Tonight we prepare to watch a game between a couple of the worst teams in the NHL. Each in different stages.
In this corner, we have the Oilers sporting a generational talent hampered by awful management failing to build around him despite a willingness to spend.
In the other, the Senators. A team that has painted itself into a rebuild in part because of unwillingness to spend. Don’t feel bad for them though, they have a ton of talent and picks on the way. It’s where we were headed before things got really stupid in the past 4 years.
This is a game that could be a sloppy mess, I just hope that it is better than the disaster we watched on Thursday.
Looks like we’re starting with a first line of Connor McDavid, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Zack Kassion. They spend it getting pinned in their own end, but the Senators don’t exactly have a lot of dangerous players to make us pay. Magnus Pajaarvi, though.
It’s a very slow moving game so far. The Oilers and Senators are having trouble taking shots or making passes.
McDavid stands out early as he takes the puck into the slot but can’t finish, followed by a slot from the slot on the next sequence.
We have Sam Gagner centering Ryan Malone and Ty Rattie. If there was ever a line to call the AHL line, this is the one.
Alex Chiasson is on a line with Tobias Rieder, centered by Leon Draisaitl. I guess that’s the 2nd line?
We’re six minutes in and I’d like to give you more commentary on play, but so far it looks as though they’re all skating through sludge. Very uneventful hockey so far.
Anthony Duclair gets Ottawa’s first good chance, takes a pass as he’s entering the zone and gets a backhand on Koskinen. Still tied at zero.
The commentators are telling me that this has been an exciting period, that both teams have brought their skating legs, and a good transitional game. The game is passing me by, I can admit that, but even if it wasn’t, I think I’d have a hard time agreeing with those assertions.
Koskinen has to make his first really big save as Colin White comes in on a breakaway. He takes the wrist shot, Koskinen turns it aside. Shots are 8-4 Ottawa, half way through the frame.
The McDavid line just had a few chances. Darnell Nurse was slow to get the puck to McDavid, but once it got there, McDavid put on his Forsberg moves to set up RNH for a shot. The sequence ended with Kassian getting it to McDavid between the dots. Craig Anderson struggles with the shot, but keeps it out.
Darnell Nurse just keeps hesitating to make the pass. It’s not his strength or anything, but at some point you have to do it when McDavid is calling for it while streaking through the zone. Anyway, let to an offside.
With six minutes left, Chris Tierney opens the scoring by banging a loose puck in the crease through Koskinen. I think Leon Draisaitl might be getting a talking to for that one. 1-0 Senators.
The game is still slowly moving, I haven’t forgotten about this, it’s just that not a lot is happening.
Colin While walks it into the Oilers crease without any objection forcing Koskinen to make a save.
Period ends 1-0 Senators, who also lead the shot clock 13-9.
The second has been going on for three minutes now, and nothing has happened.
Ryan Malone had himself a partial breakaway but Christian Jaros caught up to him and kept him from getting a shot off.
Alex Chiasson bobbles a puck at the blueline in what may have lead to a decent rush. I’m sorry, I’m really grasping at something noteworthy here. I really hope this game improves in the entertainment department. Right now it’s about the equivalent of listening to someone repeat the same story you’ve herd 800 times.
There we go, Ottawa made a mistake and McDavid happened. Josh Currie sent it from the corner to the front of the net, the Ottawa defenceman couldn’t handle it, Connor found it in his skates and beat Anderson. 33 goals on the year. 1-1.
Oh we are picking up here. Leon Draisaitl is now on the McDavid line, replacing Nugent-Hopkins. They had a good rush, McDavid opted to pass instead of shoot while on a mini two on one. He got it to Draisaitl who just missed the net. More importantly, the feet are moving now.
Ten minutes in and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins gets tripped. This will be the first powerplay of the game, which is what you’d expect when everyone is moving about as fast as molasses in an igloo.
That was not a good powerplay. Zero shots, and looked a lot like most of the game has been, complete with a dreadful scene of Nurse gliding through the neutral zone, waiting for other players to complete the drop-pass entry. Also, Lucic was out there.
I think I’d be pretty mad if I’d gone to a game like this. It’s nice not getting killed by 5 goals or something, but with those games you can at least leave without feeling guilty.
Sam Gagner! Goal! 2-1 Oilers.
Tips a point shot, Rattie collects it and sends it back to Gagner, and we have a lead. This is very good, because I do not want to see any overtime going on here.
Hey this is funny. Tweets like this are welcome in my recaps.
I wonder if it gets awkward for Anthony when the Sens travel to the states and they ask him if he has anything to Duclair?— Primed to Play Top Line (@mikedirsa) March 1, 2019
Ok a minute left and Magnus Pajaarvi holds McDavid, and we get another powerplay. I hope it is much better than the last one.
Instead we give Tierney a shorthanded breakaway, Koskinen stops him. It is not looking better than the first one,
Anyway, period ends with the Oilers leading 2-1.
The last 49 seconds of powerplay time tick away, and we can get back to killing off this period.
Colby Cave! First goal as an Oiler. 3-1 Oilers.
Currie to Lucic, Lucic loses it, Benning picks it up and gets it to Cave in front of the net.
Oilers have started to get a few pucks at the net since the goal. The good kind. The Oilers have had 22 shots this game so far, but most of those are not the kind that you would ever expect to turn into goals.
COWBOY UP! Senators score, I will get the gif up when someone tweets it. It was full cowboy. 3-2 Oilers.
It’s not even Kris Russell’s fault here, it’s just such a typical scene.
And Colin White ties the game up half way into the period. The zebras are calling it a highstick and going upstairs now. We’ll see if it stands.
No goal. Still 3-2 Oilers.
Ok seven minutes left. I think the third has been more exciting than the first two periods but I am pretty checked out of this game by now. You can only bore a man so much. And I’m sure most people were finding more entertainment from the Islanders smoking the Leafs, anyway.
Ok and now Chiasson is going to the box for hooking. First PK of the game for us, and we really can’t afford to get scored on here.
McDavid and Draisaitl had a 2-on-1 shorthanded, but Colin White got back in time to throw off a Draisaitl shot.
And 40 seconds into the kill, Colin White gets himself on the stats sheet, in a very good way. He’s going to the box for slashing. Penalty was killed efficient;y. 4:25 left.
Senators are pulling the goalies with a minute and a half left.
Zack Kassian seals the deal with an empty-netter. That’s game.
Oilers win 4-2.