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Beyond the Boxscore: Oilers can’t put together a 60 minute game

Edmonton Oilers Dallas Stars
Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
19 days ago
The Oilers failed to bring a 60-minute effort and the Dallas Stars made them pay.
To repeat the script from the previous two games momentum went instantly into the hand of the Oilers, except this time Edmonton paired that pressure with a two-goal lead.  The intermission hits and the wheels fall off – Dallas comes out like wildfire in the second, and use their own star power to blast into the lead in no time at all. Adam Henrique made sure to give the Oilers a tie going into the third, the perfect opportunity for a mental reset. Both teams played strong, defensive hockey in the third until the man of the night – Jason Robertson – found a weak spot on Skinner and tucked home the game-winner.
CF% – 54.15%, SCF% – 40.52%, HDCF% – 42.84%, xGF% – 35.30%
Corsi King – It wasn’t the Oilers’ depth that got stuck out there, but they also didn’t see lots of time averaging four shifts a period. Sam Carrick (72.22 CF%) going 12-5 in 5v5 shot attempts in just 8:31 would be more impressive if there also weren’t a goal against too. Evan Bouchard (59.19 percent) led in overall shot attempt involvement – like he usually does – with Zach Hyman (64.50 percent) being the frontman for the forwards. In his return after injury, Adam Henrique (33.42 percent) struggled to find offence, while Connor Brown (28.66 percent) performed a team-worst performance in an elevated role.

Under Pressure

Taken By Chance – This by no means was the Oilers’ best performance as a team, but after Dallas took the lead, it was hard for the team to get any swagger back. The start was so good with Connor McDavid (54.06 SCF% // 42.71 HDCF%) flying all over the ice – almost looking like he was going to control the entire game himself. After one period, I was impressed with Edmonton for pushing the pace as successfully as they had. Then they reunited Darnell Nurse (24.58 percent // 20.06 percent) and Cody Ceci (21.47 percent // 33.00 percent) in the second period because, for some reason, that was going to magically work again (it didn’t). Brett Kulak (49.65 percent // 100 percent) did an immaculate job away from Ceci for the first time in two weeks. There is a recurring theme there the coach doesn’t have the proper tools to address.

xG Breakdown

xGF% – Brett Kulak (84.02 percent) was certainly the most solid Oiler – seeing next to nothing in terms of an attack against. He limited everything, kept the shooters outside all night, and did not get scored on. The Stars got a lot more possession in this fame too limiting what the Oilers could do in response but if you want to get through to the Stanley Cup you have to find ways to deal with that. It wasn’t enough from the Oilers top players in this one – which may seem crazy to say. Dallas got their first four goals from their best forward in Jason Robertson and an upcoming star in Wyatt Johnston. McDavid willed his team to two goals, but they need more from the other parts of the core to step up now.

Game Flow

Game Score

Shot Heatmap

In The Crease – There are going to be a lot of fingers pointing at Stuart Skinner again, but as the heatmap above suggests Skinners’ team did a terrible job of keeping the Stars out of his crease. Can’t really justify the game-winner though, that’s just one goal that cannot get by the goaltender in that moment – in any moment. It’s a backbreaker right after you stymied the comeback attempt and were keeping the third period as close as possible. Jake Oettinger has handily out-dueled Skinner so far, it’s going to be a real rough battle to do that three more times in a four-game stretch.
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –  
1) Connor McDavid
2) Brett Kulak
3) Zach Hyman 
(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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