Well tonight was interesting. I was definitely in a glass case of emotion as a fan and I can only imagine how everyone else felt. The Oilers didn’t come out too strong in the first, the shot count can be misconstrued as it was pointed out a lot how much the Dallas Stars just put the puck on net from anywhere; with the naked eye you could see a good high percentage of the shots weren’t high quality.
The defence was keeping a lot of shots to the outside and blocked 25 shots tonight. The boys on the back end were actually doing an average job of blocking off the shooting lanes but the Stars were just throwing everything and the kitchen sink at Nilsson tonight; who let in 2 softies, but absolutely stood on his head making 48 saves on 51 shots. It’s nice to see the Oilers get solid goaltending in net for once.
The boys in white came out rocking in the second though with much more energy, keeping pace in the period with the Stars in shots only being outshot 14-13. They got a much needed boost with two quick goals from Oscar Klefbom and Connor McDavid, who finally broke the goose egg with his first career NHL goal. They didn’t look back from that point, sustaining pressure, winning puck battles, making the smart and simple plays first, and sticking to the game plan.
Everyone seemed to have a nice kick of energy and we had hope could pull off a win. Then the third period started and my emotions were going all over the place, a lot of screaming and yelling at the TV. The Oil just didn’t appear to have the fire they came out with in the second and then they took a bad penalty and that deflated any sort of momentum they had built to that point.
I knew once Yakupov missed on that breakaway something bad was going to happen, I just didn’t expect it to happen so quickly.
You can only be outplayed and out shot for so long till another one goes in, killing all momentum and crushing my hopes and dreams for a win. I was on an emotional roller coaster tonight, but I was again pleased that this team efforts level is much better then its ever been the last 3 years, so there’s a positive right?
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) October 14, 2015
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) October 14, 2015
The Three Beer League Heroes tonight are:
1.Jason Spezza- He played a fantastic game tonight, he was all over the offensive zone, played great defensively and had a hat-trick for his first 3 goals of the season, he was by the far best player on the ice and well deserving of the first Hero.
2. Anders Nilsson– What can you say about a performance like that, he let in 2 softies in my opinion, but he battled hard for the full 60 minutes, made 48 saves tonight and stood on his head giving Edmonton a chance to stay in this game and he did just that. Thoroughly impressed with his compete level, something I don’t remember seeing with the Islanders.
3.Connor Mcdavid- Who else deserves this, after two LONG grueling games scores his first NHL goal, like 2 other phenom’s in Sidney Crosby and Wayne Gretzky. He still played a solid game and looks mature beyond his years, he’s only getting better as each game passes and more comfortable, tonight was the first night of him picking up some steam.
Tonight’s Golden Plunger Award goes to…..
Anton Lander. It never pleases me to give this award out especially to a guy who’s been working his tail off and earning his job every night. It’s not that he played horrible, it’s that he just didn’t make use out of any of his minutes he had out there, almost a third of them were shorthanded and he appeared to be benched in the third period. So the coaching staff saw something they didn’t like out of him tonight. He just didn’t have that pep, that puck prowess he usually has when he’s out there, winning puck battles and just being strong on the puck like he normally is.
Side note: Anton Slepyshev only played 5:27 tonight.
Overall with tonight’s loss, I was happy to see that we could battle back and square the game up and get some momentum from two of the players we need to step up in times of need. Still frustrated after the fact that they just didn’t have their legs tonight, and couldn’t keep a consistent flow of momentum going. Taylor hall wasn’t himself and you could see was not 100%.
The only positive out of the offence tonight was the Pouliot-McDavid-Yakupov line, who have some found good chemistry and I’m hoping they’re kept together to capitalize on this blossoming chemistry. No moral victories tonight, this was a loser’s loss because the Oilers simply weren’t the better team out there tonight.
I’ll say it again, the effort out of this team is still far more improved then what we are accustomed to and much better body language on the bench, especially from the Oilers emotional leader in Hall.
Next game is against the St. Louis Blues at the home opener on Thursday night. The Oilers have to come out crashing and full of life in this game if they want to stand a chance, they can’t surrender the same amount of shots as they did tonight and get away with it again. They have to tighten up defensively and start throwing more pucks on net, start shooting and start the crashing, its going to be the only way they can penetrate the Blues defensive system. Shots and speed, utilize the fact that they’re the quicker team and start creating breakdowns in their zone.
Thanks for reading feel free to let me know what you think @madi39 or in the comment section below!