GDB 61.0 Wrap Up: Oilers battle hard but come up short in 3-2 loss to the Boston Bruins
By baggedmilk8 months ago
To be the best, you have to beat the best. Final Score: 3-2 Bruins
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I had no idea what to expect coming into this hockey game. The Bruins are the best team in the NHL by a fair margin and the Oilers just lost to the last place Columbus Blue Jackets for the second time this season, so I don’t think anyone can blame me for being confused about what the hell is going around here. One day the boys look like world-beaters, the next they’re spotting the enemy with a four-goal lead, coming back, but ultimately losing… it’s a battle to be an Oilers fan sometimes. So when Connor McDavid opened the scoring just over two minutes into the game, the hope was that the boys would use that early goal as a stepping stone for the evening. But before I could even finish writing that last sentence, the Bruins responded with a goal by Tomas Nosek to knot the score up at one and re-level the playing field. And as the period wore on, both sides manufactured plenty of opportunities to score but it was only the Bruins that were able to get the job done, wrestling the lead away with just under five minutes to go.
After being served a free lesson by the Bruins on what happens when you turn the puck over, I was hoping the Oilers would simplify their game a little bit for the second period to try and avoid giving the puck up on forced cross-ice passing attempts. Just as importantly, the Oilers needed to get the next goal. They simply could not go down by a pair to the Bruins and expect to win this hockey game. I didn’t care whether someone had to sell their soul or find a sacrifice to make behind the arena, we needed to be on the right side of the next one. The good news is that the boys started the frame with some jump in their step and it led to a handful of decent scoring chances that culminated in Connor McDavid’s 50th goal of the year to tie the game at two apiece. The bad news was that the Oilers were only able to keep the game tied for seven minutes before the Bruins restored their lead with a late goal from Pavel Zacha with less than a minute left to play.
Down by a goal with 20 minutes to play, the Oilers needed to find a way to claw their way back into a tie game while also avoiding giving up anything else to a Bruins team that was 30-0-2 when leading after two periods. If the Oilers were going to add a third loss to Boston’s totals, they needed to get more pucks on Swayman and they needed to get some bodies in front of the net just in case he left any garbage to clean up. To their credit, the Oilers did a pretty good job of ramping up the pressure in the third period even though the shot count could have been a touch higher, but to their credit, the Bruins did a better job of shutting the door and locking things down. Even when shots did come in, Boston was right there to clear out the garbage and get the puck out of danger. At the end of the day, the Oilers played well and pushed the Bruins to the limit but they ultimately came up one mistake short of securing at least a point. I know we’re not doing the silver linings thing around here anymore, but it’s also tough to be too mad about losing a game like that to a team that’s running away with the President’s Trophy.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Connor McDavid is on fire right now and the heater continued only 2:17 into the game when he opened the scoring (1-0) with a quick snap that beat Swayman through the legs almost like he was surprised to see it coming. McDavid added another goal (2-2) to tie the game — HIS 50TH OF THE YEAR IN ONLY 61 GAMES!!! — after Klim Kostin found him with a nice little pass that left the captain all alone in front of the net with all kinds of time to put a deke together.
- Stuart Skinner was back in the net for his 32nd start of the season and looking to get the Oilers back in the win column after he was unfortunately tagged with the loss on Saturday despite coming into the game in relief. Even though he played reasonably well, this just wasn’t Stu’s night as he’d probably want the Zacha goal back that ended up being the winner. Even so, Skinner was solid in the third period and gave the Oilers a chance to come back even if the stats may not be the prettiest numbers you’ll ever see. Skinner finished the game with 27 saves and a .900 save%.
- He didn’t hit the scoresheet but I thought Mattias Janmark was one of the more noticeable forwards and he probably could have had at least a point or two if his linemates had been able to cash.
- Klim Kostin was back in the lineup after missing the last handful with an illness and I was pumped to see him out there causing mayhem and making plays. I know Kostin picked up an assist on McDavid’s 50th goal but I thought he was noticeable on most of his shifts.
- I love the way Vinny Desharnais plays hockey and how he never hesitates to mix it up. I know he took that penalty at the end of the game, but that’s bound to happen when you play with an edge as he does.
- The penalty kill was perfect this evening, killing off all five shorthanded situations they faced.
- I love that the Oilers won 57% of the faceoffs, but I’m sad that I can’t even enjoy it.
PRESENTED BY BETWAY
THE FACE PALMERS
- Only 13 seconds after McDavid opened the scoring, Tomas Nosek tied the game (1-1) with a goal from right in front of the net as he found himself alone and ready for Hathaway’s centering pass. What a response for the Bruins.
- Nick Folino gave the Bruins the lead (2-1) after a beautifully executed give-and-go with Charlie McAvoy that resulted in the former burying the chance up and over Skinner on the glove side.
- Pavel Zacha restored the Bruins’ lead (3-2) on a second effort play that saw him dive toward a look puck near the crease and chip it over Stuart Skinner as he was about to cover up. I don’t know if there’s anything I dislike quite as much as giving up goals in the last minute of the period, you know?
- I don’t know how it’s possible that the Oilers only got one chance on the man advantage, but that’s what happened and the boys couldn’t score on the opportunity.
- Kailer Yamamoto really needed to bear down on at least one of the A-grade chances he had to score because we’re obviously talking about a different night had he been able to finish.
- The Oilers cheated for offence early in the game and the Bruins knew exactly how to handle it. Boston just sat back and forced the Oilers to make long passes that didn’t make any sense. Put another way, I really disliked the lack of puck support I saw on Edmonton’s breakout.
- Oilers got outshot 30-24 but there were also a lot of blocked shots in this game — 20 for Edmonton, 15 for Boston — so the overall total could have gone either way.
- Make a trade, Ken.
|2:17||Oilers||Connor McDavid (49)|
Assists: Leon Draisaitl (53)
|2:30||Bruins||Tomas Nosek (4)|
Assists: Garnet Hathaway (8), Dmitry Orlov (17)
|15:06||Bruins||Nick Foligno (10)|
Assists: Charlie Coyle (20), Dmitry Orlov (18)
|12:20||Oilers||Connor McDavid (50)|
Assists: Klim Kostin (6), Cody Ceci (9)
|19:30||Bruins||Pavel Zacha (14)|
Assists: David Pastrnak (38), Derek Forbort (7)
No Goals Scored
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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