GDB 73.0: Keep the streak alive and gain some ground (8pm MT, HNIC)

Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
1 year ago
With only 10 games left in the 2022-23 NHL regular season, there’s not much time left to make a move in the standings and I’m not sure there’s a bigger matchup on the calendar for the Edmonton Oilers than these two contests versus the Vegas Golden Knights.
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Kicking off what will be a huge run of games for the Edmonton Oilers over the next week, the Vegas Golden Knights are in town for the first of two matchups in the span of only four days. Considering Vegas is six points up on the Oilers for first place in the Pacific Division, having the chance at two of these four-point swings in under a week is a golden opportunity for our boys to gain some ground on a team they’ve been chasing all season. Winners of eight of their last 10 games, Vegas has been a handful for their opponents offensively as they’ve averaged nearly four goals per game over that stretch while giving up three or fewer in nine of those meetings. From an Oilers perspective, the boys need to keep their puck choices tight and play a simple game to avoid giving the Golden Knights any cheap chances off of turnovers. When the Oilers are at their best, they protect the puck at both ends of the rink without trying to force plays that aren’t there and they’ll need to keep those impulses in check here in round three of this four-game season series.
The good news is that the Oilers have played Vegas really strong this season, winning both games they’ve played by 4-3 scores. In both of those games, the Oilers were able to score early goals to set the tone and give themselves a decent head start, and I couldn’t think of a better way to kick off round three than with another dose of that same medicine. Making this happen won’t be easy, however, as the Golden Knights are 16-3-2 since the All-Star break, giving them a points percentage of .810 which puts them in line with the league-leading Boston Bruins. Needless to say, the Oilers will need to have their details dialed in or risk having their winning streak cut off at five games. That said, our boys have put 25 goals up on the board over this five-game run, and that has me feeling pretty good about our chances to cash in two points. Either way, these two head-to-head matches with Vegas over the next handful of days could prove to be critical in our pursuit of home ice in the playoffs, and I’m expecting both sides to be fired up to get going.
Let’s see what the numbers say…


Last 10 Games8-0-28-2-0
POWER PLAY%31.521.1
AVG. SHOTS/FOR33.331.8
TEAM SAVE%.910.921
CORSI FOR%51.9148.41
Numbers courtesy of Natural Stat Trick (Sv%, CF%, PDO, Shooting%, xGF% all at 5×5)
  • The Oilers are 12-5-3 in their last 20 games, outscoring opponents 90-76, and earning at least a point in 15 of the 20 games.
  • Connor McDavid is one goal away from his 300th NHL goal
  • Evander Kane is one goal from his 300th NHL goal
  • Leon Draisaitl is two goals away from his 300th NHL goal




Kane – McDavid – Yamamoto
RNH – Draisaitl – Hyman
Foegele – Bjugstad – Ryan
Kostin – Shore – Janmark
Nurse – Ceci
Ekholm – Bouchard
Kulak – Desharnais
Right now, the Oilers are as hot as any team in the NHL and the boys will need to keep that fire burning against a Vegas team that has been pretty stingy over the last few weeks. The good news is that we’ve got players that are either on fire or heating up, and that has me excited about the possibility of a third-straight win over Vegas. We know the boys have the firepower, but can they also bring the strong commitment to defending that will be crucial in getting the job done?

Golden Knights

Barbashev – Eichel – Marchessault
Stephenson – Karlsson – Dorofeyev
Cotter – Roy – Kessel
Howden – Blueger – Amadio
Hutton – Pietrangelo
McNabb – Theodore
Hague – Whitecloud
In Thursday’s win over the Calgary Flames, Vegas’ injury woes continued as they lost both Reilly Smith and Logan Thompson with injuries that could be longer than day-to-day. Even so, the Golden Knights get a lot of scoring throughout their lineup and the Oilers will have to be wary of giving up any unearned chances regardless of who is on the ice.


From SinBin.Vegas:
Amazingly, the Golden Knights have held both McDavid and Draisaitl pointless in four of the last seven meetings between the two teams. Connor missed one of those games, but for three straight both guys played and came up blank on the scoresheet. Oddly, the Golden Knights went just 2-2-0 in those four games, needing overtime to win the one McDavid was out.
Overall though, holding down the Big Two has been crucial in VGK’s success. In the seven wins, the Golden Knights have allowed McDavid and Draisaitl five goals and four assists. In the ten losses, those numbers balloon to 11 goals and 21 assists. Thus, in Golden Knights wins, 97 and 29 average .71 goals per game and 1.3 points per game, while the losses see those numbers at 1.1 goals per game and a whopping 3.2 points per game.
One part of the game where Vegas has had above average success against the Oilers is on the penalty kill. Edmonton has just scored seven power play goals in 17 games with McDavid and Draisaitl on the ice together, but they’ve also allowed VGK to score twice shorthanded. Vegas won both games in which they tallied a shorty.
Finally, outscoring the Oilers at even strength with these two on the ice is critical for the Golden Knights to come out on top. When they do, the Golden Knights are 4-0-0. When they are outscored in the time when McDavid and Draisaitl are on the ice, Vegas is 0-5-2.


Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk
Game Day Prediction: The Oilers get three goals early to give themselves the head start needed to close out the 4-2 win.
Obvious Game Day Prediction: Connor McDavid will score yet another five-hole goal off the rush. He seems to have mastered that move this year, ya know?
Not-So-Obvious Game Day Prediction: This will be the third time that I’ve called for Vinny Desharnais to pick up his first NHL goal, but I really mean it this time. The third time is the charm.

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