It’s Tuesday night, the winds are exceeding 40KPH, clearly the Hurricanes are in town.
Prior to the game, I argued with Shaw about not having the Oilers channel despite specifically asking for every Oilers game when ordering the package two weeks ago. I got it just in time but maybe they were on to something, did I really need to see that? This team continues to frustrate its fans, myself included.
The starting goaltenders are brought to you by Tim Horton’s. Laurent Brossoit and Cam Ward. A battle between the has-been and the never-was. Interesting match-up. This also gives me an opportunity to call Tim Horton’s out on their terrible commercials. There have been no shortage of them but the one I heard on the radio today was particularly irksome. It centered around the dream of “George from Red Deer”. In this fantasy George excitedly describes his dream situation of Sidney Crosby asking George to take his shot in the shootout to win the championship.
This is Tim Horton’s in a nutshell, completely ignoring how ridiculous of a premise it is that a hockey fan would wish for a championship game to be decided by a shootout. Tim Horton would be ashamed of the outrageous lack of judgement involved in something like that. Tim Horton’s, fix your goddamn lids and I might let your bad commercials slide.
Oh, I’m sorry, did you want me to talk about the game? I will, I’m just showing you and the Oilers that there’s a better way to waste five minutes than going down by two goals and taking an unnecessary penalty.
So we start off 5 minutes into the game with the Oilers down by two. Teuvo Teravainen has both of them including one on the first shot of the game and it’s looking real bad. All caught up? Good because the Oilers are getting on the Power Play to add to their shot total of one.
It’s nothing special, the first unit keeps the puck in the attacking zone but doesn’t score. That 2nd unit goes out there and looks like the kind of powerplay that has Kris Russell quarterbacking it. It’s bad, they don’t score but it’s still only 2-0.
If anyone happens to see Darnell Nurse around town, please buy the man a cake. He has a lot of icing to go around. It’s been three times this game.
Zack Kassian takes a penalty with two minutes left on a serious horseshit call. It’s called interference despite Zack really being less than a second late.
Elias Lindholm scores on the ensuing powerplay to end the period. It’s 3-0 Hurricanes and this game is starting to feel like the Senators game the other day.
This also leaves me a great opportunity to talk about something non-hockey related. I used horseshit instead of bullshit in this instance because although many people use them interchangeably, they’re actually very different words.
Bullshit is used for situations where someone is saying something that just isn’t true. A good example of this would be: “Kris Russell is worth 4 million dollars per season for 4 years”. He’s not, we all know he’s not, and anyone who makes that claim is committing the act of bullshit.
Horseshit is used for situations where someone is describing a real scenario that you wish was a lie. It’s a lot more defeatist. An example of horseshit would be when Kris Russell actually got a 4 year contract worth 4 million per year. Anyway, back to the game.
Much, much better effort here. The Oilers are controlling the play and getting lots of shots and scoring chances. To make it even better, Brad Malone is playing like a man on a mission. He’s really showing that he was cut too early in camp and that he’s a far better player than Jujhar Khaira. I fully support this being a permanent roster change. He gets slashed and the Oilers go to the powerplay.
Nothing exciting on the powerplay. A few shots, a few nots. no results.
The commentators mention that the Oilers lead the shot count 30-10 at this point. That’s pretty significant. The problem is that I don’t remember any really high quality scoring chances to this point. Sure there were a few decent looks where you would assume probability gives you more than we’re getting, but still. The 3 goals the Hurricanes scored looked like far better chances than what we’re getting. The Oilers don’t seem to give up many opportunities, but every single one they do give up is really high quality.
Remember the 2013 Leafs? They were constantly outshot by a wide margin but would get a few breakaways per game and bury a few goals. It was extremely unsustainable but despite not getting a lot of shots, they were winning games. Right now, we’re basically the opposite of the 2013 Leafs. That sounds like a good thing, but it also doesn’t feel like a good thing...
After more quality yet result-free hockey, the Hurricanes make a bad line changed and get called for too-many-men. This is the powerplay opportunity we so desperately need to get back in the game.
The Oilers start with the good powerplay unit. Milan Lucic throws it out front from behind the net, Kailer Yamamoto pokes at it and in the ensuing scramble, Mark Letestu puts it in the net. It’s 3-1 Oilers.
Overall, a really good period. If the Oilers ever learn that the game starts 10 minutes before they thin it does, they’ll win.
The Oilers come out flying once again. They seriouosly look really good right now. Cup Contender good. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins gets by a defender and is tripped. We get another powerplay. The Nuge looks a bit shaken up and goes to the dressing room. It’s worrisome because the last thing this team needs is another injury.
On the powerplay, a really bad thing happened. Oscar Klefbom is one of my favorite players but there is no justifying what he did. Lucic had the puck at the blueline, passed it to Klefbom and Klefbom basically stopped the puck, got out of the way and let Jordan Staal take off with it on a breakaway. As has been the case the past few games, we don’t get a big save when we really need one. Staal puts it low-glove and it’s 4-1 Hurricanes.
After the goal the Oilers send out the terrible powerplay line. Somehow, it works. Jussi Jokinen makes a beautiful slap pass to Ryan Strome who deflects the puck top shelf on Ward. 4-2 seems doable again. This is Cam Ward in net, after all.
Three minutes later it’s the second line coming into the zone hard. Ryan Strome passes the puck back to Lucic who wrists it past Ward. Ok, a one goal game. All the momentum is going the Oilers way and they’re desperate for another.
What I love about that goal is Ryan Strome being in a position to have a partial break. He’s a good three feet in front of his defender and has a clear lane to the net. Luckily, he recognizes that he’s not fast enough to make that play and immedately looks for another option in the trailing Lucic. Strome isn’t a great player, but I have to admire his self-awareness here. He knows he’s a tortoise and finds a way to beat the hare.
Instead, with Klefbom benched for his turnover, Russell and Adam Larsson have a miscue on a Carolina 3 on 2 break. No one picks up Slavin, he takes the pass from Staal and beats Brossoit on the backhand. 5-3 Canes.
The Oilers get a late powerplay, pull their goalie etc, nothing happens and the game leaves us fans extremely unsatisfied.
Final Score: Hurricanes-5 Oilers-3
- Kailer Yamamoto looked really good again tonight. If they cut him, I’m going to be very angry. He even hit a post with a one-timer.
- Is Connor McDavid injured? I’m not asking due to his alarming production lately, I still think that’s just bad luck. His play though, he’s controlling the puck, making passes and taking shots but there hasn’t been a “McDavid with speed!!” moment in a while. We are talking about a player who typically gets multiple breakaways per game here.
- There were no goals that you can blame Brossoitt for in isolation. Combined though — just like Cam Talbot against the Sens — we need a big save on occassion.
- We outshot the Canes 51-21, losing like this can’t last. I had the Kings penciled in as my ‘Corsi Cup’ winners as well as my draft lottery favorites this year, there’s a chance I should have been looking closer to home.