I thought the Oilers started the game on the wrong foot but there was no need to panic because that par for the course with this team. Other things that are par for the course include giving up a lot of goals in the 2nd period and flukey goals against. So when all of those things happened in the game versus the Lightning on Friday, I was “shocked” to say the least. The hockey gods know that demi-god Connor McDavid is about to return and have decided that they’re going to make it has hard as possible for his Oilers to make it out alive.
With all the shenanigans aside, the Oilers didn’t really play an amazing game. Draisaitl, Hall, and Nuge stood out as shakers and movers and Justin Schultz actually scored a goal but everyone else seemed flat. I wasn’t a fan of Eberle’s game (ended with zero shots on goal) and what happened to Rob Klinkhammer? He gets four shifts for a total of 3:38 and his night ends half way through the second period… Why not waive him and keep Khaira up and play him if that is the fourth line’s MO?
It’s been a while since the Hall/Draisaitl/Purcell line really lit it up. You’d have to go back all the way to Dec.22nd versus the Jets to find the last time they dominated the scoresheet. With McDavid coming back do you think we could see a shake-up in the line combos?
Where they lost the plot was with all the missed scoring chances. The two on one between Hall and Draisaitl where no shot was taken, the Victor Hedman goal line save, the Mark Letestu pinger, the Teddy Purcell breakaway, etc. We could go on but these chances have to be capitalized upon. Essentially what all those missed scoring chances did was keep Tampa in the game and ultimately it started moving the momentum in their favor.
Going into the third period Cam Talbot was sporting a .955 SV% and when the game ended it was down to .885. He can’t be held responsible for any of the goals against on the evening and in my mind should be in net when the team plays the red-hot Florida Panthers on Sunday.