G29 Game Notes: Islanders’ Offence is Rolling

Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Gregor
6 months ago
The Oilers are in a stretch where in four of their five games they face Andrei Vasilevskiy, Sergei Bobrovsky, Ilya Sorokin and Igor Shesterkin. The four Russian goalies are among the best in the NHL and have the ability to steal games. Vasilevskiy had one of the best goalie performances we’ve seen, when he stopped 53 of 57 shots to lead Tampa to a victory, last Thursday. On Saturday, Bobrovsky made three key saves in the first period — his best one off of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ stick — before Florida took the game over.
Tonight, they are hoping to avoid a three-peat at the pads of Sorokin.
— Sorokin is 3-3 in his last six starts. In his three victories he’s stopped 42 of 45 shots (.933Sv), 37 of 40 shots (.925) and 33 of 35 shots (.943). In his three losses he stopped 28 of 33 (.848), 32 of 37 (.865) and 30 of 34 (.882). Overall, he has a .902Sv% and 3.57 GAA. He has faced an average of 37.3 shots/game. The Islanders’ backup, Semyon Varlamov, played four games over the same time span and posted a .901Sv% and 3.48 GAA while facing an average of 35.5 shots/game. The Islanders have allowed a league-high 36.7 shots/game over the past ten games.
— The Oilers should be able to generate shots and many quality chances. The Islanders have allowed three goals in nine of their past ten games. They’ve not played liked the vaunted defensive team of past years, and they’ve really missed Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock. Pelech hasn’t played since November 24th, while Pulock has been out since December 7th. Edmonton needs to take advantage of a depleted defence corps and bury their chances. Don’t let Sorokin get in a rhythm early.
— The Oilers have to be leery of the Islanders’ offence. They’re leading the NHL with 4.20 goals/game in their past 10 games. Edmonton ranks fourth at 3.75 in that span. The Islanders have completely flipped their script lately. They are scoring like crazy, while allowing the second-most goals in the NHL at 3.70/game. Edmonton is 14th at 2.88/game.
— In the same 10-game span the Islanders’ power play ranks second at 31%. Edmonton is first at 38.1%. The Oilers’ PK is sixth at 87%, while New York ranks tied for 27th at 72%. The Islanders don’t take many penalties, however, ranking fifth lowest at 2.50/game. Edmonton is 14th at 2.88 TS/game. Edmonton has had the sixth-fewest PP opportunities/game at 2.63 while New York ranks 14th at 2.90. It would benefit the Oilers to put the Islanders on their heels early and force them to take some penalties.
— Post COVID the Oilers are 3-1-1 v. the Islanders including a 4-1 victory last month. None of the games were high scoring with the combined total of goals being 5, 6, 3, 4 and 5. With the Islanders’ recent offensive surge and defensive lapses, I wonder if we finally see 7+ goals in a game tonight. Edmonton is 3-3-1 in Long Island during the McDavid/Draisaitl era.
— This will be Stuart Skinner’s first road game v. the Islanders. He defeated the Islanders earlier this season in his first matchup against them. He has yet to play a road game versus the New York Rangers, Ottawa, Anaheim, Arizona or Nashville. He’s never faced Nashville at home or on the road. Skinner is 7-1 in his last eight starts with a .917Sv% and 2.13 GAA. Sorokin is 3-1-3 with a .917Sv% and 3.04 GAA. The number of shots you face can significantly alter a goalie’s SV% in small samples. Skinner and Sorokin have the exact same Sv%, but Skinner’s allowing almost one fewer goal/game at 2.13 to Sorokin’s 3.04.
— Mat Barzal, Bo Horvat and Noah Dobson each have 16 points in their last 10 games. The Islanders have 11 skaters with two or more goals and 13 skaters with 4+ points.
— Connor McDavid has 25 points in his last 10 games, while RNH has 15 points and Evan Bouchard has 14. The Oilers have ten skaters with two or more goals and nine skaters with 4+ points.
— The Oilers and Islanders had three consecutive picks at the 2018 NHL draft. Edmonton selected Bouchard 10th and the Islanders took Oliver Wahlstrom 11th and Dobson 12th. Bouchard and Dobson are tied for third among NHL D-men in scoring this season with 32 points. Bouchard has 8-24-32 in 28 games, while Dobson has 5-27-32 in 30 games. Dobson is logging 25:33/game, third most TOI/game in the NHL behind Drew Doughty and John Carlson. Dobson has really stepped up in the absence of Pulock and Pelech.


Thanks to Ryan for his awesome bid on the A-1 Heating package yesterday in support of Operation Friendship Seniors Soceity.
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