The Oilers marched into Winnipeg to take on the Jets. No one was very confident going into this game, the Oilers had only one win on the season, and they didn’t look all that convincing earning it. Maybe this game in Manitoba would be the chance for the Oilers to answer some questions. Whether you were looking to confirm your theory that this team can’t win games, or you were looking for a spark of what this team could be, this might be the game to make a statement.
It would take just over four minutes before we got to see a major problem develop. The Oilers got pinned in their own end, Leon Draisaitl and Matt Benning each lost their coverage, Benning tried to cover for Draisaitl by leaving his man and Adam Lowry beat Cam Talbot to put the Jets on the board.
Less than three minutes later, a very similar sequence took place. This time it was Jason Garrison turning the puck over, and then he and Benning running around unable to do anything but panic and take themselves out of position. Cam Talbot did make a great initial save, but Adam Lowry squeaked home his own rebound, for his second of the night.
Just passed the the midpoint of the period, Dmitry Kulikov tripped up Ryan Strome and sent the Oilers to the Powerplay.
The Oilers struggled to get much going on their powerplay setup, but luckily Connor McDavid was able to get into the zone ahead of everyone by just doing what he does. He gets the Oilers on the board, and I can use a Gif.
That’s Connor continuing to show that whether he likes it or not, he’s a team in the National Hockey League.
However, it would only take 20 seconds afterwards for Ben Chiarot to get the Jets their two goal lead back. And that’s how the period would end.
The Jets would start the period on the powerplay after an Oilers Too Many Men penalty at the end of the first. On that powerplay, Mark Scheifele made it count by burying a Patrik Laine rebound.
I’ll be honest, I assumed that this was going to be game and that the Oilers would continue working their way towards a 48-point-season. I didn’t take many notes for the rest of this period. You might be saying that that’s lazy and uncommitted, but you know what? When I see a game that looks about as coordinated as a harem of Seals fighting over beach ball, I have to prioritize my health over writing a proper assessment.
The frame ended 4-1.
Connor McDavid brings the puck into the zone, across the slot and either fans on his shot, or pulls the sneakiest play known to man to leave it for Ty Rattie to roof over Connor Hellebuyck and into the net. Just watch the gif.
This is a game early in the season, and not in the Olympics but remember when Mario Lemieux let Paul Kariya score this goal in Salt Lake City? People still argue about whether or not that was intentional. If this were on a bigger stage, and in a more important game, this would be argued about for decades too.
Regardless, Connor is the best player in the world, we all know that. I’m not falling for this though, scoring a quick early goal in the third is fun, but I didn’t see enough in the first three games to have any reason to believe this team is capable of coming back. Not even with McDavid.
Almost immediately after Rattie’s goal, Andrew Copp get called for Holding on Drake Caggiula. But I’ve seen the Oilers powerplay before, there’s no reason to be getting excited.
Ok, so Connor scored again. It’s 4-3 now, but I still can’t bring myself to thinking this is going to result in something other that disappointment. I am intrigued, my heart is beating a bit too fast now, but I just can’t.
The Oilers start playing really well. Matt Benning and Jason Garrison haven’t been on the ice in a really long time, Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse, and Adam Larsson are all moving the puck well while the Jets try and hang on. Even Kris Russell isn’t hurting. If we played this way all night, we’d probably be leading. We didn’t though, and even with this much time left, scoring one goal just doesn’t seem to be the kind of things that happen to us.
There it is, Milan Lucic gets called for charging without actually doing any charging. We know what’s going to happen, out penalty kill will be awful, and the Jets will score. Or.... Maybe it actually looks pretty good. Leon Draisaitl and Kailer Yamamoto even created a two-on-one. No chance came of it because the Jets have really good defenders, but y’know, we don’t look like a bunch of losers right now.
Jesse Puljujarvi ties it. No joke, he was on the ice with McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for only a few seconds and the puck makes it into the net. Maybe we should give these things more of a chance.
Ok, we have to get points in this game. Connor McDavid has four of them, and continues being in on every Oilers goal, we can’t waste an effort like that. But there’s a lot of time left.
The Oilers held on, had a lot more possession in the third and this game is going to overtime.
This is where the Oilers might never lose a game, they have enough good players to easily ice three lines that are better than the other teams’. It’s just getting it to this extra frame that’s going to be a struggle.
The Oilers controlled play the entire time McDrai was on the ice, then as they went for a change, Darnell Nurse took off with the puck and won the game.
McDavid did not have an assist on that goal. First time this season.
- What do we think of this? On one hand we looked bad through forty, and that’s alarming. On the other, we managed a great comeback and finished a tough road trip 2-2. Whether or not we dominated any games, that’s about as well as we could have expected.
- Connor McDavid had two goals and two assists. Enough with these Auston Matthews comparisons. It’s not close.
- RNH quietly had three points.
- Two RWs scored. We were starting to wonder when that would happen.
- The McBlender came out again, but it was a good smoothie. More ice time and opportunity for Puljujarvi to mesh with Rieder and Draisaitl. Yamamoto looked good with Strome and Lucic. Those aren’t the lines I’ve been begging for, but I liked the results.
- Cam Talbot did what he could. He was hung out to dry so badly by a few of the goals that got by him, I can’t blame him.
- Let’s not dress Garrison any more.
- We got the win. There were still evident problems, but a win is a win, and that was a really fun comeback.