GDB 80.0 Wrap Up: Oilers lock in seventh straight win with lopsided 6-1 victory in San Jose
By baggedmilk10 months ago
Seven wins in a row and the Pacific Division lead remains in sight. Final Score: 6-1 Oilers
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Did anyone else spend the morning doing literally anything other than paying attention to what was going on with the Oilers’ pre-game situation? After the Oilers clinched, I find that the only thing I care about is what their first round matchup will look like, and with each passing day, it seems like we’re more than likely destined for a rematch with the Kings. I guess it’s the anticipation for the playoffs that has me not really caring too much about what happens even though I know the points are important for locking in home-ice advantage for the first round. If the Oilers could get even a single point against the Sharks and a regulation loss by the Kings, they’ll be kicking off the post-season at Rogers Place. So you have to feel good to have the first period end up with the Oilers carrying a 2-1 lead into the intermission despite it not being their finest opening by any stretch.
Heading into the second period, the Oilers needed to up their urgency levels a little bit because the Sharks clearly showed up ready to play. Yeah, it was nice to have the lead after a less-than-stellar period of play, but the score could have easily been flipped had San Jose gotten a little bit of luck. The point was that the Oilers should absolutely win this hockey game based on the skill in their lineup, but nothing was going to be given to them and I needed them to crank it up. To quote FUBAR, “turn down the suck, turn up the good.” Thankfully, the Oilers were able to do exactly that as the period wore on, collecting their fair share of quality chances and clean looks that generally result in goals. Keep it up and offence would come. And just as hoped, the effort resulted in two more goals from Hyman and Ryan to extend the lead to three and put their team in an excellent position to close out the win.
Up by two with 20 minutes to play, the Oilers didn’t have to change too much apart from taking their foot off the gas for any length of time whatsoever. Throughout the first two periods, there were moments when the Oilers almost took their lead for granted or something, and those momentary lapses led to some solid opportunities for San Jose to get back in it. That said, it was also going to be tough for the Sharks to get back into this hockey game given the three-goal hole. Even though we’ve seen stranger finishes in our day as Oilers fans, I was feeling pretty good about our chances. Clearly uninterested in anything other than a win, the Oilers did a fantastic job of pressuring the Sharks in all three zones, which severely limited their ability to generate anything offensively. And with the Sharks’ attack silenced entirely, all that was really left to do was pop two more goals up on the board and run out the clock.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins opened the scoring (1-0) after parking himself beside the net and having a loose puck kick out to him with an open cage to shoot at. Combined with the shorthanded assist, Nugent-Hopkins picked up another three-point night and gives himself 103 points on the year. The Year of Nuge continues.
- Connor McDavid restored the Oilers’ lead late in the first period (2-1) after he found a loose puck near the side of the net and drained it into the empty net. The goal was very similar to the one RNH scored earlier in the frame, leaving me to believe that there are more garbage goals to be had for the Oilers. McDavid added a second goal in the third period on a ridiculous deke (6-1) after RNH put him in alone with enough time to set up the fondue set. Make it 151 points on the season for Connor McDavid. Oh captain, my captain.
- Zach Hyman put the Oilers up by two (3-1) after Mattias Ekholm found down low with a clear lane to the net. Once Hyman had the puck on his stick, he walked it straight to the front of the net and beat Reimer with a backhander that slipped through the arm and body.
- Derek Ryan put the Oilers up by a field goal (4-1) on a perfectly executed 2-on-1 with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in the dying moments of the second period. Not only was the passing play pretty, but the fact that it happened while shorthanded added another layer of beauty that I greatly appreciated.
- Philip Broberg made it a four-goal game (5-1) after he jumped up into the play and Leon Draisaitl found him with a ridiculous backhand pass that put the defender in alone on the goaltender. I know he’s been quiet over the last little while, but it was nice to see the kid get rewarded with a goal to put the final nail in the coffin.
- With only three games left on the year, Stuart Skinner doesn’t have anything left to prove as to why he’ll be the starter for game one of the playoffs, but he did have the opportunity for a few more tune-up games to make sure he’s feeling sharp. Skinner finished the afternoon with 22 saves and a .957 save%.
- With the pair of assists, Evan Bouchard now has 17 pts in his last 17 games.
- Looking at the special teams, the Oilers finished the afternoon at 0-for-1 on the power play while going a perfect 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.
- I know I say it a lot, but I’m going to say it again today: I love Mattias Ekholm. Not only has he settled down the defence in a way that I never would have expected, but he’s also better on the offensive side than we ever would have known. The guy is fitting in perfectly since his arrival, and I can’t help but feel much calmer in any situation when he’s on the ice.
- Shout out to Jason Demers for playing in his 700th NHL game as he filled in on the blue line after Cody Ceci returned home for the birth of his child. Demers was obviously a long-time Shark and I thought it was pretty classy of the Oilers to get him in for the milestone against his former club. I’m also going to choose to ignore the mistake he made in the first period that directly led to a San Jose goal.
- Big Corski fan? I’ve got you. The Oilers out the Sharks by a tasty little 36-23 margin.
PRESENTED BY BETWAY
THE FACE PALMERS
- Tomas Hertl tied the game (1-1) after a tough giveaway by Demers in the defensive zone that led to Peterson feeding the puck out front for the net for what was basically a tap-in. Tough shift for Demers despite the good vibes we all had coming into the game.
- If I’m going to nitpick the win, the Oilers had too many flat spots throughout the game that allowed the Sharks to have some really clean looks on Stuart Skinner. If they were a better team, maybe those chances wind up in the back of the net, and it’s a detail they’ll need to clean up ahead of round one.
- If you’re a fan of faceoffs as you all know that I am, then you will be devastated to learn that the Oilers won only 39% of the draws. The good thing is that I didn’t see many of them because Sportsnet often misses draws.
|Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (37)
Assists: Zach Hyman (47), Connor McDavid (87)
|Tomas Hertl (22)
Assists: Jacob Peterson (5)
|Connor McDavid (63)
Assists: Warren Foegele (14)
|Zach Hyman (36)
Assists: Mattias Ekholm (22), Evan Bouchard (31)
|Derek Ryan (13) (Shorthanded)
Assists: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (65)
|Philip Broberg (1)
Assists: Leon Draisaitl (73), Derek Ryan (6)
|Connor McDavid (64)
Assists: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (66), Evan Bouchard (32)
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
Fresh episode of Better Lait Than Now is out everywhere you get podcasts. This week, I talked about Ryan Nugent-Hopkins hitting 100 points, Leon Draisaitl getting 50 goals for the third time, took your voicemails, and a whole lot more.
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