The Day After 31.0: Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

Photo credit:© Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
9 months ago
That looked like a game the Oilers had in the bag.
They capitalized on a power play right off the hop, they carried a 3-1 lead with only 10 minutes go to in the third period, and they had a chance to close out the game while on the man advantage after Pavel Buchnevich took an ill-timed penalty in the offensive zone.
But the Oilers weren’t able to close the door. A costly Darnell Nurse turnover in the dying minutes of the game led to a tying goal from Vladimir Tarasenko that forced overtime. In the extra frame, Leon Draisaitl scored what appeared to be the game-winner, but it was called back because of an offside earlier in the play.
Jordan Binnington stopped all three Oilers in the shootout and the Blues wound up walking away with two points. It was a stunning turn of events for Edmonton as a winnable game completely slipped away.
Much of the focus around that loss is going to be on the goal that was called back during overtime. As frustrating and confusing as the NHL’s decision-making when it comes to reviewing goals, the reality is that this isn’t a game that should have gone to overtime in the first place.
After the game, Nurse said that he let his teammates down with that late-game turnover…
“I turned the puck over there with 18 seconds left. That’s unacceptable on my part,” Nurse said. “I let my teammates down tonight. We shouldn’t be in a position to be in ot like that. I play too many important minutes in situations like that to be making mistakes like that.”
Head coach Jay Woodcroft wasn’t willing to single out one player, saying that the Oilers win and lose as a team…
“I thought there was lots of good but there’s stuff we’ve got to clean up,” Woodcroft said. “I think we win and lose as a team.
With 30 seconds left in the game, we make an error we don’t usually make. as i said, we win and lose as a team. today we got one point, we didn’t get two.”


Parting notes…

  • The irony of Edmonton ultimately blowing the lead in the third period while on the power play is that they otherwise had a very strong game on the special teams. Their power play converted on two of five opportunities, which is pretty much par for the course, but the Oilers also killed off all four of their penalties, which is something that’s been a bit of a weak point this season.
  • The Oilers were the last team in the league this season to lose a game in overtime or a shootout. Their most recent shootout loss came back on April 9 to the Colorado Avalanche, and their most recent overtime loss, which was also to the Avs, came back on March 21.
  • With Seattle’s loss on Thursday night and Edmonton’s loser point, the Oilers are now tied with the Kraken in the standings with 35 points. Seattle has two games in hand and the two teams will meet for the first time this season on December 30. The Kraken have lost five of six following a seven-game winning streak.

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