G33: Flyers @ Oilers - No Time To Catch Your Breath
Apologies if this blog feels a bit disjointed, I am writing this on my phone as I travel through scenic Grande Prairie.
Hockey is a funny game. 2 minutes into the second period when the Oilers were down 3-1, fans would have been ecstatic to have the team finish with a point. After the team did just that, fans were frustrated that the team could not pull out a win.
This was the second time the Oilers played the Jets this season, and the second time the Oilers forced overtime in dramatic fashion. I thought Edmonton played fine in the first period and were unfortunate to have a couple unlucky goals against, then Edmonton took over in the second, while also managing to score some lucky goals.
Then fatigue set in.
After outshooting the Jets 13-6 in the second period, Edmonton spent the majority of the 3rd period in their own zone. Shots were 17-2 for the Jets in the final frame; the fact that Edmonton even made it to overtime lies solely on brilliant goaltending by Cam Talbot. Darnell Nurse and Adam Larsson both averaged around 30 minutes on the night, the third pairing of Gravel-Benning struggled to handle second pairing minutes, and the Garrison-Wideman pairing struggled to prove they belong in the NHL.
Ultimately, the goal Cam Talbot allowed in OT was a disappointing end to what should be looked at as a overall solid game by Edmonton. They played with a depleted lineup in Winnipeg, and still walked away with a point.
Nurse and Larsson went have much time to catch their breath as they will likely be logging big minutes again tonight versus the Flyers.
Purely guessing on this lineup and I'll be curious to see how right I am. Garrison played the least out of any defenceman last night and was directly responsible for the first goal due to a dumb interference play. I would sit him.
Gravel logged 18 minutes last night and clearly struggled with the heavy minutes. Giving Jones top 4 minutes might seem rash, but the Oilers need some fresh legs.
FLYERS (via DailyFaceOff)
van Riemsdyk- Giroux- Konecny
4 KEYS TO VICTORY
1) Outscore Your Mistakes. With the backend severely depleted, mistakes and fatigue are going to be common issues we see during games. The Flyers have the potential to be a perfect opponent for the Oil on the second of back to back games. Philly has allowed the fourth most goals in the NHL and has a league worst 72.45% PK. Not to pile on the Flyers but their “starter” is Anthony Stolarz, a 24 year old who has played a total of 14 career NHL games. Edmonton needs to rack up some goals early to give them a cushion for the third period.
2) Trust in Mikko. Talbot managed to secure a point for Edmonton last night and the team will be hopiing Koskinen can earn the team another 2. Koskinen has been unbelievable at home, going undefeated with 6 wins; 3 of those have been shutouts.
3) Jones Debuts (For Real This Time). Wherever he plays, Caleb Jones will make his NHL debut tonight after a luggage kerfuffle thanks to Winnipegs imaginary airport. Jones has had success in the AHL due to his ability to transport the puck, and use his speed to join the rush. Jones will need to have those tools on display in order to be effective in the NHL.
4) You Can Rest In A Week. Injuries are going to happen throughout a season, and while it is never a good thing, the Oilers picked a decent time for them to pile on. Edmonton plays Philly tonight, has a day off before playing in Vancouver, and then another day off before playing the Blues at home. After that they have a 3 day break before hosting the Lightning, and finally another four day break before playing the Canucks on the 27th. The team needs to hold on for a week, and hopefully with the extra time off, edge closer to having some players return.
FILM OF THE DAY
If you're claustrophobic I wouldn't watch this. Buried is an indie film starring Ryan Reynolds that takes place entirely inside a coffin, as his character has been buried alive. Not many breaths for him either.