The Day After: Will the Oilers ever start a game on time?
Photo credit:Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports
By Zach Laing1 year ago
It’s a tale as old as time.
The Edmonton Oilers don’t know how to start games on time.
It’s arguably one of the most frustrating trends this team has seen and it doesn’t matter who is at the helm and it doesn’t matter who the players are. 10 years ago, the Oilers started just as slow as they do today. Five years ago, the Oilers started just as slow as they do today.
Edmonton has a 16-6 record and that’s great, but you could feel a little wind leave the sails with Friday night’s 4-3 loss to the Seattle Kraken.
Yanni Gourde scored just 49 seconds into the game putting the Oilers down early. While Leon Draisaitl responded with a powerplay goal six minutes later, an Adam Larsson snipe at the 10:38 mark was enough to give the Kraken a lead after one.
The Oilers, however, looked flat. Evan Bouchard scored a beauty at the 8:12 mark, but two Kraken goals in the final seven minutes virtually sealed the game. Edmonton didn’t feel threatening last night and played a rather flat night of hockey.
Sure, the Oilers dominated play for the third and McDavid made it interesting with a nice tip in front, but it wasn’t enough to stimy a tough defensive team in Seattle.
Nonetheless, the Oilers have an interesting stretch of games ahead with a stretch of home games against the L.A. Kings, Minnesota Wild, Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, Toronto Maple Leafs and the Columbus Blue Jackets. Edmonton has been one of the best home teams in the league this year going an impressive 9-1 at Rogers Place. Let’s see if they can keep that up.
- A few milestones last night. Leon Draisaitl played in his 500th game, while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored his 500th point.
- I thought Philip Broberg had a strong game, including this beautiful shift in the third period. He very clearly thinks the game at a high level and I’ve thought he’s played very well in a tough situation since being recalled. The Oilers have a player here.
- Edmonton can’t get Darnell Nurse back soon enough. Kris Russell and Tyson Barrie playing around 25 minutes a night is just not it. Time to give the kids some more leeway.
What they’re saying…
Kraken take down Oilers, win for fifth time in past seven gamesThe previous time the Kraken faced the Edmonton Oilers, on Nov. 1, the vibe was noticeably different.The Kraken had lost to the New York Rangers at home the night before. A Seattle loss in Edmonton, Alberta, would become the second in a stretch of eight losses in nine games.On Friday night at Climate Pledge Arena the Oilers faced an entirely different Kraken team.The Kraken struck 49 seconds into the game, and when the Oilers tied it twice they built on a second-period lead and it held for a 4-3 win, the fifth Kraken win in seven games and the fourth consecutive game in which they collected a point.Without leading scorers Jordan Eberle and Jaden Schwartz, the Kraken still played one of their most complete games of the season.“Nobody cares who is out of the lineup,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “Nobody cares what the injuries are; they’re a part of this league. So whoever’s in this lineup on any given night has to go out and provide something that helps the team win. The biggest factor tonight was we got contributions from everyone in the lineup, big or small.”Without their top scorers, yet still in the midst of the most momentum they’ve ever had, the Kraken played with swagger; Colin Blackwell’s celebration after his go-ahead goal in the second period, Alexander Wennberg’s sharp pass to the net front on Marcus Johansson’s tally, Joonas Donskoi’s dramatic game of keep-away before assisting on Adam Larsson’s goal, Ryan Donato’s puck battle wins and third goal in two games were all little flashes of the confidence the Kraken have begun to exude.“I think as a group we’ve taken a lot of steps since last time (they played Edmonton),” Larsson said. “I think we did a much better job in the neutral zone, especially to slow them down a bit.” – Marisa Ingemi, Seattle Times
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