Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Report: Oilers @ Lightning (13 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. Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday 13 February.

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First Period

15 20 42.86 23.08 1-5 27.07

This was not an ideal period for the Oilers, getting dominated in every 5v5 metric.

The story was Mike Smith, making 14 saves, making 4 High Danger saves (the same amount he made in the entire game against the Chicago Blackhawks on 11 February). The heat map shows that the Oilers did a horrible job of keeping the Lighting shooters to the outside, and allowed a tonne of chances from the points and into the High Danger area.

Despite allowing the interior penetration into the High Danger area, the pairing of Adam Larsson (50.00 CF%, 33.33 SCF%, 50.00 HDCF%, 54.67 xGF%) and Oscar Klefbom (55.56 CF%, 33.33 SCF%, 50.00 HDCF%, 54.67 xGF%) carried over their strong play from the Blackhawks game.

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Second Period

10 19 34.48 35.71 2-2 34.47

Though the Caleb Jones scored to tie the game, the Oilers continued to struggle at 5v5, though they did improve slightly. The Lighting could not be stopped from generating chances in the High Danger area, but the Oilers were able to reduce the shots from there on Smith, allowing only one in the period.

The Oilers entered the game with the top-ranked road powerplay (26.7%), but went 0-2 against the Lightning’s 7th-ranked home penalty kill (85.9%), while allowing their 10th shorthanded goal against on the season from Yani Gourde.

The Klefbom-Larsson and Caleb Jones – Matthew Benning pairs were strong, but the Darnell Nurse (34.38 CF%, 27.78 SCF%, 0-4 HDCF, 23.12 xGF%) and Ethan Bear (38.24 CF%, 30.00 SCF%, 1-4 HDCF, 29.96 xGF%) pair really struggled.

Third Period

15 13 53.57 57.14 5-3 62.21

The Oilers turned the 5v5 possession game around, but were fighting from behind against an opposing goaltender who hadn’t lost in regulation in 19 straight games.

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The top line struggled at 5v5 by the end of the game, as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (39.39 CF%, 40.00 SCF%, 40.00 HDCF%, 43.84 xGF%), Leon Draisaitl (38.71 CF%, 35.71 SCF%, 25.00 HDCF% 40.47 xGF%), and Kailer Yamamoto (35.48 CF%, 35.71 SCF%, 25.00 HDCF%, 39.32 xGF%) just simply could not generate enough chances to lead the charge in a comeback.

Final Thought

Well, Zack Kassian is going to be suspended, that much is certain. It was an incredibly stupid and undisciplined action, and for a guy just coming back from a suspension, it doesn’t look good for the newly-signed winger.

It’s also disappointing that the Oilers lost this game because of the failure of their powerplay. Not only did they not convert on two opportunities– not to mention failing to register a shot on their first man-advantage– but the winning goal ended up coming off of a shorthanded goal; they’ve allowed one in consecutive games, now.

Mike Smith had a strong game that should’ve been rewarded, stopping 7/8 High Danger shots against, and 34 overall shots; he had an xGA of 2.16, so he saved the team an extra goal based on the volume and quality he faced, giving them a chance to steal a win. He’s playing well enough to be the starter, battling and giving the team a chance to win during his starts.

Victor Hedman had an exceptional game against the Oilers top line, cutting them from a xGF% of 88.42 to 59.67.

The Oilers need to come out with a better in their next game, and shore up the mistakes they keep making during the zone entry on the powerplay.

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On to Florida.