Edmonton defeated the Hawks tonight. No, really. They won 4-3 on the road, and Ben Eager had the game winning goal. No, really. It was something. Dubnyk played great, it all worked out, and it felt good to see the team win again.
But in this cruel thing called Edmonton Oilers fandom, there’s always a price to pay for victory. Even in five (or six) non-playoff years, there’s a price for everything.
After tonight, it’s very likely the Oilers will be without the services of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Tom Gilbert for the next few weeks (months?).
Let’s start with the worse of the two; a truly awful hit by Dan Carcillo on Tom Gilbert.
Watch the entire ugly sequence unfold here.
Gilbert’s right knee is about to be in a world of hurt about 2/10ths of a second after this shot.
You can take these two points that the Oilers earned tonight and burn them to the ground with a giant flame thrower. You thought the Oiler defence needed help before? Just wait and see. The ticket to Lotto Land just got a giant punch if he’s out for more than a couple games. Wouldn’t be surprised if Gilbert is put on the shelf for the remainder of the season. Carcillo recklessly hits Gilbert from behind as they’re pursuing the puck behind the Oiler net. Gilbert goes flying to the boards, and both Gilbert and Carcillo crumple to the ice, as Carcillo what appears to be an ankle injury from the way he falls. Carcillo got a five minute major for boarding, and will certainly face supplemental discipline from Brendan Shanahan and Co.
Carcillo will likely be gone for a handful of games. Gilbert will likely be gone for that and more. Just a dumb thing to do, and it cost Edmonton their best defenceman for who knows how long.
AND NOW, THIS
Prior to Gilbert getting mugged behind his net, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins lost his edge and slammed his left shoulder into the boards. Nugent-Hopkins attempted to play with the injury, but the first thing I thought of was Taylor Hall’s injury in the Colorado game a few weeks back. Rightfully, he was pulled from the game. Both he and Gilbert (obviously) will miss tomorrow’s match against the Buffalo Sabres.
So other than losing two of your best players, what went right?
Well, Ben Eager had a game winner, and Andy Sutton scored a goal. Oilers had a couple power play goals courtesy of Ryan Smyth and Taylor Hall. Devan Dubnyk turned aside 39 out of 42 shots, and Jordan Eberle scored his 25th assist. Two points were earned, although the price was more than paid for with the injuries to Nugent-Hopkins and Gilbert.
The Oilers are in Buffalo tomorrow night to take on the Sabres. Can this team make it two in a row?
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