Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Report: Oilers vs. Sharks (6 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. San Jose Sharks game on Thursday, February 6th.

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First Period

13 17 43.33 33.33 3-4 45.73

The Matthew Benning and William Lagesson pairing really struggled, losing the Corsi battle 1-8, for a 11.11 CF%, and drawing a xGF% and SCF% both of 0.00.

The Jujhar Khaira (0.00 CF%), Riley Sheahan (0.00 CF%), and Zack Kassian (20.00 CF%) line was particularly bad too, while Tyler Benson had a solid period to begin his NHL career, playing responsibly with the puck with a 60.00 CF%, but did not generate a tonne of offensive chances, with a 0.00 SCF% and xGF%, and losing the Hight Danger battle 0-1.

The Sharks scored off of their regular set-up, with Brent Burns shooting from one of the points and getting a shot in the High Danger area. The heat map shows their reliance on generating chances beginning at the point and crashing the net. After the the Oilers’ second goal, the Sharks began to take full advantage of this attack, with 7 of their next 11 shots coming from the point, one that resulted in their first goal (and another four chances directed towards the net).

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Second Period

16 13 55.17 42.11 3-5 38.65

Though the Oilers turned the 5v5 Corsi battle around, the Sharks just simple dominated with a sheer amount of better quality shots; they flooded the High Danger area and were once again relentless in getting pucks their through the active points.

The pairing of Burns (60.87 CF%, 69.11 xGF%, 66.67 SCF%) and Brendan Dillon (68.42CF%, 76.31 xGF%, 87.50 SCF%) dominated the Oilers, both offensively and defensively.

The entire Oilers lineup struggled, with only Josh Archibald (56.55) and Sam Gagner (58.92) finishing the period with a xGF% of above 50.00.

Third Period

21 14 60 47.06 4-3 57.9

The Oilers looked like the better team for most of the period, but playing from behind, combined with sloppy passing and poor structure, just proved to be too large of a deficit to overcome; they allowed far too many High Danger chances, with the pair of Darnell Nurse and Ethan Bear allowing the most– of Oilers defensemen– with five. Though it doesn’t show up necessarily in the advanced counts, Nurse had some egregious giveaways; if he wants to be paid as an elite defenseman, he just as to shore that part of his game up.

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Final Thought

Like the previous game against the Arizona Coyotes, the Oilers lost the special teams battle, with their 27th-ranked home penalty kill (75.8%) going 1-3 against the Sharks’ 10th-ranked road powerplay (20.3%), while their 2nd-ranked home powerplay (30.9%) failed to take convert on the Sharks’ 3rd-ranked road PK (85.0%). Since James Neal’s injury, the Oilers powerplay has gone 1-8; they clearly miss his team-leading 12 powerplay goals.

The Oilers started the game off well, with sustained pressure, while reducing the Sharks’ chances, but once the the road team was able to get into a groove with their ability to get pucks to the net from the points and outwork the Oilers defensemen in the High Danger areas, the Oilers’ structure broke down.

The Oilers were in command, and then proceeded to allow five straight goals. Not good enough as they hit the stretch run.

On to Nashville.