Maybe you’re superstitious, maybe you’re religious, maybe you just think it’s a coincidence, but every now and again, there seems to be universal sign where you can predict the future. Today, I had one of those. I saw the Pittsburgh Steelers dress a roster full of backups against the 0-15 Cleveland Browns. I knew the second I saw that, that the Browns were losing the game and going 0-16, becoming only the second NFL team to go an entire season without winning. I knew right then and there that I was going to be using that fact to console Oilers fans after a terrible loss on home ice. The Steelers delivered, so did the Oilers.
- We’ll start 180 seconds into the game. The Oilers have a major breakdown with Matt Benning being on the wrong side of a 3-on-1 in deep. Marko Dano finishes off a pass to the back of the net play, and it’s 1-0 Winnipeg.
- Mathieu Perreault rings one off the post a minute later. We’re really not looking good here.
- Connor McDavid to Jesse Puljujarvi to Milan Lucic to a missed net.
- Matt Benning gives the puck away twice in one shift, the second time to Blake Wheeler in the slot and it’s 2-0
- Anton Slepyshev is on the Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Strome line for this game. Strome now becomes F2... that’s weird
- The Jets are controlling the play here, big time.
- Tyler Myers crosschecks Drake Cagguila and we get a powerplay for the last two minutes of the period.
- We don’t score, 2-0 after one.
- Maroon steals the puck in the neutral zone, drives into the Jets’ zone and gets high-sticked. Back to the powerplay.
- The Jets get a lot of chances on our disaster of a powerplay but no one scores.
- McLellan has now decided to re-unite the Maroon-McDavid-Draisaitl line in an effort to get something going.
- Ryan Strome is now with Slepyshev and Cagguila. He’s also now F3. It seems like just yesterday I was writing about how much better he is at F1...
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins gets called for holding and we get to see how working on the PK all day yesterday helped us.
- It didn’t. We make the occasional box but still make the L-formation and leave the weak side winger wide open. Patrick Laine shoots, Kyle Connor tips, it’s 3-0
- Strome is still F3 despite terrible plays. He can’t get back to defend on time — because he’s slow — and the Jets get a scoring chance the other way.
- With 2.5 seconds left in the period, the Jets make it 4-0 thanks to Strome and Benning doing terrible work in their own end.
- I don’t know, I didn’t watch it.
- Apparently the Jets scored again to make it 5-0
- There is no reason to use Strome like that again. This is square-peg, round-hole stuff. That’s terrible usage by McLellan
- Every Oiler had a terrible game, no one was good. Matt Benning had an exceptionally terrible game. I have no idea why he stops skating in his own end but there are multiple times where it’s the difference of winning or losing a battle to the net. Also, those giveaways were brutal.
- The penalty kill looked worse than ever.
- The Powerplay looked even worse than that.
- One last pet peeve. I have no problem with fans wanting Chiarelli fired for making the team worse, making bad trades, making bad signings, etc. But when you’re using a game like this as confirmation for your beliefs, it doesn’t make you an astute forecaster, it makes you an idiot. Not a single player played up to par tonight, Not Drai, not Klefbom, not even McDavid. That is not on the GM no matter how much you want it to be. Lets also not act like that didn’t happen with Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle here. If you want to criticize the GM, be my guest, I might even join in. That being said, there are a lot of reasonable things to criticize him for, this game is not one of those.
- Happy New Years, Everyone! Maybe we’ll start being good again next year.