The game may not have been as one-sided as a superficial glance at the shot totals made it look, but there’s no doubt that without a heroic effort from Devan Dubnyk, things would have ended much sooner than they did.
Dubnyk stopped shots not just in quantity (making 42 of 44 saves) but also in quality, particularly in the third, where no fewer than six shots were fired from within five feet of the net – three by Tomas Holmstrom, two by Pavel Datsyuk, and one from ex-Oiler Dan Cleary.
It was the fourth time in five games that Dubnyk has posted a 0.925 SV% or better, although he has been rewarded with just two wins over that stretch.
- Steve MacIntyre was dressed but I didn’t see him take a single shift and the NHL game chart confirms it; Ryan Jones double-shifted in his place.
- Jones played 24:50 and in all situations. He scored the Oilers’ only goal on an ugly shot (the lone blemish on a strong night from Jimmy Howard) after being denied on the breakaway moments earlier. He and Cogliano had the weakest scoring chance plus/minus on the Oilers although I didn’t think either played all that badly; perhaps the elevated ice-time was a factor.
- It was interesting to observe the differences in shift length. During Detroit games I always focus on Lidstrom because he’s a joy to watch, and it felt like he was on the ice for long stretches. Sure enough, looking afterward, Lidstrom’s average shift was 1:00 long; no Oilers defenceman had an average shift length exceeding 45 seconds.
- All things considered, I was impressed: the current line-up is a disaster, and keeping the game this close against a team like Detroit is a major accomplishment. I’d expected the score to be a little more lopsided.
- Outside of the second period, the Oilers fired just three shots from the prime scoring area (between and below the hash marks on either side of the goaltender), and none from the crease area. Of their four crease area shots in the second, two came off the stick of Jordan Eberle.