The good: Patrick Maroon scored two more goals. Barring something truly awful, he'll have 20 goals this season for the first time in his NHL career. Connor McDavid had two more assists. Another day at the office for that guy. Leon Draisaitl scored a freakish goal to give the Oilers the lead. They had the lead! What about that?
The bad: The Oilers did not keep the lead. Jonas Gustavsson yielded four goals in seventeen shots. Oilers end four game roadie at 2-2. Fires. Looting. Debauchery.
Oilers are back at home to take on the Sharks. A regulation victory would put Edmonton in first place by themselves.
Let's go to the tape.
The Oilers are saying
"We're not going to make a mountain out of it, but we do know the performance level has to be there night in and night out now...."
Get the puck to Connor McDavid. Promise, you guys. It'll work out from there.
The opponents are saying
"It was unlucky, it could have happened to anybody...It's your turn to block and you get hit in the face. It's not something you want to get. I was fortunate enough not to lose any teeth and I'm glad I'm feeling better today. The swelling is going down. Until the nerves heal, there will still be some pain."
That's Sharks defenceman Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Vlasic will return to the lineup tonight after missing four games from taking a puck to the face.
Have some of this
Ah, the Sharks. Playing meaningful hockey. With the Oilers. The Oilers are playing meaningful hockey in January. It didn't come as I had liked, but after a decade out of the playoffs, I'll take it.
LINE SWITCH: Jordan Eberle is back on the second line. Even through his struggles, you're not going to get Zack Kassian to put 50+ points up on the season. Play the man.
Jonas Gustavsson was waived yesterday. Surprisingly, there were no takers. Try the veal.
Jesse Puljujarvi was finally sent to the AHL yesterday, and it was only one game after it really mattered. The Oilers forfeit a year of his RFA status for three minutes and twenty-three seconds of ice time in Boston. I'm told by some that this is just to get him some experience (agreed) and build his confidence (also agree) and that there's a good chance that they'll recall him in the year, which barring an injury to a regular, I don't see happening.
Two more assists for Connor McDavid put him at 48 points on the year. If my maths are correct, he should be at fifty points by the end of this sentence.
Cam Talbot will be welcomed back into the net tonight (20-11-6, .920 SV% / 2.44 GAA / 3 SO) with open arms. The Sharks will go with Martin Jones (20-13-2, .917 SV% / 2.22 GAA / 2 SO)
STANDINGS WATCH: Hey, it's simple. Win in regulation tonight and you'll vault the Sharks by a point. The Sharks still have a game in hand, but they'll play tomorrow night in Calgary. Do the deed, Oilers.
Iiro Pakarinen (knee), Tyler Pitlick (knee), and Darnell Nurse (lower body) will be out for the Oilers. Still no Brandon Davidson in the lineup, who had missed the previous two games with the flu. The Sharks will miss defenceman David Schlemko (upper body) and forward Tomas Hertl (knee)