The Day After 61.0: Sam Carrick scrap not enough to lift Edmonton Oilers

Photo credit:Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 month ago
Ebbs and flows. Highs and lows.
Welcome to an 82-game regular season in the NHL.
Some will be Picassos, like Tuesday’s grinding win over the Boston Bruins.
Others will be whatever the hell Thursday night’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets was, where the Oilers coughed up three goals in the first 15:21 of the game, falling 4-2 to the league’s 28th-ranked team.
“I don’t think we were ready to play,” said Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch after the game. “Our puck management — maybe not our decision making — our execution, breaking the puck out, and on the line entries againts, we’re just giving it away so much. I think there wasn’t many poor intentions, it was just execution.”
C’est la vie.


It was a shaky start early for the Oilers. Just 37 seconds in, Blue Jackets rearguard Andrew Peeke rang one off the post. While the “ting” reverberated through TV sets everywhere, it clearly did the same for Edmonton’s lineup because it rattled them.
Six minutes in, tough guy Mathieu Olivier got a puck in the slot and found the back of the net, while nine minutes later it was Alexander Nylander ripping one home.
This, however, is where one of The New Guys came into the mix. With both fourth lines on the ice for the next draw, Mattias Janmark had lined up across Olivier. The latter got his stick in the former’s skates, sending him to the ice, as the referees reset the faceoff. Sam Carrick, acquired alongside Adam Henrique from the Ducks days ago, had gotten tossed from the draw but slid himself right alongside Olivier and a conversation instantly got started.
The puck hit the ice, and so did the gloves. 
While Carrick hoped to give his new club some life late in the first, a Warren Foegele turnover on the next shift negated any life there was hope for.
“We’re down two, and he’s just trying to bring some energy,” said Foegele. “It was a helluva fight by him, and kind of shows the character he has.
“For myself, maybe live to fight another day and just chip it out and keep it simple. I take full responsibility for that.”
For Carrick, he spent nearly as much time in the penalty box as he did on the ice, getting 7:38, a pair of hits and four of seven faceoff wins alongside his scrap. The other newcomer, Adam Henrique, saw more ice time playing 14:14, taking a single shot while going four for six in the dot.
While Henrique started the game flanking Leon Draisaitl and Evander Kane, it didn’t last. But in the second period, Kris Knoblauch loaded up Drasaitl with Connor McDavid and Zach Hyman, with the latter of the trio scoring 1:11 into the second. The blender stayed out all game, making it tough to glean too much from either of The New Guys’ games, Knoblauch said.
“It’s tough to evaluate how the lines worked together, because I don’t think that’s the story,” he said. “No matter what the lines were at the beginning, we just come off a bit of a letdown game where the other night (against) Boston (where) we played pretty well, and come from behind. An emotional high, then come in here and we just didn’t have the same level of intensity we did in the previous game.
“We got to see them a little bit playing against them, read the scouting report, looked at video and know what type of player they are. Until you see them on the ice and with your team, you don’t really know until then. We got a better feeling, but like I said, it’s tough to evaluate them because overall we didn’t play very well as a team.”
Once the deadline passes this afternoon and everybody can breathe, the Oilers can truly return to work, taking on the Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins in some weekend morning action.
That’s where we’ll really start to see things take shape with the new guys.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

Check out these posts...