GDB 49.0 Wrap Up: Woodcroft’s crew can’t miss, Oilers extend winning streak with 4-2 win in Winnipeg
By baggedmilk1 year ago
Never in doubt. Final score: 4-2 Oilers
This morning in the GDB, I confessed that I’m still carrying a hatred for the Winnipeg Jets from last May and that the only way I’ll be able to move on with my life is for our boys to start collecting some wins. Not only that, the Jets were five points out of the final Wildcard spot in the Western Conference coming into this thing, and that meant a wonderful opportunity to put them even further back of the crowd. And right from the opening draw right through until the end of the period, the Oilers were all over the Jets. Not only did the Oilers’ special teams get them out of a jam with an extended 5-on-3 kill but they also came up with a clutch power play goal from their first unit to grab the lead. Winnipeg didn’t get a break at even strength either because the boys were swarming (SWARM!) in all three zones and it meant that the Jets didn’t have any time or space to make plays. To be honest, the fact that the Oilers were only able to get one goal on the board was pretty unlucky because they were absolutely buzzing.
Kicking off the second period, all I was hoping was that the Oilers would be able to keep cruising in the middle frame as they did in the first because that was a fantastic start to this hockey game. But as expected, the Jets pushed back hard in the early moments to try and fight their way off the mat, but the Oilers did a good job of bending without breaking and did a good job of staying patient with their counterpunches instead of trying to force things that weren’t there. And it wasn’t long before that patience paid off either as the Oilers were able to convert on a pair of their opportunities midway through the period, extending their lead even further and leaving the Jets feeling frustrated and exhausted. Even though the Jets did muster some shots and a few quality chances, let’s be honest and point out that this game really wasn’t that close at the 40-minute mark. The Oilers were rolling and the only reason the score wasn’t more lopsided is that Hellebuyck came to play.
Up by a field goal with 20 minutes to play, there was no real need for tinkering as the Oilers had this game well under control, but that didn’t mean that they could take their foot off the gas. I wanted to see the boys push for more goals and put the Jets in a hole so deep that reach out to the league for mercy in the hopes that they run out the clock. Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating again, but you get the idea. Unfortunately, the Oilers didn’t have the same jam in the final period as they seemed to take their foot off the gas, and as a result, things started to slide the other way as a shorthanded goal against kicked off the Jets’ comeback attempt. Once that goal went in, the momentum swung heavily in Winnipeg’s favour and the Oilers went from being in total control to hanging on for dear life in the blink of an eye. The good news is that the Jets’ comeback was spoiled by an empty-netter from Darnell Nurse, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t stressing out about the way this thing ended. Either way, that’s another huge win and you’ll take it no matter how scary the third period ended up being.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- @Zach Hyman opened the scoring (1-0) with a power play goal after he parked himself in front of the net and got a stick on Tyson Barrie’s blast from the point. Not only did I love the goal, but I also bet on him to score in the first period for a tidy little +950.
- Near the midway point of the second period, @Kailer Yamamoto extended the lead (2-0) when he was able to chip his own rebound up and over Hellebuyck’s shoulder and under the bar. Leading up to the goal, the Oilers entered the zone with speed and it gave the Jets all kinds of problems as they were unable to handle our boys darting around like little lightning bugs.
- @Connor McDavid gave his team a little bit of insurance (3-0) on a quick snap that caught Hellebuyck by surprise after Leon Draisaitl found him with a ridiculous cross-ice pass that seemed to catch everyone on the ice by surprise. Finishing the night with three points, it’s pretty clear that Connor is doing Connor things again and that’s bad news for the rest of the National Hockey League.
- Shout out to @Darnell Nurse for sinking the empty-netter (4-2) and wrapping the game up because the vibes were tense there for a minute.
- For the first time since being freed from COVID protocol, @Mikko Koskinen was back between the pipes and looking to continue the fine run of hockey he’s been playing over the past few weeks. Picking right back up where he left off, Koskinen was very good when he needed to be and gave the Oilers the stability they needed in the crease even though he wasn’t nearly as busy as his counterpart. Koskinen finished the night with 22 saves and a .917 save%.
- Another shout out to Markus Niemalainen for throwing his body around like he has no nerve endings or any regard for human life.
- I want to give @Tyson Barrie some love for picking up a pair of assists because it’s been a rough go for him over the last two months or so, and I hope this is the start of a better run for him.
- Happy to see the Oilers get another goal on the power play — that’s back-to-back games for the first time in what feels like forever — but it certainly would have been nice to see them get more than one on the five chances they got. One step at a time, though, I suppose.
- It’s incredibly refreshing to see the Oilers not give up their blue line like it’s a free space on the bingo card.
- It’s also pretty funny to see @Evander Kane booed every time he touches the puck for the second time in a week.
- That’s another big Corski win for the boys after they the Jets by a 40-24 margin.
- I am pumped to report that the Oilers won 54% of the faceoffs.
- Sign up for the new ON Newsletter! It’s a weekly thing I’m doing and I’ll have some giveaways, etc happening in there.
THE FACE PALMERS
- @Adam Lowry got the Jets on the board (3-1) with a shorthanded goal after he broke in on a breakaway, made a nice move, and slid the puck through Koskinen’s legs. Somehow Lowry’s breakaway was the second one Winnipeg got within a span of only a few seconds and if I’m Mikko Koskinen I’m asking the boys what the hell they were doing there.
- @Kyle Connor pulled the Jets back to within a single goal (2-1) on the power play with a blast from the circle that beat Koskinen between the glove and body.
- I did not like the Oilers’ effort in the third period at all. Instead of pushing forward for more offence and locking in a convincing win, they sat back and tried to defend the win which nearly proved costly.
- As much as it was nice to see the Oilers get a goal on the power play, I equally dislike the fact that they also gave one on such a sloppy mistake. Shorthanded breakaways = no bueno.
- The Oilers’ PK continues its run of giving up goals — they finished 1-for-6 on the afternoon — but I will also say that they came up with some huge stops at critical points of the game as well.
- The NHL site had the giveaways listed as 13-10 with the Oilers having more, and I’d bet that most of those came in the third period.
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LISTEN TO BETTER LAIT THAN NEVER
On this week’s podcast, I looked at Jay Woodcroft’s effect on the team and how he could have been The Answer all along.
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