Who knew a scoreless game could be so entertaining.
The Edmonton Oilers suffered only their second lost of the season Sunday night in Winnipeg. No goals were scored for the entire 60 minutes of regulation or the 5 minutes of 3 on 3 overtime. Instead, the game was decided in a shootout, where Kyle Connor and Patrik Laine scored to edge out the Oilers 1-0.
The first period of the game was a tale of two teams. The Edmonton Oilers had the early jump but lost momentum as the period went on. Mike Smith was sharp but got a lot of help from Winnipeg missing the net on a number of quality scoring chances. The end of period read 7-2 on the shot clock in favour of Edmonton.
The second period was a rough one for Edmonton. Winnipeg came out flying and was all over the Oilers for the majority of the frame. Edmonton took two penalties, which allowed the Jets to gain a lot of momentum. Some more solid goaltending helped the Oilers escape the 2nd scoreless.
Up to this point, I was labeling the game as a pretty boring one. Sure there were chances for both teams in the first 40 minutes but the pace of play was dictated one way for most of the game. The 3rd period changed that.
Urgency kicked in for both clubs as they battled to get on the scoreboard first. A back-and-forth barnburner ensued and Winnipeg nearly scored the first goal of the game. Waiver pickup, Carl Dahlstrom looked to score his first career NHL goal, but it was called off after a successful offside challenge by Edmonton. We ended the game as we started it, deadlocked at 0-0.
The overtime period kept the excitement coming. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl had two 2-on-1s but failed to get a good shot off on each attempt. Mike Smith held down the fort for Edmonton and once again both teams were kept off the scoresheet.
We then went to a shootout, where Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Connor McDavid failed to score for Edmonton and Connor and Laine sealed the win for Winnipeg. You can’t win them all, but at least they got one more point in the bank.
- You best believe that goaltending was not the reason for tonight’s lose. Mike Smith gave the team every chance to win and was fantastic all night long. Sure, he did let in both the shots he faced in the shootout...but he got literally no goal support in a game where he probably should have. Another solid outing for Edmonton’s goaltenders.
- Edmonton’s penalty kill was perfect tonight...albeit just barely. Winnipeg was pressing hard on each of their 4 power-plays but were kept off the board. Good to see the special teams continue to be successful.
- I really liked what I saw from Ethan Bear again. The kid is as calm and collected as a rookie defender could be. He never panicked when he was under pressure and was a calming influence on the blue line tonight. He nearly scored in the first period as well. Edmonton has a real player here.
- Tomas Jurco was a player that caught my eye a few times tonight. He is a sneaky player who does have a bit of skill. He didn't blow me away with anything tonight....but I think he should be given more time in the top 6.
- Josh Archibald did not have a great game. I found that the play died on his stick a number of times and he fumbled passes quite a bit. I wonder when he gets demoted in favour of a guy like Gagner.
- The Winnipeg Jets did a pretty good job at shutting down the big guns. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl did not get that many looks in regulation. McDavid didn't go two games with a point last season....but he is now without a point in the last two games this season. No cause for concern, he is Connor McDavid after all.
- Chiasson is not 2nd line material. I feel like RNH and Neal have been held back by #39 and I suspect we see a change before the next game.
- Brandon Manning = bad....put in William Lagesson already.
- A loss sucks but at least Edmonton picked up a point. 7-1-1 is not a bad record by any means and the boys should be able to recoup with their next game coming against the last place Minnesota Wild (at least I hope they can).