Instant Reaction: Comeback attempt falls short as Oilers get dropped by the Blue Jackets

Photo credit:© Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
4 months ago
If Thursday’s 4-2 loss against the Columbus Blue Jackets doesn’t show Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland that he needs to make another move or two before Friday’s Trade Deadline, what will?
It was an absolutely miserable game to watch. The Blue Jackets jumped out to a 1-0 lead within the first 10 minutes, as Mathieu Olivier shot from the faceoff dot and beat Pickard, who really should’ve had it.
It remained a 1-0 game for nearly 10 minutes before William Nylander’s little brother Alex Nylander was left all alone in front of the goal, beating Pickard for his fifth goal of the season. Ryan McLeod missed his man, but Cody Ceci made a lazy play behind the net on what was supposed to be an icing. 2-0.
Immediately after, Sam Carrick made his mark by asking Olivier to fight. It was a great tilt against a tough customer, but it didn’t help much, as less than a minute later, Dmitri Voronkov scored to make it a three-goal game. The goal was created because of an ugly, ugly turnover by Warren Foegele, with Voronkov beating Pickard under the armpit.
To start the second period, the Oilers put the Draisaitl-McDavid-Hyman line together (more on that in a bit). They immediately found success, as Leon Draisaitl’s pass bounced off Connor McDavid’s foot and landed right to Zach Hyman for his 43rd goal of the season.
Fast-forward to the third period and the Oilers had a five-on-three. It turned into five-on-four, and shortly after it did, Evander Kane’s shot deflected off Corey Perry’s stick for his fifth goal as an Oiler. It was all for nothing, though, as they failed to convert with an empty net, with Columbus eventually sealing the game.
This is one that everyone is going to want to forget, but here are a few things worth mentioning.


Things worth mentioning….

Gene Principe absolutely carried this game. For starters, he was doing his pre-game segment next to Columbus’ cannon as it went off, giving us an all-time best reaction.
Ric Flair was in attendance and the Oilers broadcast was supposed to get him for an interview. However, that fell through, and as Principe was telling that, he ran into a door and smeared a condiment on his forehead. If you aren’t a wrestling fan, this may be a bit confusing, but it was a second all-time moment from a guy who provides a lot of all-time moments.
Now we get to the bad stuff, as the Oilers once again had to put Draisaitl, McDavid, and Hyman together. It’s been reported by various sources, such as The Athletic’s Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Bob Stauffer, during the intermission that they won’t make a “big move” or that they’re done. However, if the team relies on Draisaitl and McDavid together in the playoffs, it’ll probably be a pretty short visit. The Oilers need to add a top-six forward, whether that be Jordan Eberle or Tyler Toffoli. It’s a buyer’s market, and they can’t stand pat after adding Henrique and depth pieces while Vegas, Colorado, and Vancouver add big pieces. 
Connor McDavid registered an assist after an errant Leon Draisaitl pass bounced off his leg/foot. It happened to be McDavid’s 100th point of the season, the seventh time he’s hit that milestone in his nine-year career. He fell short in his rookie year (thanks, Brandon Manning) and the 2019-20 season by just three points. He’s my greatest player of all time.
Up next… The next game the Oilers play will be on Saturday at 10:30 PM MT against the Buffalo Sabres. However, the trade deadline is at 1:00 PM MT on Friday, and the Oilers need to acquire a top six winger. Get it done, Ken.

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