Avoidable mistakes sunk the ship. Final Score: 4-3 Ducks
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Coming into this afternoon’s dance with the Ducks, I truly felt that there was no good reason that the Oilers shouldn’t wrap this thing up with two points in the bank. I don’t care that they just beat the Montreal Canadiens, the Anaheim Ducks are horrible and a team that the Edmonton Oilers should beat up 99 times out of 100. Besides, I will always hate this franchise for the Kesler pad-holding era, and I wanted nothing more than to see the boys pile on some goals against a team that bleeds them. So when Darnell Nurse opened the scoring only five minutes into the period, I thought we were off to the races. But then, like a dark detail plucked from our nightmares, the Ducks started to take control of the play until they invariably got themselves on the board as a result of a giveaway by Nurse in the defensive zone. Factoring in on a third straight goal, Nurse took a cross-checking penalty towards the end of the period that set the table for a power play goal by Cam Fowler to give the Ducks the lead heading into the intermission for only the third time this season. Good times.
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Wouldn’t you have loved to know what was said in the dressing room between periods after the Oilers found themselves down by a goal to one of the worst teams in the NHL? I wish I was in there. At least, based on what I had going on in my imagination anyway. Either way, if the Oilers didn’t want to make this entire city angry to the nth degree then they were going to have to crank up their ‘give-a-shit’ meter in a real hurry. To their credit, the effort and care levels did increase slightly as there were more shots coming in and scrums after the whistle to show they were engaged. The bad news is that the mistakes didn’t stop. Instead of making simple plays and choices, the Oilers kept trying to force things through, and there was no greater example of that than the giveaway by Bouchard at the offensive blue line that led to Ryan Strome’s breakaway insurance marker. Rather than putting the puck on net or in deep, Dad tried to flip a backhand saucer pass to RNH and it got picked off in an embarrassing fashion. Thankfully Ryan Nugent-Hopkins managed to pull the Oilers back into the mix with a late power play goal to halve the lead, but up until that point, the prospects of a win were seriously looking dire.
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Down by a goal with 20 minutes to play, the Oilers had to come up with a much better effort than what we’d seen to that point or run the risk of being embarrassed by one of the worst teams in the league. I know our side was getting plenty of shots on net, but nothing about this game felt like Edmonton was in control, and that needed to change in a real hurry. Inspired by the challenge, the Oilers piled shots on Dostal in an attempt to even up the score, and it didn’t take long before that hustle led to the power play chances they needed to do exactly that. With two straight goals lifting the Oilers back into a tie game, the boys looked like they were finally going to grab this game by the horns until another costly giveaway (and screen) by Bouchard led to John Klingberg wrestling the lead back into Anaheim’s favour. Yet, despite the disaster going on in their own zone, the Oilers peppered Dostal with an endless stream of shots to try and even things up for the second time but just couldn’t get the job done. Either way, this loss is incredibly embarrassing for the Oilers as at least three of the four Anaheim goals were caused by mistakes that were completely avoidable, and if that’s how this team is going to execute defensively then it doesn’t really matter what happens at the other end of the ice.
The wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

  • After the way Thursday’s game against the Blues ended, how fitting was it that Darnell Nurse opened the scoring (1-0) with a seeing-eye wrister that took a friendly change of direction on its way through traffic and past Dostal.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins pulled the Oilers to within one (3-2) with a power play goal late in the second period that came off a broken play in the slot that saw the puck squeeze out of the pile and onto RNH’s stick before he pumped it into the back of the net.
  • Connor McDavid tied the game on the power play (3-3) after the Ducks put themselves down by two men and the Oilers made the short work of the opportunity. Leading up to the goal, the boys were snapping the puck around with purpose and you know good things happen when Leon finds Connor at the backdoor with plenty of time to make a play.
  • He may not have scored but I thought Dylan Holloway had a really strong game, and it was nice to see him get rewarded with a few extra shifts here and there. Holloway finished with two shots, three hits, and a +1 rating in his 12:44 of TOI.
  • Even though he had a quiet game, I was happy to see Warren Foegele back in the lineup as the Oilers desperately need some people to start getting healthy and back on the ice.
  • The Oilers power play continues to drive this team as they picked up two goals on six chances with the man advantage. Obviously, we needed more this afternoon but it’s also pretty shocking that they couldn’t get more than one even strength marker against this opponent.
  • If you’re a fan of the Corskis then you’ll be thrilled to know that the Oilers outshot the Ducks by a 49-17 margin which is a rare victory for this team in that department.
  • Huge props to the Oilers for the way they involved kids in the entire game day experience from the broadcast to what was going on in the rink. Personally, I thought the kid doing the in-arena announcements killed it.

