GDB 58.0: All Hands on Deck (7pm MT, SNW)

Photo credit:Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Gregor
9 months ago
When you blow 3-0 leads and two-goal leads entering the third period in consecutive games, it is very difficult to pin the blame on one or two individuals. Each was a complete team collapse. The Edmonton Oilers players and coaches need to be better tonight.
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“Normally I might dress it up and say it was good to get a point, but that was utterly disappointing for us the way we handled things in the third period,” said Jay Woodcroft post game in Colorado.
“I know we can defend a lot better than we did, and ultimately it cost us getting the second point. We gave up four against Detroit, four v. the Rangers, and six tonight. That is not conducive to the type of hockey that gets played in May and June. It is important we look in the mirror and determine how we are going to win hockey games. There were individual moments where we need to be a lot better,” said Woodcroft.
The Oilers shot themselves in the foot repeatedly last Friday and Sunday. That has to change, but also Woodcroft did go away from what was working in the first two periods. His bottom two lines of Warren Foegele, Ryan McLeod, and Mattias Janmark were very good and so was the trio of Devin Shore, Derek Ryan, and Jesse Puljujarvi.
When those lines are rolling, why reduce their minutes so early in the third period? Mark Spector asked Woodcroft that today.
“That is a good question, but I will counter maybe the minute distribution we are playing the lower minute guys helps them out. Maybe. It has worked for our defenceman,” said Woodcroft.
I agree with his thoughts regarding the blueline, but the Shore-Ryan-Puljujarvi trio only played five minutes together. I don’t see why a few more minutes would have led to them getting crushed. I understand why on most nights it makes sense to shorten the bench, but Sunday was a game where the play of the third and fourth line warranted them playing more. It worked for 40 minutes. I’m not saying play them more than the top two lines, obviously, but two extra shifts in the third, based on how well they had played to that point, wouldn’t have seemed that risky to me.
Woodcroft also mentioned that the top forwards, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are playing heavy minutes due to the 11-7. But I looked it up and they aren’t playing anymore than when they used 12 forwards in October to December.
In Oct-Dec McDavid averaged 22:45/game. He’s averaged 22:50 from January 1st. A slight increase, but also the Oilers only played four OT games in Oct-Dec, and they have played six in their 19 games since. Through 60 minutes with 11-7, McDavid has played fewer minutes than he did in Oct-Dec.
Draisaitl played 22:15 in Oct-Dec, and has logged 21:49 from January 1st.
They are used to playing lots of minutes, but their TOI hasn’t changed significantly by going to an 11-7 format.


May 31, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Edmonton Oilers center Devin Shore (14) before the game against the Colorado Avalanche in game one of the Western Conference Final of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
It was only one game, and I’m not saying he should suddenly play a lot, but Shore’s game in Colorado was a perfect illustration of how much confidence factors into a player’s game. Shore played five games in the American league over a 10-day span. He scored two goals and five points, and in Colorado it was apparent he had more confidence with the puck. He didn’t just chip the puck when he had time. He made plays, including a nice assist on Tyson Barrie’s goal.
“You wish confidence was something you’d never let go of,” said Shore. “Playing a lot and being able to contribute helps. Hockey is a game of instincts. Do I think I would have tried it (button hook that led to assist on Barrie goal)? It’s almost like I’m glad I wasn’t thinking at all. A true confident player is able to shut the brain off, almost, in a good way. I think it was just that. I was just reacting.”
Before being sent down, Shore played one NHL game in six weeks. That is tough on anyone.
“It was just fun to play hockey again,” said Shore. “You want to play a 1,000 games in this league, everybody does, but it was just fun to get out there and play, compete and enjoy yourself. It was big. And being down there you realize the world isn’t ending. It is a great group of guys down there, you’re still having fun and you still get to play hockey for a living. It kind of helps when you get back up here. It frees you up a bit to just play and whatever happens, happens,” said Shore.
Shore doesn’t have a goal this season in 30 games. He has four assists, but while he hasn’t produced much offence, he hasn’t give up much either. His GF-GA is 7-4 at 5×5. With Klim Kostin still battling an illness, Shore will have to fill in for a few more games. He only played 7:22 at 5×5 in Colorado, but he had an assist and the Oilers outshot the Avs 10-4 with him on the ice. He, Puljujarvi and Ryan were very effective. If they have the same jump tonight, then it is imperative that Woodcroft keeps them regular rotation.
The other point about Shore to remember is that, while he isn’t a big scorer in the NHL, He has 17 goals and 31 points in his last 28 AHL games. There are many role players in the NHL who are very good point producers in the AHL. It is important to remember that when looking at young guys producing in the AHL. It is great to see, but scoring in the AHL is much different than producing in the NHL.




RNH – McDavid – Hyman
Draisaitl – Yamamoto
Foegele – Mcleod – Janmark
Shore – Ryan – Puljujarvi
Nurse – Ceci
Kulak – Barrie
Broberg – Bouchard
In Colorado on Sunday, the McLeod and Ryan lines were solid. They were the most common lines (based on TOI together), and I expect we see them together tonight when they can. The Foegele-McLeod-Janmark line was very dominant. They outscored the Avs 2-0, outshot them, and had an unheard of 94.65xGF%. I would have played them more minutes.


Hayes – Laughton – Allison
van Riemsdyk – Frost – Tippett
Deslauriers – Cates – Brown
Lycksell – Farabee – Bellows
Provorov – York
Sanheim – Ristolainen
Seeler – DeAngelo
Travis Konecny opened the scoring in Calgary yesterday and was named first star of the game, despite leaving with an injury 33 minutes into the game. He’s out with a shoulder injury which is another blow to the Flyers’ offence. He joins Sean Couturier and Cam Atkinson on the sidelines. The Flyers battle hard, but they don’t have much high-end offensive skill in the lineup tonight. The Oilers need another strong start like they had in Colorado and v. the Rangers, but this time play a full 60 minutes. The Flyers don’t have nearly the offensive firepower as the Rangers or Avalanche.


GAME DAY PREDICTION: Oilers don’t blow a three-goal lead. They win 5-2.
OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: McDavid picks up two points. He broke his collarbone in his first game v. the Flyers, but in the 11 games since McDavid has 22 points. He scores his ninth goal in his last 12 games v. the Flyers.
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Shore scores his first goal of the season and Jesse Puljujarvi gets the assist giving him a season-high three-game point streak.

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