Mrazek’s In and the Oilers Will Win

Photo Credit to Andy Devlin
Photo Credit to Andy Devlin

That’s exactly what I said on The Oilers Rig’s Podcast the other day and that’s exactly what happened. Now there’s no proof that’s actually the case, I mean what if Jimmy Howard were in net? Would the Oilers have won or lost, who knows? But I’m going to take this one and hold it close because such conditionally predicted wins don’t happen so often.

Thoughts on the game:

You had to know it the ConYak Connection was going to continue their hot play as of late given that first rush into the zone by Yakupov. I mean once Yakupov gets his legs going he’s going to try and make something happen and he’s at an all-time high for confidence right now. He blew by the Red Wing defender as if he was back in Sarnia taking on Junior players and with ease he got a pass off. To no avail but that was the first hint as to what was going to be a good night for the Russian.

Later in the game he got the puck in his zone and both teams were changing, he started to get wound up as if he was going to try and make a break for it as he would’ve done in years passed but he circled back and ate up enough time for Benoit Pouliot (who also had a great game) to get to the other blue line and that’s when Nail Yakupov unleashed a ridiculous zone-to-zone pass to spring Pouliot on a breakaway… It came completely out of left field for me but put a smile on my face. Yak is coming into his own folks… It’s going to be a fun year.

In the end, lots of MSM folks were saying that was Yakcity’s best game as an Oiler… I say maybe, maybe not. Even so, he came away with 2 assists on an evening in which he could’ve had much more and none better than the one below. I love how he hypnotizes Niklas Kronwall (the Red Wings best defender) with his stickhandling before sending a laser of a pass across the bow of the crease to Elk Point’s own Mark Letestu! (I once knew a girl from Elk Point named Candace. She played defence for the Augustana Vikings Women’s hockey team. Quite the character she was! She hooked me up with a teammate which culminated in a very awkward date…)

Photo Credit to Andy Devlin
TGFT: Thank God for Talbot Photo Credit to Andy Devlin

So many things are clicking right now with this team and it would all be for naught without Cam Talbot and Anders Nilsson. Talbot saved the Oilers’ butts on more than a few occasions and was well rewarded with the 1st star of the game. 29/30 for a .966 SV% is not too shabby in my books.

Something that is beginning to irk me a bit is the amount of penalties the Oilers are being called on in ratio to the amount that could be called against their opponents. There were at least 5 potential Red Wings penalties that went uncalled and I’m starting to wonder if there’s some sort of bias within the reffing community against the Oilers because it’s pretty bloody blatant and the refs are always right there to see the infractions… Case in point, Taylor Hall getting hauled down in the Red Wings zone early in the game and then in the same shift getting called for a trip as he was backchecking. Ridiculous!

Meh… Oilers have the best penalty kill in the league right now, so call as many as you like but surely there’ll be a call from above to lay up a bit because the NHL’s new golden boy isn’t getting on the ice as much as they’d like… With that being said, McLellan did put McDavid out on the PK and he did great! His speed and already developed two-way game will do him wonders in any situation.

Speaking of players with speed and an already developed two-way game, Dylan Larkin is going to be an integral part of Detroit’s future and it’s mouthwatering to envision a time when he and Anthony Mantha are tearing up the league. McDavid is fast but Larkin just might be able to keep up. Boy can he fly! And he was trying his damnedest to exert himself on the Oilers but he’s not in McDavid’s class, not by a long shot. Lucky that he gets to play on the top line with future hall-of-famer Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader though. His one real chance… Check it out:

This post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning “The Goal”… It was captured perfectly by the color commentator whose name escapes me right now but Connor McDavid’s first goal at home will forever be cemented in the annals of Edmonton Oilers history…


That reverse bank pass from Yak to get the puck up to Pouliot and then the way McDavid held up Brad Richards enough and then pulled away from him with two steps was unbelievable. A legend’s move no doubt! Teddy Purcell managed to score one later but who’s kidding who, nobody is going to remember it and honestly who gives a flying fart.

I always believe you should leave on high note and there’s nothing higher in the NHL than that goal right now, so take care everyone! McDavid’s in the top 30 in scoring whilst Eichel is still sitting at 2 goals…

What was your favorite moment of the Oilers game versus the Red Wings?  Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @beerleagueheroe!

Enjoy the game against the Capitals and I’ll see you on the flip side!


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!