It's undoubtedly been a rough few games to swallow as the Oilers suddenly found themselves in a Wild Card spot after three straight losses, rudely overtaken by the surging Calgary Flames in a maddening stretch of hockey. Whereas nothing really clicked in those three matches, capped off by a hideous third period meltdown against the Habs on Sunday, everything seemed to be working as the offence found every way to score against a listless Stars team.
Again, again, again, again, again, again and again, the Oilers that scored four goals in their past three games found a way to pot seven in one game, making me wish at one point that they'd save some for later.
It felt like eating 92 Chicken McNuggets in one sitting, but no one is complaining; it has been a while since the Oilers have satisfyingly beat up on a team, and the Stars provided the perfect fodder for a confidence booster ahead of a crucial stretch of hockey. With ten games left in the season, this is the time to get hot, and if the plethora of goals in this match from seven different players managed to reignite the confidence of a few guys who really needed it, that's a boon that would be worth way more than the blowout score.
After a bit of a slow start, Benoit Pouliot (forget me not) got the Oilers started midway through the first with his first in twenty-nine games, and it was pretty much all Oilers from there on out. The Stars were only able to respond once early in the second to cut the lead to 3-1, but two more goals in that period continued to pad the lead and chased Antti Niemi, while the third period was just some easy breezy fun with Nuge and McDavid joining in on the fun.
It's important to note that the Stars actually won the Corsi battle in this game at 62-57. Make of that what you will, but it does say that Cam Talbot had himself another good game while the Stars goalies really did not. Another moment when we are reminded how fortunate we are for Dadbot.
Because there were so many Oilers goals, many of them very pretty, they will be laid out in list form for you to enjoy and revisit whenever you may feel sad about the Oilers or anything in life. Paired with a haiku.
1. Benoit Pouliot (Kassian)| 12:12, First Period (6th)
Benoit can you not
wait twenty-eight games before
scoring next time, bruh?
2. Oscar Klefbom (Lucic, Draisaitl)| 18:01, First Period (12th)
The thirteenth Klebomb.
Fifth amongst d-men for goals.
Not just a nice face.
3. Darnell Nurse | 2:06, Second Period (4th)
Darnell is beardless.
But his powers are still there.
Darnell is fearless.
4. David Desharnais (Slepyshev, Sekera) | 9:30, Second Period (6th)
Desharnais is fire.
Second goal in five games here,
Oilers up 4-1.
5. Patrick Maroon (Draisaitl) | 11:29, Second Period (22nd)
I'm telling you that
Patrick Maroon is a good
player, Craig Button.
6. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Lucic, Eberle) | 12:17, Third Period (14th)
Nuge wants in too, guys!
The soul patch is mystical
and so are his hands.
7. Connor McDavid (Maroon, Kassian) | 14:00, Third Period (24th)
Read that and smile for a sec.
Screw you, Patrick Kane.
Tonight's Good, Bad, and Ugly features song titles from the greatest Hip Hop/Country hybrid artist of all time- Cornell Iral Haynes Jr., better known to the world as Nelly. Enjoy.
The Fix: This game was a multi-pointer for a few player who really needed it. Leon Draisaitl, Milan Lucic and Zack Kassian each finished with two assists, and Patrick Maroon chipped in a goal and an assist himself.
Over and Over: Possibly overlooked in this game is the stellar play of Cam Talbot. He only had to make 22 stops, but there were a few scrambles in front early on where he was solid, allowing his team to pull ahead without having to look back once.
The Champ: The player with the highest CF% on the Oilers tonight was actually…Darnell Nurse. Not only did he pot his fourth goal tonight, he led the way with a 60.53% CF despite a 33% Zone Start, while simultaneously leading all skaters with 21:16 of ice time. Looks like he's back to the stellar form he was riding before he went down with injury. Matt Benning was not far behind with a +17/-15.
Iz U: You know what, Zack Kassian deserves an extra special shoutout. Not only did he get two assists, he led forwards in CF% while finishing with a team-high +4, chipping in three hits to cap off his sweet night.
Warrior: Oscar Klefbom got a puck in the throat in a very scary moment that set off prayer circles around the country for his health and well-being. Luckily, he re-emerged from the tunnel after being evaluated, but it's another reminder of how important good health will be down this crucial stretch. Prepare your voodoo rituals, everyone.
Get Like Me: Because I wouldn't want to be a Dallas Stars fan tonight, or this season.
Game in a Haiku
Tonight’s game was like
goal, goal, goal, goal, goal, goal, goal.
The Stars got one, too.