Give me a break.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Oscar Klefbom were the goalscorers for Edmonton while Quinn Hughes was the golden boy for the Canucks, scoring the game-winner. It was an overly even game as both teams had their fair share of chances and pressure....but forces out of the control of both teams had a deciding factor in this one.
I am frustrated, you are frustrated, let’s just take a look at WHY everyone is so frustrated.
This one started off a bit unorganized. Both teams seemed to understand the importance of tonight’s matchup and played cautiously. Neither team really had any 10-bell chances in the first 10 minutes, but it was Edmonton who took the early 5-1 advantage on the shot clock.
That advantage would quickly be rendered meaningless as Gaeten Haas would head to the box after a burst of pressure from Vancouver. The penalty itself wasn’t that concerning for Edmonton’s league leading (on the road) PK unit as they limited Vancouver chances fairly well. The problem would come about 1-second after Haas stepped out of the box, as Tyler Motte picked up the puck off the face-off and zinged it low-glove on Mikko Koskinen. The Canucks take the 1-0 lead with about 9 minutes left.
This would give Vancouver a bit of momentum but the pace of play was rather sloppy. Vancouver wouldn’t be able to add to their lead during this time and it would cost them. About 5 minutes after Vancouver took the lead, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins would square things up. The Nuge would lead a rush and somehow hold onto the puck past the Vancouver defenders and fire home his 7th of the year. 1-1 game after 20 minutes.
The Edmonton Oilers would get to work early in the middle frame. Antoine Roussel would interfere with Caleb Jones early on in the period to send Edmonton on their first power play of the night. Oscar Klefbom would cash in for the Oilers on this power-play, sending a seeing-eye wrist shot through traffic into the back of the net. 2-1 Oilers.
The pace of this period was noticeably faster than the first. The Canucks trail the Oilers by only 4pts in the standings and I think that fact was starting to have an effect on the game. Things would come to a boiling point about 10 minutes in after Darnell Nurse dropped the gloves with Roussel. The bout was a heavyweight matchup to say the least, but it was Darnell Nurse who came out as the undisputed winner. A nice fight to energize both sides.
Some more animosity would occur about 5 minutes later after Elias Pettersson crashed the net, taking down Mikko Koskinen in the process. A scrum would ensue as everyone on the ice found somebody to hold onto. Pettersson would find himself in the box, but so would Patrick Russell. 4-on-4 would be the final result but nothing of value occurred during this time.
Vancouver mounted a late period push to tie the game. Troy Stecher would ring one of the crossbar in the dying seconds and that was as close as they would get. Edmonton would take the lead into the 3rd period.
This would be a baffling period to say the least. Things started off fairly normal as Vancouver pushed hard to tie the game. Noted Oiler killer, Tanner Pearson, rang a shot off the crossbar in the first two minutes of the period but couldn’t find the twine. Then Bo Horvat would eventually square things up when he kicked home his 10th of the year.
Things would get worse for the Oilers as the refs would assess an extremely questionable too many men penalty to the Oilers with about 5 minutes left in the game. Things went exactly as you would expect as Quinn Hughes would tee up an absolute bullet of a point shot that rang right past Koskinen to give Vancouver a 3-2 lead late in the game.
- Pearson, noted Oiler killer, rings a shot off the post early in the period
- Bo Horvat ties the game, but Koskinen says its a kick in goal....looks like one. Under review.....its called good...but HOW!? Very bad call.
- Oilers respond with a few good shifts...want to get the lead back after that bullsh!t call
- Draisaitl draws a penalty...Oilers with a chance to get ahead...McDavid and Klefbom with good chances...Vancouver kills it. 1⁄2 on the night
- Edmonton gets caught with too many men....onto the PK. nitpick call.
- Quinn Hughes let loose a bomb at the point...3-2 VAN.
- Officiating is something else tonight.
- Officiating was absolutely terrible in the third period tonight. They allowed a goal that was an obvious kick in by Horvat....and I mean OBVIOUS. Horvat turned his skate and pushed it forward in a KICKING MOTION toward the empty net. I’ve seem this goal be taken back plenty of times before and the fact that it wasn’t absolutely baffles me.
- We also have to talk about the too many men penalty that led to the eventual game-winning goal for Vancouver. In a tie game with 6 minutes left in a very important game....you can’t be calling fine-line penalties like that. Absolutely atrocious.
- One more....on the play before the the Hughes goal, Darnell Nurse was high-sticked in front of the net with no call. I don’t like to whine about officiating but it handed the game to Vancouver this time and is unacceptable.
- Koskinen played very well tonight in my opinion and kept Edmonton in it all game long. He is the starter for Edmonton from now on....don’t be mistaken.
- The Oilers remain in 3rd place in the Pacific but it is razor thin right now. Calgary is only a point behind them and Vancouver comes within 2pts after tonight’s win. Scary (and familiar) times in Oil Country.
- I’ve gotta hit the rum and egg-nog after this one....I hope everyone has a very merry Christmas (Happy Holidays if you do not celebrate!) filled with plenty of Connor McDavid jerseys and Wayne Gretzky themed socks! I hope my referee b*tching helped make your holidays a little better!