GDB 57.0 Wrap Up: Edmonton Oilers blow another lead in pathetic 6-5 OT loss to Colorado Avalanche
Photo credit:Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
By Zach Laing1 month ago
The Oilers absolutely love making things hard on themselves and my lord is it painful to watch.
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Heading into this game you knew it was going to be a battle for the Oilers. They saw how hard these Colorado Avalanche are to play against and they learned that lesson the hard way in the Western Conference Finals last year getting swept in four games. When these two teams met back in early January for their first meeting since last playoffs, it had a similar feel to this one we saw Sunday afternoon.
Edmonton had a two-goal lead (in that game it was thanks to two from Zach Hyman), and the Oilers ended up letting the Avalanche get back into the game only to lose in overtime. Well, surprise surprise — the Oilers did it again.
It really didn’t feel like the Oilers played a bad game on Sunday, per se. They dominated play at even strength controlling 57.63 percent of the shot attempts and 64.72 percent of the expected goal share with all of the goals being scored between the two teams at evens. But once again, it was a death-by-1000-cuts scenario for the Oilers: a deflected puck off Cody Ceci and in, soft coverage in the defensive zone, Nathan MacKinnon getting too much time and space, Jack Campbell not covering a puck, not dying up a defenders stick, and losing faceoffs.
This story has felt too true for the Oilers as of late, who now fall to a rather pathetic 2-1-4 since the All-Star break has seen them get outscored 29-28. A big issue during that stretch of time has been the Oilers goaltending. Jack Campbell has gone 2-0-3 with a .884 save percentage and a 3.64 goals against average. Stuart Skinner, who has been dealing with an illness as of late, has gone 0-2 with a .894 sv% and a 3.38 gaa.
This is a point in the season where you need goaltenders winning you games, not losing them for you and that’s what has happened as of late. Campbell didn’t have a good game Sunday, and the Oilers paid for it.
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If there’s one good thing to pull from it…
What an afternoon for Warren Foegele. For him, things didn’t start out great. He got dinged on a soft interference call against Nathan MacKinnon and as soon as he got out of the box, he committed another infraction tripping Bowen Byram. The Oilers got the kills, and Foegele rewarded his teammates with not just one, but two goals.
His first came with just under five minutes left in the first period when he was left alone on the backdoor slamming home a Mattias Janmark pass. Foegele’s second of the game came 1:14 into the second period when he flew down from the high-slot one-timing a Darnell Nurse pass.
Yeah, that’ll make up for those penalties.
For Foegele, it marked another strong game in a slew of many as of late. Since the all-star break, he’s now scored four goals and five points in six games, while taking 18 shots. If you back 11 games, Foegele’s now up to five goals and eight points taking 38 shots on net. His turnaround in his season has been notable, and the offence he’s creating right now is much needed.
He’s looking more confident out there on the ice, and you could really see it on his second goal. Coming down from the high slot with conviction and burying one the way he did was great to see.
The Oilers depth also saw Mattias Janmark score Sunday burying one in the third period. As a whole, their depth has been a big help. Ryan McLeod has been chipping in some goals as of late and it’s helped take some of the pressure off the big guns in a big way.
For the Oilers as a whole, they need to find a way to close these games out, plain and simple. Sunday’s performance was nowhere near good enough and they’ve now left three points on the board in each of their last three games.
This week, the Oilers host the Philadelphia Flyers Tuesday, before heading to Pittsburgh Thursday and Columbus next Saturday morning.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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