Gamer grades: Vaunted powerplay lays a rotten egg as Edmonton Oilers again fall meekly to Habs

Author of the post:

Bruce McCurdy Edmonton Journal

Publishing date:

Jan 19, 2021 1 hour ago 8 minute read

Edmonton Oilers Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) deflects the puck towards Montreal Canadiens Jake Allen (34) throughout NHL action at Rogers Place in Edmonton, January 18, 2021. Image by Ed Kaiser/ Postmedia

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Canadiens 3, Oilers 1

A lot for the Edmonton Oilers recovering from a frustrating loss. It worked versus Vancouver Canucks in their opening two-game set of the 2021 season, however there was little sign of a comparable snapback against the Montreal Canadiens. The visiting Habs ran the Oilers’ show for the 2nd time in 3 video games, adding a 3-1 victory on to Saturday night’s 5-1 blowout.

Each time the visitors opened up a comfy lead prior to enabling a late alleviation objective in each video game. This time around hosts held an impressive 12 -6 edge on the shot clock through 20 minutes, however a much deeper dive of the video game sheet reveals 8 of those shots came outside of 40 feet, just 1 within 25 feet, with a general average of 46 feet. Suffice to state that Jake Allen, making his debut in the Montreal cage, was not sorely evaluated.

Edmonton did tighten up defensively at 5v5, but allowed the only goal because positioning when Alex Romanov opened the scoring with a 52- foot floater through a double screen that shocked Mikko Koskinen and leaked through the 6-hole. That softie, scored 10 minutes in to the video game, put Montreal in front to remain.

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A key turning point in the video game occurred late in the first duration when Edmonton had 3 overlapping powerplays covering 5 1/2 minutes with a number of brief 5-on-3s, with simply 2 outside shots and 0 scoring chances to reveal for it. The loss of momentum overflowed into a desultory middle frame that saw the Oilers get outshot 16 -1 through the very first 15 minutes of play.

For the second straight video game the visitors closed down Edmonton’s vaunted powerplay, again scoring a shorthanded objective of their own to pour salt in the injury. Monday’s dismal effort saw the Oilers waste 7 powerplay chances, generating just 8 shots and specifically 1 Grade A scoring opportunity. Over the 2 game series, Edmonton had 10 powerplays during which time they scored zero objectives and permitted two. That is … not good.

This was honestly a dull video game to watch, particularly from the home team’s viewpoint. Despite routing for the last 50 minutes, Edmonton produced just 6 (6) Grade A scoring opportunities all night long, a terrible number. The Oilers were outshot by 34-26 and outhit by 31-17 as Montreal used the front foot for long stretches and received surprisingly little pushback along the way.

Player grades

# 4 Kris Russell, 5. Made his season launching and assisted settle things down in the defensive zone, as expected. His great positioning and quick stick removed an unsafe cross-seam pass in the early going. Was personally at fault for 0 Grade An opportunities against by our count, and 1 for. Dented the crossbar with a strong shot in the dying seconds. Credited 2 hits, which is to say two times as lots of as the rest of the D corps combined.

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# 6 Adam Larsson, 4. Took a set of penalties versus his own end boards, one for whipping Phillip Danault, one for a late hit on Jake Evans that was deemed disturbance. Had 0 legal hits. Beyond those two powerplay opps, he didn’t give up a whole lot.

# 8 Kyle Turris, 4. Another game chasing the play. Through 4 video games and 44 minutes of 5v5 play, the Oilers have actually mustered barely 30%of the shot efforts (27 for, 59 against) and under 35%of the shots on goal (16 for, 30 against) with Turris on the ice. Oh yeah, and 0%of the goals (0 for, 4 versus). On Monday those counts were 5-9, 3-6, and 0-0 respectively, so at least no damage on the scoreboard this time. 1 shot, 0 hits, and 6/15=-LRB- %on the dot.

#10 Joakim Nygard, 4. Among the more industrious Oilers, won a couple of puck fights but created 0 shot attempts. Drew a charge, but took a late one of his own for an aggressive backcheck. Celebrated Coast’s goal from the charge box.

#13 Jesse Puljujarvi, 4. A couple of brief flashes including an early jam effort, however had very little influence on this video game.

#14 Devin Shore, 5. An offender on Shea Weber’s game winning powerplay objective when he bowled over Koskinen. Offseted it by scoring Edmonton’s only objective on a fine private effort, also while eliminating a charge, taking the puck from Jonathan Drouin, waltzing in alone, and firing a perfect shot off the post and in to mess up Allen’s shutout bid with 2 minutes to play.

#15 Josh Archibald, 4. An industrious effort that included 5 hits, however produced nothing offensively. Evaluated Koskinen on the opening goal, which might have caught a piece of him on the way by.

