before the Oilers would find a way to tie things up. But just as he had been all night, the Winnipeg netminder was endlessly annoying, looked big in the net, and turned away everything the boys threw his way. What made the second period was that it was hard to get pissed off about what the Oilers were doing or not doing because they were playing well, but the fact that they couldn’t buy a goal if they tried seem to crank up the desperation. As the period wore on and the goals didn’t come, my worry was that the frustration was going to start piling up to the point of making mistakes while cheating for offence. It’s not that being down by a goal is a major deal — Gord knows this team can score them in bunches — but the Oilers have had a hard time when going up against a goalie that seems to have their number.
Down by a goal with a period left to play, the Oilers needed to do a better job of getting some bodies in front of Connor Hellebuyck. As much as I love seeing the boys outshoot a team 2:1 any day or any time, it doesn’t help nearly as much when the guy can see basically all of them. So to see Klim Kostin find a way to crack the code near the five minute mark with a beautiful shot from the slot, I thought the tipping point had finally arrived. I thought the Oilers were finally about to kick the door down and seize control of this hockey game. Instead the only tipping point we got was when Kyle Connor got his stick on a shot in the slot that restored Winnipeg’s lead just under two minutes later. Once that goal went in, I felt like it was going to take a miracle or some chaos in front of the net for the Oilers to get another one. Even when they finished the game with a power play, I found it hard to believe that they would get the equalizer and I don’t even know how that makes sense because they legitimately did play well. At the end of the day, the Oilers played well enough to get at least a point but that’s the way things go sometimes. I wish I knew what kind of sacrifice we needed to make to end this run of getting goalie’d once per week, so if anyone figures that out just let me know and maybe we can work something out. Happy New Year, everybody!
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Klim Kostin tied the game with a snipe early in the third period (1-1) after an apparent offensive zone faceoff loss wound up on his stick after a nifty little steal by Janmark set him up for the shot. Klim Kostin could be The Answer. In fact, let’s make this another appreciation post as this guy continues to do the little things in his minimal ice time that helps a team win. I love the grit, I love the hands, and I love the way he provides a different flavour of player in our lineup. So to have him go down at the end of the game and look like he was in a world of pain could be a rotton cherry on the shit sundae that was this loss.
- For the first time since November 5th, Jack Campbell was getting a start at Rogers Place and I was endlessly intrigued about how he was going to do against a red hot Connor Helleybuyck. Unfortunately, his night didn’t start off so well as the first Winnipeg goal was one that he’d certainly want back. Yeah, I know it was a nice play on the power play but I think he even Jack would say that getting a piece of the shot meant he probably should have had it. From there, however, I thought he was fine as the second and deciding goal wasn’t really on him because of the tip by Kyle Connor in the slot. Yet, despite being “okay” overall it was that first one that ended up being the difference, and once again Soup was outplayed by his counterpart at the other end. Campbell finished the night with 15 saves and a .882 save%.
- Jesse Puljujarvi had another strong game alongside Connor McDavid as he looked to have another gear after picking up a goal last night in Seattle. His giveaway at centre ice that led to the winning goal, however, not so much.
- I love Sam Gagner and no matter what happens for the rest of his career, I will always cheer for him. Congrats on 1001 games, Sam. I wish that your 1000th game would have been here with us.
- I was happy to hear the official announcement that the Heritage Classic at Commonwealth Stadium was going to be against Calgary as literally anybody else would have been a wasted opportunity. The Battle of Alberta in front of 60K people is the way this is supposed to be.
- At least we won the Corskis? Oilers outshot the Jets 32-17 which was a nice change from what we’ve been used to.
PRESENTED BY BETWAY
THE FACE PALMERS
- The Oilers are now 3-14-6 on New Year’s Eve. Happy New Year, everybody.
- Neil Pionk opened the scoring on the power play (1-0) on only their third shot of the game after Kyle Connor made a beautiful play to set him up for a one-timer on the back door. Campbell got a piece of the shot as he was sliding across, but was ultimately unable to stop the shot.
- Kyle Connor restored Winnipeg’s lead (2-1) after he was somehow able to get the tip of his stick on Pionk’s point shot despite battling with the Edmonton defender, deflecting the puck just outside the reach of Campbell’s blocker.
- Are you surprised Connor Hellebuyck put up a .968 save%? No? Me neither.
- I very much dislike reading that Leon Draisaitl is battling some kind of core muscle injury that’s keeping him out of the lineup. For a guy that has barely missed any time over the last six years — only eight games in total including this one — he must be in a world of pain to have him sit out in games when we absolutely need him.
- Sadly I must report that the Oilers penalty kill gave up a goal on three shorthanded situations, ending their short streak of PK perfection.
- I must also advise that the Oilers power play is indeed a human endeavour as the team was unable to secure a goal on any of their five chances with the man advantage. Just not the same without Leon.
- I’m sad to say that the Oilers won only 40% of the faceoffs. Salt in the wound, ya know?
|15:44||Winnipeg||Neal Pionk (6) (Power Play)|
Assists: Kyle Connor (27), Pierre-Luc Dubois (23)
No Goals Scored
|4:29||Edmonton||Klim Kostin (5)|
Assists: Mattias Janmark (5)
|6:55||Winnipeg||Kyle Connor (16)|
Assists: Neal Pionk (10), Kristian Reichel (1)
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 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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