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Depth Finally Chips In

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Oilers beat the Bruin 3-2 in a shootout

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Since Connor McDavid went down the Oilers have relied heavily on Taylor Hall and Leon Draisaitl for almost all of their points. This has lead to a lot of imbalance on the scoresheet because other teams just played to the Oilers’ weakness, their depth. Today’s game was the first time in a while that we’ve seen the bottom 6 get involved in the scoring. And like the last time the Oilers were able to pull a win out of their asses because of it.

Highlights

The Good

At this point in time I’m pretty sure that the Oilers have decided that Anders Nilsson is their starting goalie. Even after a "crappy" game in Toronto, McLellan decided to go back to Nilsson. It would prove to be the correct decission. Nilsson was on his game tonight he made some fantastic saves on some really bad Oilers decissions. On both of the goals against Nilsson didn’t really have a chance on either. I don’t know how long this will last but for now he’s really starting to look like the guy in Edmonton. After the shaky start to the season, Nilsson has moved just below Devan Dubnyk in SV% at 0.911 and his GAA is starting to get better as well at 2.70. There is no doubt about it but Nilsson is starting to look like a legitimate option or a decent backup anyway.

The Bad

The shootout!!! What a horrible way to end a game. The Bruins should’ve won this game but thanks to Nilsson and three horrible shootout attempts by the Bruins they lost. Actually out of 6 shooters only 1 had a decent shot and that was the game winner. I know there are a lot of people that will say "the Oilers won! Doesn’t matter how they do it!" The reality is that it does, 3-on-3 OT is a joke (rant for another day) but at least it’s hockey and not just a farce. Something needs to be fixed here and the shootout is it.

The Ugly

I know people are going to hate me for this but hear me out first. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, I can’t put my finger on why but he just can’t get a bounce to go his way. It seemed like every time he had the puck tonight he was just wrestling with it

We all know how tallented RNH is but I’m afraid that because on his play so far this season, he could be traded and traded low and under valued. The return for a good NHL centre could end the Oilers up with another Eric Gryba and that scares the crap out of me. This is why Nugent-Hopkins’ play is so ugly to me, not so much because of him but because of what could happen.

Up Next

Oh great, Friday, the Dallas Stars. The Stars lost in a shootout to Calgary last night and play Vancouver tomorrow night. I know it doesn’t mean much but hopefully playing 3 games in 4 nights give the Oilers a sliver of a chance. See you then.