Yikes! That was a rough one. The Oilers came out slow, and never really made it a close game at any point. Combine the 8:30 MST start time, and the 4-0 deficit early in the second period, that the Oilers faced, before finally getting on the board themselves, and it was the perfect recipe for the type of game that an Oilers fan would want to turn off. If you did, no worries, I’ve got a quick recap to get you caught up.
As mentioned the Oilers were never really in the game. The Sharks scored three in the first, had a four goal lead at one point, and never lead by fewer than three after the 11:12 mark in the first period.
However, there were some bright spots for those who kept watching:
- Another multi-point game for Draisaitl. Leon had a goal and an assist tonight, which brings his season-long point total to 36, which is five more than anyone else in the league. We’re nearly a quarter of the way through the season, and the big German is on pace to smash his 50 goal, 105 point career highs from last year. In fact, he’s still on pace for more than 140 points. And, while 140 seems ridiculous, we’re far enough into the year that some pretty bonkers numbers are starting to look pretty realistic. Even if Draisaitl averages just one point-per-game from here on out, and plays all 82 this year, that’s still 98 points. If his final 62 games this year have the same points-per-game pace that he maintained last season, he’ll end up with 115 points. Winning is obviously great, and the ultimate goal, but, from a fan’s perspective, interesting individual side-stories like the rise of Leon Draisaitl to elite status, can keep games entertaining, regardless of the score.
- The Oilers have been outplayed a lot worse. The final shots totals were 25-24 San Jose. As bad as the score was, it was more of a case of San Jose getting some bounces and capitalizing on their chances, than a complete domination. The Oilers were only outshot in one period, the second, in which San Jose had eight shots to their six. This could be viewed as a negative, since San Jose was up early, and the Oilers never really made a big push to get back in it. The low event game played tonight fit a Sharks team who got up early perfectly. But still, the Oilers weren’t hemmed in their zone the whole night. They played a bad game, but it’s not the end of the world, or necessarily a sign of things to come.
- Sam Gagner lit the lamp. It was nice to see the world’s oldest 30-year-old find the back of the net. After a few games out of the lineup, Gagner returned tonight and recorded his first of the year. A cheeky bank off the goalie’s back, no less. It was exactly the type of skilled play that the Oilers are going to need to get from their bottom 6 or 9 on a regular basis, if they’re going to compete for a playoff spot. Yes, even with the points they’ve already banked.
There you go, folks. Three things to get a little excited about in an otherwise lackluster performance from the Oilers. Next up: The Avs on Thursday night, back home in Edmonton. Good competition, with a few key pieces missing, on home ice seems like a good recipe for the Oilers to get back on track.