GDB 81.0 Wrap Up: Oilers battle back three separate times before closing out 5-4 OT win over the Sharks
Photo credit:Academy Award winning Sharknado
By baggedmilk6 months ago
Comeback szn is always in fashion. Final Score: 5-4 Oilers in OT
With our playoff spot all set and home-ice advantage locked in for the first round, the only thing I was really hoping for over these last couple of games was that we’d get a few more McPoints on the pile and that everyone would stay healthy. Outside of that, I didn’t really care much about what happened on the scoreboard. At least, that’s what I told myself. So when the Oilers kicked off the festivities with a fresh turd on the ice in the form of a two-goal deficit at the hands of Noah Gregor, I realized quickly how I had been lying to myself. Even though the game didn’t matter, the start was a problem and I found myself annoyed that it took nearly half a period for the boys to even register a shot on net. Sure, I was happy for Gregor that he was able to watch his nephew pop a pair of goals against his hometown team, but that didn’t make me feel any better about the way things started. A meaningless game, I know, but c’mon.
Heading into the second period, the Oilers had to do basically everything better than they did in the opening frame if they were going to give themselves a chance to win. That meant upping the urgency by 1000%, firing pucks en masse, and making life difficult for James Reimer between the pipes. If the boys could do that then I didn’t think it was some massive reach that they would be able to fight their way back, ya know? And as hoped, the Oilers bounced back with a much better effort and it paid off quickly as the boys registered a pair of goals in the first half of the period to knot the score up at two apiece. With the game now tied, I was hoping the Oilers had learned their lesson and that the rest of the game would be smooth sailing, but that didn’t quite happen either. Instead, the Sharks were able to restore their lead with a power play goal with under five minutes to play and the Oilers were forced to chase once more. Challenge accepted.
Down by a goal with 20 minutes to play, I didn’t think being down by a single goal was the worst spot to be in against a team that generally struggles to keep the puck out of their net. Even though the Sharks hadn’t lost a game all season when leading after two periods, the Oilers have more than enough guys that can put the puck in the net and I was hoping we’d get a dose of that touch in the third. The tricky part, though, would be whether or not the Oilers could string together more than a few shifts without having the Sharks ruin the flow with a dumpster’s worth of shots on goal. What I didn’t necessarily expect, however, is that the third period would end up as a little bit of a shootout that saw both sides punching back-and-forth with goals at either end of the ice. And the fact that the Oilers had to come back three separate times before sending the game to OT showed a level of resilience that you have to respect, especially in a meaningless game at the end of the season where neither team had much to play for. Thankfully, our boys refused to quit despite the situation, and to have them close out the comeback in the bonus period was a metaphorical cherry on the sundae I didn’t know I needed.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- UNDEFEATED IN THE BEN STELTER ERA! 9-0, baby!
- @Ryan McLeod got the Oilers on the board (2-1) with a power play goal after he found a rebound in the slot and pumped it past Reimer with authority. Outside of the cumulus cloud, there is no doubt he is my favourite.
- @Kailer Yamamoto tied the game for the Oilers (2-2) after Draisaitl hit him with a beautiful backhanded pass that left the winger with enough time and space to make a sandwich before sneaking a wrister through James Reimer.
- @Derek Ryan tied the game (3-3) after deflecting Barrie’s point shot and having the puck bounce towards the net multiple times before finally beating Reimer and crawling over the line.
- @Philip Broberg tied the game for a third time (4-4) with his first NHL goal after McDavid found him in the high slot with a lane to rip a shot that cleanly beat the goalie.
- @Zach Hyman completed the comeback in OT (5-4) after RNH set him up for a one-timer in the slot that he blasted past a flailing Reimer.
- @Mikko Koskinen was back between the pipes and looking for a better result than he got on Sunday morning against the Columbus Blue Jackets when he gave up four goals on 30 shots. Even though not all of those goals were his fault — Gord knows the team in front of him was flat as month old Dr. Pepper — you knew he’d want to respond with a better showing against the Sharks. Early on, I wasn’t so sure that we were going to get the rebound we hoped for, but Koskinen kept battle regardless of where the boys were at on the scoreboard and it kept his team in the game. Koskinen finished the night with 40 saves and a .909 save%.
- I’m going to keep pumping @Brett Kulak’s tires until we get an announcement that the team has signed him to a reasonable extension. The guy has fit in seamlessly since coming over from Montreal and I love it.
- Shout out to the power play for picking up one goal on four opportunities with the man advantage. Obviously, we’d like to see more than one goal when you’ve got that many chances, but the good news is that the boys were able to take advantage in a game when they needed to come back on three separate occasions.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Noah Gregor got the Sharks on the board (1-0) after picking up a pass in the high slot and snapping a quick wrister up and over Koskinen on the blocker side. Gregor added another goal (2-0) only 26 seconds later after his centering pass attempt took a friendly bounce off of Bouchard’s skate and through Koskinen’s legs. The first one was rough defender, the second one was just bad luck.
- Scott Reedy restored San Jose’s lead (3-2) on the power play after he parked himself in front of the net, caused a little mayhem, and perfectly deflected the Brent Burns point shot past Koskinen down low.
- Shortly after Ryan tied the game, @Nick Bonino gave the Sharks their third lead of the night after the Oilers couldn’t handle the dump-in, which allow San Jose to move the puck around with ease before sinking a shot from the slot. Brutal defending by Edmonton on this one tbh.
- The PK got tagged for a second straight game after giving up a goal in their lone shorthanded situation. By no means is this a horrible stat or anything, but it is notable after the boys were perfect on the kill for a couple of weeks.
- This probably goes without saying but the Oilers gave up waaaaaaaaaaay too many shots on net.
- Oilers lost the Corskis after the Sharks outshot them by a 44-31 margin.
- I hate to say it but the Oilers won only 42% of the faceoffs. I know, I’m bummed about it too.
- The spreadsheet society offers tough news after the Oilers finished with a lowly 39.66 CF% and a 33.28 xGF%.
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BETTER LAIT THAN NEVER
How can you not be excited about what’s going on with the Edmonton Oilers right now? With the playoffs upon us, I dove into what’s working, what I’m excited about, and how Jay Woodcroft has turned this team around in a way I didn’t think was possible. Subscribe on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts.
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