Everything worthwhile in life is won through surmounting the associated negative experience. – Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck)
I wasn’t really interested in writing about last night’s game, to be honest. I’m still feeling… Hurt, I guess. I don’t really know how to explain my feelings about what happened in Anaheim in game 5.
I’m not angry at all. After game 4 and what happened with the reffing, I made the decision that the officiating can be as bad as the 2015 Oilers d-core sometimes and that it couldn’t really happen again, could it. But it did happen again and I could only chuckle and think that this is just going to be one of those series, isn’t it?
I’m not disappointed because for the first 57 minutes or so, the Oilers were putting forth an outstanding effort and I’d have been just as happy with a 3-2 win as a 3-0 win. The Ducks got very lucky with that 3rd goal and it’s as simple as that. We don’t know what would’ve happened had Darnell Nurse not done his job and tied Kesler up. Maybe Kesler gets up and taps that puck in anyhow.
I think I just feel very bad for the Oilers because they got screwed but here’s the kicker, the team will be better for it in the long run.
Leadership from Connor McDavid at the end of Game 5. Draisaitl looking defeated. Tells him "let's go". Knows series isn't over. pic.twitter.com/0YKzfaCIkU
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) May 6, 2017
On to the game,
Nearly every forward from the 1st line to the 4th played with the required amount of intensity and sandpaper. The big boys were hitting, the skillers were zipping about, and the main men (Connor and Leon) were playing the Ducks like fiddles.
I think that getting Draisaitl on against Getzlaf was a bit of a game-changer too. I mean it took the Ducks moving Getzlaf to the blueline to get him away from Leon and they needed an extra man (and a dodgy video review) to tie the game up.
**Just an aside, do you think that the Ducks’ captain was aiming for Leon on their first goal? I mean it certainly didn’t look like he was trying to pick a spot on the net and both times he teed up those shots, they hit Leon. The game was lost for Anaheim at that point and it’s plausible that Getzlaf thought about getting his pound of flesh with his target right in front of him knowing that scoring 3 more goals was a nearly insurmountable task.**
Lastly, Kassian fighting Ritchie eh? Wow! I love Zack Kassian as an Oiler so much.
Adam Larsson and Darnell Nurse were the only Oilers defensemen NOT to get hurt in the 1st period (that we know about). Is that ridiculous or what? I mean the hockey gods were really working their magic last night and Ryan Kesler trying to feel up Cam Talbot is what did it… It’s really amazing when you think about how many lucky bounces had to happen for the Ducks to win that game.
- Benning gets absolutely CRUNCHED behind the net from Nate Thompson. I thought he was done at first but then I took a second and realized that Battlin’ Matt Benning isn’t one to stay out of games. This guy is a warrior.
- Oscar Klefbom takes a clapper right to under the arm in the ribs. That’s a scary part to get hit in, right? Not a whole lot of protection there but he perseveres and comes back to play.
- Kris Russell. Are you f*cking kidding me? The game of his life! He gets railroaded by a guy nearly 50 pounds heavier than him in the most vulnerable of positions, takes a breather, then shakes off the cobwebs (and the trainer) and skates back to the bench! But he’s not done there. He goes on to play the 2nd most minutes of the night and sets an Oilers record for blocked shots in a game.
Sad night for ‘Rej (Sekera) as he was unable to come back. That must’ve been some injury if he couldn’t return to the game though. He barely made it to the bench.
I wonder if we’ll see Eric Gryba make his debut in this series on Sunday? He’s a tough fella and he’ll definitely keep the front of the net clear but can he deal with the Ducks speedy wingers and will he be able to keep his cool if he draws in?
You’d think you’d want to put a player in similar to Sekera, right? Jordan Oesterle is around, right? I can’t remember. Is he one of the black aces? If there’s anybody that’s as close to Sekera in terms of playing style, Oesterle would be that guy.
I guess they could throw Benny Pouliot back there again 🙂
It’s too bad the sacrifices that those players made are being lost in a shit storm thanks to the officiating and Ryan Kesler’s wondering mitt.
The Oilers lost 3+ games in a row on six occasions in the 2016/17 season.
- 10/30, 11/1, 3 – Won the following two games
- 11/8, 11, 13, 15, 17 – Won the following three games
- 11/25, 27, 29 – Won the following two games
- 12/4, 6, 8, 9 – Won the following game
- 1/31, 2/2, 3 – Won the following game
- 3/7, 10, 12 – Won the following four games (outscoring their opponents 18-5 no less).
So if we dissect that superficially a bit, the instances when the Oilers only managed to win one game following a three-game losing streak, they had back-to-backs to deal with.
I know some folks might be worried about the Oilers luck on Sundays. They’re .500 in the playoffs on said day of the week and if that gets you down, just consider that Anaheim has been in this position in the last 4 years. Up 3-2 in the series, going away to close it out but lose and then they’ve lost each and every time in the 7th game at home as well.
I’m sure there are more numbers I could dig up to make us both feel better about the Oilers going him down 3-2 in the series and on a 3-game skid but it’s not happening.
We’ve seen these Oilers come back so many times this year. I don’t expect that to change.
Go Oilers Go!!!