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Photo Credit: © Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Oilers 6, Red Wings 2 post-game Oil Spills: All guns firing for a rebound win

After a terrible loss in St. Louis, the Oilers bounced back with a commanding win in Detroit to end their losing streak. Six different players scored goals and the blueline did an excellent job making life easy for a struggling Cam Talbot.

Highlights

The Oilers tied the game a minute after the Red Wings took a 1-0 lead in the first period which was key to shifting the momentum in Edmonton’s favour. Connor McDavid got the puck to Darnell Nurse at the point who wristed one past a screened Jimmy Howard. This featured a good job by Nurse to just make a simple play and the forwards for effectively screening Howard. Simple plays are something we haven’t seen enough of this season.

The Oilers grabbed the lead a few minutes later off of a beautiful play from Leon Draisaitl and Patrick Maroon. Draisaitl slows up after entering the zone and then threads the needle through the middle of the ice, hitting Maroon perfectly in stride, giving him an open lane to drive the net and slide the puck under Howard’s legs.

Detroit tied the game before the end of the first, but mid-way through the second the Oilers pulled ahead again. Yohann Auvitu clapped a bomb from the point that Scott Wilson got down and blocked, then Ryan Strome grabbed the puck and fed JJ Khaira in the slot.

The Oilers began to run away with it in the second period. Mike Cammalleri makes a very good, veteran play here, taking a low clapper on net that Howard kicked out right to Mark Letestu, who was crashing the net. Like I mentioned with the Nurse goal earlier, this is one of those simple plays that the Oilers haven’t done enough this season. Getting pucks on net and driving for a rebound is something that they excelled at last season.

Here are the fifth and sixth goals because they’re nice and fun to watch. The first one features an excellent rush and pass by Connor McDavid to Drake Caggiula, who’s waiting in the slot. The second is an excellent pass from Ryan Strome who finds Jesse Puljujarvi waiting in a perfect spot for a one-timer.

By the numbers

The even strength shot attempts were split right down the middle at 43 to 43 suggesting that this was a tightly contested game, but the heat map above tells the real story. The Oilers dominated the Red Wings in terms of high danger chances eight to three. That was driven largely by a dominant second period in which Edmonton outshot Detroit 12 to two at even strength and had four high danger chances while the Red Wings had zero. The Oilers defence did an excellent job smothering the Red Wings offence, pushing virtually all of their shots to the outside.

Thoughts

  • Cam Talbot allowed a couple of goals. One of them was pretty ugly and the other was on the power play and I wouldn’t blame him for it. Overall, he gave the Oilers a chance to win, which the team badly needs. That said, the defence made life very easy for him last night. The Oilers allowed just three high danger chances all game at even strength and largely kept the puck to the outside. All three high danger chances came with Adam Larsson and Darnell Nurse on the ice, but to be fair to them, they played a boatload on minutes almost entirely against Detroit’s top line.
  • Sticking with the blueline, Yohann Auvitu’s play is certainly worth talking about. Him and Matt Benning really excelled as a pairing last night. Both players move the puck and skate very well. Auvitu is extremely effective at joining the rush with the forwards and helping drive the puck towards the net. The pairing led the Oilers with 20 shot attempts for an only 11 against. The Benning and Klefbom pair of the past few games has struggled mightily, I would continue using Benning with Auvitu together in a somewhat sheltered offensive role until Andrej Sekera returns.
  • There was a lot more energy and hustle from the forwards tonight, which isn’t something we’ve been able to say after a good chunk of games this season. The effort in St. Louis was terrible, but the team did a good job of making up for it on the second half of a back-to-back, which is admirable. The bottom six chipped in with offence, the top line looked confident, and the team was making smart, simple plays rather than trying to force everything.
  • I think last night was Ryan Strome’s best game of the season. Him, Cammalleri, and Puljujarvi have something going, it seems. Strome has been underwhelming this year but he seems to be gaining confidence in the offensive zone. He made a couple nice passes that set up goals for Puljujarvi and JJ Khaira by being patient and letting play develop around him. Again, it goes with the theme of making simple plays. Players are driving towards the net and moving around the zone to get open, and when you do that, good things happen.
  • While that was a great win, I’m not going to get excited until I see the Oilers play well over the span of a few games. With Buffalo, Boston, and Arizona, on the horizon, the Oilers have a great chance to string some wins together. If they can play like they did last night in all three of those games, then it’s time to get a little excited.
  • Ty Guy

    Jesse had the “I cant believe how hard it is to get a shot on net in the NHL” look face on yesterday…glad he netted one even if it was just some salt in the wound at that point.

