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Photo Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Report: Oilers vs. Stars (3 March)

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. Dallas Stars on 3 March.

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CF CA CF% SCF% HDCF-HDCA xGF%
1st Period 6 21 22.22 13.33 0-7 11.02
2nd Period 11 11 50 50 2-3 40.38
3rd Period 10 19 34.48 28.57 2-2 40.08
All attempts are at 5v5.
Corsi (CF, CA) is the volume of attempts towards the net (goals, shots on net, misses, blocks); CF% is share of attempts for the team.
Scoring Chances (SCF) are shot attempts with a value of 2 or higher (from the green- 3 and/or pink- 2 area or off a rebound or a rush).
High Danger Chances (HDCF-CA) are shot attempts with a value of 3 or higher.
Expected Goals (xGF%) is based off of combination of shot attempts, shot quality (Low/Medium/High Danger), and shooting percentage (both team and individual).

A more comprehensive explanation can be found at naturalstattrick.com


Breakdown

It was not a pretty game for any of the Oilers’ as far as possession went; the Stars’ died by the theme of their season, playing a strong 5v5 game, pushing the Oilers’ attack to the perimeter, and getting strong goaltending, but their terrible 6.90 SH% they were unable to convert.

But that isn’t selling Mikko Koskinen’s performance short, as he deserves the majority of the credit for the win. He was hung out to dry, particularly in the first period where his team in front of him was flatter than a day-old soda; he stopped all 10 5v5 High Danger shots he faced, while stopping another 7 from the Medium Danger areas, only getting beat on the Stars’ sixth powerplay opportunity.

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The Caleb Jones-Adam Larsson pairing was pulverised by the Blake Comeau-Radek Faksa-Andrew Cogliano line, getting tuned with a CF% of 18.18 and 24.32, and xGF% of 11.64 and 17.22, respectively. Darnell Nurse was beat-up on a bit on Twitter with what looked like a poor game, but he finished with relatively decent counts (50.00 CF%, 33.33 SCF%, 1-2 HDCF, 41.87 xGF%), particularly compared to his partner Ethan Bear (39.71 CF%, 26.67 SCF%, 1-5 HDCF, 27.52 xGF%).

As far as the forwards were concerned, Kailer Yamamoto had he first really rough possession game, leading the team with 8 HDCA, a CF% of 24.14 and xGF% of 15.79. But that’s just picking on the kid, the entire team was bad with only (surprisingly) Jujhar Khaira, Zack Kassian, and Alex Chiasson finished with a CF% of above 50.00, with Chiasson leading the team with a 71.77 xGF%.

But the Oilers did what they had to in order to beat a team that, frankly, is better than them at the possession game, and that was by capitalising on the special teams battle, going 2/5 on the powerplay and 5/6 on the penalty kill. They had an opportunity to put the game away earlier with the 5-on-3, but the Stars’ penalty killers were up to the task.

Final Thought

Coming off a back-to-back is always tough, but it doesn’t get easier for the Oilers down the stretch, so proving the tenacity to hang in a game– though a lot of credit goes to Koskinen here– despite being badly outplayed is a mark of a team that is now built and coached to always compete; securing the win makes it more impressive.

They were tired team that had their goaltender steal one for them, which is exactly what you want whenever a “back-up” (it’s still a little unclear if Mike Smith is the de facto starter) steps in between the pipes.

Regardless, two points earned in a tight playoff race.

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On to: Chicago.

What to Expect:

CF% SCF% HDCF% xGF% Goals/60 Home PP% Home PK% SH% SV%
48.29 (25th) 47.09 (28th) 45.33 (29th) 46.54 (29th) 2.6 (15th) 13.3 (28) 82.3 (12th) 8.45 (14th) .925 (7th)

The Blackhawks have had a rough season– with a small spike of renewed playoff hopes sometime around the All-Star break– but reality has caught up to them recently. But the Oilers have to be wary of this one being stolen from them, as Corey Crawford is actually having a decent season, with a Goals-Saved-Above-Average of 7.08, .926 5v5 SV%, and .860 HDSV%, impressive considering he’s playing behind a team that gives up the most shots in the league, 34.8 shots against/game (35.23 5v5 SA/60). The Blackhawks also allow an insane amount of chances in the High Danger area in the low slot and the crease, so the Oilers have to be committed to an offensive attack that crashes the net and exploits the opportunity.

The Blackhawks are only one of the two non-playoff teams that the Oilers will face in the 11 games they play in 19 days (they finally get a two-day break after the 20 March game against the Tampa Bay Lightning), so it’s a small advantage that they have to pounce on.

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Twitter: @NicklausGood

Traditional stats courtesy of nhl.com | Advanced counts courtesy of naturalstattrick.com | Isolated heat maps courtesy of hockeyviz.com