Good morning Oiler fans and a good morning indeed. Waking up this morning is a complete 180 from waking up following the Los Angeles Kings game. The Edmonton Oilers played an awful game Monday against the Kings, but last night they played a solid game, defeating the Anaheim Ducks 6-2.
The last time the Edmonton Oilers faced the Ducks they got a lead, but then they stopped playing hard and the Ducks came back and eventually won the game 4-3. In that game, the Oilers showed no killer instinct. That was not the case last night as they just kept pouring it on.
It was a must-win game for the Edmonton Oilers last night as they can’t keep losing to teams below them in the standings. After last night’s game, the Oilers are still holding down the final wildcard spot. They will need to keep winning if they want to hold on to it though. The majority of the teams battling for that spot have games in hand over the Oilers so they can’t start losing ground.
Edmonton Oilers Pros
Last night was a pretty good game from the whole Edmonton Oilers lineup, but there were a few things that stood out to me.
- Vincent Desharnais in his first NHL game logged 15:04 of ice time. That was only 14 seconds less than Cody Ceci and more than 3 minutes more than Tyson Barrie.
- Dylan Holloway looked good on the first line. It is nice to see Woodcroft give him a chance up there and it paid off early in the game as Holloway scored just 3:24 into the game.
- Jack Campbell is slowly getting into form, which is perfect timing as Stuart Skinner is back in Edmonton awaiting the birth of his child. Last night Campbell made 21 saves on 23 shots putting his save% at 0.913. That is an improvement on his now 0.879% on the season.
- After having a terrible night on the penalty kill in LA the Edmonton Oilers’ penalty kill bounced back by killing all 3 opportunities.
Edmonton Oilers Cons
In a game where a team wins by such a large margin, it is tough to find flaws, but there was a couple.
- On the Ducks’ first goal the Edmonton Oilers had control of the puck twice and both times the players fumbled it and were unable to make a play. Then after the Ducks got control, the two players Bouchard and Nugent-Hopkins, were out of position and the Ducks capitalized and scored.
- On the Ducks’ second goal, it was also lost coverage that caused an issue. There was a Ducks player that went for a change and when he came on Yamamoto picked him up and followed him into the zone leaving the defenceman wide open. With Nurse battling in front of the net Campbell had no chance to see it. All Benoit had to do was hit the net and he did.
Overall this was the game the Edmonton Oilers needed to have last night. They played a good game against a weaker opponent and got two points. At this part of the season, the most important thing is the two points.
The Oilers are back at it on Friday as they play the San Jose Sharks in San Jose. This is another team that is below them in the standing and I would hope for a similar outcome to the one last night.