Morning Report: Oilers @ Flames (1 February)

Hello Nation,

This is the Oilers Morning Report, a stats-heavy, opinion-based review of the previous night’s game. We’ve all read the wrap-ups, watched the highlights, and digested the game. Whether it’s gazing to the heavens, begging the Hockey Gods for answers as to why the Edmonton Oilers lost, or looking for more content to bask in the glory of another Oilers victory, that’s what this is here for.

Here is the review for the Edmonton Oilers vs. the Calgary Flames game on Saturday 1 February.

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First Period

CF CA CF% SCF% HDCF-HDCA xGF%
14 13 51.85 50 3-3 42.41

The Oilers continued their strong play from the previous two games (even though they lost in their last outing to the Flames, they dominated the game), and had a strong period, scoring early and not looking back.

The third line of Chiasson-Haas-Gagner was exploited with a 0.00 CF%, while Ethan Bear and Darnell Nurse were the only defensive pair that played at close to an elite level, Nurse particularly having a strong period with a 72.73 CF%, 80.17 xGF%, and 1-0 HDCF.

The Oilers got off the an early special teams advantage, as their 3rd-rank road powerplay went 1-for-1, and their top ranked road penalty kill successfully killed of the Flames’ lone man advantage.

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Second Period

CF CA CF% SCF% HDCF-HDCA xGF%
28 11 71.79 75 7-1 71.25

The Oilers straight up dominated this period, spreading the attack all around the offensive zone, and chased Rittich from the net. They then sustained pressure, but the Flames scored two successive goals as Cam Talbot came in hot. The Oilers’ attack was just too consistent for them to hold them off.

Special teams once again played a huge part, killing off all of the Flames’ powerplays, as Leon Draisaitl went to another level, driving the play with a CF% of over 70.

But everyone only cares about goalie fights. If you’ve read this far through a stats-heavy article after everything that happened that won’t show up in the advanced counts, I thank you and your inquisitive mind.

Third Period

CF CA CF% SCF% HDCF-HDCA xGF%
11 12 47.83 50 2-2 56.69

This period got off to a weird start with the running out of the last 24 seconds from the previous one. The Oilers did not control possession by any means, but by this time the game was in cruise control. Gagner ended the first period with a woeful 0.00 CF%, and ended up finishing the game with the 7th Oilers goal and a 62.50 CF%. He was the main reason the fracas escalated to the memorable goalie fight as he drove to the High Danger area and provoked Cam Talbot to attack him. This is the type of playoff-style hockey that the Oilers will need to be a successful playoff team.

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Final Thought

Like I said before, this game will be remembered for all the things that don’t show up in these numbers or counts– the fights, the passion, the emotion– and that’s more than fine. This is what makes hockey great, and gives the game the character that the league, it seems, has been doing its best to eradicate for a long time. That being said, before everything exploded like it did, the momentum of the Oilers being the better team carried through from the previous game. They were dominate at 5v5 for most of the game, with waves of offence attacking the Flames at a rate that the home team could not tame; they tied a record for shots in a period, and continued to be an elite special teams squad, finishing with 1/3 on the powerplay and shutting out both of the Flames’ man advantages.

Draisaitl led the entire time with 73.33 CF%, 80.68 xGF%, 75.00 SCF%, 100 (5-0) HDCF%; while, despite his one powerplay and 5v5 goal, McDavid struggled in terms of advanced counts 41.67 CF%, 35.90 xGF%, 45.45 SCF%, and 100 (2-0) HDCF. All of this is to say that it turns out, Leon Draisaitl can, in fact, drive his own line.

This team is rolling all the way through its line-up, as they continue their ascent back up the Pacific division standings.

On to Arizona.