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. Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday 16 February.
The Oilers controlled the 5v5 possession slightly, and did a good job of hindering the Hurricanes’ attack, limiting 6 of their eight 5v5 shots to the Low Danger areas, with their lone High Danger shot resulting in the early goal against Mike Smith.
Oscar Klefbom and Adam Larsson did a tremendous job of shutting down Teuvo Teravainen-Sebastian Aho-Andrei Svechnikov line, limiting their CF% to 44.44 and xGF% to 13.77, while their respective counts were 58.33 CF%, 66.67 SCF%, 58.32 xGF% and 61.54 CF%, 66.67 SCF%, and 59.19 xGF%.
Though the Oilers’ 3rd-ranked road powerplay (25.6%) failed to register a shot and convert on the Hurricanes’ 9th-ranked home penalty kill (84.0%) on their only chance, Leon Draisaitl’s 34th goal came just as the penalty was expiring due to a strong cycle.
Though it was a truncated man-advantage, coming at the end of the period, the Oilers’ top-ranked road penalty kill (89.5%) successfully held the Hurricanes’ 12th-ranked home powerplay (22.6%) off the board.
Darnell Nurse and Ethan Bear finished the period with a xGF% of 73.41 and 72.10, respectively, while Tyler Benson lead all forwards with a 82.66.
The Oilers allowed a few more higher quality chances in the period, allowing five 5v5 shots, 3 Medium Danger and 2 High Danger.
Despite the go-ahead goal by Aho, who slipped by the entire Oilers on the play, Klefbom and Larsson continued to limit the Hurricanes’ top line, with a xGF% of 8.26.
The special teams battle continued to go in the Oilers’ favour, as their powerplay finally converted on its third opportunity.
Once again, the Oilers controlled most of the period’s 5v5 possession, but the Hurricanes’ best line– and best player– capitalised on a momentary lapse by the Oilers; that’s just what good players do.
The penalty kill did its fantastic job once again, killing off both of the Hurricanes’ chances and limiting them to three Scoring Chances and one High Danger opportunity.
Regardless of what numbers or counts say, this game was won by Mike Smith, who robbed Aho on a breakaway as he was looking to score a game-winning hattrick, and Leon Draisaitl, who continues his quest for the Hart trophy, assisting on Josh Archibald’s game-winning goal, completing a three-point night, and putting him at 95 on the season.
This was a tough battle for the Oilers, going up a very good team in the Hurricanes in the second game of a back-to-back. But they fought hard against the Hurricanes, controlling the 5v5 battle
In a tightly fought game, the special teams once again gave the Oilers an edge, with the powerplay going 1/3, while the penalty kill was a perfect 3/3.
The Oilers now find themselves atop the Pacific division, one point up on the Vancouver Canucks– with the same amount of games played– and two points (and one game) up on the third place Vegas Golden Knights. They’re putting themselves in a solid position for the stretch run, and the return of Connor McDavid.
On to Boston.