Three Key Things: Zach Hyman can’t stop scoring, Stuart Skinner, and the Sharks plain stink

5 months ago
After five days off for the Christmas break, the Edmonton Oilers were back in action against the San Jose Sharks and looking for their third consecutive win, as their push for a playoff spot continues. And unlike the first time these two teams met back in November, the Oilers dominated the Sharks from start to finish on their way to a 5-0 win.


Zach Hyman can’t stop scoring goals, and it’s simply amazing to see how effective he’s been through 32 games. I still don’t know that he’ll end up with the 50 goals he’s pacing for when the season wraps — he set a new career-high with 36 goals only last year — but I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see him get close. Either way, I’m absolutely cheering for Zachary Martin Hyman to keep this heater going forever and continue to do the things other fanbases thought impossible when he signed his long-term deal in Edmonton as a UFA. All I know for sure is that the man is playing some fantastic hockey right now, and watching him get rewarded for all of the goals that got called back last year is a joy that I didn’t know I needed.


He wasn’t as busy as his counterparts, but Stuart Skinner did a fine job of handling his business when called upon. While there weren’t many grade-A opportunities for most of the game, Stu certainly had to be steady in the crease and that’s exactly what he did. From start to finish, Stu gave his teammates the type of goaltending that laid a foundation for his teammates to generate offence without necessarily worrying about getting burned on mistakes.Whenever they needed their goalie, Stu was right there to get the job done. Skinner finished the night with 25 saves, his second shutout of the season, and has now won nine of his last 11 games. The big man was dialled in and you love to see it.


As much as it’s fun to write about the Oilers dominating the game, a big part of the story is that the San Jose Sharks are simply awful. Losers of seven straight, the Sharks can’t do anything right, nor can they keep the puck out of their own net to save their lives, but how can you write a recap about the game without acknowledging it? I mean, this game was basically over before it truly began, and there was never a time when you were at all concerned that the Oilers were not in control. These are the games you go through when you’re a rebuilding team like San Jose, unfortunately. The Sharks have now been outscored 33-10 over their losing streak, and that’s a kind of pain that’s hard to rebound from. They are down and out, my friends.


  • We’re back over 500, baby!
  • Ryan McLeod is on the heater of all heaters right now as he’s scored three goals on his last four shots going back to Friday’s game against the Rangers. You can also make it three consecutive multi-point games for McLeod, the first time he’s done that in his young NHL career.
  • Evan Bouchard’s shot from the point is lethal at this stage of the season, and all I can think about is how angry everyone is going to be when he renegotiates this bridge contract. 😂
  • Leon Draisaitl now has three goals in his last four games, and I could think of nothing I’d love to see more than a Draisaitl goal heater. If we can scrape together some linemates that can help Leon keep this mini run going then that would be a massive boost for the Oilers’ playoff push.
  • When can we start to talk about the quietly sneaky good season Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is having? With this second-period goal, RNH has now collected 14 points (4G, 10A) over his last 10 games, settling in quite nicely alongside McDavid and Hyman as part of the best line in hockey.
  • Tip of the cap to Darnell Nurse for collecting a pair of assists to keep the ball rolling on what’s been a strong last six or seven weeks for the Oilers’ defensive workhorse.
  • Kris Knoblauch was really able to balance his minutes because of the lopsided score, and no forward had more than the 19:00 minutes played by Leon Draisaitl. Always nice to be able to roll the lines a little bit.
  • Shutouts across the board on the specials teams as neither squad was able to get a goal with the man advantage. The Oilers struck out on their lone PP chance while the Sharks got shut down on all three of theirs.
  • Wandering into the spreadsheet saloon, I see that the Oilers won the possession game against the Sharks as shown by the 56.00 CF%, but was also surprised to see that their expected goals percentage was only at 45.18% per Natural Stat Trick.
  • Looking at the Corski clock, the Oilers outshot the Sharks by a 30-25 margin, but I don’t really think that the shots on goal tell the whole story of how the game was played.
  • You know how much I love faceoffs and that’s why I’m devastated to announce that the Oilers won only 44% of them. Sadness for Baggedmilk.
  • At the end of the day, the Oilers beat a team they were supposed to beat and they wrapped up the night with two big points in the bank. The expected result was precisely what happened.


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