After a nice relaxing couple days the Oilers took on the Ducks in Anaheim. The Ducks, having lost in overtime the game before, entered the game 3 points ahead of the Oilers who held the last spot in the Pacific Division.
Interestingly both these team have almost identical PDOs (Oilers 98.4/Ducks 98.2). The difference between these two teams has been scoring. The Oilers have scored 39 goals this season while the Ducks have only mustered 25. When broken down the Ducks and the Oilers are completely opposite teams with very similar records. The Oilers have suffered from a poor defense and goaltending while maintaining a league average shooting percentage. The Ducks on the other hand have the worst shooting percentage in the league but have better than average goaltending and defense. The game was a clash of the poorly mediocre.
If you head over to the NHL’s website and look at the three stars in tonight’s game you may scratch your head a little because a key player in the game is missing. The best player by a mile in tonight’s game was Leon Draisaitl. Not only did he have a goal and two assists he was also the corsi leader for all Oilers forwards with 60.61% and he did that while starting 40% of his shifts in the offensive zone. On offense alone, Draisaitl’s play tonight should’ve earned him a star but it was his defense and back checking ability that directly lead to the game winning goal even if he didn’t get credited with a point on the play. It was amazing to see - in fact let’s see that again (jump to 37 seconds).
Since Connor McDavid went down the Oilers have regressed to their old ways. The contributions beyond the first line are few and far between. Sure Teddy Purcell scored tonight in 3-on-3 OT but everything else was all the first line. Funny enough the best possession lines were the first and the fourth the rest just couldn’t do much. The issue is just compounded when paired with the steaming pile of crap that is the Oilers’ blue line. These next few months will drag on while McDavid is out.
This is more speculation than anything but once again I have to go back to that final goal. Jordan Eberle tried to retrieve the puck before it was passed up to Cam Fowler for the breakaway. In his haste Eberle was checked by Rickard Rakell and appeared to land on his bad shoulder. The next two tweets show it the best.
Eberle landing on his bad shoulder on his last shift. pic.twitter.com/LG5WxnO1h0— Woodguy (@Woodguy55) November 12, 2015
I haven’t seen or heard anything more about it but if it is another injury then that thing I mentioned under "The Bad" is going to get a lot worse.
No rest for the wicked. Tomorrow the Oilers head to Arizona to take on the Coyotes, a team that has already exceeded the expectation of everyone. I wonder if Dave Tippett wins the Jack Adams this year? See you tomorrow.