Courtesy our friends at @Sportlogiq here are some period by period break downs on key metrics for the Oilers. I thought the first period picture would be a bit worse. – #’s are all strengths. pic.twitter.com/hzn3X4PzCb
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) December 6, 2022
- Go out of your way to be more physical on the forecheck early in games. Try to wear down the opposition in the first few minutes and have the other team’s defensemen thinking that every time they go back to retrieve a dump in, they’re going to face some sort of contact.
- Throw everything on net. You might get some juicy rebounds from a goalie who’s not fully dialed in early, you might get some lucky bounces, or worst case scenario, you’ll get some offensive zone faceoffs. Those are all fine outcomes.
- Stop taking the first penalty. This team has given up the first powerplay of the game in 19 of their 26 games so far this season. HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE!? It just zaps all your momentum and considering how terrible their penalty kill is, it’s a big reason why they’ve been trailing early in a lot of games.
- I thought the Oilers should have started Jack Campbell tonight against the Coyotes. I was the first one to say that you have to treat Stuart Skinner as the team’s starting goaltender back in October, but I thought this was a great spot to let Campbell try to gain some confidence. The Coyotes are second last in scoring chances for per 60 according to Natural Stat-Trick. They’re also finishing off a crazy road trip and have scored just 13 goals in their last five games. Skinner was in the starter’s net during the morning skate, so he’s likely going to start, but I think Campbell was the smarter play here.
- Jay Woodcroft should split up McDavid and Draisaitl. Against a team like Arizona, the Oilers’ big guns should be able to generate offence at 5v5 without each other. Considering the injuries that the team is facing, having them play together is not a recipe for long-term success. I actually like Liam Horrobin’s idea of playing all three of McDavid, Draisaitl, and Nugent-Hopkins on separate lines for the rest of the homestand. Alas, that is not how Jay Woodcroft views things:
Oilers line rushes ahead of tonight’s matchup vs. ARI:
Draisaitl – McDavid – Hyman
Janmark – RNH – Yamamoto
Holloway – Hamblin – Puljujarvi
Kostin – Shore – Ryan
Nurse – Ceci
Kulak – Barrie
Broberg – Bouchard
— Tony Brar (@TonyBrarOTV) December 7, 2022
- I like having Puljujarvi on the third line. He can’t produce with McDavid or Draisaitl and he seems to not play with much confidence when he’s with them. I like the idea of putting him with offensive-minded players in a bottom-six role, where he can be more of a puck carrier and a driver, instead of just always feeling like he needs to find 97 or 29. Put him in spots where he can succeed.