The Day After 62.0: Undefeated in the Ekholm era, Oilers dominant in 5-2 win over the Leafs
Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
By baggedmilk19 days ago
Loved seeing all those sad Leafs fan faces. Final Score: 5-2 Oilers
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There is nothing worse on earth than seeing Rogers Place half full of Leafs fans, and the last thing any of us needed was for them to win the game in our barn. I remember being at a game as a young bag of milk back in the Skyreach Centre days when the Leafs won big and it was one of the worst nights of my life, so I didn’t want any of the kids in attendance last night to experience the same thing. The only answer, of course, is for our boys to come up with the kind of effort that silences Toronto’s fans in the crowd and gets them back into the win column after a pair of tough losses.
Besides, there’s no better feeling as a fan than when they show sad Leafs fans on the big screen living with the disappointing consequences of their own poor life choices. So to have the Edmonton Oilers start the game like a house on fire and lay a beatdown like this on the Leafs during a nationally televised game was like a little piece of magic for us all to enjoy on a brisk March evening. We had to change the game time in our own barn for these dummies, and I love nothing more than knowing more of their fans were able to stay up and watch what happened. Let’s get to the recap.
PRESENTED BY BETWAY
- Connor McDavid opened the scoring (1-0) on the power play after he and Leon, and Nuge all got in on the action, giving the Oilers an early lead less than four minutes into the period. Connor added a second goal (2-1) just over a minute after Kampf tied the game with an absolute stunner that saw him carve through traffic, dangle a defenceman, and snipe his shot through the goaltender’s legs.
- David Kampf tied the game temporarily (1-1) after what was one of the weirdest mistakes by a defenceman that I’ve seen in a while. Cody Ceci thought the play was offside — it was not — and just stopped playing, essentially gifting the puck to Marner who quickly dished it off to Kampf. Play to the whistle, my guy.
- Zach Hyman extended the Oilers’ lead (3-1) with a snipe from distance that surely broke a heart or two as the former Leaf further extends his career-high in goals with 29 in only 62 games. It was beautiful, I love him. Mattias Ekholm picked up his first assist as an Oiler on the play after he jumped into the zone to get in on the offence.
- Starting the game with a power play goal is a beautiful sight that I will never tire of watching. Am I allowed to make a joke about how the PP still knocks without Tyson Barrie or is it still too soon?
- The shots were 14-11 for the Oilers in the opening 20 minutes, but it was our side that was able to get a trio of goals up on the board.
- Kailer Yamamoto put the Oilers up by three (4-1) early in the second period after he got his stick on Cody Ceci’s wrister, deflecting the puck up and over Samsonov’s shoulder and into the net. Yamo needed that goal in a big way after missing some grade-A chances over the last couple of games, and I was pumped to see him get on the board.
- In the dying minutes of the period, Klim Kostin continued the onslaught (5-1) with a beautifully executed 2-on-1 that saw Ryan McLeod with the dish and Klim Shady with a fantastic finish. Since coming back from whatever illness he was fighting, Kostin has been a sparkplug in the lineup and I’m pumped to have him back.
- The Oilers outshot the Leafs 11-6 in the second period and did a fantastic job of preventing Toronto from doing much of anything. The Leafs looked frustrated, disjointed, and pretty much like what you’d expect from a team that’s bringing in a bunch of new players. That’s not to take away from the Oilers, though, because our side was dominant and effective in every way.
- Mitch Marner pulled the Leafs back to within three (5-2) with a power play goal only 1:08 into the period, giving the Leafs the exact start they wanted to try and cue the comeback.
- That no-goal call on Warren Foegele on the Oilers’ early power play was one of the worst pieces of reffing I’ve seen in quite some time. There was no reason to blow that play down.
- How about that scrap between Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Justin Holl in the third period? Not only was it an unlikely fight in the first place, but Nuge absolutely dusted him. RNH was chuckin’ em. Wow.
- The third period was the only one where the Leafs outshot the Oilers (11-7) but even so it never felt like they were ever going to get any closer. The Oilers did a really nice job of locking things down tbh.
OTHER THINGS WORTH MENTIONING
1) Where is the limit for Connor McDavid’s potential? Every time we think we’ve seen him at his best, he finds another gear to his game and blows our collective brains out the back of our skulls. The guy makes the NHL look easy and I feel so blessed to watch him go supernova for my favourite hockey team.
2) Is it too much to say that I really enjoyed Mattias Ekholm’s first game with the Oilers? Despite not even getting a practice, the big man was all over the ice and getting himself involved at both ends of the rink, including his first assist with his new team. In 20:50 of TOI, Ekholm finished his first game with two shots, three hits, two blocks, and a +2 rating. Really nice first impression.
3) Was anyone else a little bit surprised that Stuart Skinner got the start last night? I mean, the idea of playing Campbell admittedly made me nervous but I just assumed that Woody was going to give him the chance for a grudge game. Either way, Stu stepped up to the challenge and gave the Oilers the goaltending they needed to lock in a win against a very tough opponent. He didn’t have to be outstanding but he did have to be steady, and Stuart Skinner was that and then some. Skinner finished with 26 saves and a .929 save%.
4) I’m worried about Kailer Yamamoto after he got his bell rung in the third period and didn’t play another shift. What I don’t know is whether he was held out because of concussion protocol, if he actually has an issue, or if they held him out simply for precautionary reasons because the game was already over. Pray for Yamo.
5) It was an up-and-down night for the special teams as the Oilers went 1/4 on the power play and 1/3 on the PK. You love to see the power play goal to kick off the game, but it was essentially cancelled out by the third period marker by Toronto. What I’m trying to say is that the Oilers’ power play rules and the penalty kill still needs work.
6) If you’re a fan of the Corskis, you’ll love to know that the Oilers outshot the Leafs by a 32-28 margin, leading them to a 54.02 CF% and a 67.17 xGF%.
7) You knew I was going to mention the fact that the Oilers won only 44% of the faceoffs and here is that unfortunate fact. We can do better than this, boys.
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