Ugh. Final Score: 4-2 Leafs
As we all know, the last time the Oilers and Leafs met in Toronto the game ended about as badly as we could have hoped. Instead of Mcdavid versus Matthews we got the Connor/Kadri battle royale which was not as sexy but equally as compelling. The Oilers (Connor included) were shut down and frustrated by a hard-working Leafs team and they walked away earning only one point on an evening when most people thought that they should have had two. So far this season, the Oilers and Leafs have both been respectable which is a feat not many would have predicted but it is ultimately good for the game. More good Canadian teams would be infinitely more interesting than seeing the same cities get Cup parades every other year. 
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I was hoping that since the Leafs are playing well that it would mean the Oilers would actually show up to play this hockey game, as they seem to against good teams. My hope boner went limp in a hurry, though, as I watched Edmonton stare at the Leafs waltzing into their zone uncontested to set themselves up for the game’s first goal. Frankly, the game didn’t really get much better from there. Just as they did in their first meeting, the Leafs worked hard for 60 minutes, played a simple game, and the Oilers looked like they were just happy to be there for the first two periods. Not only was that lacklustre effort on home ice unacceptable, but it happened on the backs of those losses to Arizona, which is the most concerning. Honestly, if it wasn’t for Connor this game would be been 100% pain instead of the 90% pain it ended up being. 
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I think the worst part about this loss was how badly the Leafs outworked the Oilers and that they found a way to minimize their mistakes. The Oilers made some massive errors in their own zone and the Leafs were able to capitalize on almost all of them. Even when Edmonton looked like they were going to get something going, and build their way towards a comeback, they found a way to cough up the puck and give up a fantastic chance for the visitors. On more than one occasion Cam Talbot was completely hung out to dry with one or more Leafs being able to walk in or hack away as they pleased (they scored twice like that). That said, Talbot wasn’t able to bail out his team either. Regardless of fault, the Toronto Maple Leafs were the better team for the first 40 minutes of this hockey game. They worked harder, they made smarter plays, and they took advantage of their chances. To their credit, Edmonton played much better in the final frame but by then it was too little too late. Unfortunately, 20 minutes don’t pay the bills in the NHL. 
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Coming back from being three goals down was too big a task for this night and the Oilers went home empty handed again. 
Like Master P, I wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

  • As usual, I’m going to start the bright side off with our captain after Connor got his 30th point of the season when he assisted on Andrej Sekera’s second-period goal. He got his 31st point on his 11th goal of the season (all even strength goals) that came a little bit too late. Thank Gord for this kid because too often he’s the only fun part about these losses. 
  • Connor McDavid is an Oiler. When the Leafs are in town it’s a point that deserves its own bullet.
  • I hope you’re sitting down for the next one. Not only did Andrej Sekera get a shot from the point on net — but it actually went in! I’m going to give you a minute to let that sink in.
  • If there’s one thing Oilers fans are good at it’s making fun out of nothing on Twitter. Oilers Twitter was hilarious tonight which ended up being the most entertaining part of the night.
  • Jonas Gustavsson was solid in relief of Talbot. He didn’t come into the best spot and he handled it well. The Monster stopped all nine shots he faced.
  • The penalty kill was perfect again, killing off all four attempts that they faced. If only the PP could match the PK. 
  • They won the Corsi? Oilers outshot the Leafs 30-23.

THE FACE PALMERS

  • The amount of time and space that William Nylander had to walk into the Oilers’ zone and set up Auston Matthews for the first goal of the game was disgusting. The forwards sat back and watched and Klefbom and Larsson couldn’t handle their checks and the Oilers found themselves chasing from the start. They have to be better.
  • If the first goal was bad then the second goal was dreadful. James Van Riemsdyk had all day to sit there and wack away at the loose puck in front of Cam Talbot. He finally put the puck in the net after the third or fourth hack. Embarrassing coverage.
  • I guess the Oilers defense know no shame because just when I thought the coverage on the JVR goal was bad, Edmonton doubled down to leave two guys open in front of the net. Kadri scored on a mini 2-on-0 and it was lights out from there. You can’t make it up.
  • Not a good night for Cam Talbot, but, at the same time, it’s not like he got any help on a couple of the goals he allowed. Bad luck and team mistakes aside, Talbot finished the night with four goals allowed, 10 saves and a .714 save%.
  • Oscar Klefbom wears the green jacket tonight as he finished the night with a -3 on his scorecard. Plus/minus is far from perfect, but it does tell a part of the story. Unfortunately, this story isn’t great when you consider that it’s a first pairing defenseman that we’re talking about. 
  • Puljujarvi played less than nine minutes tonight (8:34) and he didn’t get much done even when he did play. Not one of his better nights. Lots of time left on my patience for this big fella. 
  • Oilers went 49% in the faceoff circle. By no means a horrible night, but is still the fourth consecutive game where they’ve lost more draws than they’ve won. 
  • The power play couldn’t have been worse tonight. Going 0/6 on back to back nights is horrific, and they need a new approach. Whatever this plan is, it isn’t working and Jay Woodcroft needs to head back to the drawing board, tiny table, or wherever it is that he colours his power play pictures on. 
  • Every time the Leafs are in town there are waaayyy too many Toronto jerseys in the stands. Dislike. Gross. World’s worst.

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD

TIMETEAMDETAILSSCORE
05:45
Auston Matthews (10) ASST: William Nylander (10), Nikita Zaitsev (9)
1-0

2ND PERIOD

TIMETEAMDETAILSSCORE
02:48
James van Riemsdyk (10) ASST: Tyler Bozak (11), Mitchell Marner (12)
2-0
04:50
Andrej Sekera (3) ASST: Kris Russell (4), Connor McDavid (20)
2-1
06:00
Nazem Kadri (10) ASST: Leo Komarov (7)
3-1
17:58
Zach Hyman (3)
4-1

3RD PERIOD

TIMETEAMDETAILSSCORE
03:58
Connor McDavid (11) ASST: Milan Lucic (10)
4-2

BEST OF THE TWEETS

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Talk to me Twitter. Tweet at @OilersNation and @jsbmbaggedmilk for your chance to land in the Best of the Tweets.

A GOOD OL’ HOCKEY GAME

 
  • When: Friday December 9th with doors opening at 2pm (the game starts at 6pm). 
  • Where: West Edmonton Mall at the Mayfield Toyota Ice Palace
  • Who: Edmonton takes on Minnesota
  • Why: Because we love to party
  • What else: We’re going to have prize giveaways all night long
  • How much to get in: FREE!
Huge thank you to everyone at West Edmonton MallThe Brick, Vimy Hockey, Donnan, 1st RNDTSN 1260Eddie BauerThe Bear and everyone else that worked so hard to help us get this event off the ground. Your hard work is appreciated, and I can’t wait for December 9th to get here. It’s going to be a fantastic night.