If you’ve been on the fence about Jesse Puljujarvi this season (and there’ve been quite a few reasons to be on the fence about a lot of things this year), Saturday night’s three point performance ought to leave you feeling a lot better about the 2016
third fourth overall pick.
Puljujarvi had a goal and two assists en route to Edmonton’s 5-2 victory over the Canucks. There’s a very long hill to climb for the Oilers if they’re anywhere near serious about the playoffs, and Saturday’s victory was a nice little first step.
Hey, the goals. The Oilers got five of them. This doesn’t happen nearly enough, so let’s take a look at ‘em
The Oilers get on the board early when Jake Virtanen gives me a Cam Barker flashback. Connor McDavid picks Virtanen’s pocket like the claw machine picks out a stuffed bear. Virtanen can’t recover, McDavid serves up the appetizer and Pat Maroon drives it home for a 1-0 lead. More please.
Jujhar Khaira’s eighth of the season is almost as pretty as Pat Maroon’s goal.
Yes, that’s Jujhar Khaira out there with Jesse Puljujarvi and Leon Draisaitl. With two minutes left in the first, Khaira’s tally puts the Oilers up by two. This goal is his eighth of the season and fifteenth point, a nice backhand from Jesse Puljujarvi. I’ve got a lot of time for Khaira on my roster, especially when he’s doin’ the deed like he is here. Khaira’s got another year on his deal at less than a million dollars, and it didn’t cost Jordan Eberle to get him. What’s not to love?
Oilers up 2-0 at the end of one! WE’RE GOING STREAKING!
Vancouver would tie it up in early in the second. You will not be surprised to learn that the Oilers were on the penalty kill when Daniel Sedin scored his eleventh of the year on a tip from Alex Edler. The penalty kill continues to be a constant source of frustration for the Oilers, the Canucks were 1/3 on the night. Brandon Sutter would make it 2-all at the nine minute mark when he received a beautiful pass from Sven Baertschi. You could hear the air coming out of the tires by this point. Fortunately, fix-a-flat showed up quick.
A great way to go the dressing room is to score a goal just before you go to the dressing room. That’s what we have here as Jesse Puljujarvi snaps up a rebound to put the Oilers back on top. Did I mention that the Oilers need to win this game in order to keep their slim playoff hopes alive? Good. Because they needed to win this game. This is Puljujarvi’s second point of the night, his ninth goal of the year. Glad the Oilers decided to hire him an English teacher already. Maybe this one’ll stick.
Oilers up 3-2 after two. Takin’ it to the bank.
Like gleaming spires on a bright Sunday morning, the Oilers returned to the ice looking to end this one with the good guys on top. Fans didn’t have to wait too long for Leon Draisaitl to put away the Oilers’ fourth goal of the night.
Okay now do this 90 more times this year. Perfect pass, perfect shot. Need more of this in my life. Also if the Oilers can play against Vancouver’s defence more often, I’d like that.
Pat Maroon would ice it for the Oilers late in the third with an empty netter. The Oilers are victorious! They scored five goals! Vancouver scored just two! They’re only two games from .500! Three wins in a row! They did it without Ryan Nugent-Hopkins! The Flames lost! Dreams do come true!
- MORE PLEASE: Three points for Puljujarvi, six total shots. Had a minute and a half on the power play, thirteen and change even strength. Might be due for another minute or two out there.
- Ryan Strome is struggling badly. He hasn’t had a point in nearly a month (27 December) and was unable to break that streak with 3+ minutes on the power play last night. What do you do here?
- Oilers have hired Paul Coffey as a skills development coach. My first thought is yes, it’s a complete Boys on The Bus move. I’m also willing to keep an open mind about this hire, and I hope it does some good. Skills and development? Can I suggest the penalty kill, the power play, and keeping Kris Russell on his feet for the entire duration of the ride.
- Oilers face off against Buffalo on Tuesday. The Sabres were blown out 7-1 on their home ice yesterday afternoon and are competing for the worst record in the league with Arizona. With ten points separating Edmonton from a wild card berth, it’s a game they can’t afford to lose.