Edmonton Oilers played in 2nd place in a back-to-back match and 7th match in 11 days against Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL leader.
I do not believe in the programmed losses. It's a good league with good players. They play games for a reason.
But this was close to a scheduled loss as you arrived.
And do not get me wrong … a lot of 5-2 results were caused by myself, as you'll read below. But there was more to the workplace … of which no less were three elite players: Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov and Andrei Vasilevskiy. And they were all at the respective games and then some.
Here's the story of the tape.
The hockey players' worship
MIKKO KOSKINEN. 4. Stop 30 of 35. Most who beat him were dangerous, highlighting the chances of highly skilled players. The only goal I would directly put Mikko Kosinen would be 5-2, which dribbled between the legs … even if to be fair there was traffic in front. Of course you could say you need a rescue from him to keep the team in it. O.K. But I think Koskinen gave them. In the first few minutes he had to kill Adam Erne twice. Minutes later … Kucherov. After a few moments … Killorn. How many have to do? The answer is "not so many".
CONNOR McDAVID. 5. Less point. Connor McDavid had 5 strokes, was part of an efficient power game and launched some thrilling trials that tested a Bolts defense that bent but did not break. But on the other side of the McDavid was -2. He denied an Oilers power play with his own offensive area holding the penalty. He also delayed the delay in checking Point's goal at the end of the month. By the third, I do not know how much gas left. This is not the best interpretation.
RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS. 6. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins won a secondary helper on the Leon Draisaitl power goal. The two guys were probably the best Oilers tonight. Nugent-Hopkins had his own 3 strikes and added a post in a sharp power game in the second frame. He had a brilliant elevator in front of Koskinen to prevent what would have been a glorious occasion in Tampa. A smart and fast piece has contracted and a 5 × 3 bolt during the third period. But it was Nuge's man, who filled with 2-0. Yet … a much bigger part of the solution than the problem.
DRAKE CAGGIULA. 4. Done at night -2. A brief glimpse of an unexpected period was one of his defensive defects. Not much has been done about the offense, with just one shot. He received official assistance with an effective choice of a defender from Tampa for Strome. Caggiula's ability to sketch against a rapid team in Tampa Bay was a sign in his favor, but eventually Caggiula had a somewhat muted impact on the final result.
OSCAR KLEFBOM. 5. Faced with a violent attack of talent, he and his partner, Adam Larsson, faced Tampa Bay best. He has earned the 5 × 5 possession battle that says something. He took assistance on the Strome Pass with a crossing pass to his area. It ended +1 at 25:58.
ADAM LARSSON. 4. The rapid team from Tampa has tried seriously Adam Larsson, who simply is not like the leg fleet. But I will say this about Larsson: He never gives up, even if he has been in the pursuit mode for much of the night. Like Klefbom, Larsson managed to (barely) get a victory in possession and came even last night. 2 photos and one shot. It was also dinged with a da-aways couple.
LEON DRAISAITL. 6. The best player Oilers. He took home the gulf at one time to give the club a hope to come back. It looked good on an earlier advantage, but the club could not win money despite 2 minutes of solid pressure in the Tampa area. His goal was one of five strikes that Leon Draisaitl pulled the ball in after 5 minutes. Added 2 hits and a sharp night on face-off (63%). I could not do everything.
TOBY RIEDER. 5. Mr. Consistent. Along with Draishitl, the German duo gave the crowd to the Tampa defenders to deal with. In fact, it was Rieder who had 2 Oilers better chances to score but could not put one at home. You added a hit, a block and a steal and you had another positive impact on a game that went in the opposite direction.
Ratti. 5. It took some time for him to raise his feet. But before long, he looked back at McDavid's side again. He recorded an assistant with a fantastic back pass of the net in front of Leon Draisaitl for the 4-2 mark. He thought he had one, but shot it in the open net he cut off Vasilevskiy's helmet and went out of the way of evil. 2 photos in 15:19. -2.
DARNELL NURSE. 3. An event game for Darnell Nurse. His good wheels made him an important weapon against Tampa. But Darnell's decision too often worked against him. The case in question was the goal of 1-0. As he handed over to Russell, the nurse turned first to the puck bearer Russell had succeeded in recovering and lifting him. That left two Lightning players alone with Mikko Koskinen … one of them scored by goal, Steven Stamkos. Sister administers 3 photos, one post, 4 strokes and 2 blocks, but it was -3.
KRIS RUSSELL. 2. A great night in many ways than one. Kris Russell and Darnell Nurse lost the battle of possession. This was Russell's bobble (the puck jumped) on his own blue line that led to 1-0 and put the club in tracking mode for the rest of the series. He was caught in the ice 2-0 late in the frame who should have crashed Oilers back. He did another bad-ice turnover, but he took her back and came back to break the song. Verified from behind in the final panels, walked into the room for a patch on his face, then turned on the next ice step. 3 blocks. -4.
RYAN STROME. 6. Finally (eventually) rewarded with a purpose tonight to break the old goose egg. He led an ice load, went into the slot and pulled home a small, hard wrist for 2-1. This was one of 3 photos. He had two blows and a take off at 16:52. It was +1 for a 5-2 loss. Probably the best game of the season.
MILAN LUCIC. 4. There are two ways to look at Milan Lucic's decision to physically take on Matthieu Joseph in the third period of the evening match. If you do not care about this guy, that's your prerogative. My vision: Kris Russell made a cheap shot in the final panels and was cut. No calls. The same player made earlier photos at McDavid and RNH. With 5-2 and well off, the time was right for the defacto cop in this club to say "hey, that's not good" and tells his teammates "Do not score, so I'm going to contribute here." I'm not sure how you will see him, I can be convinced he will resonate aloud with Kris Russell and the other teammates. Personally, I'm not O.K. with Oilers the best players being executed, but nothing is done about him. Your mileage may vary.
KAILER YAMAMOTO. 3. They tried to play a reasonable game, but could never concert enough effort and sandpaper in the offense. And if Kailer Yamamoto can not do this at NHL right now, maybe he needs AHL time to find his groover again. It was OK." on defense, and finished a loss of 5-2 Even in the +/- graph.
KEVIN GRAVEL. 4. He showed the rust earlier. I thought Gravel had improved as the game continued. The night ended just a beating before the break, in terms of possession. Put in TOI 10:39. A notable couple plays in Defense in the first and again in the third. He mistakenly manipulated a puck in the attack area in the second frame.
MATN BENNING. 5. On one night when Oilers defense was severely tested, young Matt Benning had the best trip. The song was generally directed in the right direction with him in the ice. He had 3 strokes, 3 strokes, 2 blocks and a takeoff. Koskinen's salad was saved after the bay executed a puck behind a placement. Matt Benning has collected some decent shows now. Good for him.
KYLE BRODZIAK. 3. Line 4 was not good. The puck was constantly straightened in the wrong direction with the Brodziak line on the ice. And the veteran's lack of speed was exposed by the fleet bolts. He had 80% in the front circle.
JUJHAR KHAIRA. 3. The weak link on this line tonight. O.K. but, as they wore at night, Khaira lost the plot. In the third period, another ugly donation … something that was too common in Khaira's game.
ZACK KASSIAN. 4. On the one hand, the physical part of Zack Kassian appeared with 5 blows to lead the team. But, on the other hand, his line was ceded in possession as if there were no one. I thought Kassian was stronger than a rather weak trio.
Oilers are now 8-6-1. The next draw on Thursday, from Florida Panthers, to finish the trip.
Find me on Twitter @KurtLeavins
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