Call it the Warren Foegele breakout game.
In 19:45 minutes of ice time, Foegele scored two goals, fired five shots on net, spent 3:08 on the powerplay and another :35 killing penalties.
All the while, the Edmonton went to Seattle and walked away with a 5-3 victory.
He was just about everywhere for the Oilers. His two goals came down low by the dirty areas of the ice, and his shots all came from high danger areas.
“I’m more excited we got the win,” said Foegele after the game. “The boys dug in extremely hard today. I thought we played pretty simple and fast.
Like I wrote about a few days ago, Foegele is looking like the perfect winger for Connor McDavid on the Oilers top line. He now has goals in back-to-back games and since being bumped up to the McDavid line, —-
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“In all honesty, I thought he competed hard and did a lot of things consistently,” said assistant coach Jim Playfair after the game. “He did a good job in our dzone coverage, did protected the puck in the offensive zone and the defensive zone.
“He’s such a quick, uptempo player, he went to the net hard and was rewarded for it.”
It wasn’t an easy win for the Oilers. They got down 2-0 to the Kraken early in the game. Ryan Donato scored on their first shot of the game, then not long later Jordan Eberle feed a lonesome Jared McCann to build the lead.
But by the end of the first, Edmonton tied the game.
“I think the one word that comes to my mind is belief,” said Foegele. “We stuck together, nobody was pouting. We dug in as a group. We knew we could come back. I think that was the key at the beginning of the year: we came back.”
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One of the most important parts of the Oilers game: they shut things down defensively. In their own zone, they played one of their best games of the season. In total, they allowed on 17 shots against — the lowest amount allowed since April 9, 2017, when the Oilers beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 (ironically the same night Connor McDavid hit 100 points).
What’s next for the Oilers is up in the air.
They’re scheduled to play the Anaheim Ducks in Edmonton Monday, before a two-game stint in Los Angeles and San Jose Wednesday and Thursday. But given the current COVID-19 situation around the league, and around the team, one has to wonder what will happen.
The Oilers held out flying to Seattle until late Friday to ensure they received their COVID-19 test results, but Jesse Puljujarvi was still added to protocols Saturday bringing the total up to five players and one coach. He is in Seattle and the team is working on getting him back to Edmonton, Sportsnet’s Mark Spector reported.
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Three of those, Puljujarvi, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Duncan Keith, all came since Friday morning.
It’s hard to exactly say what’s next.

Backhanders…

  • Despite letting in a goal on the first shot of the game, I thought Stuart Skinner played a good game for the Oilers. He made some key saves when the team needed him to and I don’t know how much he could’ve done on the second and third Seattle goals.
  • Edmonton played with just 11 forwards last night as Kyle Turris stayed home tending to an injury. The Oilers called up Cooper Marody and Seth Griffith,and the former had an assist. Not a bad performance by either.

What they’re saying…

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times; it was back to unprecedented times.
Even as the Kraken played their game with the Oilers at Climate Pledge Arena on Saturday night, the cloud of COVID-19 hung over them. Jamie Oleksiak was the latest to enter protocols right before warmups in a 5-3 loss for the Kraken, their second in a row.
The Kraken’s home game with Toronto on Sunday was postponed. It was hard to ignore what’s been happening in the hockey world the past few days with more than 100 players in COVID protocols across the league, four of them from the Kraken. The Oilers had five players in protocol, including Jesse Puljujarvi, who was placed in protocol hours before the game.
“It felt a lot like it did when it first started,” said Kraken captain Mark Giordano. “I don’t even know however many years or days ago that would have been, when the original COVID came in and paused the season. Today felt a lot like that.”
It was a game where, in a bubble, you wouldn’t know the disarray the NHL is in when it comes to COVID. The crowd was loud; they ate and drank; the game was played like any other at Climate Pledge. Carolers sang the two anthems and Christmas songs during the intermissions.
If you didn’t know the state of the league, and if you didn’t notice Oleksiak’s absence in protocol, you could almost pretend it was like any other day in the short existence of the Seattle Kraken. – Marisa Ingemi, Seattle Times

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at [email protected]