BLH Post-Gamer G48 Oilers VS Lightning: Boyle-d Alive!

It’s always a disappointing feeling when you’ve worked so hard whilst feeling tired due to playing the night before when a teammate has a brain fart at a most critical moment in the game. That’s exactly what happened last night when Anders Nilsson, who is having an atrocious time in net recently, decided to give the game away to Brian Boyle so he could win it for Tampa. Let’s take a look at the sequence below.

Nilsson ouch!

Two things jump out at me here.

1 – Nail Yakupov even on one leg should be able to catch Brian Boyle 999 times out of 1000. Even if his first inkling is to go to the net, he’s got to make a choice here and do it at full speed. Had he even got on his horse and tied Boyle’s stick up, that would’ve made a difference.

2 – What in the good Lord’s name was Nilsson thinking. The odds are in his favour if he stays in his net and if he’s going to commit to chasing down the puck, then bloody well commit! He half-assed it to the puck and when he got close enough and it was clear he was going to be beat, he still tried to go for the stick check.

Nilsson ouch! 2

So Yak is all ladder-legs here. Watching the puck… Is that what they teach the Oilers as soon as their drafted… “Wait to react, it always works!”

He knows exactly what Boyle is going to do with the puck and he’s committed to the net to back up his goalie but the problem is… HE’S NO WHERE NEAR THE NET!! He should be unlocking those knees and getting ready to block the shot that will undoubtedly be coming. But unfortunately his effort results in this:

Yakupov effort?
Come on… What is that Yak? Block it if you’re going to block it.

So with the elephant out of the room let’s talk about the rest of the game. Overall I loved the pushback from the Oilers even though they were on the hind end of a back-to-back and it was their third game in four nights that included racking up some major points on the old air miles card. It’s not an easy flight from Cali to FLA, then again it’s not like these guys are flying coach.

In the absence of Ryan Hugent-Hopkins, I thought Matt Hendricks looked fine going 64% on the dot but the fancies did not like him or his line at all. He finished that game at 18%, Ebs at 12%, and Pouliot at 16%… Yowzas! But as bad as Ebs or Pouliot have been I did see flashes of improvement from them. I like how Pou has been asserting himself physically lately and Eberle is starting to get that hunger back in his eyes.

The top line of Hall/Draisaitl/Purcell didn’t start off well on that Nesterov goal but they didn’t get a lot of help from Jultz and Hunt on it either. The trio did however finish the game with the best fancies on the team as Hall was 59%, Draisaitl 62%, and Purcell with 61%.

I was really impressed with Draisaitl, his ability to protect the puck and his silky mitts are really impressive. He played really aggressive against the Lightning and I personally believe that the team has a better chance of success when they’re taking the game to their opposition as oppose to letting their opponents take the game to them and reacting to it. A pipe dream of mine is to see Jaromir Jagr in an Oilers jersey for one season so he can teach these kids a thing or two about the game on and off the ice.

**For future reference, “fancies” mean even strength Corsi for %. I get the #s from Oilersnerdalert’s post gamers here. He does such a fantastic job and it really helps me when I’m trying to filter through the eye test and the numbers test. You should definitely make his blog a daily stop!**

How about the games from Mark Letestu, Zack Kassian and Iiro Pakarinen? Outstanding! Both Kassian and Pakarinen came away from the contest with a goal and an assist but that wasn’t all for Kassian. He also racked up two PIMs, two shots, and four hits. A very complete game from him and he’s been nothing short of impressive since he’s been called up from Bakersfield.

And Iiro the Hero’s goal.

That line was buzzing all night and I’m jacked that there’s the possibility that we might have the makings of a good 3rd line right there. I’m hoping we see this group stay together for some time so a proper evaluation can be made but if they can continue to produce on the scoreboard and maintain a physical game, I reckon we’re gold!

Coach Todd was really working the bench this evening. He had 7 defenders to choose from and none of them played more than 20 minutes. I was really surprised to see that Sekera only played 17 minutes and Mark Fayne, whose play I’ve been really happy with lately, only had about 15 minutes. Justin Schultz and the revelation Brandon Davidson had the highest on the blue line with 19 and a half minutes. Brad Hunt managed 7 and half minutes with 4:46 of them being on the PP.

Speaking of Brad Hunt, this guy is supposed to be shooting the puck… Last night he had ZERO shots. Is it a problem with him not being able to get the shot off in time or the PP unit’s problem being unable to get him the puck?

Before we move on to talk about the next game I’d like to point out this slewfoot that Steven Stamkos put on Zack Kassian. Now I noticed that Kassian was going after Stammer continuously throughout the game when they were on the ice at the same time and Stamkos didn’t shy away from the hitting and stood his ground strongly but I don’t condone this sort of tactic. He was penalized for it but honestly, It’s no better than a hit from behind or a blindside hit. Check it out below and let me know what you think in the comments section!

Next up are the high-flying Dallas Stars who are 2-6-2 in their last ten and the season series is split 1-1. This could be a great opportunity for the Oilers to steal one from Jamie Benn and the boys. With Cam Talbot playing the way he is and the Oilers’ top line of Hall/Draisaitl/Purcell producing a bit more lately, it’s definitely in the realm of possibility.

Take Care!


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!