Thoughts from Edmonton Oilers OT Loss to Vancouver


Hey guys, it’s Kris here doing the Post Game for tonight’s game. Kurt is away on Holidays, so I’ll be taking over the post game festivities.

I’m going to try the same format as Kurt with the 9 things to tonight’s game. I really like the format and hey: why mess around with what works?

Tonight the Oilers lost 2-1 in Overtime, marking the Vancouver Canucks first 3v3 Overtime win of the season. You know, typical Oilers being slump busters. It wasn’t a good night tonight.

So without further ado…here’s nine things.

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Nine Things


Seriously. Every period Jim Hughson had to give us the viewers the information that Henrik Sedin could not sit down because something is bugging him. It was nice the first time he told us. By the sixth time I started getting irritated.  Also bonus points to Hughson letting us know that the Canucks could not hit the net. I would have never been able to tell that.

Heck most times, I actually don’t mind Hughson but tonight, yikes.

8) Nikita Nikitin is still not a good defenseman 

Seriously, Nikitin looked brutal tonight in my eyes. I think it’s exemplified on the first Canucks goal where he failed to get the puck out of the zone. Hemmed deep in the zone, Gryba lost his battle and Sedin made a pass across to Hansen. Nikitin was in the middle of this play and what does he do? Slide and miss the puck completely.

Another time, he pinched up and it lead to an odd man rush. He’s not fast enough to pinch. He was not a good player tonight.

7) The Power Play still lacks potency 

0/3 tonight. Lacked any dangerous chances. The first power play was just dreadful: no shots produced, could not get into the zone. Justin Schultz just doesn’t look like a great fit there. The second power play produced two shots and the third one was probably the best of the night. Still, it’s lacking fire power. I imagine the Power Play will start clicking when McDavid and Yakupov are back.

6) The Second Line was invisible. 

The second line of Pouliot-Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle needs to be flat out better. Unlike other lines, this line could not produce much offense or pressure in the offensive zone and was constantly getting hemmed in by the Canucks. It’s not like the Canucks were a really deep team tonight: they were missing players like Brandon Sutter, Dan Hamhuis, Chris Tanev, Luca Sbisa, Ryan Miller, Alex Burrows and Chris Higgins. The second line is a skilled line and they can’t really produce. They were invisible tonight.

5) Third Line Worked Well

The third line of Korpikoski, Letestu and Hendricks looked effective enough. Unlike line two, they could actually keep the puck in the offensive zone. Letestu was the only Oiler who scored tonight and it was caused by a turnover (via a heads up play from Matt Hendricks). Korpikoski looked good enough, which is a refreshing change. It was nice to see Letestu get the goal because he has been looking iffy out there.

4) Could not take advantage of a depleted Canucks

The Oilers looked bad for stretches of tonight. Don’t let the shot totals fool you: despite having 33 shots on Markstrom, it was the Canucks who were moving the puck better in the offensive zone. It’s a let down of a loss: the Canucks are depleted, not playing good hockey lately, and it’s a huge two points on the line. The Edmonton Oilers did not show up to play a full game. It was a miracle that they got a point tonight. The team had five days off between games and are now playing against the Flames in a back to back. We know how those usually end. They need to be better as a team.

3) Darnell Nurse played a career high in minutes

This can be interpreted in a couple ways. First off, I’m starting to agree with other bloggers where Darnell Nurse is playing way too many hard minutes. I didn’t think Nurse looked bad tonight, besides some turnovers and a penalty. That said, that’s a lot of minutes playing: 17 minutes as a game high of all defenders. It also speaks to how much we are missing Oscar Klefbom and Brandon Davidson.

2) Cam Talbot 

I thought Talbot played a fine game despite the team in front of him. The Overtime winner was a bit weak, but I liked how Talbot played. The first goal he could hardly be blamed for it. The Canucks would bring flurries of shots to the net and Talbot looked solid. There was a scary moment where Cracknell crashed into him, where Talbot’s head hit the post quite hard. He probably won’t play tomorrow (back to backs) but I thought he looked fine tonight. Might be good if he’s hurt to sit the next one out. Talbot had a .917 Save percentage tonight.

1) Taylor Hall and Leon Draisaitl

Unlike the second line, the top line looked dangerous all night long. Every time Taylor Hall touched the puck, he would create a chance. It’s great to see him and Draisaitl continue to click, despite being held pointless. They are the drivers of the Edmonton Oilers offence and it’s starting to look unbalanced. Nothing against them, they are continuing to play well enough.

Extra Tidbit 

Expect a more in depth post to follow sometime tomorrow on but I’ll give my two cents:

I think the Oilers could use more “grit” but I’d be really torn to have a guy like Zack Kassian on the team. He has his demons, and I’d hope they are exorcized, but there’s a risk. He’s not a fan favourite for his incident in 2013 where he broke Sam Gagner‘s jaw….and then taunted him in a later game.

I would pass but Friedman was talking about this quite a bit tonight. There’s some smoke there.

Next: Exclusive Interview with Patrick O'Sullivan

Anyways, hopefully the Oilers bounce back tomorrow. At least we got a point.