Photo Credit: © Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Stars 4, Oilers 1 post-game Oil Spills: Ladies and gentlemen, the Connor McDavid-less Oilers

It was announced just before the start of the game that Connor McDavid wouldn’t play because of the flu. The result, as you’d expect, wasn’t good.

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What happened…

The Stars managed to get out of their first period with a 1-0 lead despite the Oilers holding them to four shots. Mattias Janmark got the puck in front of the net, his stick exploded on a shot, and the puck bounced over to Jason Dickinson who was at the side of the net for an easy goal. That’s obviously an unfortunate bounce, but where’s the coverage on Dickinson?

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The Oilers managed to stay in it for the first two periods, but then the wheels started to fall off in the third. Dallas went up 2-0 a couple minutes into the final frame off of a goal from Brett Ritchie in which the Oilers got caught puck watching. Everyone is looking at Janmark as he drives to the net, nobody is worrying about Ritchie who’s sliding in alone.

Jamie Benn would extend the lead to 3-0 with a power play goal a few minutes later to essentially ice the game.

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Things got a little heated after that. Alex Chiasson threw a big hit on Jason Spezza and *checks notes* Roope Hintz took exception to it. Hintz tried to drop the gloves with Chiasson but JJ Khaira jumped in instead. Next to them, Darnell Nurse proceeded to beat the crap out of Devin Shore.

JJ Khaira would break the shutout with about five minutes to go in the third period on a nice effort in which he gets a shot on goal and collects his own rebound. It was his first of the season and first since March 25 of this year.

By the numbers…

The Oilers controlled the possession game up until the third period when, as I said earlier, the wheels came off. They dominated Dallas in shot attempts 41 to 29 through the first 40 minutes and then fell off in the third period. While the Oilers controlled possession and did a fair job slowing Dallas down for the majority of the game, they didn’t generate many high-quality chances. The Oilers managed just 16 scoring chances all game while the Stars were able to generate 24.

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The Call


  • To the surprise of nobody, the Oilers looked pretty hopeless without Connor McDavid. I will say, for 40 minutes, they did well. They shut Dallas down, controlled possession, and were in the game up until the third period. But the issue here is that there’s absolutely zero offensive punch without McDavid out there. I mean, even when McDavid is playing the team struggles to generate offence behind him. That’s when he’s around to occupy the other team’s top shutdown units. Without him in the lineup at all? The team is even easier to shut down.
  • I don’t think Mikko Koskinen played a poor game, though he allowed three goals on 24 shots. You can call the first two lucky bounces, though I would classify them as poor defensive coverage. Dallas did certainly get lucky bounces on those first two goals, but the Oilers allowed two players to hover around the side of the net completely alone. If they’re covered properly, we aren’t talking about bounces.
  • Everyone was crapping on Leon Draisaitl for this loss, for some reason. He’s pretty much the only thing the Oilers had going for them against Dallas. When Draisaitl was on the ice, the Oilers had 26 shot attempts and Dallas had nine. This is despite going up against Dallas’ top shut down pair. I’ve been critical of Driasaitl in the past, saying it’s key for him to charge his own line, but last night he did exactly that. There’s an epidemic around Oilers fans in which they so badly need to blame the team’s best players for the inadequacy of the rest of the roster. This is the same deal as it was with Taylor Hall and Ales Hemsky in the past. Draisaitl played a good game yesterday, it was the other players who didn’t. The lazy narrative is that he didn’t play with enough heart or whatever, which is pretty easily contradicted when looking at the fact the Oilers guttered the Stars when he was on the ice.
  • I’m glad Ken Hitchcock left McDavid out of the lineup as he deals with the flu. The season is a marathon and not a sprint. I would rather the team lose three games in a row with McDavid resting than have him playing at, like, 50 percent and getting the rest of the team sick too. Last year it seemed the flu-plagued the team for more than a month. That doesn’t need to be a thing again this year.

  • El Cid

    It’s time for theGina to deal with the Lucic problem. Lucic is the anchor that this team can’t afford to deal with anymore, we finally seem to have the #1 goalie situation solved.

  • Oiler Al

    A lot of people taking shots at Drai, he wasn’t that bad last nite.Its Nuge who appeared to be out for a skate on most shifts.Need scoring and your NO.2 center has 1 shot on goal. Needs to be better.He had the shifts, but not the gears.

  • Goaltender Interference

    Can’t speak for everyone but I am critical of Leon’s performance last night because without McDavid on the ice he’s the one I would most expect to be bulging the twine. Shot attempts do not equal goals and whether it’s just the way he skates or not the dude gives off a totally disinterested and lazy vibe.

    Yeah – he did add an apple on Khairas goal but I’d suggest the goal was much more the result of Khaira driving to the net and making a hard second effort than the pass that fed him the puck.

    But the assist did count – and I totally agree that the team definitely needs Leon. It would just be nice to see 2016-17 Leon again as opposed to $8.5M man Leon.

  • Odanada

    Based on last night’s game, it wouldn’t surprise me if there’s at least a few players fighting flu symptoms.
    Let’s hope the flu bug passes quickly.
    Historically speaking, it’s a 100 years ago this season that the Spanish flu epidemic led to the cancellation of the Stanley Cup finals.

  • Regretzky

    The Oilers need to hire my sister-in-law, she would follow the team around with a bottle of hand sanitizer and stay on em about washing their hands and not sucking their thumbs after touching doorknobs. Easy way to nab a few extra points in the standings for only about $300k.

  • Natejax97

    Team needs a couple of finishers. Guys that can rip the pill. Other than that…cant say I’m overly disappointed. This roster sure makes the other goalie look good. A couple snipers to play on the top 2 lines is probably too much to ask. Seems we have grinders and playmakers a plenty. Wonder if this waiver kid and Reider getting back will change the complexion…

  • imranul

    Thank you for saying the right facts about Leon. We were missing Spooner and Reider also. Btw, is there any website which tracks bad refereeing. Yesterday was joke, absouletly garbage decisions against us

  • Don't mind me

    I hope our scoring depth for next year comes from within the organization. Someone like Benson, Marody or Yamo… Peter ruined this team. Should of been way better than this. What do we have like 8-9 4th line players?

    • percy

      Peter is responsible for some of it but not entirely. Lowe was as much to blame. This team was lacking quality vets to help the rookies develop. Lowe had nothing in place. Most of this is on Lowes shoulders.I think it’s 60/40 Lowe/Chi. Imo

        • Ohlyr

          Steve (stand pat) Tambellini would have an absolute powerhouse roster, if he kept all those young Oiler high picks and just drafted the concensus #1, or best player based on rankings.
          Much better off than we are now that Chia traded most of them away.

  • Drexel

    It is absolutely amazing that with basically a decade of top 5 picks, including 4 first overalls, one of which might be the best player since Gretzky, how laughably shallow this team is.

    • Derzie

      Ladies & gentlemen, The Old Boys. They know a thing or 2 about winning*

      *when playing a supporting role to 2 or 3 of the best players of all time, 35 years ago. Actually, they don’t know squat about winning but they have lots of money & wine and an obedient fanbase.