Beyond the Boxscore: Team effort leads to victory for Oilers

Edmonton Oilers Evander Kane Dylan Holloway
Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Stevenson
1 month ago
The most consistent effort of the series was not to be wasted as the Edmonton Oilers snagged a well-deserved, last-second Game 4 win to even things up at two games apiece.
The Oilers did well to find a consistent counterattack all night, never allowing the Canucks to spend too much time in their defensive zone. New defence pairs kept the front of the net as clear as possible for Calvin Pickard, who played an excellent game. The Oilers did find themselves subject to a pushback from the Canucks late, but an amazing pass from Draisaitl and some good fortune not to have Bouchard’s game-winner bounce away saved a game that deserved to end with an Oilers win.
CF% – 55.59%, SCF% – 56.64%, HDCF% – 72.65%, xGF% – 64.77%
Corsi King – When the Oilers need a push you can count on Connor McDavid (70.15 percent) to lead the charge. People can critique the Oilers as a whole, but nobody can claim McDavid doesn’t show up and do his job every single night. Evan Bouchard (65.42 percent) and Mattias Ekholm (65.37 percent) continue to steer all the positive possession for the team – and they do an excellent job at it. This playoff run has really solidified the importance of them both to the Oilers’ attack. The Oilers had their top nine forwards and top four defencemen all play excellent games, with the only flaws coming from the bottom end of the lineup. I liked what Luke Gazdic suggested postgame in that one of the Sam’s – Carrick or Gagner – could come in and add some spice to mix things up. Not sure the coach will change a winning lineup though.

Under Pressure

Taken By Chance – Dylan Holloway (71.35 SCF% // 83.45 HDCF%) had his best postseason game. He along with Leon Draisaitl (64.45 percent // 83.45 percent) led the team being involved in five high danger chances during 5v5 play. My personal favourite of all the chances was Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’s (64.50 percent // 59.53 percent) goal. Seeing the long-time Oiler score such a beautiful goal in a big moment was good. One last tidbit – Evander Kane 73.18 percent // 80.14 percent) was huge on the game-winning goal. The physical play to gain puck possession sucked all the momentum the Canucks gained by tying it away and gave everyone on the ice immediate life.

xG Breakdown

xGF% – Warren Foegele (85.23 percent) gives us an example of how large percentages aren’t always what they seem. He had a small individual number in quality for (xGF) at 0.05 and an even smaller number against (xGA) at just 0.01. That’s so marginal it may as well read 50 percent – it’s why context matters. The real leaders would be Darnell Nurse (75.94 percent) and Dylan Holloway (72.68 percent). Nurse in his first game free from Cody Ceci (56.88 percent) showed he can be way more effective than he has been. He and Desharnais (68.65 percent) were relied upon in key situations, the result certainly says this is worth continuing.

Game Flow

Game Score

Shot Heatmap

In The Crease – Calvin Pickard is the man of the hour in Edmonton after a simple performance where he let in no weak goals. That was enough for Edmonton as they got improved play out of the defence to aid in shot suppression. The Canucks never particularly tested Pickard hard, but that’s a good thing. No fluke goals and the Oilers get the result they need. I said after last game I would go back to Skinner, good on Pickard to prove the naysayers wrong and give the team some hope.
Flashalytic’s 3 Stars –
1) Leon Draisaitl
2) Evan Bouchard
3) Dylan Holloway
(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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