PRESENTED BY BETWAY

THE FACE PALMERS

  • THAT WAS THE DUCKS’ THIRD REGULATION WIN OF THE SEASON, DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS? Awful.
  • Are you surprised to hear that Sam Carrick’s tying goal (1-1) that he picked up on a tap-in from the slot was his first goal of the season? You’re not, are you? The whole play started with a giveaway by Nurse in the defensive zone, which is yet another unfortunate example of where his game is at right now.
  • Cam Fowler gave the Ducks the lead (2-1) on the power play with a blast from the point that made its way through traffic and past Skinner low on the glove side.
  • Ryan Strome extended Anaheim’s lead (3-1) after a horrible giveaway by Bouchard at the opposing blue line put him in on a breakaway that he did not waste.
  • John Klingberg restored Anaheim’s lead (4-3) with a snipe from the hashmarks after a giveaway by Bouchard led to additional zone time by the Ducks. To make matters worse, Bouchard put down a perfect screen on Stuart Skinner, preventing him from seeing the shot that eventually beat him on the blocker side.
  • I was surprised to see Stuart Skinner get the call against the Ducks since it might have been an easier spot for Jack Campbell to continue working on his game, but that’s not to say that I wasn’t pleased to see him back between the pipes. Unfortunately, this was not Skinner’s day as he was unable to cover up for the mistakes that were happening in front of him, but at the same time, it’s also unfair to expect him to be the hero every single time. Regardless, I doubt Stu would be happy with this performance anyway as he finished the afternoon with 13 saves and a .765 save%.
  • This was not a good day for Darnell Nurse or Evan Bouchard as their giveaways were directly responsible for three of the four goals. That’s an eight-hour flight away from being good enough.
  • If the depth players can’t score against the Anaheim Ducks then who can they score against?
  • Just as I was starting to feel good about the Oilers’ PK, they go and allow a goal in a matter of seconds on Anaheim’s first attempt of two attempts on the day.
  • The Oilers won only 43% of the faceoffs and I was not happy about it.
  • asdsad

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIODDucksOilers
5:07
Edmonton
Darnell Nurse (5)
Assists: Derek Ryan (4), Evan Bouchard (10)
0
1
14:37
Anaheim
Sam Carrick (1)
Assists: Mason McTavish (13), Jayson Megna (1)
1
1
17:19
Anaheim
Cam Fowler (4) (Power Play)
Assists: Mason McTavish (14), Adam Henrique (8)
2
1
2ND PERIODDucksOilers
8:31
Anaheim
Ryan Strome (8)
Unassisted
3
1
19:32
Edmonton
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (15) (Power Play)
Assists: Connor McDavid (34), Leon Draisaitl (32)
3
2
3RD PERIODDucksOilers
2:06
Edmonton
Connor McDavid (28) (Power Play)
Assists: Leon Draisaitl (33), Tyson Barrie (21)
3
3
6:08
Anaheim
John Klingberg (4)
Assists: Frank Vatrano (8), Ryan Strome (9)
4
3

#GOODCONTENT

Talk to me, Twitter. Hit me up at @jsbmbaggedmilk and Wanye at @Oilersnation and you could find yourself landing in this very spot. 
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BETTER LAIT THAN NEVER

Have you ever moved across the country to a suburb you didn’t research and then claim a city you didn’t actually live in was lame? Seems silly, right? Of course. That said, I sure did have a whole lot of fun making fun of the lady that did exactly that in the latest edition of Toronto Life magazine. Subscribe to Better Lait Than Never for FREE on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, and wherever else you get your podcasts from!