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Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Report: Oilers vs. Blue Jackets (7 March)- Sunday Afternoon Edition

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. Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday 7 March.

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CF CA CF% SCF% HDCF-HDCA xGF%
1st Period 9 26 25.71 23.81 3-8 24.17
2nd Period 12 13 48 45.45 2-1 56.21
3rd Period 14 19 42.42 43.75 3-6 29.66
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

First Period

Second Period

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Third Period

Breakdown

Just like the Dallas Stars game, the Oilers were owned at 5v5, relying on higher quality scoring chances and phenomenal goaltending to earn the win.

In his first game back from a shoulder injury, Oscar Klefbom faced Alexander Wennberg the most and, frankly, didn’t perform that well. Wennberg played 8:03 5v5 against Klefbom, and saw his CF% and xGF spike to 76.47 and 78.12, respectively whenever he was matched up against him. Conversely, where Wenneberg was matched up against Darnell Nurse (9:00 5v5), his CF% and xGF% were reduced to 38.89 and 39.66, respectively.

The Blue Jackets swarmed the Oilers’ High Danger area from the get go (see the first period heat map), creating chances from the perimeter and following up in the middle. Mikko Koskinen faced 21 total shots in the first period alone, leading to a 45 save, .978 SV%; 37 save, 1.000 SV% at 5v5 night.

Koskinen was technically solid, but as the disparity on the shot counter widened as the game wore on, the actual quality of shots actually weren’t quite as lopsided. Koskinen faced a total of 12 High Danger shots, while Joonas Korpisalo faced 8; a difference of four HD shots is still quite a lot, but considering that the final shots total was 46-24 in the Blue Jackets’ favour, the Oilers defence at least limited the High Danger chances well comparatively to the volume of shots.

While the Oilers were dominated at 5v5, the special teams matchup gave the home team a slight edge in a game they were desperate to find one. The once-abysmal home penalty (29th overall at one point), went 3/3 against the Blue Jackets’ 26th-ranked road powerplay, allowing a total of 5 shots, raising the home PK to 17th overall.

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For those who have been unimpressed with Andrea Athanasiou thus far as an Oilers, tonight was a game that re-affirmed his perceived underperforming. The third line of Athanasiou (23.81 CF%, 18.26 xGF%)-Riley Sheahan (13.64 CF%, 15.41 xGF%)-Josh Archibald (15.79 CF%, 17.74 xGF%) were demolished as far as 5v5 possession went, finishing with by far the worst counts on the team. They saw a lot of Blue Jackets’ centreman Kevin Stenlund, reducing their CF% from 33.33 to 20.00, and their xGF% from 25.21 to 17.32 whenever he was on the ice.

Final Thought

 

On to: Vegas.

What to Expect:

CF% SCF% HDCF% xGF% Goals/60 Road PP% Road PK% SH% SV%
54.54 (1st) 56.31 (1st) 55.48 (2nd) 55.71 (1st) 2.61 (13th) 14.1 (28th) 78.8 (15th) 7.77 .912

The Oilers are going to be catching the Knights on the second game of a back-to-back, after they take on the Calgary Flames Sunday night. Robin Lehner is scheduled to start against the Flames, so the Oilers will get another dose of Marc-Andre Fleury on Monday, who shut them out the last time the two teams played on 26 February. Fleury wasn’t peppered by any means, facing only 25 5v5 shots, though five of them were High Danger chances and 8 of them Medium Danger; he played a solid game behind the Golden Knights’ defence.

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The Oilers are in a fight for first in the Pacific division with the Golden Knights, and as far as the 5v5 counts say, it’s a bit of a mismatch for the home team. The Oilers have really struggled at 5v5 the last three games really– other than the third period against the @Blackhawks. With so many players finding their into the lineup, either through trades or returns from injury, there seems to be a state of flux for the roster. They do a fine job of entering the offensive zone, but there doesn’t seem to be a tonne of chemistry once they’re in there, just in terms of the small details on the ice, like positioning in the zone leading to a failure to follow-up shot attempts or even arrant drop passes leading to turnovers. The Golden Knights are a team that will exploit those small mistakes, they’ve just struggled to convert on those as their only 11th in 5v5 GF (146) despite leading in CF% and xGF% and second in HDCF%. Good goaltending can bail the Oilers out again, but relying on it is a dangerous game to play.

Twitter: @NicklausGood

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