Mikko Koskinen might be a VERY good goalie!
The Edmonton Oilers picked up two more points on Saturday night, defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets by a score of 4-1. Alex Chiasson, Caleb Jones and Connor McDavid picked up the main goals for Edmonton while Riley Sheahan added an empty-netter in the final minute. Mikko Koskinen was massive once again, saving 45 of 46 shots thrown his way.
The Oilers played bad, but it didn’t matter! I got everything you need to know right here...
The opening period was a very confusing one from an Oilers standpoint. It started off good enough. Alex Chiasson was able to let go a long-distant zinger that beat Joonas Korpisalo to get the Oilers up on their first shot of the game. From there, it was all Columbus.
For the second game in a row it looked as though Mikko Koskinen would have to play the role of the hero and he did a pretty decent job of that in this period. The Jackets were able to unleash a whopping 21 shots on net in the first 20 minutes, all of which were stopped by Koskinen.
Edmonton’s play consisted almost exclusively of lazy clearing attempts and unsupported one-man rushes. Not a great period by any means but they somehow got out of it with the lead. They’d have to play better if they wanted to preserve their 1-0 lead.
The second period was a better effort by the Oilers, but a very boring one to say the least. Edmonton put forth a better effort and was able to keep Columbus at bay for the majority of the period. That being said, they didn't have many shifts inside the offensive zone. They did have a power-play opportunity but it was an absolute tire fire. When they did enter the zone successfully a few sloppy plays would turn it right over to the Jackets.
The biggest story to come out of this period was the officiating. I will acknowledge that being a referee at the NHL level is not an easy job, but we were shown an entirely new level in incompetence tonight. Kailer Yamamoto was clearly high-sticked in the eye (which could have been much more serious) DIRECTLY in front of the official and still wasn’t called.
I hate being the “refs suck” guy but its hard not to be when they are so obviously bad. Other than that, the period ended with nothing. Edmonton was held to just 13 shots on goal while Columbus sat at 30 shots in a 1-0 game after 40 minutes.
The final frame had a similar feel to the opening frame. The Blue Jackets quickly went to work and pinned the home team in their own end for an extended period of time. Koskinen was having none of it as he remained the Oilers best player tonight.
Edmonton would eventually have a few nice chances of their own as the Draisaitl line strung a few shifts of extended pressure in the offensive zone. A second goal, however, alluded the team as they continued to hold on to their 1-0 lead.
Columbus would get very close to tying things up. Their best chance came off the stick of Emil Bennstrem who missed a wide open after Koskinen was down and out. A combination of Koskinen and luck was helping the Oilers in this one.
It would all be worth it, as Caleb Jones was finally able to find an insurance goal for the Oilers. A point shot would deflect off a Columbus player in front and whiz throw Korpisalo’s five-hole. 2-0 Oilers with less than 5 minutes left.
Connor McDavid would then find a way onto the scoreboard less than a minute later as he put away a feed from Zack Kassian. All of a sudden it was 3-0 Oilers in the dying minutes.
Gustav Nyqvist would ruin Koskinen’s shutout with a minute remaining, but an empty-netter by Riley Sheahan would seal the deal for the Oilers. Edmonton slides into 1st place in the Pacific Division with a 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets!
- Mikko Koskinen is a god-send for this Oilers team. He was excellent tonight and was, once again, the reason why Edmonton was able to notch the 2pts. It’s time to give Mikko a few games in a row...he has done more than enough to warrant it.
- As for the team in front of Koskinen...this is the 3rd straight game that I thought they looked bland and uninspired. They were missing passes all night long and were insanely sloppy in the defensive zone. If they want to cement their spot in the playoffs they will have to play much better than they did tonight.
- I actually didn’t hate the fourth line tonight. They generated the first goal of the game and they set up the second with some nice work in the offensive end. However, I still think Gaetan Haas deserves better than a spot in the press-box.
- Officiating was bad. I’ll leave it at that. Pathetic.
- I am still confused at why Athanasiou is not on the top line with McDavid. He hasn’t been given much of an opportunity since he was acquired and I think he’d fare much better alongside McDavid rather than Sheahan.
- I honestly don’t have many notes other than that for this one! Oilers played bad but still picked up the win and that is the best result we could have hoped for. The win pushes the Oilers to 1st place in the Pacific Division with 82pts! They hold the tiebreaker with the Golden Knights, who also have 82pts, while the Calgary Flames are hot on their heels with 78pts. Edmonton will be back in action this Monday for a massive game against Vegas! Lets Go Oilers!