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Ten Tuesday Thoughts…

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Photo credit:Game Highlights 31.0: St. Louis Blues beat Edmonton Oilers 4-3 in the shootout
Jason Gregor
1 month ago
The Oilers rollercoaster season continues. They were 7-3 in their first 10 games, then went 3-7 in games 11-20, followed by another 7-3 record in games 21-30. They’ve started their fourth 10-game sequence going 0-1-2.
—  It is only three games into this section of 10 games, but once again the Oilers are getting crushed 5×5, at least when it comes to goals for and against. When they went 7-3 the Oilers outscored teams 22-17 and 25-19 at 5×5, and during games 11-20 they were outscored 27-12 and went 3-7. That trend has continued for the Oilers as they’ve been outscored 8-3 at 5×5 during their last three games. They are giving up too many goals, and they can’t score. However, the shot attempts and quality chances suggest they haven’t played that bad overall. They haven’t been able to finish, and they’ve gifted the opposition some goals. Here are the forwards ranked by GF%.
ForwardsGPTOICF%FF%SF%GFGAGF%xGF%SCF%HDCF%HDGF%
Holloway328:166864.86602010065.6265.3870
Puljujarvi327:3165.4563.4159.382166.6767.256880
Yamamoto341:4357.1456.1455.81115061.6661.365550
Foegele220:0055.8857.1456.25115059.0547.3766.67
RNH337:3351.5252.83501233.3358.0452.9455.5650
Janmark342:1951.3251.6145.241233.3356.5652.552.3850
Ryan326:4253.5754.55501233.3354.8454.1760
Hamblin15:0458.3354.5555.560070.671.4375
Kostin3225053.1347.370048.7843.4850
Hyman349:0750.5452.6358.3304060.7754.72720
McDavid350:155052.4457.6903060.2255.5670.370
Draisaitl349:0144.0946.7548.8904055.5848680
Shore323:5445.8346.884001043.514050
— The top line of Leon Draisaitl, Connor McDavid, and Zach Hyman has been on for the most goals against. Granted, they’ve also played the most, and some of those goals were defensive miscues by defenders. They also haven’t scored one 5×5 goal in three games against three teams below them in the standings: St. Louis, Anaheim, and Nashville.
— Here is a look at the defenders over the past three games ranked by GF%.
D-MenGPTOICF%FF%SF%GFGAGF%xGF%SCF%HDCF%HDGF%
Kulak349:13:0054.9558.5756115065.845476100
Barrie346:31:006064.7966.04115071.2366.6783.33100
Nurse363:57:0053.9751.4949.21234057.8455.2257.690
Ceci353:43:0051.025045.651233.3354.964854.170
Bouchard341:10:0046.5847.2750142047.5846.1543.750
Niemelainen221:1652.7853.3358.3302056.796058.330
Broberg17:4229.4130.7733.3301024.6433.3325
— That doesn’t include the Blues’ game-tying goal which was 4×5 as the Blues were shorthanded. Darnell Nurse and Evan Bouchard have been on for the most goals against, as both made errors that led directly to goals.
— Edmonton still scored enough goals overall to win at least one game and should have won more. But their 5×5 lack of production combined with glaring errors cost them. The only forwards with a 5×5 goal were Kailer Yamamoto and Jesse Puljujarvi. Nurse led the Oilers with 1-1-2 at 5×5 while Tyson Barrie, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Derek Ryan, and Bouchard each had one assist. Only seven skaters had a 5×5 point to start this stretch of 10 games.
— If I was Jay Woodcroft, I’d look at splitting up the top line in hopes of getting more balanced scoring heading into Dallas. The top line has generated numerous quality chances, but they simply couldn’t finish. However, on the season only six skaters have been on the ice for more 5×5 goals for than against: Yamamoto, Devin Shore, Klim Kostin, Evander Kane, Brett Kulak, and Barrie. But while the top line hit a dry patch 5×5, the power play is sizzling hot.
— The PP scored twice in all three losses. It went 6-for-14 (42.9%). Usually, when you score two PP goals three games in a row you don’t lose all three, but the Oilers can be a frustrating bunch.
— The PP has been hot for more than just three games. In the month of December (10 games) the power play has scored 17 goals on 38 chances. It is clicking along at 44.7%. It is on a heater, but the Oilers are only 4-4-2. Their PK remains an issue allowing nine goals on 32 kills (71.9%), but you should be better than 4-4-2 when your PP is scoring 1.85 goals/game. The entire team needs to improve 5×5.
— Cale Makar did this last night.
Makar clearly lost an edge as he skated away from Mat Barzal, and he proceeded to tell the referee that he fell rather than Barzal tripped him. The referee (Brandon Blandina) had originally called a penalty, but Makar told him the truth, and Barzal didn’t go to the penalty box. An impressive display of sportsmanship by Makar. I can’t recall seeing that before, but I have a lot of respect for Makar for doing it.
—  The race for Maurice Richard Trophy (most goals) is fun to watch. Eight players have 20 or more goals with McDavid leading with 28 followed by Tage Thompson (26) and Jason Robertson (24). Robertson scored his first goal in eight games last night. Thompson leads the NHL with 12 goals this month, while McDavid is second with 10. McDavid leads with 23 points followed by Thompson’s 21. McDavid has a 10-point lead in the Art Ross race, but the Richard race is shaping up to be much closer.
— This season we’ve seen lots of winning streaks, losing streaks and winless streaks. There seems to be more streaks this year.
Winning streaks of 5+ games (Green means active):
5 games: CAR, EDM, MIN, NYI, PIT, SEA, TB, TOR and WSH.
7 games: BOS (twice), NYR, PIT, SEA and STL.
9 games: Vegas
13 games: New Jersey
Losing streaks of 5+ games (Green means active):
5: CBJ and SJ
7: Chicago
8: BUF and STL
Winless streaks of 5+ games (Green means active):
5: CAR, CGY, NSH, NJ and SJ.
6: ANA, ARI, DET and NSH.
7: ANA, CGY, OTT, PIT and VAN
8: Chicago
10: Philadelphia
Boston has had two seven-game winning streaks.
Seattle had winning streaks of five and six games.
Pittsburgh has won five in a row, won seven in a row and went winless in seven.
New Jersey won 13 in a row and is currently on a five-game winless streak.
St. Louis lost eight in a row and also won seven consecutive games.
Calgary has had winless streaks of five and seven games.
Nashville was winless in five and six games.
Anaheim has been winless in six and seven games.
Chicago went winless in eight and is currently riding a seven-game losing streak.

MONTH OF GIVING:

Day 14: Dinner with Ken Holland and Jay Woodcroft at Ruth’s Chris.
  • You and four friends will dine with Oilers GM Ken Holland, head coach Jay Woodcroft and me at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.
  • It will be a four-course dinner with wine pairings and your choice of beverages in their private “Vault” room.
  • We will host this in March.
You can bid by listening to TSN 1260 today. You can text the show between 2-6 p.m. at 101260 and include your name and donationThanks in advance. All the proceeds will go towards the Christmas Bureau.

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