Did you get the distinct feeling that as soon as the Blackhawks took a two goal lead that that was it for the Oilers?
I did but you’d think I’d have learned by now. I mean how many games have they come back from to tie it up only to lose it late in the third? And that’s another thing, how many of you were down to the knuckles
from chewing your nails after Draisaitl scored to tie it up?
I mean I love it. I can finally sit down and watch a game and not be down in the dumps once the opposition
scores a goal or two because I know there’s a push back coming.
I know that when Taylor Hall is on the ice that he’s going to make something happen 75% of the time and when he’s out there with Leon Draisaitl that percentage goes up to 90%. When Anders Nilsson is in the net I’m not paranoid of letting in a bad goal. When Darnell Nurse is on the ice I’m not weary of the Oilers getting pushed around. And when Nail Yakupov is out there I’m not bored.
The point is that the team may still be in the basement but the world isn’t ending because of it. I don’t believe any fans think they’ll end the year in the same spot they are in now. In fact I believe that we’re going to see some moves and then we’re going to see the Oilers start their assault on the standings.
Period one was damn entertaining! Back and forth and no prisoners were taken! The Oilers outshot the Blackhawks like crazy (11-3) and were the aggressors the entire first period. No goals were scored but there was this sweet hit by Griffin Reinhart on Andrew Shaw.
The second period was nothing to fawn over from an Oilers fan’s perspective. Passes were being missed, coverage was being blown, and to be honest you could feel the tide turning a bit. The veteran laden team from Chicago laid into the Oilers and came away with two goals from Duncan Keith and Artemi Panarin.
Like I said earlier, I had a tough time not feeling that the game was in the bag for Chicago at that point. I mean the M.O. was to keep Kane and Panarin off the board right? With 5 minutes to go in the 2nd frame they both were on the scoresheet; the diminutive Russian twice.
BUT as the boys have done time and time again this year, they found a way to make magic happen! Brandon Davidson found Ebs coming off the bench and breaking down the middle uncovered, as he broke in on Corey Crawford unscathed, Eberle froze him with a little shimmy and then ROOF DADDY! Bingo bango the Oilers were back in it with intentions to win it.
The third period was not amazing to start but a shot high and wide by Leon Draisaitl led to a missed chance for the Blackhawks to move it out of the zone, which in turn seen the puck move to Teddy Purcell’s stick and then a quick little dink over to Darnell Nurse who literally went through every Chicago player that was on the ice like hot butter; then as he approached Crawford’s net he sent the biscuit towards the slot and who was awaiting said pass? Benny Pouliot! He tapped it home to tie the game up and Rexall blew up! Check out in the highlight below where Nurse goes through everyone. I’m surprised nobody picked up on this.
But it was for naught. Nearly 8 minutes later Andrew Shaw tucked one home and they were back up… I felt terrible at this point. The Oilers were ‘that’ close again only to find themselves down with only minutes to go in the third period. Hashtag Dispair.
DID YOU HEAR THAT? IT’S LEON DRAISAITL’S MUSIC!
Ze German saved the day for the Oilers and Rexall exploded again! Teddy Purcell (good lord this guy is on fire right now) finds the puck, holds off a Chicago defender with one arm and dishes it to Taylor Hall who with the slightest of touches puts it into the shooting path for Neon Leon Draisaitl and he fires that baby home!
It was at that point I went back to sitting on pins and needles. Could the Oilers hold off the champs and take this game to OT? The answer… Yes.
How many people were scared off of Leon Draisaitl at the draft because they thought his skating was weak? Well it’s been a year and some since he was selected by the Oilers and in that time his feet have grown wings. Wings attached to a an unstoppable locomotive.
Did you see the move he put on Jonathan Toews, one of the greatest two-way players in the league if not all-time, only to blow past him and create the best chance for the Oilers to win the game? If only Corey Crawford’s glove wasn’t so big Hall might’ve scored… I’m just kidding. That was an amazing save and it ultimately led to the goal by Marian Hossa to give Chicago the win… Boo.
All-in-all it was a great hockey game and I feel bad for the Oilers this year because things are seemingly coming together but they aren’t at the same time and they’re not getting any help from the refs. In fact I believe the refs are doing more harm than good at this point and should possibly be getting reviewed with a stronger magnifying glass by the powers that be. What I mean is that this isn’t the same team we watched in years past. There’s pushback, there’s more scoring, and the games are much closer. I read that out of the 19 games played this year 9 of them have been 1 goal games… Thus is progress.
Next up are the New Jersey Devils. I can see the Oilers stepping up and getting a win there but will it be a win with Jordan Eberle in the lineup or Travis Hamonic? I guess we’re going to see real soon here!
I hope you enjoyed the read!