If I had two dollars to bet, I would’ve bet that the Oilers would’ve taken care of the New York Rangers on Saturday night. I had reasons to believe that the Oilers were taking care of business that night.
- The Oilers were at home, and had time in between games.
- The Oilers had a weapon on offence returning in Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
- The Rangers are in full-on rebuild mode.
- The Rangers were on the second half of a back-to-back
- The Rangers have allowed more than fifty shots in their last two games
- The Rangers had a fresh faced Alexandar Georgiev in net.
So had I two dollars, and you had two dollars, you would’ve gleefully snapped two toonies in your pocket at the conclusion of this game. The Rangers would emerge with a 3-2 victory in Edmonton, even with all of the conditions listed above.
Like some Oiler games, some good things happened. Connor McDavid scored his 30th goal of the season
They don’t ask you how you scored them (okay, we do), but if you scored them. I’m not sure another NHL goalie allows this goal that Alexandar Georgiev did here, but this goal from Connor McDavid brought the Oilers to a 1-1 tie five minutes into the second period. Chris Kreider scored 54 seconds into the game to give the Rangers an early lead, as is tradition.
NUGE IS HUGE
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is back in the lineup after missing six weeks due to injury. He’s back not a moment too soon.
I’d like to point out the most obvious thing in the world here, this goal was fed to Nugent-Hopkins by Connor McDavid. I get that Nugent-Hopkins is a natural centre, but the Oilers ought to run 93 as 1LW next to McDavid for ten or fifteen games to see if they percolate. Here, they percolate. Would like to see more percolation in the next dozen or so games.
- Put good players back in the lineup and good things will happen. Wacky concept, I know. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had 13:20 in ice time and four shots in his return. Put him on the first line already.
- Connor McDavid’s got another goal and an assist to add to his total. His 30 goals ties him with the 30 he had in 82 games last year. With 79 points, he’s got seventeen more games to get to a hundred points.
- I really thought this was going to be the game that Milan Lucic broke out of his scoring slump. That didn’t happen. Almost 20 minutes of ice time, nearly two minutes of power play time, one shot. It’s been 29 games since his last goal, Lucic has five assists in that period.
- Ethan Bear’s second game: 16:16 in ice time with :41 in PP time, one shot. Getting a couple games at the NHL level is good for Bear, who the Oilers may be seeing a lot more of next year. I’d expect him to get back to Bakersfield as Adam Larsson makes his return to the team.
- The Oilers will take on the Coyotes on Monday night. Maybe they’ll win that one.