Everyday that passes and every game that Cam Talbot saves the Oilers asses is one less chance for Chia Pete to sign him to a bargain deal because if T-Bot keeps up these performances he’s going to statistically justify himself into a contract that the Oilers might regret signing him to if this is a one year thing. Personally I’d like to think that the days of the flash-in-the-pan goalie are over but if there’s any team that knows about the one year wonder, it’s Edmonton. Right Ben Scrivens, Viktor Fasth… Maybe Anders Nilsson…
**So I wrote the above before the signing was announced. Three years at a shade over four million per year is not too shabby. Low on the starter’s scale but it’s a solid deal. Chiarelli has taken the necessary time to evaluate what he has in Cam Talbot and has jumped all over the opportunity (just as he did with Klefbom) to get him locked up. I like the three-year term because it gives our no.1 goaltending prospect Laurent Brossoit that much more time to marinate in the AHL and I wonder if Brossoit gets one more year in the ‘A’ and then is up for good in 2017.
My one concern is if the Oilers do not improve their defence and Talbot is left hanging and struggles, we’re hamstrung with a bad goalie on an expensive contract… Again.**
Anyways, going into the game versus Calgary I was feeling uneasy. The Flames had won the previous seven matches in Rexall and hotshot rookie Sam Bennett was on a tear. Not only that but the Oilers were, and are still, having a ridiculous time putting the puck in the net, clearing their own zone, and dominating puck possession… Yikes!
I didn’t like the start to the game, I didn’t like how Nuge took two identical penalties in just over 20 minutes of game time, and I didn’t like the carefree attitude that seemed to permeate the Oilers’ play. It was too lackadaisical and left me wondering how many goals they were going to get beat by.
Just three minutes in and we knew what kind of game it was going to be when the Nuge and Nurse were caught napping and forced Cam Talbot to make what I’m calling the save of the year on a wide open TJ Brodie. Check it out below! Wowzers!
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) January 17, 2016
Now Darnell Nurse did not have a good night and from all accounts he’s been having a tough go of it for some time now. Whether that was because he was paired with Justin Schultz or because he’s just been deployed in a fashion that is non-conducive to his level, as soon as his minutes were cut and he was paired with Eric Gryba, things seemed to calm down for the rookie. He led both teams with 7 hits on the evening.
The shots after one period were 14-8 and the Oilers were down by 1 care of Sam Bennett but halfway though the 2nd period something came over the boys and according to the fancies they started to pick up the pace Picante style! It was hard to see the swing in momentum using the eye test because it was a pretty boring game to be honest.
But if we jump to the third period, that is when Mark Fayne scored off of a Taylor Hall (we’ll get to him in a moment) faceoff to tie it up. I honestly didn’t feel as if the Oilers were going to pull through. The game felt as if it was all Flames and the Oilers big names were doing very little to change that. I feel they were pretty lucky to pull through and I was just hoping they’d manage the puck enough to take it to OT, which they did.
Overtime wasn’t anything special and going into the shootout I couldn’t help but recall the last one Talbot was in. That dreadful feeling was back and got stronger each time their shots were stopped. First with Eberle, then with Nuge, but then Teddy Purcell redeemed himself with a beauty! And the Oilers got the two!
Now, typically as a fan you’d like to see your major players step up versus the team’s greatest rivals and this is something that did not happen against Calgary. Hall was invisible and that could be due to being targeted by the Flames no.1 duo in Giordano and Brodie but that performance was his worst of the year so far. In fact, he hasn’t been doing all that much for that past 10 games and, to me at least, the Hall of old was back for a cameo. Nuge, who was outstanding on faceoffs (71%), didn’t create a lot of chances nor did Eberle. Yakupov was buzzing but not a whole lot was going for him and Kassian was smashing because that’s what Kassian does. How about that hit after Bennett’s goal in the first? OUCH!
It’s not fair for me to sh*t on everyone because the team did in fact win the game. I thought that Mark Fayne had a very tidy game as did Gryba and how could I forget about Rej?!!
Andrej Sekera was AMAZING! He racked up over 27 minutes on the ice with three shots and three blocks. How TJ Brodie was the no.1 star is shocking to me…
My whole feeling on this team is that it’s success hangs on its willingness to play aggressively. That doesn’t mean fighting but it does mean putting their bodies on the line. It means forechecking hard and getting in the other team’s faces. I refer you to the Florida game… The best game I’ve seen the team play in years…. YEARS!
Apologies on the tardiness of the post-gamer. Life gets in the way sometimes and priorities are priorities. I’m sure you can understand and I appreciate it very much!!
I can’t wait for the return of Hendy and the next game versus the Florida Panthers. Is this the creation of a new rivalry? Will Zack Kassian take a run and Erik Gudbranson? Will Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle show up?
I guess we’ll have to wait and see!
Until then, take care all!