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Refs Absent In 4-3 Montréal Win

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The Oilers fall flat while the officials take a 60-minute break in frustrating loss

NHL: APR 21 Canadiens at Oilers Photo by Curtis Comeau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Edmonton Oilers dropped a frustrating 4-3 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night. Edmonton did mount a late-game comeback to make things interesting but it wasn’t enough to sweep the Habs. McDavid had two goals while Puljujarvi continued to put the puck in the net.

It was maybe the most frustrating game of the year.

First Period:

It didn’t take long for these two teams to pick up right where they left off. Right off the opening puck-drop, both teams were throwing their weight around. And with this, came the lacklustre officiating. About a dozen penalties were missed in the first few minutes as Montreal established some early pressure.

Things would start to even up after a scrap between Alex Chiasson and Corey Perry. Edmonton’s top-line was especially good in this period, with Connor McDavid and Jesse Puljujarvi controlling the pace of play while on the ice.

Meanwhile, on the second line, Leon Draisaitl was using his big frame to his advantage. He had a few monstrous hits in the opening frame.

Montreal would get on the board first as they dominated the shot clock. Artturi Lehkonen beats Smith in tight to give the Canadiens a 1-0 lead. Keep in mind this came a mere minute after the refs missed a painfully (and I mean PAINFULLY) obvious slash on James Neal.

The first would see no more action. Shots read 13-4 for the Canadiens and Edmonton would have to play from behind once again.

Second Period:

The pace of the game only quickened as we got a few goals to start off the second period. Connor McDavid would get the Oilers even on a breakaway goal supplied by a perfect pass by Caleb Jones. The tie game was short-lived as Josh Anderson gave the lead back to the Habs just 11 seconds later. 2-1 early on in the second.

Kris Russell ALMOST got the equalizer just a few minutes later as McDavid found him in tight with tip off the rush. Close but no cigar.

The action would devolve into a cluster of tight-checking that led to almost no high-end chances for the rest of the period. We ended the second the way we ended the first, the Oilers down by one. 2-1 MTL after 40.

Third Period:

The final frame continued to be a frustrating one for the Oilers. The Canadiens suffocated them in all three zones and prevented Edmonton’s big guns from repeating their dominant performance from Monday.

We witnessed some more incompetent officiating and it eventually led to the Canadiens getting some insurance. Leon Draisaitl made a textbook hit on a guy who had the puck....but it's interference. Shockingly bad call and it costs Edmonton. 3-1.

To add insult to injury the Canadiens interfere with Smith on a 4-1 goal late in the game and a review upholds it. The Oilers would get one back as RNH would notch a one-timer to make things 4-2 late in the game.

Things would get even more interesting as Puljujarvi would tip home a shot to make it 4-3. All of a sudden it's two goals with the goalie pulled.

Edmonton’s home winning streak comes to a frustrating end as they drop a

Takeaways:

  • NHL officiating is absolute garbage. I’ve been an Oilers fan between the years of 2007-2015 and the officiating in this league is BY FAR the worst thing I have ever seen in terms of performance on an NHL ice surface. An absolute farce. They missed about a billion calls on both sides. Do the job you’re paid to do.
  • Read above and multiply it by 17....just a mockery of the game.
  • Hear me out here, I hate blaming the refs for a loss and I always try to find other ways to explain a loss. Edmonton didn’t play all that well tonight and I have to fault them for that. Montreal was the better team tonight, but two goals tonight were directly linked to the refs being incompetent. The first one was after a very blatant slash on Neal and their third was on a piss-poor interference call on Draisaitl. The Oilers weren’t good but the officials were worse.
  • Corey Perry is a piece of [expletive].
  • Mike Smith was meh tonight. I won’t pin the loss on him because the team overall wasn’t giving him much support. A rare regulation loss for him but one I wouldn’t lose sleep over.
  • Having Kris Russell and Tyson Barrie on a pairing is frightening...in a bad way. They are both awful at defending and it seemed like they were scrambling every single time they were on the ice.
  • Speaking of Barrie, I’ve grown tired of him on the PP...he hinders it more than he helps it. If he can’t defend and is no longer useful on the PP....why not have Bouchard play on the third pair?
  • I have to be completely honest, I didn’t expect to have this much frustration associated with the Montreal Canadiens. They are a hardworking team, but goddamn do they ever get away with a lot of borderline plays. Reminds me of some of the Anaheim Ducks teams of the 2010s...
  • The Oilers fail to sweep the Habs but still find themselves 7pts up in the standings. They will continue to chase the Winnipeg Jets for second in the division as they head to the ‘Peg next Monday.