In the National Hockey League, slight stick taps to the hands are considered especially heinous. The dedicated group who handle these vicious violations are known as the Referees. These are their stories:
The Oilers looked fairly determined to dump their scoring issues, unfortunately though, Dallas also also came prepared. The teams exchanged a few shots until Marc Methot tripped a streaking McDavid and sent the Oilers to the powerplay.
The Oilers looked good on this powerplay. It was nice seeing that they left the first unit on the ice for the entirety of the two minutes again. The Oilers looked pretty good here but did not put the puck in the net.
Six minutes later, Ryan Strome showed off his speed and was left no choice but to trip Radek Faksa. This call is pretty questionable upon replay, but as you’ll soon see, that it was one of the better calls of the night.
The Oilers killed off the powerplay quite easily. As the penalty expires, Leon Draisaitl got the puck out of the zone to hit Strome as he’s exiting the box. Now for most players, this is a pretty good shot at a breakaway. Ryan Strome knows that he is not most players and sends a beautiful backhand pass to McDavid coming in. McDavid gets the inside edge on the defender, drives it to the net and roofs it on Ben Bishop trying to make a poke-check. It’s a fantastic goal.
Beyond the Oilers having a lead for the first time in 600 years, my favorite part of this goal is how Strome ended up being the 4th player to the slot. He is magnificently slow. Also, because we won this game, I have Gifs.
We managed to hold that lead for a whopping one minute and three seconds before Jamie Benn reminded us that we do not hold leads. Alexander Radulov can’t get by Darnell Nurse to the front of the net but he can get it to Benn. Benn casually skates past Eric Gryba to get net-front presence, takes the pass and puts it by Talbot. It’s not a bad goal to give up but it’s really something you’d like to see not happen.
The teams keep the pressure on each other for the next 8 minutes. This is a really fun game but it’s hard to appreciate because of how badly we need a win here.
With less than a minute remaining in the period and the Oilers buzzing, Nurse passes it to Patrick Maroon, Maroon throws it to Draisaitl in the slot and it’s in the net. The puck didn’t actually make it to Leon, it hit a Dallas defender’s skate and redirected past Bishop. These are the kind of goals that should be going in almost every game. Reinforcing how much luck has to do with our 4.9 shot%.
We take a lead into the break and I’m feeling pretty good about this. All we have to do is get a few saves, kill some time and maybe get one or two more goals just for fun.
We start out with Mark Letestu taking a tripping penalty on Faksa. This one is pretty blatant so there’s no question it was a penalty. The first penalty was killed pretty easily, the Oilers looked good killing it off and we got a goal right after. What could go wrong?
Well, how about a bunch of Oilers playing a game of swarm and leaving Radulov wide open on the right side? He one-times a feed from Seguin and goes water bottle on Talbot. This might have been one of the worst attempts of killing a penalty I’ve seen this year.
Thirteen minutes into the frame, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Kris Russell and Milan Lucic get a 3 on 2 break. RNH takes the puck across the line, passed it to the trailing Russell. Russell misses the net but it takes a nice bounce off the boards and goes to Nuge who finishes it off. 2-1 Oilers.
With just under 5 minutes to go in the period, Drake Caggiula puts his stick where it doesn’t belong on Brett Ritchie, it’s not a great call but you know how they’re calling it this year. Back to the PK. Hopefully it looks better than the last one (Spoiler: it doesn’t).
Radulov is left open in the exact same place he scored from this entire powerplay but that’s not what ultimately lead to Dallas tying the game. Mark Letestu is overtly high-sticked twice in the faceoff circle. As he’s trying to make sure his face isn’t broken the puck comes to Benn who puts the puck in the net. I’m not going to say that the Oilers played well on this PK, but that has to be a penalty. That was a blown call on the part of the zebras. Game is knotted at 3 going into the 3rd.
The 3rd period starts off with good pace but this is where the refs start making a spectacle of themselves. They call Connor McDavid for no good reason, then they call Tyler Seguin for no good reason but neither teams scores.
Jujhar Khaira, the perennial passenger, makes an appearance. I don’t have a gif for this play but you’d really have to see it to know how bad it was. He takes the puck in the neutral zone, casually skates back into his own zone, loses it, and Darnell Nurse hooks Tyler Seguin to keep him from scoring another goal. It really is a shame that Nurse gets a minor on his stat sheet here. That wasn’t his fault at all.
Dallas goes on the powerplay. Radulov was again open the whole time, and yet he wasn’t part of the equation. Esa Lindell scores. You know where this is going. The Oilers are down 4-3 in the third and can’t score this season.
Hold that thought. Two minutes after what I assumed to be the back breaking goal against, the Nuge takes care of it. He grabs the puck in the high slot, throws it through traffic and finds twine. Again, these are not as great of chances we’ve had in previous games, they’re just going in. Tie game, hopefully we can get a point.
Surprisingly, the Oilers keep attacking. Nurse gets the puck to Draisailt, he gets it to Benning at the point and it’s in the Dallas net. We have a lead with just over 2 minutes left. We might actually get a regulation win.
Dallas pulls the goalie. Doesn’t matter.
- Gotta hand it to Kris Russell here. He’s my favorite whipping boy but he had an outstanding game. I haven’t checked any of the fancy stats but the eye-test says he was on the ice for a lot more offense than shot-blocking tonight. Keep it up!
- Darnell Nurse. I’m so happy he’s finally looking like the player we thought we drafted. Another good game for him.
- Why are we worried about whether someone would pick Jujhar Khaira off waivers? They’d be doing us a favor. He’s not a good player and he doesn’t belong in the NHL.
- I don’t want to hear anyone making the connection between scratching Kailer Yamamoto and winning tonight. The two are not related.
- The Officiating was a disgrace. Between missed calls, bad calls and losing control of the game, they had it all. I sincerely hope they re-watch the game and come back better next time.
- Draisaitl had 3 assists. Earning his contract.
- Let’s keep up the wins, we need em.
I also managed to find some footage of the Oilers reasoning with their scoring issues: