Oilers wrap up the regular season with a B-squad stinker, fall 5-1 in Colorado

16 days ago
The Edmonton Condors Oilers took on the Colorado Avalanche for the final game of the season, and when we saw who was playing for either side, it seemed highly unlikely that we’d be wrapping up the season with a win. Instead, what we expected is what we got, as the Avalanche’s Game 1 lineup absolutely steamrolled what looked to be a split-squad lineup from the Oilers to the tune of a 5-1 finish.


We had Luke Gazdic on Oilersnation Everyday on Thursday, and we asked him whether he thought Dylan Holloway would be in the lineup for Game 1 when the playoffs start. Although I personally think Holloway has to play more than a few minutes if he’s going to be in the lineup, I was surprised to hear that Gazdic also thinks that he might have to wait.
In Gazdic’s opinion, Holloway’s skillset is best served with offensive linemates, so the plan can’t be to have him on the fourth line when there are likely better fits for that role on the roster. I can’t disagree with that. Yet, at the same time, how can Kris Knoblauch ignore the fact that the kid has scored three goals in the six games he’s played since being recalled from the Bakersfield Condors?
Frankly, he’s playing some damned fine hockey right now, and he’s doing everything humanly possible to earn himself a spot on the postseason roster. I love the way he plays the game with speed and isn’t afraid to throw his body around, and I think those are traits that could prove invaluable over the course of a playoff run. Will he be in for Game 1? We shall see. But with the way he’s playing, he’s making it pretty damned hard to keep him off the ice.


I can’t be the only one who was surprised to see that Stuart Skinner was starting, given that most of the team got the night off. I know you don’t generally play goaltenders in back-to-back situations, but I wondered before the lineups were released if Knobby would put Pickard back in to close out the year. As it turns out, he probably should have.
Within the first couple of minutes, you could tell that this was going to be an ass-kicking, and all I could think about was how I would have rather have Skinner play against the Coyotes if this was going to be the plan. I know Stu was probably in on the choice to go even with half the lineup on the shelf, but I don’t know that I would have wanted my starter to get shelled in his last outing before the playoffs started.
I know Calvin Pickard came out to start the second and third periods, but I struggle to see the benefit of letting Stu get pumped for the first 20 minutes. That said, I also understand that these are my own neuroses that have led me here, but I thank all of you who are reading this for helping me deal with it. Sam Gagner forever, you know?


Listen, I don’t want to be talking out of school here, but I’m legitimately concerned/thinking about whether or not this was Sam Gagner’s final game as an Edmonton Oiler. As much as I’d love to see the reaction at Rogers Place if Sam Gagner’s name was announced as part of the starting lineup, I doubt we’re going to see that happen during the postseason. My heart wants it to happen for the vibes. but I don’t know that the coaching staff will feel the same way.
Since the day Sam Gagner was drafted, he’s been beloved in this city, and to think for even a moment that this may have been the last time he’d dawn an Oilers sweater hurt my heart a little bit. Of course, all of this is only going on in my brain, and no one close to the team has even mentioned his future plans, but here I am, assuming last night’s game could be the end of the line for Sam’s third tour of duty in Edmonton.
Again, no one has said anything about the Oilers not re-signing him or him retiring from hockey, but I couldn’t help but feel that the 9:26 he played against the Avalanche was the last we’re going to get. Admittedly, slogging our way through a game that boring sent my mind into all kinds of strange and interesting places, and this Gagner thing is one of the random ideas my brain farted out.


-Warren Foegele was easily the Oilers’ best player last night, and I don’t think it was particularly close. Of all the forwards, Foegele was easily the most dangerous, and it’s almost bad luck that he wasn’t able to cash in at least a goal or two. Even without registering a point, McLovin wrapped up the season playing some of his best hockey, and I cannot wait to see if he can keep this rolling heading into the playoffs.
-I’m going to miss Jack Michaels on the Oilers’ TV broadcast. I love the way he calls Oilers games, and I’ll miss him during the playoffs.
-Surely the Hockey Gords would have given me faceoffs wins as a silver lining after that disastrous hockey game, and thankfully, they threw us all a bone and allowed the Oilers to win 67.3% of the draws.


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