Beyond the Boxscore: Leon Draisaitl helps Oilers eliminate Kings

Edmonton Oilers Leon Draisaitl
Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
2 days ago
The Edmonton Oilers did what was needed to dispatch the Los Angeles Kings from the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in just five games.
Los Angeles never learned how to avoid penalty trouble against the speedy Oilers and the result was them giving their legendary power play numerous opportunities per night. Edmonton pressed the trap coverage every night and found holes with ease with McDavid particularly flying around anyone in a black jersey at will. The physicality was also no issue as the Oilers brushed it off and kept attacking until late in the third period. It was a solid team win against a decisively inferior team.
CF% – 41.87 percent. SCF% – 50.08 percent. HDCF% – 57.78 percent. xGF% – 56.35 percent.
It’s a Team Game – The Kings came out shooting, which is expected of a team with their back against the wall. Too bad for them they don’t have the freedom to counterattack with much speed or numbers. All the Oilers had to do was play solid 5v5 hockey and wait for the Kings to loosen up. After the power play goals in the second period gave the Oilers a two-goal lead, the third period could have gone quite differently had they tried to just protect the lead. Instead, they kept up a decent attack until the last 5 minutes, when they attempted to go full Fort Knox and lock things down. Kempe got one through, but Skinner and Draisaitl made sure that was all. Two big goals from Draisaitl himself were the difference maker for the Oilers.
Corsi King – Overall, the Kings had a 47 to 34 shot attempt advantage, but the quality share was a clear Oilers win, telling us the Kings’ opportunities were not that dangerous as a whole. Darnell Nurse (51.66 percent) led for all the defencemen while Mattias Janmark (52.05 percent) was tops for forwards. Among those forwards that saw heavy minutes against top competition, Draisaitl (45.26 percent) fared the best. The overall shot totals for Kulak (34.71 percent) were not that bad despite the glaring ratio — he only had 10 against in 13 minutes. It gets even better for him when you factor in the danger level of those chances below.

Under Pressure

Taken By Chance – There were 4 Oilers forwards that did not see a high-danger attempt against at 5v5. Mattias Janmark (71.72 SCF% // 100 HDCF%), Corey Perry (67.37 percent // 100 percent), Dylan Holloway (50.32 percent // 100 percent), and Derek Ryan (75.95 percent // 100 percent) all made sure in their limited minutes to play as perfect defensive hockey as possible. Their coach did not let them get pinned out against the Kings’ best players and they themselves made sure to get pucks in deep all night long. Oh yeah, Brett Kulak (50.57 percent // N/A) and Vincent Desharnais (50.57 percent // N/A) finish with no high-danger chances for or against. So yes, they sure saw more attempts against, but they meant next to nothing.

xG Breakdown

xGF% – He may not have had the best quality share, but McDavid (39.69 percent) still found a way to be involved in two goals for and none against. He only needs one good opportunity to capitalize, and with his ability to process plays almost instantaneously, all it takes is one lapse in coverage. Go a man down as often as the Kings did and you are just asking to get scored on. The 5v5 play in this series was more than acceptable at times from everyone. Now to see if they can do it again in the second round.

Game Flow

Game Score

Shot Heatmap

In The Crease – The Kings never did throw any number of attempts at Skinner to be a proper threat at any point in the series. All that young talent and being forced to 1-3-1 in the neutral zone is such a waste. The next series will certainly see a stronger forecheck and an elite defenceman to help them in either Roman Josi or Quinn Hughes. This will strain the defence and make everyone rely even more on Skinner to come up big. He faced 1.43 expected goals against at 5v5 with two getting behind him.

Flashalytic’s 3 Stars

1) Leon Draisaitl
2) Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
3) Darnell Nurse
(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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