Edmonton Oilers, take heart! Soon, the media may stop talking about your even strength scoring! Though, they may start talking more about you not being a very good team. Fair trade?
The Oilers got out shot attempted at even strength tonight by the Blues 58 to 39, and again lost every single period, meaning they’ve lost the Corsi battle in every single period in the current road trip. ??? That’s not very good, I’m sorry.
They missed the net almost as much as they hit the net, while the Blues missed the net almost a third of the amount of times they hit the net. If the Oil could hit the net the same ratio of time as the Blues, they’d have 5 or 6 extra shots on net. That in itself could lead to another goal. They’ve got to get better at this aspect of the game — making more of their shots on net.
The net result is that the Oilers have outshot attempted the other team at even strength TWICE through twenty games played — 10%. Does this sound like a playoff team to you?
Well, I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t expect Ryan Whitney to lead the team in Corsi in his return to the lineup, but there it is — he posted a +3 on the night, and also led the club in Corsi per minute. His partner Theo Peckham also returned to the lineup to post the 3rd best Corsi rate. What does that say about your defence if a couple of castaways can return to the lineup en masse and beat the pants off the other defencemen? Smid and Petry had an ugly night here, and the Schultz pairing didn’t really do much better. It’s as if we don’t have very good defencemen?? News to me.
The best forward line by this measure is the Gagner line, with Hemsky, Jones, and Gags finishing 4th, 5th, and 6th in Corsi per minute among skaters. I find it amusing that they didn’t score in this game when they pushed possession, yet score every other game they get blitzed. The first line managed to pot a goal in the first period, yet all ended up in the negatives in Corsi. Luck’s a funny beast.
The fourth line is insulting by now. Eager/Petrell/VV ended up last, 2nd last, and 4th last in Corsi per minute tonight. Eager managed to be on the ice for 5 shots for and 23 shots against — yeah, so he was almost quintupled at even strength. BUT I LOVE THAT HE HITS SOME GUYS SOMETIMES!!! TRUC-U-GRIT-U-LENCE!!!! Oh hey, Paajarvi was among the team leaders in possession for the 5 games before he sat. Not that, you know, that might be important to winning games in comparison to getting quintupled in shot attempts at even strength.
Most glaring on this chart is that the RNH line got rolled by the Oshie/Backes/Schwartz trio — on this night, our first line was not up to the task against the opposition’s best.
Second most noticeable line? Smytty pitched a stinker against Sobotka, Potter, and D’Agostini with his linemates Belanger and whomever else was with them. That line has to be better against marginal competition. What’s the point of having some wily vets if they get sand kicked in their face by some anonymous lackeys?
Eager tied the season worst for raw Corsi at -18, originally put up by Petry/Eberle against Chicago. His line here is ugly — he was in the extreme red (meaning below -5) against fully half of the Blues roster (9 out of 18 skaters). He was only positive against one Blue, Berglund. I can only imagine that his immense intangibles are worth more to the coaching staff than this obvious hockey homicide though.
Smid wasn’t in the green against one Blue. He was terrible against their top 6, he was terrible against their 3rd line, he was terrible against their nobodies. Petry’s right there with him. These two players are either tired or bad, I can’t decide which.
Highlights of this chart:
- Petry/Smid especially played bad with the Gagner line and the Belanger line
- the Schultz pairing played bad with the entire bottom 6, but played well with the Gagner line
- Whitney/Peckham honestly had a very even game with everyone in the lineup. Good for them.
- RNH was -3 on the night, yet was +1 with Nail Yakupov. The rookie filled in well for Hall by this metric.
Overall, the Oilers deserved to lose this game by about the score they lost by. However, I do think the 3rd goal by Dubnyk was very, very stoppable. It’s the kind of goal that really deflates a team. Dare I say it was Khabibulin-esque? Like most games, goaltending can steal you a win, but Dubnyk didn’t quite play at that level in this one.
Can we please put Paajarvi back in the lineup? Can we stop the obvious media narratives about Eager and Petrell? They’re not very good hockey players. I’m not dumb enough to think that one guy slotting into the 4th line would have won this game, but a coach’s job is to give his team the best chance to win a hockey game. I feel like Krueger has starting turning the wrong corner in getting further and further away from that objective. Sad.