I miss Klefbom...and Yamamoto....and Neal....and now Athanasiou.
The Edmonton Oilers laid a goose-egg in an ugly 3-0 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday night. The loss propels Vegas to 78pts on the season and extends their lead over Edmonton in the standings to 4pts. The funny thing is, the Oilers looked like they had this one under control early one but quickly gave the game away in the second period.
How is this possible? Well I got all the details right here...
The Oilers came out flying off the opening face-off. Less than a minute Marc-Andre Fleury had to stop Leon Draisaitl on the doorstep and turn away an Alex Chiasson one-timer from the slot. It was apparent that the Oilers knew the importance of the game from the get-go.
Connor McDavid would be all over this period. His first chance would come off a breakaway where he beat Fleury...but not the crossbar. The second chance came right after Edmonton’s second power-play where he very nearly tucked in a rebound but the stick of Vegas defender pushed it to Fleury. Edmonton should have had at least a couple of goals to show for themselves in this frame but could not figure out Fleury.
In true Oiler fashion the Golden Knights would find a way on the board first despite being outplayed for most of the game. Max Pacioretty would walk in on the rush and snipe a shot over the shoulder of Koskinen. 1-0 Vegas late in the 1st.
That's how we would end the period. Edmonton played great but needed to find a way to put a few of their chances over the next 40 minutes.
If the Oilers dominated the 1st period, the Golden Knights dominated the 2nd period. It seemed like Vegas finally woke up from their slumber and took it to the Oilers. Chance after chance was hurled onto the Oiler net as the Knights looked to extend their lead.
The MVP of the period was, without a doubt, Mikko Koskinen. He might’ve let in a rather questionable goal in the first period but he was a stone wall in the second. I can’t say much more than that.
The Oilers looked bad and the Golden Knights looked good, but Edmonton was able to get outta this period unscathed. At the end of 40, Vegas held on to that 1-0 lead.
Edmonton started the period with a poweplay after Vegas took a too many men call at the end of the second. The Oilers would have a few nice looks but once again failed to beat Fleury. Leon Draisaitl would have a fantastic chance shortly after the powerplay on a rush that ended with his shot hitting the post. No dice.
The tables then flipped as Vegas went to the man-advantage shortly after as Bear got caught on a tripping call. It would cost the Oilers as the Nick Cousins would cash in a rebound to extend Vegas’ lead to 2-0. It wasn't looking good for the boys in white at this point.
Things would go from bad to worse as Shea Theodore would let loose a point shot that would beat Koskinen clean. 3-0 Vegas. That is how we’d end this one.
You can’t play great for 1⁄3 of the game and expect better results.
- Edmonton really needs to tighten things up in the defensive zone. After watching this game and Monday’s game in Anaheim it is evident that they are really missing Oscar Klefbom. Darnell Nurse is in way over his head and trying to do way too much.
- Alex Chiasson is nearing Eric Belanger territory in his ability to kill a line. Plays die on his stick and he shouldn’t be on the 2nd line with Draisaitl and RNH. If I were in charge I would drop down Ennis to the second line and bring up Archibald to play with McDavid.
- If Jujhar Khaira flies back to Edmonton there is a problem. He has looked absolutely awful and it is a miracle he hasn't been demoted to Bakersfield yet. Tyler Benson is his ideal replacement.
- Mikko Koskinen did his job tonight and was the best Oiler on the ice. It’s hard to win games when the team in front of you can’t score.
- Andreas Athanasiou went down with an injury in the third injury and didn’t return. Another injury in the top-6 is par for the course this time of the year. ugh.
- Mike Green limped off the ice late in the game after colliding with Chandler Stephenson as well...so we can only hope our injury insurance isn’t injured as well.
- This is the type of game that should be a wake up call for the Oilers. This is the one team in their division that is ahead of them and they absolutely folded when given the chance to defeat them. You can’t be losing many more of these games if they wish to make the postseason, let alone make a deep run.
- The Oilers are remain tied with the Vancouver Canucks for 2nd place in the division with 74pts apiece but the margin for error is narrowing. The Flames are a mere 2pts behind the Oilers. The road to redemption starts this Saturday as the Winnipeg Jets are in town. It’ll be a big one. Lets Go Oilers!