Thursday, May 4, 2017

Game 4 vs Ducks: "Finding ways to lose"

Anaheim Ducks forward Corey Perry interferes with Edmonton Oilers goalie Cam Talbot as puck shot into Oilers' net.
Image courtesy of Sportsnet.
In every series, there always seems to be that one guy no one expects to step up.  For the Oilers it was Zackassian in the 1st round.  In this one, it's Jakob Silfverberg.  Before the puck dropped, my wife and I commented on how this guy was dangerous.  I think we'll stop saying these things from now on, but I'd like to take that extra and unnecessary "f" in his name, add some letters to it and give it back to him, if you know what I mean.  I'm not saying I don't like the guy, but damn.

Quick recap...

Oilers deserved to win game 1.  They defensively shutdown the Ducks and potted 3.

Oilers didn't deserve to win game 2.  Anaheim outplayed them, but the puck luck was with the Oil.

Oilers didn't deserve to win game 3.  They were outplayed in periods 1 and 3.  Goaltending wasn't up to snuff, but neither was the Oilers defensive game.

But in game 4, it's a different story.  Did the Oilers deserve to win the game?  First period was Oilers Oilers Oilers, but then they took some dumb penalties, and got into serious trouble in the 2nd period.

Then the Ducks had their "7th man":

Goaltender interference, challenged by McLellan, denied, but goal counted.

Offside, no coaches challenge left for McLellan, but goal.

Even the smart learned CBC/Sportsnet panel of MacLean, Kyprios, Hrudey, and Friedman all agreed on these bad calls.  When THEY agree, then I'll tell ya, the NHL had better do something about the crappola shit-reffing.  Every fan in every series is commenting on how bad the refs are this year in not enforcing the rules, but particularly the absolute inconsistency.

Luckily the Oilers poured it on late in the 3rd and The Drake potted one in front to tie it up to go to overtime. Relief.

Then icing by the Ducks was marked by the 1st linesman with his hand up, but it was waived by the 2nd linesman, seemingly thinking Klefbom could get to the puck in time, which he absolutely could not, and then the ref got in the way in the corner, a soft battle on the boards, and next thing you know, the puck is in the Oilers net. More on that in a sec.


No excuse for Jordan Eberle to not only make one, but two soft plays. I'd say he looks like a rookie out there, but he was better as a rookie so it's an insult to his former self.  Already in his bad books, Coach McLellan promptly relegated Ebs to the 4th line and then benched him for many shifts with Anton Slepyshev moving up the lineup.  He's way faster and harder than Ebs and actually shoots well.

Then Nuge actually gets the puck in front of his net for a split second, but because he doesn't swiftly shoot it out like the instincts should make you do, Getzlaf treats Nuge's stick like a paper doll and pots one past Talbot.

In OT, icing or not, a soft play on the boards by the Oilers young D, and Getzlaf has no trouble retrieving the puck to dish it to none other than Jakob Silfverberg left alone in front for a zapper of a shot.

And you know, if that was Eberle on the other end, he'd have caught the puck in his catcher's mit-of-a-stick, held it there for 8 seconds, and lobbed a soft wrister right at Gibson.


Soft plays against a hard team will kill you.

And that, my friends, is how the Oilers are finding ways to lose.

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