The Edmonton Oiler's were the last team to play a game on home ice this year. A bizarre schedule has forced the Oiler's to go on a 18,000km journey on their way to their first home game of the season. The Oiler's traveled to Europe on September 29th. They played an exhibition game in Germany, then headed to Sweden to play the New Jersey Devils, then back to North America to face the Bruins in Boston, follow that with a quick trip to New York to face the Rangers, then off to Winnipeg on the craziest route known to man (New York to Edmonton to Fargo then by bus to Winnipeg). Finally the Oiler's headed back home and took on the Bruins for their home opener. That is a hectic three weeks with a boatload of travel.
Tonight starts a four game home stand and I'm sure the players will we relieved to finally be able to see their families and sleep in their own beds. The first month of the season is brutal for the Oiler's and to arrive back home at 2-2 was a huge boost for the club. Every game it looks like the team has improved and the mood in Edmonton has turned from doom and despair to unbridled hope over the first few weeks of the season. That trend continued this evening.
I'll be honest, the Oiler's came out a bit slow tonight. That often happens at home openers. The team has to stand around for a drawn out intro ceremony. Each player and coach gets introduced one by one and everyone stands around on the ice, meanwhile the other team gets to relax and prepare back in the dressing room.
The Bruins were the better team in the first period but Cam Talbot played amazing and kept the Bruins off the scoreboard. The scoring didn't open up until the second period. There were chances at both ends of the rink and Boston finally opened up the scoring when they capitalized on a broken play and David Krejci scored his first of the season. The lead only lasted two minutes when Kailer Yamamoto scored a beauty of a goal for the first of his career.
The Oiler's continued their strong play heading into the third and finally grabbed their first lead of the game when when Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored on the powerplay to make the game 2-1. The Bruins battled back and tied the game back on an absolute snipe from David Pastrnak. 2-2, and for the second game in a row we were off to overtime.
I love 3 on 3 overtime and I think the Oiler's are big fans as well. Anytime you give Connor McDavid that much ice, magic is bound to happen. McDavid intercepted a pass by the Bruins, dangled around the next defender and then fed Leon Draisaitl who put the game winner past Jaroslav Halak. 3-2 Oiler's who are now 3-2 on the season.
A great game and pure excitement from start to finish. An amazing home opener and the Oiler's are now over .500 during the month from hell. Things don't get easier from here as the Oiler's face the Predators, Penguins and Capitals over the next three games. If the Oiler's get out of this month at .500, it will be a sign that this team is for real this season. A few of the younger players are slowly coming into their own, Connor McDavid looks to be even better than he was last season and things are positive once again in Edmonton.