Want to get your possession numbers back on track? Play the Edmonton Oilers:
For the first time this road trip, Oilers out shot-attempt the opposition in a period, 19-14. Still lose for 19th time in 21 games 50-42.— Michael Parkatti (@mparkatti) March 4, 2013
With Taylor Hall out of the lineup and Ralph Krueger's bizarre indifference to line matching, the Minnesota Wild ran roughshod over the Oilers, encapsulated by a second period in which the Wild outshot the Oilers 18-0. There were so few bright spots for the Oilers in this game, I thought of bringing back Ben Massey's reverse three stars.
Eberle was +10, Schultz pairing was +7, Gagner/PRV +6. Eager lowest at -12, Petrell/Peckham -10, Whitney -9.— Michael Parkatti (@mparkatti) March 4, 2013
Possession Report via Boys on the Bus
The Magnus Paajarvi - Sam Gagner - Jordan Eberle wasn't bad tonight. Paajarvi played his typical high-speed game bursting all over the ice and creating scoring chances for his line. He was especially good down low battling for pucks. Gagner was again strong defensively, covering for Justin Schultz on pinches and generally playing a more cautious game in transition. Eberle was creative and came up with a chance or three.
I asked the participants in the GDT what happens if Ryan Nugent-Hopkins doesn't have a shoulder injury? Everyone in the fanbase is banking on a rumored shoulder injury as the source behind the problems in his game. He can't shoot, can't battle for pucks, and tonight was swept under on the rush over and over again. If this isn't a shoulder injury, someone has to address his play.
Ladislav Smid and Jeff Petry are playing defense like the Keystone Cops. Smid was caught pinching twice tonight and Petry looked confused and out of sorts throughout. This team could use a huge minutes top-pairing defender who can play with anyone, sort of like Tom Gilbert, to calm these two down.
Ryan Jones is torture to watch. In the GDT I dubbed him "The Accountant" for his continued demonstration of Last In First Out play. He's the last man back into the defensive zone and the first man out. In the neutral zone he watches as others engage around him. We can only hope Edmonton can get back what they paid for Jones at the trade deadline and I can't wait until I don't have to see 28 Jones on the ice for the Oilers.
Ben Eager came into the game with the worst Corsi and ZS Adjusted Corsi in the league for any forward averaging at least 9 minutes per game and it got worse. Eager came in with a Corsi of -36.55 (the next lowest is Dave Bolland at -24.88 and Bolland plays the toughest minutes the Blackhawks have to give him) and was posted a -12 in 7:29 for a Corsi On of -96. He's the worst forward in the league and Krueger keeps feeding him minutes. Ben Eager doesn't make the roster of a good team, let alone dress, let alone play 9 minutes per game.
Alan took Ralph Krueger to task in the last postgame, so it's my turn now. Not only is he putting Ben Eager on the ice far too often, not only has he failed to shelter Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and his hopefully-injured shoulder, he seems to be indifferent to matchups. Nowhere was it more evident that tonight when he came back from a TV timeout with his fourth line on the ice. It's a television timeout - the opposing coach is going to have all of his lines ready. There is one line that shouldn't be called upon in this situation and it's the one Krueger put on the ice.
The Copper & Blue Three Stars:
★★★ - Sam Gagner
★★ - Jordan Eberle
★ - Magnus Paajarvi