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The Oilers fall 3-2 to Avalanche in overtime after a thriller at Rogers Place

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baggedmilk
26 days ago
If the Edmonton Oilers are going to win the Stanley Cup in 2024, they’ll need to beat great teams along the way, and I couldn’t think of a better test for where they’re at than last night’s matchup with the Colorado Avalanche on Hockey Night in Canada. Unfortunately, this first test was a fail for Edmonton as they fell 3-2 to the Avalanche in overtime after an action-packed evening at Rogers Place.

GREAT GAME, TOUGH LOSS

It was a weird start to last night’s game. Almost like both sides needed a period to figure each other out because there wasn’t a whole lot going on in the first 20 minutes, apart from a few sneaky chances here and there. But even when a chance was developing or someone had what looked like a clear lane to the net, Skinner and Georgiev were there to shut the door.
Of course, the pace picked up considerably over the final 45 minutes, making the first period seem out of place. Back and forth like the ice was swaying from side to side, the Oilers and Avalanche traded opportunities, and each looked like they were starting to pull away. Given the way the night was going, it made sense that every goal came with a response from the other side. They were like two heavyweight fighters trading blows to see who would be the last one standing.
The bad news, of course, is that someone has to win those punch-for-punch brawls, and last night was not the Oilers’ night.  Despite holding a temporary lead on Sam Carrick’s first as an Oiler, it seemed almost inevitable that the Avs would find a way to claw their way back. It was just the kind of game where the team that made the last mistake would lose, and unfortunately, that’s what happened in the final second of overtime.
Instead

CONTRACT YEAR FOEGELE

Is anyone else starting to think that the Oilers need to figure out how to keep Warren Foegele on the roster beyond this last year of his deal? McLovin is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st, and you’d think he’ll be in line for a raise on the $2.75 million AAV he’s at now, especially after setting a career-high in goals, assists, and points.
When you look at the upcoming crop of free agents, there aren’t many players like Foegele that will be available. There are some sexier names like Steve Stamkos and Sam Reinhart that will undoubtedly secure a bag too large, but there aren’t many options that the Oilers could bring in that can fill Foegele’s role. Given how well he’s playing, I want to know how hard the Oilers are going to push to re-sign him.
If anything, the best available forward that can do what he does on the ice is him. But what will the number look like on his next deal? Foegele scored his 16th goal of the season and 35th point, putting him on pace for a nice looking payday. If you use the general rule of $100K for every point a free agent has, that puts Foegele somewhere in the $3.5 million range, give or take. Would you give him a deal for another two or three years at that number? I would.

THERE’S WORK TO DO

After seeing how hard the Avalanche come at you every single shift, it makes you see how much work lies ahead if the Oilers are going to make a deep run in the playoffs. No matter what line is on the ice, the Avs attack in waves and it gave Edmonton fits at times in the defensive zone. They have depth, they activate their defence, and they get goals from throughout the lineup with regularity. To put it lightly, the Avalanche are killers.
With round two of the season series only a few weeks away, I’ll be eager to see what adjustments the Oilers make for the rematch to try and end up as the ones on top. Even though we’re talking about a one-goal game, the boys gave up way too many additional opportunities to Colorado with sloppy puck management and careless giveaways. We’ve seen the Oilers be better than that and they’ll have to be when these teams meet up again on April 5th.

OTHER THINGS WORTH MENTIONING

-Coming into Saturday’s game, Stuart Skinner had a run of six straight starts in which he posted a save percentage of .920 or higher, and that streak was bound to be tested by the high-scoring Colorado Avalanche. And while he didn’t come out on top last night, I loved the way he played. Skinner stopped 40 of 43 shots, many of which were from high-danger scoring areas. He stopped shots in volume, he stopped a penalty shot, and Skinner’s .930 gave the Oilers the chance to win even in the moments when they needed to be better.
-Shout out to Sam Carrick for picking up his first goal as an Oiler after coming to town as part of the Adam Henrique trade with the Anaheim Ducks. His goal gave the Oilers the lead temporarily, and I was about ready to scream his name from the mountain tops had his team been able to close out that win.
-Zach Hyman had scored goals in 10 consecutive home games leading into game 65 at Rogers Place — he tied Wayne Gretzky’s record on Wednesday night against the Capitals — and it almost looked like he was going to he was going to break it with his 47th of the year until it got called back for kicking. If anything, it felt like home in a way to watch ZMH get a goal called back near the crease.
-Diving into the special teams, it was tough to say much about what happened because neither side was given more than a single opportunity. The power play went 0-for-1 while the PK was able to kill the lone shorthanded situation it faced. Though, to their credit, the referees decided that they wanted to see prison rules on the ice and they stuck to that rule throughout the game. Did they call the rulebook? No. Were they consistent? Yes.
-You know I love faceoffs, the Internet knows I love faceoffs, and that’s why I’m elated to report that the Oilers won 63.3% of the draws against the Avalanche. That number is truly wonderful to see. What a time to be alive.

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