11
Photo Credit: © Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Stars 3, Oilers 2 (SO) post-game Oil Spills: Lacking Skill

Last night showed the difference between the Stars are Oilers, one team who ground their way into the playoffs and another team on the outside looking in. The Stars survived an onslaught of pressure from the Oilers in the middle of the game and came back from a two-goal deficit before winning in the shootout.

What happened?

The Oilers opened the scoring early on in the game just as a power play expired. Connor McDavid picked up a rebound in the slot and fired it over to Leon Draisaitl who buried his 47th goal and 100th point of the season.

Early in the second period, the Oilers extended the lead to 2-0 when Connor McDavid scored this insane between-the-legs goal that completely fooled Anton Khudobin.

The Oilers would pepper the Stars with shots in the second period and it looked like they were going to run away with the game. But, credit to the Stars, the slammed the door and eventually embarked on a comeback when the Oilers slowed down.

The Stars got on the board on a power play in the second period when Alexander Radulov fired a one-timer over Mikko Koskinen’s glove. No matter how many times this happens, it’s always so wild to me seeing such a big goalie get beaten up high.

In the third period, Miro Heiskanen got the puck at the point, waited out Josh Currie who went down to block the shot, and sniped a wrister over, yes, you guessed it, Koskinen’s glove hand.

Overtime didn’t solve anything, so we went to a shootout. In the fifth round, Alex Chiasson fired a puck into the stands, and then Jamie Benn sniped one five-hole on Koskinen to win the game. Gutsy decision for Benn not to go glove hand!

By the numbers

The game was tight in the first and third periods, but, as I said earlier, the Oilers really pushed on the gas in the second. They had a good chance to run away with the game up 2-0 (and even up 2-1 after Dallas got that power play goal) with continued pressure, but they couldn’t convert on anything. They threw 23 shot attempts towards Dallas’ net but only managed three high danger chances.

Thoughts…

  • As I said at the beginning, this game showed the difference between the Oilers and Stars. One of these teams is grinding their way into the playoffs and the other will come up just short. The Stars are far from a perfect team. They, much like the Oilers, only really get scoring from a handful of players, and they don’t boast all that much quality depth. Where I saw the difference last night, though, is that the Stars are much better at grinding the game down, shutting down the other team, and then capitalizing on their chances. While at a glance it looks like Anton Khudobin stole this game for the Stars, the reality is their good defensive play held the Oilers to just five high danger chances at even strength. Edmonton outshot Dallas quite heavily, but it was the Stars who out-chanced the Oilers over the course of the game.
  • Mikko Koskinen’s glove hand was a liability in last night’s game again. Both of Dallas’ goals came on his glove side, as Radulov fired over him from a pretty shocking angle and Heiskanen managed to snipe one over him from inside the point. I think Koskinen was expecting Jamie Benn to go high glove on him in the shootout which is why he was fooled so badly on the five-hole shot.
  • At the very least, Leon Draisaitl managed to pull himself closer to 50 goals on the season. He has five games left and he needs just three more goals to become the first Oilers since the 1980s to hit the 50-goal plateau.
  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    I dont think I would totally say it way skill I think it was more the coaches tactic. At the start of the thrid the Oilers were trying to play a defensive trap and protect the lead instead of keeping their foot on the gas and that just allowed the stars to come at them. The Oilers thios year have had a history of doing that and it ending badly for them. When it failed and the stars scored then they started to attack because they had no choice, but they could have chose to kept pushing the pace and decided not to which was a tactical mistake on the coaches part, so I dont put this on the players I put this on the coaches, its never going to be easy to protect a 1 goal lead with 20 minutes to go and the stars proved that and then once they scored , it cut the amount of time the Oil had to get a regulation win, all in all it was a bad decision on the coaches to go that route. This game was winable, the Oilers had the edge, but taking their foot off the gas gave the stars, momentum because they saw the Oilers were sitting back trying to play it safe and it cost them

  • My Water Tastes Funny

    Not easy to figure out what to do in the salary cap era. The Oilers have 2 amazing offensive players, 1 very good player, a few decent players and a whole lot of slugs. Can you win with makeup. No. Yet the Penguins have won cups with 2 great offensive players. The difference to me is at the pro scouting level. Pittsburgh has been able to find supporting players that fit into roles and play their system. Pro scouting for the Oilers is for me a huge area of weakness.

  • Derzie

    You know, the NHL doesn’t even understand their own league. There is no doubt that Drai is exceeding most expectations this year. But on a team with zero depth, his ice time is a) through the roof, and b) playing with jebus or c) playing 2nd best lines as jebus gets the shutdown line.

    Looking at point production based on ice time, Drai drops from 4th to 9th. Again, top 10 is amazing but there are 8 guys that are doing more. One of those guys ahead of Drai in pts/min is ON nemesis Jonathan Hockey.

    Interesting to note that jebus is 2nd under both scenarios (pts & pts/min). No artificial boost for him.

    • All Ice

      Your points per min argument is terrible. All it actually shows is the lack of depth on the oilers that requires he be out there that much. Who’s to say that with a little less ice time he wouldn’t ba able to produce at a higher level due to rest times between shifts?

  • Oilman99

    Koskinen’s weak glove hand, and a fivehole big enough to drive a semi through have to be major concerns, and thanks to PC giving him that albatross of a long term salary, there is no cap room to sign a true #1 goalie.