The Penguins opened up the November part of their schedule with a matinee against the Oilers of Edmonton. Saturday afternoon games are good financially for the organization and city as it puts more people in the downtown area around 4 pm, but they are bad for literally everyone else. Regardless, the game must go on.
Much to my surprise, the Penguins didn’t come out looking like your dog’s best work after you slipped him some table food. Instead, the Pens came out flying and really took hold of the momentum in the early goings. Try as they might they couldn’t get the opening goal. The period would consist of some wide-open hockey at times, but both goaltenders were strong. Nothing doing on the scoreboard to end one.
18 shots in 20 minutes of play without a powerplay opportunity. In the literary world, this period would be the definition of foreshadowing.
The second period was shaping up a lot like the first, open chances both ways with the Pens getting more than the Oilers. Less than 10 minutes into the period Marcus Pettersson gets beat along the wall, a rare occurrence by all means, by a rookie with the Stan Lee approved name of Colby Cave. After gaining the edge on Pettersson, Cave drove to the net and left Murray dazed and confused with what he might do next, which involved scoring.
You can see in the gif that Pettersson was neither aware nor prepared for the speed of Cave. For Murray, it’s one of those goals that is easy for me to say what I would’ve done while I eat Chinese leftovers for breakfast at 6 in the morning and type a blog for a couple of hundred people to read. Perhaps a poke check would’ve been a good option, but that also leaves the five-hole wide open which is an area Murray has been beaten on breakaways in the past and perhaps that was on his mind? Either way, weak defense, lack in judgment in goaltending, 1-0 Oil.
The Pens would get a chance to tie things up one minute later when they would go on their first powerplay of the night, and the first since the opening week with Evgeni Malkin. They took at least 500 shots and kept the puck in the zone for about 90 straight seconds but couldn’t score. Ten seconds after the penalty expired, Matt Benning let the box of shame only to draw a hooking penalty and return. This powerplay the Pens didn’t look so hot, and they failed to convert once again. After five minutes of 5v5 Darnell Nurse got his stick up high and would sit for two, and the Pens powerplay unit rolled out again. This time, however, was not any different, they didn’t score and the period would end 1-0.
After putting up 18 shots in the first the Pens responded with 17 in the second, and would’ve been pushing 50 through two periods if not for Edmonton’s 13 blocks.
Sometimes when the game isn’t going your way it’s fun to watch a period and evaluate where the team actually is at this point in the season. It’s also way too early in the season to do such things but whatever. Would the Penguins come out swinging in the third knowing they’ve been right on the doorstep, or would they give up? Their comeback efforts were stalled less than two minutes into the period when Jujhar Khaira, which sounds like a sushi order I’ve placed while drunk, took a penalty and put the Pens powerplay on the ice. The Pens powerplay once again failed to score, and teams may start taking penalties as an advantage. Four seconds after the penalty expired Nick Bjugstad got called for hooking whatever is left in the body of Markus Granlund and the Oilers were given a golden chance to ice the game but Murray and the Kill said no. After some 5v5 John Marino was rung up for hooking McDavid and the Oil were back on the prowl. During this kill the Pens got an odd-man rush down the ice, Bryan Rust was the puck carrier with ZAR to his right and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins between them, and before he could attempt a ridiculously impossible cross-ice feed he looked back and saw Brian Dumoulin. Rust dropped the puck to Dumo and Dat Good Bostahn Cawlidge Boy Buries Da Biscuit
BRIAN DUMOULIN Assisted by RUST (2) @ 13:14 SHG
If you don’t love Brian Dumoulin you don’t understand hockey. I have said it a hundred times and I will continue beating this drum, if I had a kid that wanted to play defense I would make him/her watch Dumoulin.
The Pens would kill off the rest of the penalty with help of an interference call by Zack Kassian. The Pens would get an abbreviated powerplay that would look a lot like their extended powerplays as they failed to score yet again.
Neither team could get the back-breaker in the final five minutes and we were heading to overtime.
Remember when Rob Rossi said he didn’t enjoy the 3v3 OT last year? Hopefully, he didn’t bother watching this one either because it was nothing short of smoking meth while being hooked up to a cocaine drip while skydiving. Good lord the speed and talent on the ice was insane. Chances galore, goaltenders standing on their heads, there was absolutely nothing to hate. Leon Draisaitl would eventually score and win it for Edmonton but honestly, it didn’t even matter, the entire hockey world won for getting to see these three minutes, except they didn’t because the NHL didn’t nationally televise the game.