Remember when we all thought that we were finally allowed to enjoy our team?
I remember it like it was yesterday. In fact, I could swear that it was yesterday. But no, that game against the Flyers must have been some kind of fever dream, or something.
Tonight was classic Oilers hockey, we trailed from the get go, and the team kept on getting our hopes up, only to disappoint us almost immediately. If that's not Oilers hockey, I don't know what is.
The game began with two quick goals by Cam Atkinson and David Savard. Less than three minutes into the game we already had a multiple goal deficit. But still, I thought: Maybe we'll come back. We have Connor and some muscle, this team surely won't be beaten so easily by the Blue Jackets. Boy, was I wrong.
Draisaitl tipped in an Adam Pardy point shot early in the second, but the Jackets answered a mere ten seconds later, with a goal by offensive dynamo Fedor Tyutin.
Boone Jenner stretched the Jackets' lead to 4-1 midway through the frame. Then, with only a minute left in the second, Taylor Hall tipped an Andrej Sekera shot past Joonas Korpisalo. "Well, at least we didn't loose the period", I said, dumbly. Scott Hartnell scored with only 17 seconds remaining, and the Oilers were down 5-2 through two.
Early in the third, McDavid did a very McDavid thing. He scored a goal. It was challenged by the Jackets, who thought that Hall had interfered with Korpisalo. But the refs said "Hey, let's give the Oilers a chance", there's no way they'll cough up another goal so quickly again. Now, I don't know if they actually said that, but if they did, they're as dumb as I was after the Hall goal. The Oilers gave up a goal 35 seconds later to David Savard. It was Savard's second of the game, and the third goal of the night by a Blue Jackets defender.
When the smoke had cleared, the Oilers had lost 6-3.
I didn't have to do this section in our previous two games this week, because no one needs a silver lining after a win. Not only are the Oilers perpetually breaking my heart, they're also preventing me from being lazy, my one true passion.
The silver lining was pretty obvious tonight. The Oilers killed it in the shot-department. Sure, they trailed the whole game, but even after adjusting for score effects, they did pretty well. They outshot the Jackets 36-27 overall, and 32-21 at evens. If you include all shot-attempts, the Oilers led 72-41, per hockeystats.ca. As fans, we usually pump our brakes a bit when a goalie saves our bacon, so I don't really see the harm in taking a small moral victory when we lose because a backup goalie can't make a save.
Single game Corsi stats are all about groups. In such a small sample it's nearly impossible to separate a driver from the passengers. To my eye, Taylor Hall had a heck of a game, but I also feel compelled to give some credit to the big fellas on his line. Hall, Draisaitl and Maroon were each a +18, in terms of Corsi differential. That trio used their size, speed and skill to play some outstanding possession hockey. Also of note, for the second game in a row, was the pairing of Davidson and Pardy. Pardy did make a turnover in the second which immediately led to a Jackets goal, but I'll try not to be too hard on him, as the stay-at-home rearguard managed to record a point for the second straight game. He had a +15 Corsi differential on the night.
Corey's Game Puck
As good as Pardy was in the fancy stat department, Davidson was even better. He was on for 34 Oilers shot-attempts, compared to only 14 against. Sure, Taylor Hall had a dominant possession night plus a goal and an assist, but he's gotten my non-existent game puck before and he'll surely get it again. Davidson's play this year has been nothing short of outstanding. Sure his big shot gets him on the score sheet now and then, but his quiet, effective two-way game is what really makes him such a good player. He's been great all year, but especially so as of late. For that, I'll reward him with the imaginary game puck that I may or may not have in my hands right now.