Ok, I’m sorry for the over-dramatic title. I know that we’ve all known for a little while that there was really no way that the Oilers were postseason bound this year, what with all of the teams that they’re chasing playing each other down the stretch, and all.
But, still. Even for the biggest optimist out there (don’t look at me, but I swear I’m trying to lighten up), that has to feel like the final nail in the coffin. Which is why I titled this post-game “the final nail in the coffin” (not scrolling up to see if I changed my mind on that one).
The Oilers fell to the Dallas stars 3-2 in everyone’s favourite way to determine a winnner. That’s right, there was a shootout. Nuge scored in it for the Oilers and Seguin and Benn scored in it for the Stars. Benn didn’t shoot until the 5th round, but I’m sure that they knew what they were doing.
In the 65 minutes of hockey that preceded the old ‘Nagano-style Net Shoot’, as I call it, The Oilers actually played pretty well. They led 2-0 at one points, and managed to outshoot Dallas 42-22.
Anyone want to guess who scored the Oilers’ goals? I’ll just tell you, because I don’t have all night, and because you won’t be able to read this until I publish. Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid scored the Oilers’ goals. Connor Assisted on Leon’s (as did Nuge), and Leon assisted on Connor’s (By the way, Connor’s goal was unreal. Between the legs at full speed, we’ll be talking about it for a while).
So, for those scoring at home (and you should be scoring at home, because it was opening day for baseball today), Connor had a goal and an assist, Leon had a goal and an assists, and Nuge had a (shootout) goal, and a (real) assist.
If you’re looking for an offensive contribution from the rest of the roster, I don’t know what to tell you. This is an Edmonton Oilers blog.
Getting back to the dagger/ nail talk. The Oilers now have 77 points in 77 games, That means that if the win out, they’ll finish with 87 points. Colorado already has 83, three more ROWs that the Oilers do, and five games remaining. Arizona is the top team on the outside looking in on the playoff picture, and they have 81 points, two more ROWs than the Oilers, and five games remaining, including one against the aforementioned Avalanche tomorrow night. So, it’s not looking good.
The silver lining is that there are still reasons to watch this team down the stretch, especially on nights where they don’t have to compete with opening day baseball and the sweet sixteen.
Leon Draisaitl’s goal tonight brings his season total to 47. That means that he needs three in the final five games to be the first player to score 50 in a season for the Oilers since both Gretzky and Kurri accomplished that feat in the 1986-87 season. Think about that. At the conclusion of the last regular season in which an Oiler scored 50, the team had only won two of its five Stanley Cups!
Connor McDavid’s two points tonight bring him to a total of 114 on the season. That’s seven back of Kucherov for a third straight Art Ross, with five remaining, which I know is unlikely. But, if the captain manages to score six points in his last five games, it will mark the first 120 point campaign for an Oiler since Mark Messier’s MVP season in 1989-90, in which he put up 129.
So, remember, there’s still plenty of reasons to watch the Oilers. But, of course you can change the Channel when the McDavid line’s not out there.