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D-Zone coverage wasn’t the Oilers’ issue in game one

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Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Gregor
6 months ago
I keep reading online about how the Edmonton Oilers struggled with their new defensive tweaks in game one and that it was a major part of the reason they lost.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
The Oilers got pumped because they didn’t match the work ethic of the Canucks. But the defensive zone tweaks played no factor in any of the goals.
1. Off the rush, Petterson saucer pass to the net, Garland dekes and scores.
2. VAN dumps in, Bouchard loses a puck battle in the corner, and Miller finds Boeser open in the low slot, and he scores.
3. Campbell makes two saves off the rush before the third rebound got tapped home.
4. PP goal. Nothing about zone defence. Lucky bounce of Boeser’s leg.
5. PP goal. Long point shot.
6. VAN wins the faceoff, goes D to D, point shot hits skate in front, Boeser taps home.
7. PP goal. Miller from the top of the circle.
8. Off the rush, 2-on-1 with McLeod back pressure, pass across does not get completed, but Joshua bangs home rebound.

O-zone and D-zone Time.

Edmonton had the puck in O-zone more than Van and they had significantly more puck possession time. Stats via SportLogiq:
5×5 Puck in the O-Zone: EDM 19:32, VAN 15:39
5×5 Puck possession in the O-Zone: EDM 6:43, VAN 3:26
Here is a breakdown of the puck possession at even strength by period, in case you think the Oilers had more when the game was out of hand.
1st period: EDM 1:49…VAN 1:28
2nd period: EDM 3:08… VAN :56
3rd period: EDM 1:48… VAN 1:02
The Canucks rarely had sustained pressure in the Oilers zone. Three goals came off the rush 5×5, one on a dump in where Bouchard lost a battle and the other off a lost face off where the shot hit a skate and went to Boeser.
Vancouver didn’t hem the Oilers in their zone for long periods. Edmonton didn’t struggle with understanding their D-zone coverage. The only goal on which you could maybe say they did struggle was the second goal, where Boeser found the soft spot near the bottom of the circle.
The Oilers didn’t play well, but the new defensive tweaks didn’t cause them to give up a touchdown and two-point conversion.

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