Enjoy your eight-game losing streak, Ducks! Thanks for being great hosts. Final Score: 4-0 Oilers
After the train last night in Los Angeles, all I really cared about was that I would not be wasting another two hours of my life, and I do not feel like that's asking too much. I do not think it's crazy to expect the team with the best player in the world on their roster to be better than the one we had last night but I'm not sure if the organization feels the same way based on head scratching moves that We've been seeing each other lately. I mean, two of the latest pickups they made were healthy risks tonight, one after being here for just three games, and that's not a great look if the team honestly expected those players to be part of the solution. Outside of a meteorologist, I can not think of anyone who is allowed to be wrong as much as this GM and the team have achieved while they hold a job. I know it's a weird way to start packing on a night when the Oilers close a 4-0 win, but sometimes it seems like wins like this happen despite the list and not because of that.
As for the game itself, I just wanted to have fun. I know it's a low bar to set but I just wanted to see the team that I really love to compete and look like they belong to the NHL instead of watching them stay in Washington all over the ice. In the opening moments, I was getting nervous because things did not look good. The ducks were buzzing and generating all sorts of odds in the Oilers zone, leaving Cam Talbot to fold like a tent or man strong enough to wait for his team to begin. Fortunately, Dadbot was ready for the task and he made some great savings early on that kept the ducks at bay and this gave his team the confidence they needed to open the floodgates. Unlike the previous night in Los Angeles, the Oilers were able to withstand the shaking of the opening, navigating the duck attack and following through with some counter-attacks that landed. They went back on the heels to locked with a leadership that would never be challenged, and this was a stark contrast to what we saw only 24 hours ago. They got the defenses, they managed the goals and, although it was not perfect, the Oilers obtained two points that they needed desperately.
I do not know if the Oilers will want their goalkeeper to make 39 saves every night and we know they will not score four either, but that's a great win to keep a Ducks team on the ground instead of giving them life. As I said this morning at GDB, there is nothing as satisfying as a victory against the Ducks.
- The Oilers really needed to get on the table first tonight, and they managed to do that thanks to the captain. Connor McDavid was able to find a loose disc and take a few strokes at the side of the net, eventually knocking out Gibson on the third or fourth attempt. Excellent persistence of puck by McDavid. Thank you, Connor McDavid, for being you. On many nights, you're the one who makes these games worth watching and I wanted to say I like you.
- Jesse Puljujarvi took his fourth goal of the season when he found a loose disc in the opening and used that long range to protect him and put a backhand by Gibson. This was a greasy goal for Puljujarvi and I think he will be able to score many of them as soon as he knows he can be a handful to deal with in space.
- Kyle Brodziak put the Oilers in three goals at the end of the first period with a foul that came as a result of a wonderful steal in the neutral zone of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Nuge used his theft to steal the disc and take it to the opening where his cue was removed and straight to Brodziak, who made no mistake in burying the chance.
- Leon Draisaitl hit the ball in Oilers' fourth goal of the night and in his 23rd of the season after Caleb Jones's kick deflected from a skateboard and back to Leon's arm where he pumped into the open net. Milan Lucic began the play with a huge success in the corner that not only left his man kneaded, but also released the disc for his teammates to roll and deal. Lucic will not be able to get an assist in the game, but for me this may have been the best turn of the season.
- Cam Talbot started tonight after coming in to relieve Koskinen in Los Angeles, and I really had no idea what to expect. Frankly, if it had not been for Talbot's good work, this thing could have gotten out of control before the first period had 10 minutes. Even when the Oilers were turning off the lights and building a considerable advantage, Talbot continued to make the defenses until the last bell rang and the job was done. Great night for # 33 as he finished with 39 saves and his first shutout of the season.
- Congratulations to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for registering his 350th point in the first period of Jesse Puljujarvi, and he added another in the shortet of Brodziak a few minutes later. Sometimes it's crazy to remember that Nuge is only 25 years old, although he's been around for 100 years.
- A big cry for Caleb Jones for registering the first two-point night of his young NHL career. I know there are some mistakes that will be resolved over time, but for his first race in the championship, Jones is doing a heavy job considering he was played in the deep light years before anyone expected. He finished the night with 19:08 and keeps improving.
- Kris Russell made his first appearance in a while and it was nice to have him back doing his thing. As expected, Russell was throwing his body in jeopardy throughout the night, and you could tell the difference he did to have him back there. It was a solid night for Russell, and he kept Manning out of the line which was a double bonus. Russell finished his first game with 22:39 on the ice, three blocked kicks and a kick in the net.
- The kill penalty was a perfect 3/3 tonight with a shorthanded goal and does not look much better than that. Great job for the Oilers feather killers.
- Mega props for John Gibson for being rubbish between the tubes tonight. This really helped.
- Do not drink beets. Drink No Beetroot! BEER NOT BETTER! As always, you can join the conversation about the gain on my Twitter account.
- I love a 4-0 win, but I do not like to see the Oilers over 39-26, that's for sure. Yes, Ca, Talbot was rock solid tonight and John Gibson was hot junk at the other end, but having lots of pucks thrown into his net will never be part of the plan.
- Yes, I will complain to the referees, but it is because they allow crap like this to continue with players like Connor McDavid without calling. How come the ducks spent 60 whole minutes with all their nonsense and were only called once? This is bullshit and everyone knows it.
- Both Brandon Manning and Ryan Spooner were healthy scratches tonight, and if it was not Peter Chiarelli who got them you would hardly believe it.
- Hard night for the Oilers in the ring, as they won only 43% of their draws. That said, the Ducks are the league's third best team on the point, so their dominance in the circle certainly makes sense.
|07:37||Edmonton||Connor McDavid (24) ASST: Zack Kassian (3) and Caleb Jones (2)||1-0|
|16:05||Edmonton||Jesse Puljujarvi (4) ASST: Nurse Darnell (14), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (23)||2-0|
|19:49||Edmonton||SHG – Kyle Brodziak (4) ASST: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (24)||3-0|
|07:25||Edmonton||Leon Draisaitl (23) ASST: Caleb Jones (3)||4-0|
If the Oilers are not prepared to skate down a brick wall tonight, then pardon my French, but I will not be a happy camper.
– Ryan (@IAmByks) January 7, 2019
– Riley Tubbs (@rye_tubbs) January 7, 2019
Do not let the fact that Ryan Kesler has four goals in 39 games distracts him from having a tattoo with a K in the Superman logo pic.twitter.com/LoRlCC1HuF
– Cam Lewis (@cooom) January 7, 2019
I see that Ducks fans are like Oilers fans. pic.twitter.com/w2Ng8oGveE
– HATRICK SWAYZE (@CountySlinger) January 7, 2019
Kesler should be forced to eat nothing but Capt Crunch with his teeth for the rest of his miserable life.
– Matt Henderson (@Archaeologuy) January 7, 2019
Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 6/1/2019 – 8:30 PM MST