The inevitable death march to the draft has started in Edmonton and Oilers fans everywhere have given up on the team. Tonight the Pittsburgh Penguins visited Rexal place and thousands of Sidney Crosby fans showed up to support the world greatest hockey player. Before tonight's game Crosby had never scored a goal against the Oilers but thanks to some fantastic defending by the Oilers very own Sam Gagner the streak would end.
Anyway enough with the sarcasm. The Oilers played a great game against a top tier team and came out the victors. The first period was probably one of the best I've seen the Oilers play this season, they played better or matched Pittsburgh at every turn. The second period would end in disappointment but the Oilers fought hard and instead of their usual sleeper to the end of the game they made the game interesting to those of us watching. In the third one could see that the Oilers were determined to get back into the game and did so in fine fashion on goals by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall. But all good things must come to an end, while playing 4v4 Nugent-Hopkins took a bad penalty and the Penguins went to the power play 4v3. Right off of the faceoff Chris Letang scored and the tone changed instantly. But the Oilers just wouldn't go away with barely two minutes left in the game Anton Belov notched his first NHL goal. With 24 seconds left in the third Brandon Sutter took a penalty and although the Oilers were unable to score in regulation they were able to take advantage of their own 4v3 situation as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored in OT and helped lead the Oilers to victory. Like I said great game!
Here is the thing with this goal, Taylor Hall doesn't get an assist but he deserves one. If not for his quick stick after his shot attempt the puck goes outside the zone and the Oilers need to regroup. Hall's stretch is able to stop the puck and get it over to Justin Schultz for the quick pass to Jordan Eberle and onto Nugent-Hopkins' stick for the goal.
What Twitter was Saying
What Twitter said before the game:
Here comes a blow out with mr.rogers and his little kid players who can not get up at 8 am to practice... losers #oilers— Heisenberg (@Walterwhite103) January 11, 2014
What Twitter said during the game:
#Oilers just need a lucky bounce or 2, and we're back in it. Playing solid so far but still, looking a lot like an NHL team vs an AHL one.— Peter Seal (@paletrees) January 11, 2014
What Twitter was saying after the game:
I guess the secret is that fans have to resign themselves to the fact that the #Oilers won't win, then they prove us wrong.— The Amazing MsVickie (@eugoogaly) January 11, 2014
We won tonight. I'm not sure what to do #Oilers WOOOOO!— Steve-O (@_SilentNoise) January 11, 2014
Post Game Thoughts
It's nice to be able to write a positive review of an Oilers game every now and then. Sure the sarcasm comes through still because of what this team is but beating a team like the Penguins is nice.
My favourite part of the game had to be Devan Dubnyk and Evgeni Malkin almost dropping the gloves. I'm not a big proponent of fighting in hockey but I would've loved to see that happen.
Also of not was how well the fourth line played. There hasn't been any great things to say about the fourth line this year but today they played quite well together although this is not an endorsement of keeping Smyth at centre.
- Anton Belov
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
- Boyd Gordon (If you don't understand this pick look at who he played against all night and you'll understand it)