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Photo Credit: Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jets 4, Oilers 3 post-game Oil Spills: The win streak ends

The Edmonton Oilers winning streak ends at four. The Oilers came back from the holiday break and couldn’t beat the Jets, despite scoring three goals, one of which was shorthanded. The Jets are one of the better teams in the West. The Oilers can take solace in that, as well as the late push to try tie it up, even with the shots heavily tilted towards Winnipeg. 

Highlights

A bobbled puck from the Jets allows Connor McDavid to break free and set up Leon Draisaitl for a shorthanded goal to make it 1-0. Scoring a shorthanded goal immediately is the best way to start a penalty kill. Unfortunately, the Oilers gave it back towards the end of the power play. Could we see more Draisaitl on the penalty kill with McDavid? I don’t see why you wouldn’t throw him out there with how atrocious Edmonton’s PK is.

Jesse Puljujarvi picks up the loose change from a Kris Russell shot and puts it home. Puljujarvi now has 7 goals in 20 games (a ~29-goal pace over 82 games). If he continues shooting like he is, he had a team-high seven shots on goal, then he’ll stick with McDavid and might not see Bakersfield ever again.

Jujhar Khaira’s seventh goal brought the Oilers within one, but it wasn’t enough. Khaira’s nice shot is his 13th point, and he’s taking a stranglehold on a top-nine position. The Oilers desperately need cheap wingers who can score a bit, so Khaira’s emergence couldn’t come at a better time. He might have real chemistry with Leon Draisaitl and can skate.

The Oilers haven’t had a player they drafted out of the first round put up more than 27 points in a season (Linus Omark, 2007) for them since Kyle Brodziak, drafted in 2003. They need to have some later-round picks turn out for them, *stares at Tobias Rieder*.

Cam Talbot makes a beautiful stop on Joel Armia that prevents the hat trick and keeps the Oilers in the game. That chance looked more like the Oilers at the start of the season, but Talbot still made the save. Tonight’s loss isn’t on Talbot. You can’t have Joel Armia looking like a star and blame it on the goalie.

By the Numbers

The Jets got a lot of attempts around the most dangerous areas. They generated a lot elsewhere too, while the Oilers couldn’t create as much, especially in the middle. The Jets three 5-on-5 goals were all in that home plate area. Edmonton only generated 36% of the shot attempts at even strength, and was out-shot 39-25 in all situations. It’s uncharacteristic from a team that generally does the out-shooting, but penalties will play a factor in that.

THOUGHTS…

  • The Oilers win streak is over and this isn’t the ideal way to return from the break. These games against Western Conference opponents are crucial if the Oilers want to climb up the standings. This loss puts them 17-18-2 on the season with 36 points. They’re five points behind the second Wild Card spot, occupied by the Minnesota Wild. The Blackhawks have two games in hand and are two points back. The Flames are also two points back with a game in hand. If Edmonton wants to make up ground, they’ll need to at least pick up a Bettman point if they’re not going to win.
  • Cam Talbot’s been so good for the Oilers. He won seven-straight prior to last night’s game, so it’s hard to fault him when he lets in four goals. You won’t win much when your goalie has a .897 save%, but Talbot didn’t lose the game for them. He made some big saves on the Jets’ 39 shots. The Oilers were slow and undisciplined, which ultimately cost them.
  • Adam Larsson’s been reliable on the right side for most of the season, but struggled tonight with perhaps his worst game as an Oiler. The Larsson-Davidson pairing looked like they were in a full post-turkey coma for most of the game. Larsson looked slow against the Jets’ speed and heavy forecheck.
  • How good is Blake Wheeler? Wheeler always feels like one of the NHL’s most underrated stars. He’s huge, puts up big numbers, but doesn’t get talked about like he should. The Jets captain has 42 points in 38 games so far. He’s signed for one more year after this season for $5.6 million, a steal of a contract.