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Recap: Wild 4 vs Oilers 3

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Special teams sink us

NHL: Minnesota Wild at Edmonton Oilers Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

As October comes to a close, Halloween is on the horizon. It’s a holiday that I’m not particularly thrilled with, it’s alright for kids going door-to-door, but as an Adult, it’s never been my thing.

Even by the time I was 13, I found that it overshadowed a much more entertaining part of the year — Parent-Teacher interviews. I love looking back on those and how they played out. My Mom and I would go to it. My Mom hated it. She wouldn’t bother going if the teachers didn’t request it... every single year, but they did, so we would get to sit there and listen to teachers make a huge deal about things that aren’t a big deal to anyone else in society. The most memorable moment of these would be when one went out of her way to tell my Mom about me chasing a kid through the computer lab with a chair over my head. My Mom played it cool, and managed to keep a straight face until we got back to the car afterwards, and proceeded to laugh our asses off all the way home.

Parents, I don’t know how you do it. You have to sit there and listen to all non-issues being turned into issues because teachers don’t want to deal with it. They try to make it your problem, but if we’re being honest, I am not sure how you manage not to laugh in their faces or ask them rhetorically who gives a shit?

Whether it’s riding a bike across the parking lot, talking in class, or not doing homework, it’s funny to look back at all these non-issues that certain teachers consider to be criminal activity that must be reported to parents immediately.

Like some teachers, there are certain coaches that act this way in the NHL. They’ll have a perfectly capable player, sometimes even one who is already good and doing his best, and they’ll make up some non-issues like bad turnovers, doesn’t listen, doesn’t fit the culture, needs to be held back, or some other form of vague complete crap excuses that really don’t do a very good job of hiding the reality that they just don’t like a certain player. They’ll slap him in the equivalent of detention for four games (and counting) and try and force the GM to move the player.

In parent-teacher interviews, it gets interesting when parents tells the teacher that they don’t give a rat’s ass, and that they’re going to have to make it work. I wonder if we get something similar here where a coach is making things up and spouting false statements about a player that the GM is refusing to trade or send down. I guess we’ll find out. In the meantime, I’ll recap the hockey game.

1st Period:

It takes less than a minute into the game for Connor McDavid to get his first of many chances. He takes the pass from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, splits the defense and gets a backhand off. Alex Stalock makes the save.

Talbot makes a couple of big saves in the next few minutes. The Oilers were sustaining possession most of the time but but giveaways by each of Oscar Klefbom and Connor McDavid send Wild players in for good chances. See, really good players who have the puck a lot inherently turn it over on occasion. Every start player does it on occasion.

Six minutes into the game, Greg Pateryn gets his stick up high on Milan Lucic and we have our first Oilers powerplay.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t very good, but at the end of it the Oilers were getting all sorts of chances in tight. McDavid had about five shots in the crease before it squeaked out to Klefbom at the point. Klefbom gets it to RNH who was able to poke it over to Leon Draisaitl. Draisaitl put it into the wide-open net with authority. The real kind of authority, not the teacher kind.

The Oilers had a really good few minutes after the goal, they were buzzing all over. They couldn’t make it a 2-0 game, but it was nice to see.

Just past the twelve minute mark, Ryan Strome slashes Eric Staal, and the Wild are off to the powerplay.

The Oilers failed to kill the penalty, and Zach Parise scores his fourth of the year. This penalty killing issue may become a theme. I also can’t help but wonder why Matt Benning and Jason Garrison were out on this particular play.

The Oilers had one more powerplay, and didn’t score, before the period ended in a 1-1 tie.

2nd Period:

Our first good chance happens about two minutes in where the offensively-limited Adam Larsson rings one of thee cross bar. Would have been real nice for that one to go in.

We get a boring few minutes right before McDavid with speed comes down the side, blows by Ryan Suter, and roofs a beauty over Stalock. Watching McDavid do whatever he wants will never get old.

Shortly after McDavid’s brilliance, Minnesota’s Jordan Greenway high-sticks Caggiula and we’re off to the powerplay.

On this powerplay, Kailer Yamamoto uses his incredible ability to force teams to take penalties as Matt Dumba slashes his stick in half. We only get 20 seconds of 5-on-3, but this would be a great time to extend the lead.

We don’t, and the powerplay didn’t look all that good in the process.

After that, the man-to-man defense this coach insists works, has a huge breakdown and Jared Spurgeon sneaks into the slot to beat Cam Talbot. 2-2.

Took less than a minute for Alex Chiasson to continue this unexpected scoring steak he’s been on to deflect a Benning shot into the Wild net. 3-2.

Just as it looked we’d be going into the break with a lead, Darnell Nurse gets called for holding. Again, the Oilers can’t kill the penalty. Eric Staal scores to knot the game at three.

3rd Period:

We actually had a really exciting game going on until the third period took place. It was chance after chance for each side, with Edmonton getting most, but then this period came in and ruined that.

Despite only being tied, the Oilers seemed to turtle a little bit, they still had shots, but there were long stretches between scoring chances this frame.

13 minutes into the frame, Drake Caggiula gets called for interfering with Nino Niederreiter sending the Wild to the powerplay.

Again, we couldn’t kill it. Mikael Granlund walks in and puts a perfect shot past Cam Talbot. Ugh.

We pull the goalie and the three centers have some good chances at the end, but it’s no good. Wild win 4-3

Notes:

  • Play Puljujarvi. Just do it. There’s reason to believe he might be better on Connor’s wing that Draisaitl has ever been there. Does that sound like a bad thing?
  • Cam Talbot is going to need to play better. He made good saves, but he can’t be letting in four goals.
  • The powerplay is going to need to be a lot better than that.
  • The Penalty Kill needs to be even better than the powerplay needs to be.
  • Have we seen enough Benning-Garisson yet?
  • There are a few other players who could use some accountability
  • In case I wasn’t clear in my intro, parents out there, go ahead and openly tell teachers if you are not concerned with what they’re telling you to be concerned with. It saves everyone time.
  • Draisaitl put up two points, and has now played his 2nd quality game of the year
  • Next game is Thursday