    • MrBung

      Playoff talk should have stopped by now. I don’t think people quite grasp the kind or record the Oilers need to put up now. They didn’t even have that kind winning percentage last year and had a better team.

    • Stallions #35

      Looking at the rest of the teams, its still possible. We are 5 points out of playoffs, Colorado and Vancouver shouldn’t even be ahead of us and they won’t be for sure at the end of the season. The rest of the teams, Vegas will be dropping eventually and if they play like they did last night, I think we are a better team than San Jose, Anaheim, Dallas, LA and Calgary. Lets see on Friday against Buffalo which team shows up?

  • BringtheFire 2.0

    “Mike Cammalleri makes a very good, veteran play here…”

    And he’ll do 3-4 of those per game. I don’t think you realize how much Cammy can help you guys. The two main problems in Edmonton are Chia and the locker room.

    If you guys turn it around, I Vince McMahon GaranTEE you that you will hear about how Cammy was a positive influence in the dressing room, about how he took the young kids under his wing and showed Connor what good captains he’s been under did in times like this.

    He’s seen and done it all and he’s been a point machine his whole career.

    If it were feasible, he should have a letter on his jersey.

    Get the redirect to the scam site fixed.

    • Beer_League_Ringer

      I was happy about the trade for the reasons you list. The guy’s reputation as a team mate, cerebral player, and professional is excellent. Points are just icing on the cake. I hated watching him light us up when he was with the Kings or Flames.

      • BringtheFire 2.0

        Also, in his last year with us before free agency Burke was supposed to trade him at the deadline but became stubborn and didn’t, so we kept him until the end of the year, when he signed with Jersey. We ended up with nothing.

        Cammy said in an interview he had his bags packed, ready to go. But he was a total pro about it.

        He could have a ring now, but for Brian Burke, so he has no love for the Flames, if that matters to you.

        • Beer_League_Ringer

          I c’t care less if he loves or hates his old teams. What I like is that he would never say so if he was PO’ed at an old GM. He could be a decent piece for the Oilers this year. Certainly an upgrade over the guy he replaced. If Cammalleri can get 10 goals and/or 20-25pts by the end of the year (not including the 7 he got with LA), it’s a win for the Oilers. The biggest thing for me is that I know he won’t cash out when times are tough, or cost the team with laziness/selfishness.

  • McRaj

    Some takeaways from yesterday.
    1.) Puju has a lethal shot and should be placed on the team’s top PP instead of Letestu.
    2.) Nurse deserves a look on the PP. He’s on pace for 28 EV points. Is it fair to say if he was on the PP he could get 12 more points. A 40 point defensive D-Man (reminds me of vlasic).
    3.) The team needs to play with the same intensity, they have a chance to get back into it with the schedule they have coming up.

      • jultz=2cups!😂😂

        And why all the hate for letestu? Guy was lights out on the pp last year. JP takes one slapshot and he’s suddenly got the best shot on the team and deserves pp time because of it? 😂😂. Classic oilersnation picking favorites lol. Letestu isn’t coming off the pp. it’s not his fault the pp is struggling. He’ll get hot and when he does ima let you guys know about it

  • CMG30

    They played well last night but so far their track record has been one good game followed by 2 eggs. I’ll won’t say anything has changed till we get a good 10 game stretch.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    How sick is Connor, exactly? Dreger is claiming he’s been extremely ill and his contact told him he’s lost 5 to 10 pounds since he’s been sick.

    • McDynasty

      I haven’t heard really anyone comment on how many divsional games we have left. We have only played 3 so far, that is a lot of 4 point games still on the board. If the Oilers have a chance at making the playoffs this year they are going to have to replicate the divisional success they had last year. Chia says he built this team to compete in the Pacific division and aside from thr Canuk game we have played very well against Pacific teams. Small sample I know but I feel as if the Oilers will give their best efforts against the Ducks and the Sharks after matching up in the playoffs last year.

  • Winterkush

    Great win but I am not too excited about it. Last time they scored 8 goals they lost the next 3. This team has dug themselves a deep hole. Don’t be fooled by the 5 points out of a playoff spot. There are a lot of good teams right now in front of the Oilers also competing for that wild card spot.

  • BringtheFire 2.0

    Some guys on the network think I’m a tool for liking the Oilers.

    I’m good with that.

    Haters can all put on capri’s suck a fat one with a thunderous head.

    Cup for the Flames.