GDB 71.0 Wrap Up: It took a minute but we got there, Oilers complete the comeback with 2-1 OT win in San Jose
Photo credit:Academy Award winning Sharknado
By baggedmilk11 months ago
Good things come to those who wait. Final Score: 2-1 Oilers in OT
Can I start the wrap by complaining about 8:30 PM starts for a second or nah? I don’t know about you fine folks but there’s nothing I dislike quite like a late one on a Tuesday night, and I want to salute everyone that stayed up to watch this thing because I know there are a lot of you that got started a whole lot later than I did here in Edmonton. Complaint aside, this was a huge game for the Oilers and one they needed to win, a task that became significantly more difficult when news broke that Leon Draisaitl would be sitting this one out. Regardless of the Draisaitl-related sadness, there’s no room for excuses down the stretch, and the boys needed to find a way to get things done anyway. Unfortunately, the first period was not a great one for our side as turnovers, sloppy plays, and a lack of shots on goal basically paved the way for the Sharks to grab the lead. It’s not that San Jose was playing all that well but rather that the Oilers took about 18 minutes to finally get themselves going.
Heading into the second period, the Oilers desperately needed to crank up their urgency levels as what we got in the opening third wasn’t anywhere near good enough. Not only did they need to tighten up their puck choices on the breakout but they also needed to find a way to make life a whole lot more difficult for James Reimer at the other end of the ice. Shots on goal, traffic in front, sticks hacking away at loose pucks until the whistle… I wanted it all. And as hoped, the Oilers kicked off the second period with a whole lot more energy than they had going to start, and I felt like it was only a matter of time before they’d be able to climb back into the mix. They were shooting, they were skating, and it was the kind of bounce-back effort we needed apart from the lack of goals. Outside of a few shifts here and there, the Oilers were easily the better team and while that’s all well and good, it’s pretty tough to win games if you can’t score any goals.
Down by a goal with 20 minutes to play, it wasn’t like the Oilers were in a horrible position but I would certainly suggest that they had to play like they weren’t happy about it. Instead of looking for complex plays off the rush, the Oilers need to keep it simple with even more shots on net while other guys were crashing the crease to look for garbage. Seeing as the Sharks were playing the trap, it was going to take a combination of patience and aggressiveness to break through the web of boredom that SJ had set up in the neutral zone. What I didn’t expect, however, was that the goal we’d end up getting would come while shorthanded when Nuge and Hyman spun up a little magic. Either way, with that goal on the board, the Oilers got the game back to an even playing field which was obviously important as RNH’s marker was the lone regulation goal the boys were able to get before heading off to the bonus period. And with one point in the bank and a second on the table, the Oilers were able to complete the comeback on a hilarious play that saw Mike Smith feed McDavid with a breakaway stretch pass that we’ll probably be seeing for quite some time. By no means was this win pretty, but Gord knows we’ll take it and that’s what really matters.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- @Ryan Nugent-Hopkins tied the game (1-1) with a shorthanded goal after he and Hyman worked a little bit of magic in the neutral zone that led to an odd-man rush down low in the offensive zone. In that moment, I thought the last pass from Hyman over to RNH was going to backfire and so I was mighty relieved when I saw my boy pump it home.
- @Connor McDavid completed the comeback with the OT winner (2-1) after Mike Smith (MIKE SMITH!) found him with a stretch pass that put him in all alone on Reimer and the captain made no mistake.
- @Mike Smith got the call for his third straight start as he looked to build upon a fine start against the Ducks on Sunday, and the boys ended up needing him because they didn’t get the memo that the game had started until the first period was nearly over. The good news is that the veteran netminder was up for the challenge as he made plenty of quality saves to not only keep his team within striking distance but also in a position to get at least a point in the standings. Frankly, had it not been for him then we wouldn’t be talking about a win because the Oilers could only muster a single regulation goal, and Smith deserves some love for keeping the dream alive. Not only was he making big saves but he ended up getting the primary assist on the game winner and if that’s not hilarious to you then I feel like you may have no soul. Smith finished the night with 31 saves and a .969 save%.
- I know @Jesse Puljujarvi was taking some heat on Twitter for missing out on some quality scoring chances but I’m going to change the narrative a little bit and give him props for putting himself in a position to get those looks. The goals will come if the kid keeps playing like that.
- Quick post of appreciation for @Brett Kulak. From the way he skates to the way he’s always willing to shoot, I appreciate his game quite a lot.
THE FACE PALMERS
- @Tomas Hertl opened the scoring (1-0) with a power play goal after he teed off on a one-timer from the faceoff dot that beat Smith through the five-hole. This goal was especially annoying since the Oilers had just failed to even register a shot on their power play opportunity that came only a few minutes beforehand.
- This game was painfully boring.
- The power play was painfully bad as the boys could barely even get set up in the opposing zone let alone get a goal. Unfortunately, on a night when we desperately needed a goal, the Oilers finished at 0-for-2 with the man advantage.
- Not only did they miss out on the power play, but the PK was also no better as they allowed one goal on three shorthanded situations. That said, the PK was responsible the tying goal so I will amend this Face Palmer point with a sunshine sticker for their efforts.
- Unfortunately, the Oilers lost the Corskis after being outshot by a 32-24 margin.
- Unfortunately, word from the spreadsheets is that the Oilers finished with a 47.42 CF% and a 41.72 xGF%
- I must also report that the Oilers won only 46% of the faceoffs. Take a moment to let this horrible news sink in.
- I hate the trap. It’s so painfully boring.
- Pray for Leon Draisaitl. According to Reid Wilkins, Draisaitl missed a game for the first time since October 21, 2017. That was 354 consecutive games in the lineup. 😭
- What was the deal with Sportsnet playing a Pepsi commercial in the middle of the play during the first period?
- Why are the cameras seemingly in space in San Jose?
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DRAISAITL’S 50-GOAL SEASON
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