I was going to start this recap with something unrelated that made me mad the other day, instead, I ended up taking way too many notes; So, I’m going to just jump right into the game coverage for a change.
It took less than a minute before the first powerplay opportunity — St. Louis gets called for too many men. This really would be a great way to start with a goal here.
Instead, only one good chance by the big guns, and the powerplay ends. A thought I had here is, would it make sense for the opposition to intentionally take a penalty? I know no coach would ever do that — risk averse and all — but what if knowing the Oilers lineup is fairly weak, and Connor McDavid still a bit sick, a team takes the risk to kill the penalty gassing McDavid and have a free crack five on five against a weaker roster? Am I completely crazy with this thought?
Anyway, just after the powerplay ends, it’s our old friend Patrick Maroon with a good chance. He gets the puck in the low slot, and luckily for us, puts it over the net and out of play.
Six minutes into the game, a harmless looking dump in gets completely mishandled by Darnell Nurse and Kris Russell, Oskar Sundqvist corrals the puck, sends it in front to Ivan Barbashev who beats Cam Talbot clean. Not a great first goal against.
It would only get worse for the Oilers for the next 6 minutes. The Blues controlled all the play and had many of chances as the Oilers looked slow and confused. This would take us to a commercial break, and I was really hoping that it would spark some better play.
It did not. Almost instantly after the break ended, Brayden Schenn makes Talbot pay for Russell and Nurse’s blown coverage this time. 2-0 Blues.
I was hoping those two defenders would take a seat for a few minutes. Unfortunately, they blew coverage again on the very next shift. This time however, Cam Talbot was able to keep the puck out, and prevent a three goal deficit.
With three minutes left to play in what may be the worst period of hockey the Oilers have played in the Ken Hitchcock era, Patrick Russell does his best effort to help the Oilers lose. He trips Vince Dunn, and sends the Blues to the man-advantage.
The Oilers kill the Penalty, the Blues take one of their own, the Oilers don’t score, and the period ends 2-0.
If they’re going to play like that for the next two frames, this could be a very long night.
After three minutes, things are looking much better. The Oilers showed up and started getting some good chances, moving their feet, and playing as a team.
A minute later, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins gets the good guys on the board.
He took the pass from Nurse, got a few cracks at it and beats Jake Allen up high. Now that we’re on the board, we might have a game on our hands.
Close one shortly after that, Alex Chiasson commits a brutal giveaway to Zach Sanford. He takes the shot, Talbot kicks it away.
About a minute later, we had our game changing moment. Matt Benning pushes Vladimir Tarasenko into Talbot, Talbot goes down, and the puck ends up in the Oilers net. The result is that the ref called Tarasenko for goalie interference, he’s going to the box, we’re going to the powerplay, and the goal doesn’t count.
The refs definitely blew that call, but I do not feel the slightest bit guilty after the pad-grab in the playoffs. Sometimes they go our way too.
On the powerplay, the Oilers had a lot of good looks but no one could buy a goal.
It seemed to inspire them a bit though, they kept flying for the next few minutes racking up all sorts of shots. The team is actually looking pretty damn good now. They actually managed to tie the shot count, and that’s pretty impressive given that we were down by 10 at the end of the first.
Right near the end of the period, Cam Talbot has to stand tall again and kick away a few high-quality shots from in tight. It’s not a great way to end the period, that easily could have ended up with us down by two again. Instead, the Oilers take a one goal deficit into the locker room.
The Oilers came out with the same jump from the second as the 3rd came underway.
Three minutes in though, Ryan Spooner decided it would be a good time to take a penalty. He hooks Barbashev, and will be sitting for two minutes.
This penalty kill is pretty eventful. First Tarasenko gets a damn good look, shoots from the hash-marks, and Talbot has to show why he was the starter at one point by kicking it aside.
Then, Zack Kassian manufactures himself a short-handed breakaway, gets close but unfortunately, he has the aim of the person who uses the public washroom before you. Shame, we really could have used a goal there.
The Oilers kill off the rest of the penalty and we’re back at even strength.
Eight minutes in, the Oilers get another powerplay chance. Sunqvist trips up Benning.
On this powerplay, the Oilers looked about as handy setting up as I would if I were trying to piece together an Ikea bookshelf without the hex-wrench. They had troubles getting into the zone, keeping the puck on their sticks, and I’m not sure if they even managed to get a shot off.
The teams would trade minor chances for the next few minutes, until a stoppage in play with just over two minutes left.
At this point, Ken Hitchcock reminds Oilers fans that timeouts exist, he takes it, gets the goalie pulled and sends out the big guys.
And with that, we are going to overtime.
The first chance goes to the blues. Joel Edmundson comes in two on one with Ryan O’Reilly, Parayko gets the pass across and O’Reilly is denied by Talbot. Very big save.
Brayden Schenn gets called for tripping up Darnell Nurse, and the Oilers are getting another powerplay.
A few good chances, including Nuge ringing one off the bar, but no one could find the back of the net.
We need a shootout for the first time this year.
First up, Tyler Bozak comes in on Talbot, and shelves it on the stick side.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is the first to go for the Oilers. He waits out Allen, and beat him up high to tie it.
Next for St. Louis, Vladimir Tarasenko. Cam Talbot has him matched and stops the attempt.
For the Oilers, Connor McDavid makes it look extremely easy.
Talbot then stops Schenn, and the Oilers win 3-2.
- We really needed those two points. It wasn’t a pretty win, and it took a blown call to get it, but we’ll take it.
- Klefbom quietly has 7 points in the past 6 games.
- Nurse and Russell were complete disasters for large chunks of this game. That can’t continue.
- The whole first period is something to skip if you plan on watching via DVR. It was boring, and it was really bad.
- Cam Talbot played well. He made the big saves that he has been lacking for the past year, and really gave us the win.
- Leon Draisaitl either has Connor’s flu, or he was the laziest player on the ice. He just wasn’t good enough.
- Joel Edmundson is a damn good shutdown defender, he was on McDavid all night — Keeping him from getting to the slot.
- There have been a lot of overtime games going on under Hitchcock, I’m not complaining though, we need the points in any way possible.
- Next game is Friday against the Wild. It would be great to get a winning streak going.