The Oilers lost to one of the only teams below them in the standings. Happy day. Final Score: 3-1 Sabres
After Wednesday night’s win over the Red Wings, the Oilers needed to whatever was humanly possible to ensure a repeat performance. Frankly, that game against Detroit was one of the best overall efforts that we’ve seen all season and I want more of it. Unfortunately, a few of the guys, including Cam Talbot, are battling the flu right now which is never a great spot to be in when you’re in must win scenarios. I don’t know about you guys, but the last thing I’m able to do when I have the flu (real or self induced) is go out and do anything remotely physical. I’d be on the floor, huddled up in a ball just hoping I didn’t poo myself. Coincidentally, the way this game played out made me feel kinda the same way.
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Considering the Buffalo Sabres are absolutely terrible, it seemed like the kind of game where the Oilers should realistically be expected to walk away with a win. And I don’t mean moral victories, I mean that they should actually win the hockey game. But after the Oilers took three penalties in the first period, they were only able to muster four shots on net and it didn’t exactly give you warm fuzzies about how this was going to go. Needless to say, that’s the opposite of the kind of start you want to have on the road in a game that should’ve been easy points. The fact that the Oilers got shutout by Buffalo is a shocking state of affairs and that they looked so bad while doing it should raise all kinds of alarms for anyone involved in this mess.
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The Sabres hadn’t won a hockey game since November 7th and the Oilers just got dummied by them. What does that say about Edmonton? The black cloud remains. If ‘good enough’ was a ballpark then the Oilers couldn’t find the parking lot.
The wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

  • The game is over.
  • Yohann Auvitu scored the loan goal of the night for the Oilers off of a seeing eye single from the blue line. Auvitu threw the puck through traffic (something that there wasn’t enough of all night) and it made it past Lehner and into the back of the net.
  • Laurent Brossoit needed to have a good game today and he did that. He’s getting himself into the territory of needing to prove that he belongs in the backup role and having a big night against the Sabres could have gone a long way in reassuring everyone that watches this team that he truly belongs here. Unfortunately, LB let in a really bad goal to Eichel and that might be what people end up remembering. That said, it’s not fair to blame Brossoit for this loss either. He was mostly solid and actually kept the Oilers in it longer than they deserved. Bad goal against Eichel, yes. But this loss isn’t on him one bit. Brossoit finished the night with 28 saves and a .933 save%.
  • The penalty kill was perfect tonight, killing off all three chances they faced.
  • It was a tough night in the defensive zone, but Darnell Nurse and Adam Larsson were the most effective pairing the Oilers had tonight. They played the most minutes and were the only pair without a dash near their names (Auvitu was the third d-man without).
  • Have you checked out the new Blackout collection on the NationGear store? We’re selling out of basically everything so you’d be best to go check it out now if you’re hoping to score some new threads. Gordspeed, Black Friday shoppers.

THE FACE PALMERS

  • You could see Jacob Josefson’s goal that opened the scoring coming for miles. The Sabres were dominating the play and by the time Josefson scored his goal late it was almost surprising that it didn’t happen sooner. To add salt to the wound, that was his first goal in 19 games. Gross segment of hockey for the Oilers.
  • Jack Eichel scored a garbage goal, in my opinion. Well… That’s unfair to Eichel. He made the smart play and threw the puck on the net but Laurent Brossoit needed to stop that. Most goalies would stop that.
  • The top six forwards were all bad tonight. I don’t know what was going on but none of the top guys produced anywhere close to the level we need them to. I don’t know if it’s the flu or what, but the Oilers forwards looked a step behind all night long.
  • Wouldn’t it be cool if the Oilers could consistently hit 10-foot passes?
  • At some point, the Oilers will score on their power plays, right? It has to happen. Right? Personally, I think they should put Puljujarvi on the half boards as a shooting option. I like the idea because you know he’ll fire the puck at the net. In their lone PP chance in the first period, the Oilers didn’t even get a shot on net. That’s bad. While the PP did get a little bit better, they couldn’t cash anything in and ended up going 0/3 on the night.
  • Is it just me or does Connor take a lot of sticks/hooks to the hands that go uncalled? I know the NHL says they want to crack down on that kind of stuff, but it seems like 1/100 calls on McDavid actually get called. What’s up with that?
  • Why didn’t Benoit Pouliot take any horrible offensive zone penalties against the Oilers? It was like he was on his best behaviour and I find that to be bullshit. What happened to “once an Oiler, always an Oiler?” I was expecting ol’ ? to do us a solid with a few PIMs tonight but it just didn’t happen. Rude.
  • The Oilers got destroyed in the faceoff circle, winning only 41% of the draws they took.
  • I really didn’t want to eat beets tonight. Not because of the Buffalo Sabres. This one is a new low. #BeetCast will be up on my Twitter.

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD

TIMETEAMDETAILSSCORE
No Scoring

2ND PERIOD

TIMETEAMDETAILSSCORE
14:16
Buffalo
Jacob Josefson (1) ASST: Kyle Okposo (8), Jordan Nolan (2)
0-1
3RD PERIOD
TIMETEAMDETAILSSCORE
00:43
Buffalo
Jack Eichel (7) ASST: Evander Kane (10), Rasmus Ristolainen (6)
0-2
19:09
Buffalo
EN – Kyle Okposo (3) ASST: Rasmus Ristolainen (7), Evander Kane (11)
0-3
19:40
Edmonton
Yohann Auvitu (1)
1-3

#GOODCONTENT

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Source: NHL.com, Official Game Page, 11/24/2017, 7:30pm MST