Okay, this headline has more to do with working in a Nail Yakupov joke (because the Oilers are falling in the standings and now competing for a lottery pick) than talking about what happened in tonight's game. Because tonight, the Devils weren't exactly Nailing anyone. The Oilers, despite the fact that they're missing their leading scorer, their #1 center and their best defenseman, were able to keep themselves in the game. Really, the Devils more or less went into tonight expecting 2 points, got what they wanted but they shouldn't be too proud of tonight's effort.
If you're looking for an Oilers perspective on tonight's game, check out Copper and Blue. More thoughts after the jump
With 2 points tonight, Ilya Kovalchuk now has 8 points (5 G, 3A) in his last 4, and 38 points in 38 games. A couple of months ago, everyone was blaming him for everything. Now? /crickets. He's playing like the guy the Devils paid $100 million to a year or so ago. He was part of both Devils goals- with an individual effort on the first goal, as well as some solid passing in the OT Powerplay. He also had a few decent chances at even strength as well. Overall, he was solid tonight.
The Good- Better Goaltending
After last night's debacle, the goaltending tonight was much better. Johan Hedberg stopped nearly every shot he faced and was perhaps the biggest reason the Devils were in the game. Moose more or less stole the game for the Devils, who couldn't get much going at evens and their tendencies to take bad penalties tonight. He was the Devils best player tonight.
The Bad- Performance At Even Strength
The Devils were getting dominated at evens tonight. They finished a -20 in corsi, which isn't so great. They may have outshot the Oilers in general (25-23), but at even strength they were horrendous. There were getting completely dominated. They didn't get many chances at evens, mainly because the Oilers were getting chances left and right. The Oilers had a good minute or 2 of possession in the 3rd where they had several excellent chances, and that wasn't very great to watch.
The Bad- Discipline- or the Lack Of
To make matters worse they took a bunch of unnecessary penalties. Ryan Carter and David Clarkson took offensive zone penalties. Zach Parise and Patrik Elias, two players who shouldn't be in the box because of their penalty killing abilities found themselves in the box. They played with fire and got burned, after Ales Hemsky scored. The penalty kill might be the best in the league, but they cannot rely on it all the time. Tonight's one example why- eventually someone's gonna score.
The Bad- Taylor Hall
With Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle out, Taylor Hall manned up and came up pretty big tonight. He might have only recorded a secondary assist tonight, but he stood out. There were several occasions where he utilized his amazing speed to get past the Devils. He couldn't beat Moose tonight, but he beat the Devils defense several times tonight.
I'm not too happy with the win tonight. I like that the Devils got 2 points. I didn't like the way they played tonight. The Oilers were the better team for 60 minutes. Think the Ottawa game a week ago where they completely owned the Devils but the Devils were up for the majority of the game. Basically tonight was just like that, except they were the guys scoring in OT. All I can hope for is that they can put up a better effort Saturday against Winnipeg.
With that being said, what do you think of tonight's game? Are you happy with tonight's performance? Leave your thoughts in the comments. Thanks to everyone who commented in tonight's gamethread.