Game #64 Recap: Oilers Blank Blue Jackets, 4-0
Maybe there’s a reason they don’t play games in the afternoon
The Edmonton Oilers took it to the Columbus Blue Jackets in a Saturday matinee, blanking the CBJ by a 4-0 score at Nationwide Arena.
The Jackets looked a step slow all afternoon. While they enjoyed a 60.9% CF% at 5-on-5 (according to NaturalStatTrick.com), they totaled an eye-popping 13 giveaways to the Oilers’ four. Several of those turnovers ended up in the net behind Sergei Bobrovsky, who stopped 15 of 19 shots and was pulled during the second intermission.
Mikko Koskinen stopped all 30 shots he saw for his fourth shutout of the season. Four different Oilers scored while Connor McDavid (three assists) and Leon Draisaitl (one goal, two assists) led the team with three points apiece.
A fairly balanced first period where the Jackets held a possession edge ended with the Oilers up 1-0. A little over six minutes into the game, the visitors pounced on a neutral zone turnover by Columbus and quickly went the other way, where Leon Draisaitl found Zach Kassian skating through the offensive zone. Kassian beat Bob stick-side across his body for the game’s first goal at 6:27.
Oilers 1, Blue Jackets 0, 13:33 left in the first
Cam Atkinson had a great chance to even the score a few minutes later on a breakaway chance. The play ended without a goal, however, as Darnell Nurse sped back to stymie the opportunity and keep the Oilers ahead.
The first ended with Columbus ahead in CF% (55.2%) and FF% (54.2%), though shots were 10-9 for the CBJ and each team had one high-danger scoring chance. An opening frame befitting a 1 p.m. Saturday start, perhaps, but not one that foreshadowed the impeding carnage in the second.
The Oilers added to their lead at 5:07 when they trapped the CBJ on the ice for a two-minute, seven-second shift and made them pay. McDavid skated behind Bob’s net and found Draisaitl in the middle as McDavid emerged from the other post The Oiler fired a hard pass to a waiting Josh Currie for a tap-in on the doorstep.
The Nationwide Arena crowd booed, fittingly.
Oilers 2, Blue Jackets 0, 14:53 left in the second
With two assists under his belt, Draisaitl decided it was time to get a goal soon after. He intercepted an awful Adam McQuaid pass out of the CBJ zone and slapped home a shot from a give-and-go with McDavid for a 3-0 lead. Just bad. Draisaitl’s 40th goal of the year.
Oilers 3, Blue Jackets 0, 11:07 left in the second
It didn’t get much better. With Seth Jones and Kris Russell locked in a board battle, McDavid swooped in to help and recover the puck near the CBJ net. McDavid hit Alex Chaisson alone in front and it was 4-0.
Oilers 4, Blue Jackets 0, 5:34 left in the second
Joonas Korpisalo came out to start the third, mercifully ending a rough afternoon for Bob.
The Blue Jackets received the first power play of the game (!) at the 8:17 mark from a Nurse high-sticking call. The team registered two shots on the power play, including a juicy Josh Anderson backhand from in close that Koskinen managed to kick away.
The Oilers got a power play of their own when Boone Jenner held McDavid at 13:42. Josh Anderson turned in a nifty shorthanded chance (disrupted by Nurse) and the CBJ limited the Oil to one lone shot on the PP.
Though the Blue Jackets kept plugging away, they could never solve Koskinen and took a hard L.
- This seems anecdotal, but whenever there’s a big Columbus sports day (Arnold Classic/something Ohio State/golf tournament/important Crew game) that also involves the Blue Jackets, it never seems like they hold up their end. Maybe I’m wrong.
- Bob was hung out to dry on most of those goals. Tough to stop two guys coming in from either side.
- After dominating Philadelphia in faceoffs on Thursday, they won 47 percent to the Oilers’ 53.
- Kris Russell had two assists and was a +3.
- Tortorella spread the minutes around on defense and mixed the lines around in the second. Didn’t help a ton.
- Korpisalo made five saves in the third.
- No nasty stuff, no fun, just a sleepy boring Saturday afternoon game where the good guys got housed.
- One shot on goal for Artemi Panarin and none for Atkinson. Anderson had five, though.
- Sometimes bad games happen, but the Blue Jackets are running out of time to figure it out with the deadline additions. An up-and-down Winnipeg Jets team will square off against the Blue Jackets Sunday at 7 p.m. in Nationwide./