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#19 Mikko Koskinen, 5. Dripped in the video game’s opening goal from range, a huge juncture. Did well to keep Edmonton within that 1-0 deficit almost to the 2nd intermission, stopping a barrage of mid-range shots in the process, even going “full pterodactyl” at one point according to play-by-play guy Jack Michaels. Enabled a second killer goal with simply 10 seconds to play in the middle frame that stood up as the winner. While much went on because disorderly series that was beyond the huge netminder’s control, his lunging save of Weber’s first shot left him out of position for the rebound which the Montreal captain banked in off of him. Has actually now dealt with 145 shots in 4 games, already 50 more shots than any other NHL netminder at this early stage. 34 shots, 31 saves,.912 conserve percentage.

#20 Slater Koekkoek, 5. Hands up, those who had Slater Koekkoek in the “who’ll be playing 1RD by Video game 4?” sweepstakes. Had some good minutes, though the puck spent excessive time in Edmonton territory on his watch. Played 19: 54 and continues to become an early-season surprise.

#21 Dominik Kahun, 5. Has a nice routine of showing up around the web at a suitable time, but has yet to convert. Had an excellent opportunity on a postponed charge late in the 2nd, forcing one of Allen’s finest conserves. The only Oiler to have a favorable shots on goal differential at 5v5; the other 17 skaters were all on the minus side.

#22 Tyson Barrie, 3. Had a hard time at even strength (33%shot share) and a lot more so on the once-potent powerplay. Played 22: 40 including 8: 17 with the male advantage however didn’t add to a single Grade A possibility by the Oilers. Did fire one good shot from medium range.

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#25 Darnell Nurse, 3. Part of the double screen on Koskinen on that vital opening objective. Played a team high 26:02 Led the Oilers with 4 shots however absolutely nothing harmful, indeed his participation on Grade A chances was 0/ -3 on the night. Was on the getting end of a nasty shot from Brendan Gallagher that was quite plainly repayment for a nasty shot Nurse delivered the other way late in Saturday’s video game, but had an uncharacteristic 0 hits of his own. Broken in on the charge kill with a video game high 5: 51.

#29 Leon Draisaitl, 4. It was a frustrating game for Edmonton’s stars, and Draisaitl was no exception. He had a brief burst late in the 2nd when he established Kahun for a great opportunity throughout a delayed penalty, then hammered a difficult shot of his own on the subsequent powerplay for that system’s only Grade A scoring possibility of the night. An excellent 13/19=-LRB- %on the dot, some strong work on the PK, and drew a penalty. But the Oilers need a lot more from the Hart Prize winner than he provided on this night, specifically on the attack.

#39 Alex Chiasson, 4. Not a lot is going right for the huge winger early in 2021, and that encompasses the powerplay where he excelled a season ago. Did make one exceptional pass to Draisaitl for a slot shot that was pushed back by Allen. Lost his only faceoff of the night midway in the first, and that was quickly developed into Montreal’s first objective. Rang a tough shot off the post in the dying seconds of the middle frame that extremely nearly cancelled out Weber’s goal seconds earlier, however didn’t.

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#44 Zack Kassian, 4. The Oilers certainly missed the huge winger on Saturday night, which he missed to participate in the birth of his child. Alas, they missed him practically as much on Monday. Played 14 minutes of uneventful hockey (0 shot efforts, 0 contributions to scoring opportunities). Other than one nice open-ice hit of Josh Anderson late in the first, had little going on the physical front on a night the Oil required an infusion of rugged play.

#56 Kailer Yamamoto, 5. Quiet night, with 0 shots on net during his 15 minutes of action. Did appearance great on the charge kill, playing 2: 42 paired with Draisaitl.

#84 William Lagesson, 5. Played 11: 12 in all circumstances in 2021 launching and held his own. Struggled to move the puck cleanly. All 3 of his shot attempts were obstructed.

#93 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 3. Among the Oilers’ stars who had a hard time on the powerplay, intensified by a weak pass into the slot that was turned into a jailbreak the other way and ultimately a shorthanded objective. Led the forwards in ice time for the 3rd successive game, playing 23: 53.

#97 Connor McDavid, 3. Rare to see McDavid play 2 video games in a row with as little effect as he made against the Habs. Even rarer to see a video game where he was involved in zero (0) scoring opportunities for the Oilers. Simply 1 official shot on internet, which from outside. Closest was an excellent powerplay appearance when he whipped a hard backhand large of the target at the end of a four-way passing play. According to Natural Stat Trick whose automated program steps scoring opportunities in a various way, the Oilers created no scoring possibilities at all throughout McDavid’s 12: 21 at even strength. Did bring some early edge with 3 hits in the first period, however never ever truly imposed his incredible game at any point.

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