It was an average Saturday night where I order a pizza and prepare for my usual Dateline: Saturday Night Mystery. As I get into my groove, it becomes clear that I will have to write a recap on a game that I did not watch. How will I do it? Will I be able to recruit outside help?
If anyone is watching the Oilers game tonight, please DM me some observations as it's going. I give citations.— Patrick Olsen (@PatrickOlsen21) September 24, 2017
The game in question occurred at 7pm mountain time in Edmonton, the capital of Alberta. Edmonton is a cold prairie town infested with mosquitoes, it’s the kind of place you would visit if you were looking to make an acquaintance with a moose. Hockey had no business being there until a few years ago, surely nothing could go wrong with the Jets in town...
Jesse Puljujarvi was playing to prove his doubters wrong. Suiting him up next to McDavid would be a sure-fire way to get his offense going. If he wanted to stay in the lineup long term he would have to put up some tangible numbers. The Oilers dressing half of an NHL roster should indubitably accomplish that.
The Jets were icing every single player willing to be in Edmonton on a Saturday night without being paid to do so, and the lineup had flaws. There were but 4 NHL skaters on that roster setting up an easy win for the Oilers. But...
Michael Spacek opens the scoring less than 5 minutes in on the power play. The Assists go to Nic Petan and Brendan Lemieux. I don’t know anything about Petan but I do have an interesting aside about Lemieux. He’s Claude Lemieux’s son and on Claude’s wikipedia page, it specifically points out that he is of no relation to Mario Lemieux. The reason this is interesting is because I once met a man with the last name who claimed to be related to both. I want to get to the bottom of this but I suppose that mystery should be left to another day. That’s not for a Saturday night mystery like this game.
Luckily, almost immediately after the Jets took the lead, the Oilers were able to not only tie it, but also take the lead. The first goal was Jussi Jokinen from Matt Benning while the second one was Brad Malone from Patrick Russell. I’m not sure I really needed to specify which Russell is capable of getting an assist on a goal from an AHL player, but just to leave no doubts, it’s not Kris Russell.
#Oilers tied it up on Jokinen's deflection! pic.twitter.com/3GMGxhKLAd— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) September 24, 2017
Then took the lead 17 seconds later courtesy Malone! pic.twitter.com/CfpwWcL7u4— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) September 24, 2017
9 Penalties were called in the First Period. This includes a call on Jujhar Khaira for fighting as well as a misconduct. That’s something I wouldn’t have expected to see regardless of whether or not I watched the game.
Coming up: The 2nd period doesn’t go as planned, and what about Jesse Puljujarvi trying to get some points on the board? We’ll find out after the commercial break.
JC Lipon ties it up at two with assists from Dustin Byfuglien and Michael Hutchinson. You know you’re having a good period when names like that show up on the score sheet. I’m picturing Byfuglien being the only player on the ice that intentionally had anything to do with that goal.
People seemed to agree that this summed up the rest of the frame:
Oilers have been playing like shit all period— OilLeak (@OilLeak26) September 24, 2017
Brad Malone had a couple penalties, Patrick Maroon got one for standing up to Byfuglien for hitting McDavid. Beyond that, we can probably just pretend the period didn’t happen.
When we return: Shouldn’t Malone redeem himself for those penalties? And why aren’t the Oilers leading by four goals against the jets? Doesn’t McDavid have speed? Oh that pesky speed...
The Oilers start out with a 5 on 3 powerplay. They don’t score on it but it allegedly looked really good.
Ryan Strome is no longer on the first line and a young Finnish player takes his place. He makes a hand-off to McDavid and, well...
THE CAPTAIN MAKES IT HAPPEN! pic.twitter.com/HFqhorAeHw— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) September 24, 2017
Connor does what he does best, flies around a defenseman and makes a goalie try and get from one side of the net to the other faster than he can. 3-2 Oilers. Dillon Simpson had the other assist.
After Brendan Lemieux gets called for interference on Cam Talbot the Oilers head to the power play. Mark Letestu throws what appears to be a harmless dump into the corner but it didn’t play out so harmless to the Jets. The puck bounces off the boards and lands perfectly on Puljujarvi’s stick. He beat Hutchinson with a clean wrist shot and it’s 4-2 Oilers.
Even if that’s a lucky goal, it’s encouraging to see that JP is in a dangerous spot in case something like that happens. Better still is that he now has two points in this game. The race between him and Yamamoto just heated up tremendously.
Four minutes after that, Brad Malone scores his 2nd of the night. This is kind of alarming because I want Puljujarvi to justify his making the team this year but I don’t want Brad Malone to make it. Is there a way to discredit Brad Malone on this play? Caleb Jones and Chris Kelly had the assists.
Make it #Oilers goals! pic.twitter.com/Qck311iggr— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) September 24, 2017
Four minutes after that (How many times have I said that? Is this whole game in 4 minute intervals? I definitely could have caught all the action given that Dateline has a commercial every 4 minutes.) Jesse Puljujarvi gets his 2nd of the night and 3rd point of the evening. See, I didn’t have to discredit Brad Malone, I can just point out that Puljujarvi scored more than him. Problem solved. I actually had to watch this gif four times to ensure that it wasn’t just a different angle of his first goal.
Another look at @Jpuljujarvi's second of the game! pic.twitter.com/OU4LlThVdj— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) September 24, 2017
And that’s a wrap. Oilers win 6-2 McDavid has speed, Puljujarvi isn’t yet a bust and Winnipeg can’t beat the Oilers with their ECHL players and better than Vancouver could. Oilers went 1/6 on the powerplay and killed 5/7 penalties of their own.
I’d like to see the special teams improve for the next game but a win is a win. Even if it doesn’t count for anything.
I’ll definitely need you guys to discuss the game in the comments below because I’m sure I left a ton of action out. There is only so much you can know from watching a game sheet.
Giant Edit: I thought the game was in Winnipeg and ran with it. I missed the giant Oilers logo, Edmonton based ads on the boards and the fans celebrating the goals. All were available in the gifs shared. I made a joke about Winnipeg and now that joke is about Edmonton. Sorry guys, I’ll never recap another game without watching it and taking my usual notes. Pretty sure I would have noticed where it was playing had that been the case. This is a personal apology. And please, feel free to never let me hear the end of it.