Tonight the will be the sequel to the Oilers/Ducks game that was just played a few short hours ago. What we can expect is a few cheap laughs, a dickish Icelandic coach, and some sort of Lasso display.
In all seriousness though, that Icelandic coach was pretty dickish.
The Oilers managed to squander and absolutely beastly performance from Taylor Hall last night, who managed to score the Oilers’ only goal. The play itself was actually quite beautifully set up by Eberle deflecting a pass from Petry up to a streaking Hall for a 2-1 with Gagner. The fact that the kids did it against Anaheim’s top line was a nice touch as well.
Still, despite Hall and Gagner buzzing early the Oilers couldnt put another past Hiller. The real back breakers came from Dubnyk, however. The first two Ducks goals came from times when he needed to be there to shut the door. The first with 2 seconds left in the 1st and the second with 57 seconds left in the middle frame. He just cant let that happen late in periods.
The Oilers were officially eliminated from the Playoffs with that loss, but I dont feel the sting of elimination this morning because I felt it 2 weeks ago when they were effectively eliminated. Anyone who is reeling from mathematical elimination was simply lying to themselves for a fortnight about what was actually happening with the Oil.
The Oilers are sitting in a position to draft 6th (or 1st) if the season ended today. They are inching ever closer to a position where they will likely take either Sasha Barkov or Sean Monahan (or so says the internet chatter).
Oilers Keys to the Game
1) Keep Corey Perry Away From The Blue Paint
Corey Perry is big, mean, and talented. He also knows where he needs to go to have success in this league: The Front of the Net. Perry had 8 recorded shots on net last night and many of them came from less than 5 feet from the wickets. I found myself calling Foot in the Crease penalties from my couch at home, like I did against Brett Hull 15 years ago. Somebody needs to move this guy from the blue paint when he tries to get there, and taking a penalty to prove a point is acceptable, IMO. He cross checked Petry last night in a play away from the puck, some payback is due.
2) Secondary Scoring
Where is it? Earth to Horcoff, Earth to Horcoff, Can you read me? Horcoff has had 3 shots in the last 5 games. That is not good enough. We all know the value that the Captain brings as a pro, but when he looks at the way he performed on the ice this year he is going to have to answer a lot of questions. And it isnt just him, pretty much everyone outside of the kids is dropping the ball. There just isnt anyone else putting the puck in the net.
3) Playoff Like Game
No, the Oilers are not in the playoffs. No, the Oilers cannot even MAKE the playoffs if they win out the rest of their schedule. This is not a playoff-like game because of the implications of winning or losing. Tonight’s game will be playoff-like because of the schedule maker’s cruel joke. NHL teams do not play back to backs in the same building against each other unless they are in the playoffs. The Oilers need to come back with a little hate, up the intensity they showed last night, and show the Oiler faithful what this situation brings out in them. The next time they play in a situation even remotely like this one they will be in a Playoff game.
Puck Drops tonight at 7:38PM Mountain Time on Sportsnet. Game On!