Is there a team you dread more than the New Jersey Devils when it comes to watching an NHL hockey game? Well that’s what I used to think when Lou Lamoriello was running the show in the Garden State. Geez, did you see the list of sh*t that the players were allowed to do and unallowed to do during the telecast last night? I mean honestly, if you’re injured you can’t join the team? Two Stanley Cups… Two! And that necessitates the kind of environment even the strictest of school masters wouldn’t be caught dead in? Good luck Toronto… Woof!
There was a game played and I missed the entire thing because I was teaching… So I’m catching up here.
The First Period
I’m going to go ahead and say that the most impressive part of it was that pass from Taylor Hall to Leon Draisaitl on the Oilers first goal. F’n beauty! I can also say I enjoyed the amount of possession the Oilers had during that period. It really seemed like they were giving the Devils’ young d-core a hard time with the urgency of their forecheck thus handcuffing them every time they tried to exit the defensive zone. On a bittersweet note, Nail Yakupov got four shots in that period which was equal to that of the entire New Jersey team. He wouldn’t have another shot the entire game.
Let’s see that Draisaitl goal though!
The Second Period
Zzzzzzzz… Kyle Palmieri scored on the power play for the Devils. Zzzzzzz…
Did anybody else think that Nilsson went down a tad… Check that. A shat load early? Palmieri had that whole corner to pick from the time he picked up the puck to the moment he shot it.
Just barely a minute later though… Draihalcell striked again! Leon with a deft little pass between the legs of the NJ defender, whilst being hit in the corner, to Teddy Purcell; who sucked Kinkaid in, leaving a pinching Oscar Klefbom WIDE open for Purcell to hit with a no-looker. K-bom tucks it home and Bob’s your uncle! Oilers led 2-1 at this point!
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) November 21, 2015
Anders Nilsson made a pretty crucial save not long after that goal. Brandon Davidson tried to skate the puck from his own zone through the neutral but got stopped at center ice by Jordan Tootoo who walked past him and proceeded to partake in a 2v1 with Josefson and Griffin Reinhart. To Davidson’s credit he hauled ass back and attempted a diving block from behind but ultimately failed, leaving Anders the Giant to save the day.
At around the 10 min mark of the second it dawned on me that the Devils were doing to the Oilers what the Oilers had done to the Devils in the first period. They were suffocating them on the forecheck and not allowing the Oilers to get set or to move the puck efficiently. After a few more minutes of that Anton Lander takes another bad penalty…
What’s the over/under on Lander’s trade from the Oilers at this point? I mean he’s taking bad penalties on a nightly basis it seems and untimely ones to boot.
Edmonton ended the second frame with consecutive man advantages sans goals… Disappointing to say the least.
Earlier I noted that Yakupov wouldn’t get anymore shots on net but he had two glorious chances on the PP in the second stanza. He was set up for one-timers and both missed the net… Boo… At least he looks like he’s working his ass off out there.
The Third Period
The Devils started this period of by lulling the crowd to sleep and killing off the penalty they picked up at the end of the second. But they couldn’t help themselves and they took another penalty around the 3 minute mark for which they were punished accordingly.
Jordan Eberle scored what might be considered a Ryan Smyth Special meaning it was about as ugly as they come for #14 but a helluva bank shot off Stempniak’s skate. Check it out below!
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) November 21, 2015
The following shift Bobby Farnham got smoked by Griffin Reinhart and was a tad pissed and decided to take runs at whoever would stay in one place long enough. He was buzzing around all night and as much as it might annoy the hockey purists, I love players like him. The one problem with Farnham is that he’s lacking a moral compass. He’ll fight anybody anytime anywhere. He just doesn’t give a hoot. But as for his physical game. I dig it.
The game went back and forth for another 10 minutes or so until Mike Cammalleri decided to put a pass right on Mark Letestu’s stick in the slot of his own zone whilst attempting to break out. Letestu zipped it past the New Jersey netminder to make it 4-1. That was his first goal in the last 13 games and I’m sure a relief to everyone given Edmonton’s lack of depth scoring this year.
The Oilers scored one more, an empty netter from Taylor Hall to seal the deal.
So all-in-all a great effort from the boys in orange and blue. I think a lopsided victory in favor of the Oilers was really what the doctor ordered and it’s the kind of result that will carry with the boys going into Washington next week. Draisaitl and Hall continued their torrid scoring but Yakupov’s lack of is starting to get worrisome. Anders Nilsson’s performance was stellar and I’m really happy with the way the Oilers defence did given they were without Andrej Sekera. Lastly, when’s the last time the 4th line got over 7 minutes a night? Anton Lander had nearly the same amount of TOI as Leon Draisaitl but LD got 3 points and AL got a penalty.
Washington will be a different beast BUT we’ve seen that the Oilers can hang with the best of them this year and they will be looking to get revenge from the shellacking they took the last time the two teams got together. Is anybody else hoping Anders Nilsson gets the call again?
Have a good one folks!