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GDB 48.0 Wrap Up: Oilers extend winning streak to six games with 4-2 win in Vancouver

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baggedmilk
9 days ago
Bruce, there it was. ☹️ Final Score: 4-2 Oilers
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As much as it’s a bummer to see what’s happening with Bruce Boudreau in Vancouver — the Canucks are kicking him to the curb in one of the coldest ways possible and it’s so weird — but even with all that drama, this was a game that the Oilers had to win. Regardless of the disaster happening on the opposing bench, these points were way too important to get caught up in any of the drama or play down to a team that they should beat the brakes off more often than not. I don’t think I’m talking out of school when I say that these kinds of games are as close to must-win as it gets when you’re expected to win. So when the Canucks were the ones to get the early advantage in both shots and attack time, it was hard not to feel grateful for the way Stuart Skinner stood tall in those first few moments. Thankfully, the Oilers just needed a few minutes to get themselves going because the boys in white looked a whole lot better as the period wore on, resulting in a pair of goals from McDavid and Hyman to give themselves a lead with some insurance.
A two-goal lead tucked nicely in their pockets, the Oilers were in a great spot to keep building on their start provided that they could avoid giving the Canucks any life in the form of an early goal. Since we all knew an early pushback was likely in the cards, finding a way to way to weather that early storm would be critical. What I didn’t expect, however, was how that push never really came. Instead, the Oilers were the ones to push the pace early as they looked to add a third goal and widen the gap even further, and while they weren’t able to cash in on those early opportunities, I do love seeing that they weren’t about to sit back on their lead. Undeterred by the early misses, the Oilers continued their onslaught until they were eventually able to pick up a goal from Leon Draisaitl near the midway point to put themselves up by a field goal. But with the game looking like it was firmly in hand, the Oilers’ attention to detail started to slip and some poor choices with the puck allowed the Canucks to generate far too many quality chances. Once that started happening, it wasn’t exactly surprising to see Vancouver claw back a goal before the intermission.
Up by a pair with 20 minutes to play, two points were in sight provided that the Oilers could find a way to close the game out unlike what happened the last time these two clubs played. I know the boys fell apart before the third period in that one, but I was still feeling hopeful that the lesson was learned. So when J.T. Miller halved the lead with a big blast from the point, pulling the Canucks to within striking distance, it was hard to ignore the “here we go again” thoughts that were popping up in our heads. Their three-goal lead evaporating before their eyes, the Oilers needed to find a way to pump the brakes and stop the bleeding before disaster struck, but that really wasn’t looking so good for a while there. But as the clock wound down and the play flowed back and forth, Stuart Skinner stood tall in the crease and gave the Oilers the foundation they needed to close out the victory and avoid coughing up the lead. At the end of the day, this win wasn’t nearly as dominant as some of the others on this streak, but you have to appreciate the way the Oilers were able to grind it out in what was surely an emotional night at Rogers Arena.
The wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

  • Connor McDavid opened the scoring (1-0) with his 40th goal of the season after he used his speed to blow past the defencemen and bury his shot through Martin down low. Every time we think we’ve seen Connor’s peak he seems to find another gear to blow our collective minds.
  • Zach Hyman extended the lead with a power play goal (2-0) after he and McDavid broke into the zone on a 2-on-1 rush, burying their chance with a perfectly executed passing play. With the four points he got in this game, Zach Hyman has now set a new career high in points with 56 in only 48 games.
  • Leon Draisaitl put the Oilers up by a field goal (3-0) after a night passing play moved from RNH to Hyman to Leon who put his one-timed shot past Martin on the blocker side.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins added the empty netter (4-2) to secure a sixth straight victory. How about another casual three-point night for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as he currently sits with 57 points in 48 games for the best start to a year in his career?
  • Happy as I was to see Stuart Skinner back between the pipes, I was curious to see how he’d perform after missing the last five games for the birth of his son, Beau. And like he never missed any time at all, Skinner was fantastic when called about and was a huge part of the reason we’re talking about a sixth straight win. Even though it wasn’t the busiest night Stu will ever have, he was still very very good between the pipes and made all of the saves we’d expect him to make while also stopping some that could have easily been goals. Skinner finished the night with 27 saves and a .931 save%.
  • Philip Broberg continues to take big strides on the back end as he just keeps getting better and better with each game he plays, and his emergence would obviously be a massive win for the Oilers if he can keep it going.
  • The Oilers won the special teams battle once again as they scored one goal on their lone chance with the man advantage while also killing off both shorthanded situations they faced.
  • Gotta give some more love to our guy Vinny Desharnais! Quietly solid and endlessly terrifying.
  • Tonight’s win leapfrogs the Oilers up and over the Los Angeles Kings for third in the Pacific Division. Keep this winning streak alive and we’ll be pushing for the division in no time.
  • The Oilers won 55% of the faceoffs and I could not be happier about it.
  • Props to Canucks fans for giving Bruce Boudreau a much better send off than the shitty organization he works for.

PRESENTED BY BETWAY

THE FACE PALMERS

  • Andrei Kuzmenko got the Canucks on the board (3-1) on a sneaky shot that beat Skinner from in tight after a quick passing play by Hughes and Petterssen transitioned the puck up ice and put him in behind the Oilers’ defenders.
  • J.T. Miller pulled the Canucks back to within one (3-2) with a huge blast from the point that made its way through traffic and past Skinner on the glove side.
  • The NHL’s inability to define with any consistency what counts as goaltender interference is absolutely ridiculous. Another disallowed goal on Hyman that should have counted.
  • If Warren Foegele could figure breakaways out he too would have 40 goals by now. My guy is getting chances but he’s just not finishing.
  • Every time I heard the ‘Bruce There It is” chant, I was reminded how odd this whole situation is as the fans in Vancouver were anything but shy about sharing their opinion. I don’t know that I can remember a situation when a fanbase was so supportive of a coach that was on the way out.
  • Sticking with the Canucks, why don’t they wear those classic skate jerseys all of the time? They’re so much nicer than any other uniform that team wears.

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIODOILERSCANUCKS
1:26EdmontonConnor McDavid (40)
Assists: Zach Hyman (30)
10
8:31EdmontonZach Hyman (24) (Power Play)
Assists: Connor McDavid (48), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (34)
20
2ND PERIODOILERSCANUCKS
9:26EdmontonLeon Draisaitl (28)
Assists: Zach Hyman (31), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (35)
30
16:46VancouverAndrei Kuzmenko (19)
Assists: Elias Pettersson (35), Quinn Hughes (37)
31
3RD PERIODOILERSCANUCKS
3:26VancouverJ.T. Miller (18)
Assists: Quinn Hughes (38), Conor Garland (14)
32
19:25EdmontonRyan Nugent-Hopkins (22) (Empty Net)
Assists: Zach Hyman (32)
42

#GOODCONTENT

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