After four consecutive losses on the road that included an 8-3 drubbing at the hands of the St. Louis Blues the night prior, the Edmonton Oilers cruised to a 6-2 victory at Little Caesars Arena over the Detroit Red Wings. Normally, I’d take a minute to assess the strength of the opponent and whether or not this victory meant something for the Oilers, but like the Vegas game, it doesn’t matter who they beat so long as they’re winning. The club is desperate for points right now, and a 6-2 victory in Detroit holds off the vultures long enough for another game.
The Oilers found themselves on the penalty kill just seven minutes into the first period. The penalty kill is probably the worst thing going for the Oilers right now (it’s ranked 29th overall), and Tomas Tatar took a blast from ten feet in front of Cam Talbot to make it 1-0.
Darnell Nurse scored a goal in garbage time versus the Blues on Tuesday. He’d tie the score up shortly after Tatar’s goal by throwing it in front of the net while Lucic used his body to cause general confusion in front of Wings goalie Jimmy Howard. Can’t stop what you can’t see, and it’s 1-all midway through the first.
Patrick Maroon and Niklas Kronwall would trade goals in the first period, the OIlers and Red Wings would be tied at 2 after 20 minutes of play. Maybe they can wrangle a point or two out of Detroit after all.
Jujhar Khaira, Mark Letestu and Drake Caggiula each had goals for the Oilers. McDavid hit up Drake Caggiula for the Oilers’ fifth goal of the game, the goal was reminiscent of a goal that happened just a few nights ago in Dallas.
Nothing good has come from the Jordan Eberle trade, at least from the Oilers’ point of view. That is, maybe McDavid / Caggiula can become a thing. Maybe there’s a long line of inexpensive players who can score 20 goals a season when teamed up with McDavid. That would be a nice luxury for the organization to have.
With Khaira, Letestu and Caggiula’s tallies, the OIlers would end up with a 5-2 lead heading into the third. Jesse Puljujarvi would score his second goal of the year on a one-timer from Ryan Strome (who had two points!), and the Oilers would take this one from Detroit by a 6-2 score.
Good. Felt good on TV, it had to feel even better on the ice.
- Two more assists for McDavid tonight. He’s got 28 points (10-18-28) in 22 games. Is it time to put the ‘body language’ tweets in the rearview yet? (Yes, but they frustrate me, so I’ll probably bring them up two or three more times.)
- Other members of the two-assist club tonight: Ryan Strome, Yohann Auvitu. If there’s another night this year where I say those two names next to each other, I can’t imagine why.
- The Red Wings managed just 22 shots, but Cam Talbot turned away 20 of them en route to a W. Talbot’s had some good games, and some...not so good games so far this year. Getting the yank after yielding 2 of 3 in St. Louis surely wasn’t his best.
- The Oilers had to, had to, had to have this win tonight. They’ll swing by Buffalo on Friday to see if they can pick those 5% playoff odds up a little bit. Another game like tonight, and they could be into the double digits by the weekend.