Game 3: Oilers vs Sabres Post Gamer – Eichel-Less Sabres Outgoal, Outwork Oilers

O'Reilly goal from centre

Coming off a successful back to back spanking of our hated rivals to the south, most pundits were somewhat bullish about a game against the Buffalo Sabres.  Missing the 2014 draft’s bridesmaid, there was a belief the Oiler’s forwards would do some feasting.

And those fans who projected a lopsided affair were right, however, the tilt was far from being in the Oilers favour.  Instead, Sabres Goalie Robert Lehner stood tall in the nets, stifling the Oilers’ attack while Cam Talbot clearly had an off night, letting in all 6 Sabre goals, including a floater from behind the blueline, finishing the night with a .67 save percentage on 24 shots.

Now Before Anybody Gets Too Excited . . .

Clearly, Talbot had a bad night but we’re some distance from having a goalie controversy, even with the Dubnyk-like wiff.  My understanding is he had some pressing family issues and that was a distraction.  I have heard some whispers of concern regarding his first two games, but I would see that as an unwarranted concern at this point.  Talbot had a bad game, that’s that.  Now, if he lets anymore grounders from mid-field, then we can start to worry.

Oilers outshoot the Sabres, still lose?

On the other side of the rink, Robert Lehner stood big in the net and was economical, letting the puck hit him.  With the exception of a nice Glove save on Draisaitl, he relied on a sound positional game.  When things got tricky his defense was there for support.  Lehner is definitely beginning to the fulfill the promise he showed when the Ottawa Senators drafted him 46th overall in the 2009 draft.

Mclellan tries some line stacking in the third

From what I could tell, Draisaitl was a permanent fixture on McDavid’s wing in the third and not surprisingly there was some magic.  If Dr, Drai was more of a sniper than passer he probably could have potted a couple.  However, he ended up having some issues roofing it over Lehner’s big pads in a tight space.  Nonetheless, it may be a combination the coach goes to when  he needs that offensive push.  Eberle for his part didn’t look lost without McDavid and may have been the Oilers best forward.

Still lots of work to do . . .

 

Looking at a team like Buffalo, which personnel wise has a comparable D-corps to Edmonton, its clear there are more than a few things off with the defense.  Larsson has been billed as a top pairing defenceman but in my mind, he’s no better than a top four.  I’m a big Klefbom fan but he can’t do it alone and Kris Russell shouldn’t be one of your best d-men night in night out.  Coaching should bear some of the responsibility when you see Buffalo’s blueline play so well, but it looks like Peter Chiarelli needs to do more shopping at some point.

How did you feel about the game tonight? Let us know in the comments below!

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Lindsay Ryall Written by:

Born in Edmonton, raised in the pumpkin capital of Canada in rural Ab. and an Oiler fan since their first season.

  • superdutyfan

    Lindsay, did you think that the oilers were going to win every game of the season ??
    Larsson (277 GP NHL) is young learning to play with Klefbom (110 GP NHL) and Russel (576 GP NHL) should be a star on this team with such a poor or young or inexperienced defense. Nurse needs to go back to the AHL and play big minutes in all situations.
    Before the Oilers signed the Monster I was hoping they would have signed Al Montoya he would have pushed Talbot a lot more. Todd McLellan should and will start Talbot next game he needs to play do or die in my opinion and if he isn’t the guy find out before there are no more goalies to trade for eg Flurey Bishop.
    Personnel I think they will rebound next game.