Four. Straight. Lols. Final Score: 4-3 Oilers
Heading into Vancouver, the Oilers had won nine of their last 11 games while the Canucks had only won two of their last 10, and that told me that this was yet another opportunity for our boys to kick a struggling team while they’re down. Right now, the Oilers are playing their best hockey of the season and I saw no better chance for them to keep the ball rolling than against a divisional rival that can’t seem to do anything right. Considering we’ve all been fans of the Edmonton Oilers for our whole lives and know all too well what it feels like to watch a team that’s struggling, I wanted Canucks fans to feel a little bit more of that torment with a loss here tonight. I don’t have to explain to anyone reading this about all of the times the Canucks had their way with the Oilers back in the Sedins days, and it would certainly be nice to start repaying that favour.
Unfortunately, the Oilers dug themselves an early hole after allowing a weak goal to Bo Horvat from the corner that caught Smith sleeping on the first shot of the game. Things didn’t get much better from there either as Vancouver was able to extend their lead two more times before the period was through, taking full advantage of an Oilers team that looked flat and seemed unaware that the game had started. To their credit, the boys looked much better as the game wore on but the problem was that it’s never an easy feat to climb back from being down by a field goal. I feared that by the time the tides had started to turn, the Canucks had already pulled away with a sizeable lead and it was going to take a whole lot of hard work and a little bit of luck if the Oilers were going to be able to overcome the challenge. Thankfully, our heroes were up for a challenge. Shift after shift and goal by goal, Edmonton chipped away at the Canucks’ lead until the game was tied and the momentum was completely in their favour.
With the game tied at three, it seemed like only a matter of time before Vancouver would cough up the lead and allow destiny to run its course, which is exactly what happened when Ennis got lucky with the game-winner midway through the third. In the end, tonight’s win is a story of resilience and how the Oilers refused to give up until they were eventually rewarded for their efforts.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Dominik Kahun got the Oilers on the board (3-1) in the final moments of the first period with a wrister from the side of the net that somehow found its way through Demko and took a friendly bounce just over the goal line. Kahun added a second goal in the opening moments of the third period (3-2) after Leon Draisaitl found him with a beautiful cross-ice pass that Kahun was able to pump into the open cage.
- Connor McDavid tied the game up in the third period (3-3) with a powerplay goal after he was the business end of a beautiful passing play that moved the puck around Vancouver’s zone effectively before the captain was able to bury it behind Demko.
- Tyler Ennis gave the Oilers their first lead of the night (4-3) after Adam Larsson’s point shot bounced in off his leg on its way to the net. Obviously, scoring the fourth straight Oilers goal was a great thing for Ennis, but so was the fact that he won me money in a +500 goal prop.
- How about a casual three-point night for Leon Draisaitl? Dude is a warlord and will not be stopped.
- Mike Smith was back between the pipes and looking to improve his record to a perfect 5-0, and in the early going, it looked like it was not meant to be as the Oilers looked flat from the crease on out. For Smith, I think many of us suspected that it wasn’t going to be his night after he allowed a horrible goal on the first shot of the night, but the veteran netminder kept battling until the final buzzer and secured what seemed like an unlikely win. Smith finished the night with 30 saves and a .909 save%.
- After falling behind by three goals, the Oilers really needed their powerplay to come through with a goal if they were going to complete the comeback and that’s exactly what happened on the third and tying marker from the captain. Even though I’m sure we’d want more than one goal on four chances with the man advantage, I love that the boys got the job done when they needed it most.
- Not to be outdone, the penalty kill was a perfect 2/2 on the night as they stifled the Canucks on both of their powerplay attempts.
- Don’t you just love the way Kailer Yamamoto draws penalties? The dude’s engine never quits and it often causes the opposition to resort to cheating when it comes to trying to control him.
- Caleb Jones made his return to the lineup after weeks as a healthy scratch and I immediately remembered how mobile he is with the puck and I honestly hope this run of games will be what he needs to grab hold of a nightly spot in the lineup. Jones finished with 12:26 in TOI, one shot on goal, and one hit.
- Gaetan Haas appreciation post!
- Hell of a comeback, boys!
THE FACE PALMERS
- Bo Horvat got Vancouver on the board (1-0) with an absolutely atrocious goal that he scored from the corner by simply throwing the puck on net. I don’t know how else to say it but this was a shot that Mike Smith has to have 100% of the time, and it was incredibly frustrating to see the game start this way.
- Tyler Myers extended the Canucks’ lead (2-0) with a blast from the point that deflected on its way to the net off of Tyler Ennis’ stick and up over Mike Smith before he was able to pick up the change in direction.
- Elias Pettersson poured salt in the wound by adding Vancouver’s third goal of the opening period after swatting a loose puck in the slot that beat a scrambling Smith.
- I can’t think of a much worse way to start a hockey game than to be down by a pair of goals before the first period was even ten minutes old. Can you guess that I wrote that sentence before knowing the frame would end with the Oilers giving up three goals? Thankfully, it didn’t matter it the end but that was a tough way to kick things off.
- I don’t like seeing the Oilers get outshot (33-29) any time but I’m certainly not going to complain about it after the comeback we just witnessed.
- What the hell was Antoine Roussel thinking when he dropped his gloves and started throwing punches at an unsuspecting Jesse Puljujarvi? That was one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen and it was almost like some kind of psycho switch went off in his brain, making me think we might need to put him on a list of some kind to alert the public at large.
- I am sad to report that the Oilers won only 42% of the faceoffs tonight.
I do want an ice cold fizzy Sprite now though.
— Big Oilers Guy (@oilerfansince97) February 24, 2021
But more like the generic brand pic.twitter.com/4OndlVpttK
— Spank Yeg (@Spank_YEG) February 24, 2021
— Cam Lewis (@cooom) February 24, 2021
Sorry I’m still catching up
— Ryan (@IAmByks) February 24, 2021
Win this for Puljujarvi’s nose!!#LetsGoOilers
— SnakeJuice (@SnakeJuiceT) February 24, 2021
This is the third hit on risky business. Get on the train or die poor
— Craig (@CHinYYC) February 24, 2021
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