10
Photo Credit: © James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Oilers 7, Hurricanes 3 post-game Oil Spills: Goals Galore!

This is how it should have gone in 2006, right? Ha haaaa! Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let’s walk through Edmonton’s pounding of the Hurricanes in Carolina last night.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Highlights

This is some nice work by the Oilers’ second line. They kept the puck in, slid a shot on net, then stayed persistent to get it past Scott Darling. Also, speaking of Darling, what the hell is he doing here? He slides waaaaay far out of the net to stop this easy shot by Pontus Aberg and then takes forever to get back into position. Yikes.

I won’t make fun of Darling for this one. Matt Benning makes a good defensive play and then joins the rush, tries to pick up a rebound, Darling makes a nice pad save, but then Benning bats it out of mid-air from behind the net and off Darling and in. Being bad and having bad luck, a bad combination for Darling.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

After getting scratched from the lineup in back-to-back games as punishment for missing practice, Pontus Aberg buries his first goal as an Oiler. Aberg does a nice job forechecking here and pressuring the Canes’ defender into just randomly tossing the puck into the middle of the ice. Leon Draisaitl gets it and slides a pass back to Aberg for an easy goal.

After scoring a frustrating goal on his own net to open the scoring, Yohann Auvitu redeemed himself with an absolutely gorgeous snipe on the rush. Draisaitl found the streaking Auvitu and he made no mistake burying it over Darling’s blocker side. Again, I’m not a goalie, but this is horrid positioning by Darling who looks like he’s just inviting Auvitu to fire it into the top corner as he crouches on the ice.

I really have no idea how you score from an angle like this, but when you’re facing a goalie who had been as bad as Darling, you shoot from everywhere, so props to Puljujarvi and Draisaitl for connecting on this nice one-time goal. Puljujarvi and Draisaitl looked good together last night in the times the Finn made his way up to the second line. I talked the other day about the importance of finding good lines behind McDavid, and maybe this is the start of something.

We’ll finish off with a nice Pool Party goal. Puljujarvi, who was buzzing around all night, took a pass and busted through the middle of the ice, got past Carolina’s defenceman, got a backhand on net, and then buried his own rebound. This was the player we thought the Oilers were getting when they picked him fourth overall in 2016. The big, strong, skilled forward who can bust past defenders and drives the net.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
RELATED ARTICLE:
What to expect from Leon Draisaitl this summer

By the numbers

This was actually an evenly played game — shot attempts at even strength were split 45 to 43 for Carolina and the Oilers edged the Canes 15 to 13 in high danger chances — but the difference was Darling being very bad.

Thoughts…

  • Leon Draisaitl had one of those games that reminds you why he was paid $8.5 million annually. He buried a goal and had three assists and his line was buzzing all night. At even strength, Draisaitl’s line had 14 shot attempts for and just six against, which is pretty impressive given he was carrying Drake Caggiula and Pontus Aberg around. He got out there with Jesse Puljujarvi a couple times and the two of them looked good together. I think two big, fast, skilled guys like that could create a nice line behind Connor McDavid.
  • Adam Larsson and Darnell Nurse played a lot of minutes last night, 25:46 and 27:22 respectively. On the other side of that, Ethan Bear got smashed into the boards and only played 11:57, so hopefully there isn’t anything going on there.
  • I can’t get over how bad Darling looked in this game. I remember in the off-season he was regarded as a goalie who could turn your team around because his numbers as a backup in Chicago were so good. He was like last year’s Cam Talbot or Martin Jones who just needed a shot, but since arriving in Carolina, he’s been terrible. Last night there was multiple occasions where he just looked slow or his positioning looked bad. I wonder if Carolina wants a mulligan on that one. It goes to show the importance of having a good goalie. You really can’t be successful without one.

  • RJ

    Just looking for context, Cam.

    You noted 15 to 13, high danger scoring chances. What is the average high-danger scoring chances for (HDSCF) for the Oilers this season? Likewise, what is the HDSC+/- for the Oilers?

  • TKB2677

    I hope and pray that last nights game cements it in McLellan’s head if he is still around next season to NEVER EVER play Leon on McDavid’s wing again!!! This teams best line up is with McDavid and Leon centering their OWN LINES. If you have 2 dominate centers driving the line, you can have somewhat lesser wingers with them.

    For next year, I would have as pairs:
    Nuge – McDavid
    Leon – Puljujarvi

    I am guessing that Lucic would be on the left side with Leon & Puljujarvi as he as to be in the top 6 based on his salary. Plus Leon isn’t as fast as McDavid and Leon plays a bit more of a power game than McDavid that would go better for Lucic. I expect Lucic to bounce back as he has no confidence what so ever this year.

    They need to find a cheap RW for McDavid’s line. If the Oilers could find Maroon for nothing and McDavid turned him into a 27 goal scorer, hopefully they can find someone else to play the right side that is a little faster. All that guy needs to do is get the puck to McDavid and go to the net.

  • Retired Secret Agent

    I really enjoyed watching that game. Kinda reminded me of those 80’s games when goalie pads were 11″ wide and there was 8 to 12 goals a game. On the other hand, that knee shot on Conor in front of the Cane’s net made my stomach hurt. It’s not like the ref’s missed just that one, it’s that they miss them all on Conor. But there’s no bias. Ya, right.