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Once again, the Oilers play down to their competition and embarrass themselves. Final Score: 5-2 Senators

As I wrote in this morning’s GDB, I saw absolutely no reason that we shouldn’t be diving into this Wrap Up with two points in tow. Not only are the Senators horrible by nearly every statistical measure, but they were also playing in the second half of a back-to-back set. And combined with their 2-7-1 record versus Western Conference opponents, the Oilers had all the ingredients to whip up something delicious and all they had to do was follow the recipe and put everything together. To me, this game should have been about as close to a gimme as one can get in the NHL, but as we all know, it’s easier to believe that something will happen than it is to have the boys actually execute the plan. More on that later…

As always, the most important thing the Oilers could do for themselves was to get a good start and maybe even grab an early lead if we’re being greedy. And although that early goal didn’t come until later in the opening period, it was not for lack of chances as the boys hit the ice with purpose and completely controlled the play, leaving nothing for Ottawa until the closing minutes of the frame. Heading into the second with a one-goal lead, the Oilers had the chance to build on a strong start and put some daylight between themselves and the Sens on the scoreboard, but instead, they nearly soiled their ginch in spectacular fashion. With three consecutive goals against kicking the legs out from under them, the Oilers went from looking like this thing was going to be a cakewalk to hanging on for dear life.

Down by a goal with 20 minutes to go, the Oilers needed to play way more like the way they did at the start of this game and a whole lot less like they did when they let things fall apart. Tragically, the intermission speech from Tipp didn’t help worth a damn because the boys looked every bit as disorganized and disinterested as they were in the second period. In the end, the Oilers deserved the result they got and all we can really do is flush this one and move on.

The wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

  • The game is over now.
  • Jujhar Khaira got the Oilers on the board late in the first period after a beautiful passing play that started with Sam Gagner. Gagner made a wonderful area pass to Leon Draisaitl and the big man feathered it to Khaira who basically had a tap-in for his sixth goal of the season.
  • After allowing three straight goals against, the Oilers were in desperate need of a goal of their own and Oscar Klefbom was able to deliver with a huge power play goal late in the second period. Gagner set Klefbom up with a pass to his wheelhouse and Oscar’s blast found its way through traffic and into the back of the net.
  • Sam Gagner had a really strong night tonight while playing alongside Draisaitl and Jujhar Khaira. He factored in on both of Edmonton’s goals with some nifty little passing and it’ll be hard for Dave Tippett to take him out of the lineup when other guys start to get healthy.
  • I was excited to see what Connor McDavid was going to do against the Sens and he did not disappoint early on. There were a couple of times when he basically took on their entire team and won the battle, and watching him do his thing is everything you ever hoped it would be. Unfortunately, Connor’s heroics didn’t go on all night, but after a loss as painful as that one, I’m looking for any silver linings I can get.
  • Mike Smith came into the game in relief of Mikko Koskinen and he did a meh job which isn’t horrible considering how the team in front of him let the wheels fall off completely. Is that a compliment? I don’t even know anymore. Smith finished with 11 saves and a .843 save%.

THE FACE PALMER

  • Artem Anisimov tied the game up at one apiece in the seconds after a power play when he found some space near the side of the net and was able to sneak one through Koskinen between his body and post.
  • Only 12 seconds after Anisimov tied things up, Connor Brown gave the Senators the lead (2-1) with a weak goal through Koskinen’s five-hole from near the boards.
  • Tyler Ennis scored the Senators’ third straight goal in the second period after he was the business end of a perfectly executed 2-on-1 with Connor Brown. Needless to say, by the time this goal went in, Oilers fans were reeling about what was unfolding in front of them.
  • Anthony Duclair restored the Senators’ two-goal lead early in the third period after a shot that went off the end boards bounced right to him at the side of the net, and he was easily able to tuck it into the empty cage. The Oilers had a chance to bounce back but Duclair’s early goal truly seemed like the final nail in the coffin.
  • Vladislav Namestnikov added the Sens’ fifth goal of the night and by this point, I was completely pissed off. Klefbom missed a puck behind the net that he normally picks up every single time and the Sens were able to tuck the mistake away. This play was basically a metaphor for how bad this night was as a whole.
  • After another strong performance on Sunday night, Mikko Koskinen was back between the pipes for the Oilers and looking for his 11th win of the season. To this point in the season, Costco has been rock solid in net but that was not the case tonight as he had a rare off-night that included his being pulled for the first time. Koskinen finished his night with nine saves and a .750 save%.
  • Adam Larsson and Oscar Klefbom shared the green jacket with a -4 beside both of their names.
  • Oilers were 1/7 on the power play (some were shortened to be fair) and allowed one goal on two chances against. That’s a bad special teams night.
  • How many posts did the Oilers hit in the first period? Three? Man, this thing could have been over before it really started had the Oilers gotten a little bit of first period puck luck.
  • This was the fourth game that the Oilers have blown against a team that they should beat and that’s eight points wiped from the board that they’ll probably need as the season winds down. What is it about this team and playing down to their competition to the point of not even looking like themselves? It’s embarrassing.

SCORING SUMMARY

1ST PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
14:09 Edmonton Jujhar Khaira (6) ASST: Leon Draisaitl (33), Sam Gagner (5) 0-1

2ND PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
05:15 Ottawa Artem Anisimov (3) ASST: Vladislav Namestnikov (7), Colin White (5) 1-1
05:27 Ottawa Connor Brown (3) ASST: Chris Tierney (10), Ron Hainsey (4) 2-1
11:42 Ottawa Tyler Ennis (8) ASST: Connor Brown (14), Dylan DeMelo (3) 3-1
17:37 Edmonton PPG – Oscar Klefbom (2) ASST: Sam Gagner (6), James Neal (5) 3-2

3RD PERIOD

TIME TEAM DETAILS SCORE
01:30 Ottawa Anthony Duclair (11) ASST: Tyler Ennis (6) 4-2
11:47 Ottawa Vladislav Namestnikov (7) ASST: Chris Tierney (11), Tyler Ennis (7) 5-2

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