GDB 51.0 Wrap Up: It wasn’t always pretty but the Oilers pick up two big points with 5-2 win in Detroit

1 year ago
I love depth scoring so very much. Final Score: 5-2 Oilers.
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After nearly two weeks without games to watch outside of this past weekend’s snooze fest in Florida, I was endlessly excited about tonight’s matchup between the Oilers and Red Wings. Not only did I feel like this was a winnable game, but I also felt that playing against a team lower in the standings was the exact kind of challenge the Oilers needed to get back in the swing of things. If they played to their potential then there was no reason to finish this night without two more points in the bank, but if they screwed around in any way then we’d be talking about what should have been. So when the Oilers started the game with all kinds of piss and vinegar, I thought the early domination was going to be the start of a spectacular evening. It was the kind of start to strive for outside of the lack of early goals. Unfortunately, the boys couldn’t get anything done on their early opportunities, which opened the door for the Wings to eventually convert on one of their own chances and grab the early lead. It’s a tale as old as time, really.
Down by a goal with plenty of time left to play, the Oilers needed to simplify their game rather than trying to pass their way into scoring chances. Fortunately, the boys got some major luck with a few posts in the dying minutes of the first period to keep the score as close as it was, and I was looking for Edmonton to take advantage of the second life they were given as a result. And exactly as we drew it up, the boys responded with a strong start to frame that saw them not only tie the game at the three-minute mark but wrestle the lead away only 36 seconds later after a pair of quick goals from McLeod and Foegele. Even better was the fact that the Oilers weren’t done with two goals either as Warren Foegele picked up a third straight marker after Vinnie Desharnais’ point shot changed direction a couple of times before eventually beating the goaltender. In less than 10 minutes, the Oilers went from being down by one to being up by a pair, and that trio of depth goals had Detroit back on their heels. And had it not been for the ugly goal by Veleno in the dying seconds of the period, I would have probably said this was a perfect road period by our boys.
Up by a goal with 20 minutes to play, the Oilers were in a good spot to pick up the win provided that they could stay focused on scoring goals and avoid trying to fall back into some kind of prevent defence to ride out the clock. I wanted to see the exact same effort that we got for the first 19 minutes of the second period minus the final few seconds, ya know? As we saw, Detroit can’t handle the Oilers’ heat but the last thing the boys could do was screw this up by shooting themselves in the foot with sloppy plays and inattention to detail. Thankfully, what we got tonight was a closing period that saw the visitors play with composure from the crease outward. While it was undeniable that the Red Wings would be pushing to equalize, the Oilers were able to defend the attack well while also having Campbell ready to cover up anything that still got through to the net. At the other end of the ice, the Oilers found the back of the net twice more as Nugent-Hopkins converted on the power play with a snipe and Evander Kane wrapped up the night with an empty netter as the cherry on top. At the end of the day, this was by no means the prettiest win that we’ll ever see but the important part was that the boys still found a way to secure the bag.
The wrap.


  • At the 3:02 mark of the second period, Ryan McLeod tied the game (1-1) after picking a pass up in the slot with all kinds of time and space that he used to wait out the goaltender before snapping his shot into the open cage.
  • Only 36 seconds after McLeod tied the game, Warren Foegele gave the Oilers the lead (2-1) on a perfectly executed 2-on-1 rush with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins that saw the latter with the dish and McLovin with the finish. Foegele added a second goal later in the period after Vincent Desharnais’ point shot took a couple of friendly bounces off Oilers players before eventually winding up in the net. For a guy that was just healthy scratched, I couldn’t think of a better way for Foegele to tell the coaching staff that he got the message.
  • With under five minutes to play, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins restored the Oilers’ two-goal lead (4-2) on the power play with a snipe from the left circle that beat Husso down low. Quietly, RNH put together another multi-point night and I love to see that his heater of a season has picked right back up after the break.
  • Evander Kane nailed the coffin shut (5-2) with an empty netter from the other end of the ice that came almost immediately after Detroit pulled the goalie. After the way Kane mixed it up all night, I was happy to see the guy get rewarded with a goal for his efforts.
  • Jack Campbell was back between the pipes and looking to win his eighth consecutive start, and he was fantastic from start to finish. Not only was Soup the busier of the two goalies but he also made some massive saves throughout the night that either a) kept the Oilers in the mix to come back or b) with the lead towards the end of the night. From my side of the TV screen, I thought Campbell was the best player. Soup finished the night with 31 saves and a .939 save%.
  • Big shout out to Philip Broberg on the first multi-point game of his NHL career. I know I take a mini-shot at him and Bouchard in the Face Palmers, but I’m really enjoying the way he’s figuring out how to play in the best league on earth.
  • How about the way Vincent Desharnais keeps collecting assists with that sneaky wrister he lets go from the point that often finds its way through traffic? The big man already has four points on the season and I’m pretty sure that they’ve all come in the exact same way and from nearly the same spot. Keep firing, big fella.
  • The power play took a big to get going but was finally able to convert on its fifth chance of the evening, finishing the game at 1/5 with the man advantage.
  • On the penalty kill, however, the Oilers were perfect and killed off all five shorthanded situations they faced, some of which came at key points in the game. As far as turnarounds go this season, what’s going on with the PK has to be one of the best stories of them all.
  • Big shout out to the post for the fine work it did toward the end of the first period. What was it, three posts? Two?
  • Neither David Perron nor Jordan Oesterle scored against us! Great success.



  • Tyler Bertuzzi opened the scoring (1-0) after a pretty little no-look pass by Dylan Larkin set him up on the doorstep for one of the easiest tap-ins he’ll ever have.
  • Joe Veleno pulled the Red Wings back to within a goal (3-2) with only nine seconds left in the second period after the Oilers completely gave up on the play and allowed Detroit to walk into their zone basically uncontested. Brutal way to finish off what was otherwise a wonderful road period.
  • If I’m going to nitpick tonight’s win, it has to be about the way the boys finished off the first period. Had it not been for the posts Detroit hit, this game could have ended with a much different outcome.
  • I know what the numbers say but what my eyes say is that the Bouchard/Broberg pairing is an adventure when they’re out there together. At least once or twice per night, those two have white-knuckling my couch and I’m really hoping they figure it out sooner than later.
  • If you’re a fan of shots on the goal — Gord knows I am — then you’ll be upset to learn that the Wings outshot the Oilers by a 33-28 margin.
  • The Oilers won only 49% of the faceoffs which isn’t terrible by any means but can certainly be improved upon.


10:24DetroitTyler Bertuzzi (2)
Assists: Lucas Raymond (18), Dylan Larkin (29)
3:02EdmontonRyan McLeod (9)
Assists: Philip Broberg (5), Evander Kane (9)
3:38EdmontonWarren Foegele (6)
Assists: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (39)
11:55EdmontonWarren Foegele (7)
Assists: Vincent Desharnais (4), Philip Broberg (6)
19:51DetroitJoe Veleno (7)
Assists: Moritz Seider (22), Jake Walman (4)
15:38EdmontonRyan Nugent-Hopkins (23) (Power Play)
Assists: Tyson Barrie (28), Connor McDavid (52)
17:33EdmontonEvander Kane (7) (Empty Net)
Assists: Brett Kulak (10)


Talk to me, Twitter. Hit me up at @jsbmbaggedmilk and Wanye at @Oilersnation and you could find yourself landing in this very spot. 


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