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Beyond the Boxscore: Connor McDavid puts brilliance on display in Game 5

Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid
Photo credit:Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
26 days ago
The Oilers were able to hold off a surging Panthers to keep the dream alive with a Game 5 victory.
As expected, the Panthers came out with more juice than the last outing, but Edmonton never let them get ahead keeping things fairly even through the end of the first. Edmonton got an edge from the shorthanded work of Connor Brown to lead after the first and piled on with two more early in the second period, one on the powerplay. That seemed to be the last straw for the Panthers who started to come in waves of increasing difficulty. They started to get into a rhythm which led to a necessity for Stuart Skinner to come up big – and he delivered. That’s nothing to say of the amazing game played by Connor McDavid who willed his team to victory for a second straight match. The best player on the planet put on a show on the biggest stage hockey has to offer. The real winner in that was everyone that got to watch.
CF% – 32.67%, SCF% – 33.39%, HDCF% – 28.01%, xGF% – 26.08%
Corsi King – It was not the best overall game in terms of chances for the Oilers. Most of the damage was all done by McDavid (42.00 CF%) who was just sensational. That assist where he weaved through three to four Panthers, had them all come right into his kitchen before dishing it off to Corey Perry (47.26 percent) for the tap-in, is stuff I’ve only ever seen Connor McDavid do. Whenever McDavid wasn’t on the ice at 5v5 things were really rough for Edmonton. Broberg (9.20 percent) and Nurse (19.06 percent) couldn’t stay out of their own end. Matthew Tkachuk – outside of the embellishment – was playing tremendously below the goal line for the Panthers. Using the net to create space and racking up quality chances for the Panthers. Ekholm (56.17 percent) seemed to be the only defender capable of resisting the attack on a consistent basis. Same goes for his partner in Bouchard (53.80 percent).
Under Pressure –
Taken By Chance – I really do not expect the Oilers to change anything going forward, especially after two straight finals wins, but Nurse (14.61 SCF% // 16.26 HDCF%) and Broberg (8.07 percent // 16.26 percent) are hurting more than they are helping. Getting turned around in their own zone, failing zone exits, knocking pucks into the net, and losing board battles down low are just a few things both of them are failing to accomplish during wins. On games when the Oilers are attacking more often than defending they have been more effective, but in a defence first approach those two players have struggled. They played just as much 5v5 time as Ekholm (76.36 percent // 71.64 percent) and Bouchard (71.78 percent // 71.64 percent) to much different results. There are no easy matchups either as the Panthers two top lines are as formidable as any other team in the NHL.
xG Breakdown –
xGF% – Warren Foegele (47.52 percent) had a surprising lead in the quality share amongst the forwards. I’m sure if 4v4 was counted Edmonton’s top players would all get a significant boost. Any form of special teams is an advantage for Edmonton right now. If you can get not just McDavid (32.14 percent), but Leon Draisaitl (34.24%) some extra space out there they always try and take advantage. 4v4 the Oilers were tremendous as they attacked in waves off the rush. At this point everything is running off vibes anyways and after two straight wins vibes are immaculate. Edmonton has nothing to lose and everything to gain – Friday should be some more great hockey.
Game Flow –
Game Score –
Shot Heatmap –
In The Crease – How about that clutch third period from Stuart Skinner. Tkachuk broke his goalless draught and started really improving the low-to-high attack the Florida Panthers were so good all season. Skinner cracked a bit, but in the end when the Oilers needed him most he was on the top of his game. No traffic, deflection, or snipe got behind him as he put everyone back on the plane home. 2.73 expected goals against with three getting behind him at 5v5. Oh yeah, the W too.
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Connor McDavid
2) Mattias Ekholm
3) Stuart Skinner
(Stats compiled from Naturalstattrick.com // Game Score from Hockeystatcards.com // xG and Under Pressure charts from HockeyViz.com // Game Flow and Shot Heatmap from NaturalStatTrick.com)

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