Three Key Things: Zach Hyman hatty, Mattias Ekholm is back, and Ryan McLeod scores another one

Photo credit:Tom Kostiuk
7 months ago
After nearly a week away, the Edmonton Oilers made their triumphant return to the ice for a rematch against a Carolina Hurricanes team that ran their show only two weeks ago. Clearly, the boys remembered that loss because they put the boots to Carolina from the very first shift until the final buzzer, locking in what was a very impressive 6-1 win.


I don’t think we spend enough time talking about how incredible Zach Hyman has been for the Edmonton Oilers since signing here as a free agent back in July of 2021. In the 177 regular season games played in blue and orange, the guy has been nothing short of fantastic, and last night’s game was another chapter in that same story. From start to finish, Hyman was a dog on a bone anytime he was near the puck, and the Hurricanes couldn’t really do much to stop him. So when he closed out the hat trick on that ridiculous feed from Connor McDavid, it was no surprise to see how many hats hit the ice for a guy who is hard not to love.


As much as I want to gush about the goal Mattias Ekholm scored in the first period on the backdoor tap-in on the pass from McDavid, the thing that actually matters most is that he’s looking like the stud he was when he landed at the trade deadline last season. Ekholm missed all of training camp and the pre-season due to injury, and it’s taken a minute for the big man to find his form, but he’s been fantastic on the backend for over the past few weeks. He looks like so much more like the guy we picked up at last season’s deadline, and I don’t think I have to tell anyone reading this why his re-emergence could be a contender for the TSN turning point on the Oilers’ season.


He went nearly 40 regular season games without a goal, but Ryan McLeod now has two goals in a span of only 48 seconds of game action, albeit a week apart. It’s funny how confidence works, right? Even though I saw a bunch of people making jokes about his first of the year coming via the empty net, it’s clear that putting away the Winnipeg Jets with an insurance marker left him feeling a little bit lighter on his skates. So to see him pick up another goal on his first shift of the game after he drove to the front of the net with his stick on the ice, it was hard not to feel proud and happy for the guy all at the same time.


  • How about the Oilers scoring two goals in the first 41 seconds of the game, and four in the first 14:03. It was almost like the Oilers took that loss in Carolina personally and wanted to repay the favour of leaving the visitors hopeless and alone before the game had even really started.
  • I can’t believe I get to write this, but Warren Foegele scored a goal on a breakaway. I’m not even kidding, it actually happened. Never thought I’d see the day, frankly.
  • Are you surprised to read that Connor McDavid had another multi-point night? You’re not, are you? With the three assists he added against against the Hurricanes, the captain has now registered 16 points (2A, 14A) in his last five games. Shout out to the other fanbases that were leaving comments on our social media earlier in the season to tell us that Connor was washed up. Hilarious.
  • Who had Mattias Janmark registering *checks notes* three assists against the Hurricanes last night?
  • Make it a nine-game point streak for Evan Bouchard after the d-man picked up a pair of assists to give him 12 points over the course of this heater. If Dad keeps this up, he’s going to have to treat himself to a fresh pair of New Balances.
  • There’s been a lot of talk recently about how many games Stuart Skinner is playing, but after last night’s performance, I don’t know how you take him out. Outside of being bummed for him that Jordan Staal ruined the shutout bid, I couldn’t have been happier with the way Stu stood tall between the pipes and gave the Oilers another fantastic performance. Skinner finished the night with 38 saves and a .974 save%.
  • Looking at the shot clock, the Hurricanes actually finished with a 39-34 advantage, but I would also suggest that a bunch of those came as a result of score effects. I’m not saying Carolina didn’t have any chances, but I am saying they were shooting the puck from the parking lot as the game went on.
  • I’m incredibly pleased to let you know that the Oilers won 52.9% of the faceoffs.
  • Wanted to give a quick shout out to Pyotr Kochetkov for giving up three goals on six shots, and getting the hook at the 5:47 mark of the first period. Fantastically generous of him.


It’s been a thousand years since the Oilers last played, and that meant I was very excited to talk about some actual hockey as opposed to whatever drivel is normally coursing through my brain. Check out the latest episode of BLTN to help me live out my dream of being able to afford a 1987 Ford Escort GT.

Check out these posts...