GDB -7.0 Wrap Up: The Oilers were one with the penalty box, fall 5-4 to Canucks in Abbotsford
By baggedmilk8 months ago
Seven pre-season games down, one more to go. Final Score:
At this point in the pre-season, the only thing I really cared about was that the players on the ice made it through the game in one piece. Sure it would be nice to watch Connor McDavid do something amazing that leaves our brains leaking out of our ears — he ended up doing it btw — but I’d rather watch him sit on the bench in safety and look handsome in those beautiful white road jerseys. I wouldn’t have cared if the camera panned over to him in the middle of the second period and he had his skates off and a nacho hat. As much as the people of Abbotsford were probably excited about watching him, I really didn’t care about their feelings since we’ve got a Stanley Cup to win. Bask in his glow, it’s enough.
On the ice, I wasn’t really expecting much in terms of results so the main focus from my side of the computer screen was going to be on a few key individuals. With only two games left, there’s not a whole lot of time left to steal a job, and for players like Jason Demers, Jake Virtanen, Dmitri Samorukov, and Markus Niemelainen, the pressure was on to make an impact. I wanted to know what everyone was going to do to get noticed. And seeing as this game was so equally played, being able to contribute in a positive way could be the difference between an AHL and NHL paycheque. What I don’t know, however, is if any of the bubble players were able to do that. All of Edmonton’s goals were provided by their vets, and when that happens you have to dig deeper into the numbers to guess what Woodcroft may be thinking. Did anyone do enough to avoid tomorrow’s round of cuts? I can’t wait to find out.
At the end of the day, the Oilers ended up losing the game because they couldn’t stay disciplined nor kill the resulting penalties, but the real story for me will be what happens tomorrow with only one more tune-up game available.
Things Worth Mentioning…
- Nils Hoglander opened the scoring (1-0) near the front of the net after he muscled Broberg out of position, giving himself the space to hack away at the puck before eventually beating Skinner down low.
- Connor McDavid tied the game (1-1) with a ridiculous goal that saw him carve through and around the Canucks like they were PeeWee players or pylons or whatever other metaphor you could slide in here. Needless to say, Connor McDavid is still very good at hockey.
- Zach Hyman gave the Oilers the lead (2-1) with a shorthanded goal after he used his rocket legs to track down a loose puck, pulled off a nifty little deke, and shoveled the puck past the goaltender.
- Shortly after Hyman’s shortie, Tanner Pearson tied the game (2-2) on that same power play after he got his stick on Quinn Hughes’ point shot, deflecting it perfectly through Skinner and into the net.
- Conor Garland gave the Canucks their second lead of the night (3-2) after he was able to pick up his own rebound near the front of the net and slip it through Skinner’s legs.
- Only moments after Garland’s goal, James Hamblin tied the game for a third time (3-3) on a perfectly executed 2-on-1 with Connor McDavid that saw him take a pass from the captain and roof it over the goaltender. Amazing pass by McDavid, a stellar finish by Hamblin.
- Elias Pettersson gave the Canucks their third lead of the night (4-3) on the power play with a snipe from the circle that saw him load and up and pump a wrister past Stuart Skinner. This was another night when the Oilers couldn’t stay out of the box, and they paid for it. Pettersson added a second power play goal (5-4) midway through the third period after Hughes put a pass right in his wheelhouse that he was able to blast off on.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins continued the seesaw with another tying goal (4-4) after he tried to fire a shot through traffic and had the puck bounce right back to him, offering a second opportunity to shoot that he did not miss.
- The first thing I noticed when I looked at the line combos for tonight’s game was that Dylan Holloway was parked beside Connor McDavid and I was very interested in seeing what that looked like. As it turns out, the kid just like he fits in no matter where he’s slotted and I think that will give Jay Woodcroft all kinds of options moving forward.
- I cannot wait to see how Stuart Skinner progresses in his first full NHL season as Jack Campbell’s backup. I know he only has a handful of games on his resume at this stage, but just keeps looking better and better and it has me hopeful that our hometown hero is going to turn into something special. Yeah, you can say that tonight wasn’t his night, but I’m not too worried about it. Skinner finished the night with 26 saves and a .839 save%.
- No opinion, only facts on Jake Virtanen… he finished with two shots on goal, two PIMs, no hits, and no blocks. What say you?
- Edmonton was brutal on the PK, allowing three goals on eight shorthanded situations. Needless to say, this was not their night and it’s a detail that they’ll want to clean up in a hurry.
- The stream was almost unwatchable. I don’t know how we had two Canadian teams being streamed with a potato while Sportsnet aired Colorado vs. Dallas on SN1. It doesn’t make sense.
- How bad do you feel for Tyler Benson after Gregor broke the news that he’d be hitting the LTIR, derailing what I thought was a very strong pre-season for him?
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