THE BRIGHT SIDE
- @Kailer Yamamoto continues his heater of all heaters with his seventh goal (1-1) in his last eight games, tying the score on the power play with a slick move from the circle to the crease that he was able to slide through Lehkonen’s legs on his backhand.
- Only 3:05 after Yamamoto knotted the score, @Leon Draisaitl gave the Oilers the lead with a snipe from the circle that beat the goalie low on the blocker side. With the clock winding down in the third period, Draisaitl added a power play goal (4-2) to extend the Oilers’ lead after a perfectly executed power play that saw all five players touch the puck before it eventually wound up in the back of the net.
- @Derick Brassard extended the Oilers’ lead to two goals (3-1) after his saucer pass attempt to Nugent-Hopkins took a friendly bounce into the net off of a Sharks defender. I mean, you can’t come up with a better first impression than a goal, amirite?
- @Evander Kane keeps his heater going (5-2) with yet another empty-net goal. It seems as though Kane has taken over from Josh Archibald as the new sultan of sink when it comes to the empty net.
- @Mike Smith was back between the pipes for his 18th appearance of the season and looking for his seventh win after a decent performance in Colorado on Monday. And while I wouldn’t suggest he was fantastic — Smith always seems to be laying on his stomach for some reason — I will absolutely say that the veteran netminder was solid for the Oilers when they needed him. I didn’t particularly like the Hertl goal he allowed, but I’m certainly not going to write off the guy’s night after an ugly one when the rest of the game was pretty damned good. Smith finished the night with 28 saves and a .933 save%.
- A big shout out to the Oilers’ power play for coming through with goals on both of their chances with the man advantage. Maybe Nuge is the power play answer after all?
- Not to be outdone, the Oilers were also perfect on the PK and successfully killed off both shorthanded situations they faced.
- I come to you with peace and love to report that the Oilers finished the night with a 62.39 CF% and a 68.02 xGF% in the spreadsheet department.
- Welcome back, NUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE! It’s been over a month since RNH last played, but I thought he looked mighty fine in his return. Is Nuge the answer on the power play? He just may be.
- Shout out to Brett Kulak (18:27 TOI, one shot) and Derick Brassard (13:38 TOI, 1G) for looking solid in their respective Oiler debuts. It must be super weird to step into the lineup with a new team without so much as a practice — though, Brassard has played for half the league already — but I thought the boys did a really nice of slotting themselves in successfully.
- I really liked the third line that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins playing with Derick Brassard and Jesse Puljujarvi as that trio seemed able to get things going on more shifts than they didn’t.
- Once again, I am thrilled to advise that the Oilers won 52% of the faceoffs. Great success! Rejoice!
- LAST CALL TO JOIN US in Calgary for the March 26th BOA as we pack a bus with Nation Citizens and make our way south.
THE FACE PALMERS
- @Erik Karlsson opened the scoring (1-0) on the back of a pretty passing play that had both the Oilers’ defenders and goaltender guessing as to what was coming next. It was like everyone was out of position all a the same time and it took a solid minute or two before the saltiness had worn off from this one.
- @Tomas Hertl responded to Brassard’s goal quickly with one of his own (3-2) after taking a pass right in the slot and roofing his shot up and over Smith on the blocker side. For some reason, Smith was down on the ice long before the shot so it’s not like Hertl had to pick the perfect spot or anything.
— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) March 25, 2022
The 3rd line of Brassard – Nuge – Puljujarvi is having a great night. 14-3 in shot attempts, 9-1 in scoring chances, and the only line without a high danger chance against so far. Puljujarvi is top on the team in xGA/60, yet another strong defensive game from him thus far.
— Sid (@NHL_Sid) March 25, 2022
All he is missing is a mullet.
— HG (@farmergreene4) March 25, 2022