After losing Darnell Nurse to a suspension, following the recent injury to Brandon Davidson, and a plethora of other injuries that every Oilers fan knows about all too well, the Oilers were left with a defence corps that closely resembled that of an AHL team. On top of that, the Oilers were playing in Xcel Energy Center, against the Minnesota Wild. Put all these things together, and you would think that the Oilers didn't have much of a chance of pulling off the win (I believe the closing odds were the Wild -175).
However, the Oilers managed to do just that, and in regulation to boot. Cam Talbot put forth yet another solid effort, stopping 28 of 29 Wild shots (that's shots by the Wild, not shots that I would characterize as wild). Talbot's solid play may have been the deciding factor, but it's not as if he stole the game. Both by statistics, and by my eye, the Oilers held their own against the Wild, in a game that could've gone either way.
The Oilers opened the scoring in the first period on a goal by Lauri Korpikoski. After outplaying the Wild by quite a margin to start the game, the Oilers began to see the ice tilt in Minnesota's favour, late in the first. That momentum carried into the second for the Wild. They eventually were able to solve Cam Talbot midway through the frame, on a goal by Zach Parise. The Oilers then managed to play a fairly even game from that point on. Eventually Connor McDavid would score the decisive goal midway through the third period. The speedy youngster blew past a very mobile defender in Jared Spurgeon, a feat that not many could accomplish, on his way to scoring the game-winner.
After a bit of line juggling, the newly formed Draisaitl-Eberle-Maroon line had a fantastic night from a possession standpoint. Eberle had a +12 Corsi differential, while Draisaitl and Maroon were both +14 by the same measure at even strength.
Eberle had a whale of a game, firing nine individual shot-attempts in all situations, including seven of which that qualified as scoring chances, per war-on-ice.com.
Corey's Game Puck
My fictional, imaginary, not-at-all-real game puck goes to Cam Talbot tonight. In a game that could have gone either way, he was the difference. As an Oilers fan, I'm not very used to being treated to stellar goaltending performances. But now that I've seen a few, I've decided that I like them. Who knew?