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Three Key Things: The #NationVacation vibes are high after a win, but Jay Woodcroft gets fired anyway

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baggedmilk
3 months ago
Before the season started, we talked about how this would be the year that the Oilers improved upon their horrible record when we were on the road for a #NationVacation. Watching the boys play behind enemy lines hasn’t been kind to us over the years, but things had started to turn around the last couple of years, and we thought 2023-24 would be more of the same. Unfortunately, the start of this year has been yet another reminder that life is unfair. The good news is that the Oilers handled their business after a four-goal first period, cruising to a 4-1 win in Seattle.

GOODBYE WOODY

I honestly didn’t think I’d be writing about Jay Woodcroft being fired after a win, but Elliotte Friedman broke the news that the team is making a coaching change, and I’m honestly stunned. I know things aren’t going how we all hoped they would, but I thought last night’s win would buy the guy some time. Honestly, I’m stunned. Not to mention, keeping him around for the road trip only to fire him after they get home is a bush league move by Ken Holland, the guy that should have been fired in the first place. This team, man.

HYMAN HATTY

On a night when the Oilers desperately needed some offence, Zach Hyman stepped up in a big way with a natural hat trick in the first period. Not only were those three goals incredibly important, but they were all scored in different ways due to hard work. Over the last few weeks, we’ve been talking a lot about the Oilers needing to get to the greasy areas on the ice, and that couldn’t have been more evident than the three goals by Hyman. He was around the crease, hacking away at loose pucks and battling in the tough areas until he was rewarded. Hard work and hustle resulted in some massive moment for the Oilers and it was so refreshing to watch. More of that, please.

CLIMATE PLEDGE ARENA

It was my first time at Climate Pledge Arena, and I have to say that it was a really neat building to watch hockey in. It took a while to get used to having two jumbotrons took a while, but the viewing experience and atmosphere were fantastic. Around the concourse, they had all types of interesting options to eat and drink, and I would have put more work into that department had the price of beer not been ridiculous. At $15 USD per beer + the exchange rate, Uncle Visa took a pummeling last night, and the tricky part hasn’t even started yet when he starts asking for his money back. That said, we had an absolute blast and I wasn’t about to let a little thing like responsible budgeting ruin my good time.

OTHER THINGS WORTH MENTIONING

  • Stuart Skinner has been taking a lot of heat lately, and I was happy to see him come up with a strong performance between the pipes. I know it wasn’t the busiest night he’ll ever have, but he made some big saves at key times and that’s all we ever ask. Skinner finished the game with 17 saves and a .944 save%.
  • Seeing how many former Oilers play for the Seattle Kraken was honestly bizarre. No matter where I looked, there was seemingly one or more dudes that we used to cheer for and it was freaking me out a little bit. It was like the Seattle Kraken are the land of misfit toys, and they have a quota to maintain of having at least 20% of their roster being former Edmonton Oilers.
  • Connor McDavid has only one point in his last five games, which is the lowest total for a five-game stretch in his career. Not sure what’s going on with the big man right now, but he’s not looking like himself and I truly hope he’s alright.
  • Given that there are five former Oilers playing in Seattle — four last night with Eberle out — I want to thank them for not scoring against their former club. It’s normally a given that it happens.
  • Even though I complained about the beer prices above, what I will say is that it was pretty awesome to have so many options to choose from. They had everything from your standard beers to random craft brews, and it showed just how piss poor our selection is back home.
  • How did the Oilers go a full period without a shot on goal? Zero shots in the third period? Really?

THE #NATIONVACATION TO ARIZONA

Oilersnation is headed to the desert! Escape to Arizona on our next Oilersnation Vacation presented by Alberta Blue Cross from Feb 18-20th, 2024! Join the party for just $1,999/person (double occupancy rooms). Your ticket includes roundtrip flights from Edmonton, two-night stay in a popular hotel, transportation to the airport and premium hockey game tickets! Limited spots are available so don’t hesitate to get your ticket now!

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