BLH Post Gamer G27 Oilers VS Stars: Anders the Defiant!

F-me! What a game by Anders Nilsson! Photo Courtesy of Andy Devlin.
F-me! What a game by Anders Nilsson! Photo Courtesy of Andy Devlin.

Can you believe what we’re seeing? A goalie that is keeping the Edmonton Oilers in hockey games! Not only that but he’s stealing them for the Oilers too! Are we witnessing the rise of the next great netminder or is this just a guy who’s on a hot streak or was it a matter of playing a team that was on their third game in four nights? Who cares to be honest? The Oilers got the two points, are out of the basement and are .500 in their last ten games. WOOHOO!

After the game Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan said something to the effect that if Anders Nilsson doesn’t play as good as he did that the Oilers would’ve been left in the dust. Isn’t that the truth?

That first period was a dog’s breakfast. The Oilers were outshot 14-8 and who knows where this game would’ve gone had Jujhar Khaira not knocked that clearing attempt down and dinked it over to Taylor Hall so he could make Patrick Nemeth and a sprawling Uncle Niemi look foolish. Check it out below:

What a beauty. You don’t necessarily appreciate that goal for what it is until you watch it a couple of times. Woof! Unfortunately that was the only thing worth pointing out in the 1st period for the Oilers. The E-Town entertainers did have a couple of chances on the power play but couldn’t manage to find much more than a post. Let’s move on to the second.

The Oilers closed the gap a tad in the middle frame but Dallas was still pouring it on. One thing that was pretty noticeable off the bat was Jujhar Khaira sticking on that top line with Hall and Draisaitl. Khaira did stay there, he had shifts moving up and down the lineup for the rest of the game.

We’ve seen McLellan successfully put a more physical type of player with 4 and 29 a bit earlier in the year when Matt Hendricks was put up there and then Rob Klinkhammer. They opened up some more room in the offensive zone and allowed Hall and Drai the maneuverability they needed to create more chances. Of course, Hendy and Col. Klink were injured not long after, so let’s hope Thorny can stay consistent and healthy. If he can do that then we’ve most likely seen the last of Luke Gazdic. Khaira is simply a better option in the team’s bottom six.

Click the pic and take advantage of some amazing sales over at the BLH Merch Shop!
Click the pic and take advantage of some amazing sales over at the BLH Merch Shop!

Dallas managed to find a way to score just before the end of the second as Mattias Janmark (this guy looks pretty crafty btw) easily made Mark Fayne look like a pylon on his way to tapping in a fat juicy rebound. The Oilers need to stop letting these goals in so late in periods. It’s a real buzz killer. I think Fayne only had two more shifts after this one… Coach McLellan was not happy with Fayne’s performance and he wasn’t wrong. He got walked 2 minutes into the game and was just having a terrible day at the office.

Speaking of bad days, how about Eberle fluffing that 2v1 at the end of the second period? Woof! If Eberle doesn’t score in OT, is he still on the tongues of the rumor mongers? The way I see it, he’s gone anyhow because I don’t see how a couple SO goals and an OT winner would put you back in the good graces of the new GM and coach. He’s got a history of production and one 5 game stretch won’t ruin that. His problem is that he doesn’t fit into McLellan’s system. I believe the Oilers coach likes his wingers tenacious and willing to sacrifice their bodies in the name of success.

A minute into the third and you already know how the rest of the period is going to go. The Oilers were forced to clinch their sphincters and hold on for dear life. The Stars peppered Anders Nilsson 15 times in that period but failed to turn on the red light. Contrast that with the Oilers, who only served up a paltry 4 shots and you can clearly see how important Anders Nilsson was to the boys in orange and blue.

Some might say the Oilers stuck with the Stars but if you watched the game it was painfully obvious that Dallas was the superior team. They were tired and couldn’t capitalize on their chances. But as I said earlier, I don’t give hoot how the Oilers get their points, just as long as they get them.

I’m going to leave you here but If you need a clearer view of how bad the Oilers were outplayed, take a look at this chart from OilersNerdAlert and the quote following the chart from Walter Foddis.

Take Care!


I wonder if Mess would say whoa to this?
Hey Connor! Check this out! Whoa… Click the pic to head over to G.Money’s site and read his take on the game.

Nilsson made these wins possible against Boston and Dallas. These have been two of their worst defensive games of the season. The special teams in both games–as measured by shot attempts (the best predictors of goal-differential on special teams)–have been very weak. Winning like this is unsustainable.

Fayne was held off the ice tonight. McLellan didn’t like what he was seeing. Fayne’s Dangerous Fenwick Against (DFA) gave numbers to that performance with the lowest DFA to date: 170 (>40 is bad). Gryba and Schultz were crushed in DFA last game.

Not sure what’s happening with Fayne, but for the team in general, I don’t think these weak performances are an effort issue; it’s our roster. The injury bug is hurting us big time. Remember when we had a decent 2L of McDavid, Yak, Pouliot? All out with injury. Our best 4L possession forward (Klinkhammer), & our best 5/6 D-man (Davidson) are also out. Whose in? Our 2 worst forwards–Korpikoski & Gazdic–are stinking up the joint on the bottom-6.

Don’t be fooled by the wins. If not for Nilsson, the scores would reflect how badly the team is performing. Not being negative; just keeping it real.

On the positive side, I love Eberle’s reaction to scoring in OT. Getting goals will help his confidence. You know the team is going to need more of them! – Walter Foddis


Beer League Hero Written by:

I'm the Beer League Hero! I am from Camrose, Alberta but I make my home in Taipei City, Taiwan. I've been through the ups and downs and the highs and the Lowes, the Bonsignores and the McDavids, the Sathers and the Eakins but I'll never leave my Oilers, no matter what! They're with me until the end and then some. GO OILERS GO!

  • wfoddis

    Thanks for the quote, BLH!

    • Beer League Hero

      You’re welcome Walt!