The Edmonton Oilers are coming into this matchup against the Boston Bruins on a three game losing streak. The Bruins lost last night to Vancouver, 2-1, in a shootout. Nothing is going well for the Oilers at this point, and even the ever-faithful media have started to question Ken Holland and Dave Tippett’s decision making as of late.
The Oilers lines before this game looked like:
Biggest surprises here for me are the Shore for Benson, Russell + Niemelainen for Broberg + Lagesson. Broberg was sent down with Ceci coming off the COVID-19 Reserve.
Relatively early, Leon Draisaitl interrupts a positive shift with a tripping penalty on John Moore. It’s the Bruins’ 6th ranked powerplay versus the Oilers’ 6th ranked penalty kill. The best chance of the Boston PP was shorthanded, as Kailer Yamamoto rang one off the bar. While Boston didn’t achieve anything, Zach Hyman took a hooking penalty digging in on Patrice Bergeron. However, the Oilers are able to kill off back to back powerplays.
Trent Frederic returns the favour, getting his stick up into the hands of Connor McDavid to give Edmonton its first powerplay of the night. One for its last 16, but still the first-ranked PP in the league. A few shots, and a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins shot off the bar (another one), but the Oilers are unable to find the back of the net. Still 0-0.
Late in the first period, the officials miss a boarding penalty on Hyman as he drives Foligno headfirst into the boards. Foligno gets up, visibly upset, and goes after Hyman which in turn draws him a roughing call. However, in whatever karmaic forces you believe (a.k.a. a Tyson Barrie turnover), Marchand finds himself all alone on Stuart Skinner and scores the shorthanded marker. 1-0 Boston.
Bruins are 9-0 when leading after the first period, and the Oilers are 0-7 in the same situation.
Marchand and Draisaitl get tangled up a few seconds into the period, and Leon is called for tripping somehow. Kailer Yamamoto is tripped in the corner as #56 tried to clear, and Louie’s kiddo Jake Debrusk puts one home against his hometown team. A questionable call followed up by a mystifying non-call, once again, poor officiating costs the Oilers a goal. 2-0 Boston.
Another defensive injury for the Oilers in this period as well, as Kris Russell took a hard hit and immediately when to the dressing room clutching his shoulder with the arm drooping down. Never a good sign, and it was nearly the same hit that McDavid got 5 and a game for.
kris russell leaves the ice in a rush after taking this hit from erik haula. pic.twitter.com/vu55OWZpBZ— zach laing (@zjlaing) December 10, 2021
In another sample of the absolute ineptitude of NHL officiating, McDavid is slewfooted and tackled in the corner, right in front of the official. No call. Niemelainen and Frederic got into it in front of the benches, and they did call that to throw in some 4 on 4 play.
The Bruins got away with about 6 consecutive penalties before the “referees” finally call a penalty on Haula for holding. Leon Draisaitl finally finds a way through, and his one timer from Barrie and McDavid finds its way through. 2-1 Bruins with Leon’s 22nd of the year.
Early on, the Bruins are called for hooking again on McDavid. This time, it’s Patrice Bergeron. A few solid opportunities for the Oilers, but Ullmark has played well – including a save off the shaft of his stick – and the score remains 2-1.
Continuing his great game, Ullmark denies Foegele twice on two high quality chances, including one with a two pad stack. Foegele’s strong night keeps on, and he wipes out Pastrnak in the Boston zone.
there's being snakebit, then there's whatever warren foegele is going through. someone poor one out for him. pic.twitter.com/Gqlf0Ikstw— zach laing (@zjlaing) December 10, 2021
The Oilers pressure results in another penalty, as Charlie Coyle tackles Yamamoto with Edmonton pressing. And from the same spot on the ice, Leon Draisaitl whacks home another one timer for the Oilers second PPG of the game.
Despite limited shots against, Stuart Skinner has played well for the Oilers. However, with 2:33 to go in the third period, an Oilers defensive zone breakdown leads to a Boston goal. 3-2 Bruins.
The Oilers push hard in a frenetic finish, but Hyman can’t bury on the open net, and the Oilers drop their fourth straight game in regulation (the first time ever under Dave Tippett). The Oilers outplay the Bruins, but not their mistakes, and are officially in a landslide.