GDB 64.0 Wrap Up: Oilers come back only to fall apart in 5-3 loss in Dallas
By baggedmilk8 months ago
Absolutely crushing. Final Score: 5-3 Stars
After the way the boys played against the Colorado Avalanche on the first night of this back-to-back set, I was intrigued to see how much gas they had left in the tank. While the final result against the Avs didn’t go our way, the Oilers played about as well as you could hope against the league’s best team and I was really hoping that we’d get another dose of that magic in round two of the season series against the Stars. The last time these teams met back in November, the Oilers were shorthanded and didn’t play anywhere close to their best and I was hoping that 4-1 loss would stick in their minds as an angry fuel for tonight’s rematch. And in the early going, I was impressed by the way the Oilers were able to get their legs going and how that hustle was giving them some really nice looks on net that the Oettinger had to be very good to handle. Frankly, had it not been for their goalie, Dallas could have easily been down by more than a single goal, and if I had to offer a criticism , maybe it would be that Edmonton could have taken a few more shots but that’s really just nitpicking. Other than that, it was a fine road period in my books.
With the always important lead already in their pockets, I needed the Oilers to find a way of scoring the next one as well, further building out the lead that was rightfully theirs in the first place. If Edmonton could keep grinding the same way as they did in the first period then I saw nothing standing in our way of getting back in the win column, and with second place potentially on the line, I was looking for the Oilers to keep playing with urgency. Instead, what we got was a fantastic start to the period followed by a smattering of mistakes and lacklustre play that were directly responsible for the Stars not only clawing their way back into a tie game but eventually into the lead. Ugly mistakes resulted in goals again. Simple as that. If you’re looking for a metaphor to figure out what happened, it was like we got some kind of reverse She’s All That situation where the Oilers’ play was beautiful early and got progressive uglier as the period went on. I mean, maybe I’m overexagerating a little bit but I can say with certainty that a short stretch of mistakes proved costly, and was a prime example of what happens when you get caught lacking.
Down by a goal with 20 minutes to play, the visitors were going to have to open things up a touch if they were going to get the offence needed to climb back into a tie game. Without sacrificing their defensive play, the Oilers needed to get more aggressive with getting the puck on net, and that’s exactly what they were able to do as the boys battled their way into all kinds of chances in the Stars’ end of the ice. But as we saw all night, Oettinger was dialed in for Dallas and the situation was looking dire until an unexpected shortie by Evander Kane seemed to swing the momentum a little bit. In the span of only 33 seconds, the Oilers went from being down by a goal and up by one and it was the kind of swing that gets the people going. But just as we were starting to count our chickens, the Stars responded with a pair of goals in only 24 seconds and the Oilers quickly found themselves down by a goal with time running out. In the blink of an eye, the Oilers went from looking like they were going to steal some points from a team that is chasing them to down on the scoreboard, and it was the kind of rollercoaster finish that we just didn’t need. Heartbreaker in Dallas.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- How about @Kailer Yamamoto picking up his sixth goal (1-0) in his last seven games to not only keep his heater going but also to give the Oilers an early lead? I don’t know what’s going on with the kid lately but he’s been playing some incredible hockey down the stretch and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
- @Evander Kane tied the game (2-2) near the midway point of the third period after McDavid found him right in the slot by himself and he quickly pumped the puck over the line. Not only are the goals nice, I’ve gotta admit how much I enjoy the way Kane is always causing mayhem after the whistles. The Oilers haven’t had a player that’s mixed it up at the frequency Kane has in forever, and I’ve honestly forgotten how much I missed it.
- Only 33 seconds after Kane’s tying goal, @Leon Draisaitl restored the Oilers’ lead (3-2) with a lucky bounce goal that bounced in off of him after Devin Shore’s cross-ice pass took a much different journey than expected.
- @Evan Bouchard’s offensive instincts are wonderful to watch and I’m very much looking forward to a time when he’s a little bit more rounded out because he’s going to be a monster.
- I come to you with peace and love to reveal that the Oilers finished the night with a 58.89 CF% and a 50.48 xGF% in the spreadsheet department.
- Nuge is coming back on Thursday! Maybe… Hopefully…
- Rick Bowness’ hair is a party, isn’t it? Rockin’ that puffy mullet look like a champion.
- Once again, I am thrilled to advise that the Oilers won 52% of the faceoffs. Great success! Rejoice!
- Join us in Calgary for the March 26th BOA as we pack a bus with Nation Citizens and make our way south.
THE FACE PALMERS
- That third period was a disaster and I cannot even begin to express how frustrating it is to go from being elated to devasted in the span of a few minutes.
- @Jason Robertson tied the game (1-1) on the back of a pretty passing play by the Stars off the rush that saw them weave through the Oilers’ defensive coverage before getting rewarded with a huge goal. Leading up to the goal, the Oilers were absolutely running the show and the fact that Dallas was able to get something done on their first shot of the period had to be frustrating.
- @Joe Pavelski gave the Stars the lead (2-1) with a power play goal after the rebound from a point shot fell right onto his stick with a wide open net to shoot at.
- With just over five minutes left to play, Roope Hintz tied the game for a second time (3-3) with a breakaway goal after Klingberg found him with a perfect pass behind the defence.
- Only 24 seconds later, @Denis Gurianov gave the Stars the lead (4-3) after he and Tyler Seguin broke into the zone on an odd-man rush that they were able to execute perfectly with a cross-ice pass to tap-in goal at the goal mouth. Crushing sequence for the Oilers.
- @Tyler Seguin added an empty-netter (5-3) in the dying seconds of the game to wrap up the comeback for Dallas.
- Dear Universe, I beg you to solve our penalty killing issues. I beg you. Tonight, the Oilers finished up with one goal against on four Stars chances with the man advantage.
- While you’re at it, Universe, if you could also get to work on our power play that went 0-for-3 once again. Thank you.
- @Mikko Koskinen was back between the pipes in pursuit of his 24th win of the season, and looking to build upon the heater he’s been on over the last six weeks or so. And since hes been so good lately, I’m having a hard time putting together my thoughts on his night because it’s not like the loss is all on Kostco and Gord knows he made some huge saves, but he also allowed goals at the worst possible times which is the worst thing he can do. So what can you say? Koskinen finished the night with 23 saves and a .857 save%.
- Rough night for Darnell Nurse. To be kind, this wasn’t anywhere close to his best and we need more than that from a guy that’s playing 20:47 on the top pairing.
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TRADE DEADLINE EPISODE OF BETTER LAIT THAN NEVER
On the latest episode of Better Lait Than Never, I run through your reaction to the trade deadline and how another tentpole event has passed for the NHL and Ken Holland has yet to find a solution to his goaltending issues. Is it enough that Holland added Brett Kulak and Derick Brassard? Did he fail? Did he succeed? Subscribe on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts.
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