The Oilers have won a lot of games that they should’ve lost this season. Games where they were completely outplayed but somehow won (usually in overtime). Today it was the Oilers’ turn to outplay an opponent and lose.
With the exception of the Darnell Nurse/Justin Schultz pairing the good was the entire rest of the team but the Oilers third and fourth lines deserve a lot of the praise. It was the third line that scored the goal for the Oilers but it was their sheer dominance of the Panthers’ that really impressed me. To put this into perspective Mark Letestu, Lauri Korpikoski and Matt Hendricks had CF% of 81.25%, 75% and 72.22% respectively. That is amazingly ridiculous.
As I mentioned above the pairing of Nurse and Schultz was practically destroyed tonight. Besides both of the goals against being a direct result of their inaction/action their possession numbers were amongst the worst on the team. Schultz was the only Oilers player to finish the game below 50% in Corsi with a 45.71% and Nurse wasn’t that far in front of him at 52.94%. Here is what @OilersNerdAlert Tweeted out at the end of the first period.
Holy sh*t, the rinkmaps of shots against for the D pairs after P1 are hilarious. NOT in a good way for Nurse/Schultz pic.twitter.com/U1zQ6y7OFO— Oilers Nerd Alert (@OilersNerdAlert) January 11, 2016
Those two need to be broken up, moved down the depth chart. I’m not saying that Nurse will never be a top pairing guy but he isn’t one yet and getting dominated on a nightly basis isn’t going to help him develop.
If you watched the game you know that Taylor Hall scored a beautiful goal shortly after Jaromir Jagr opened the scoring. The goal was called off though because Teddy Purcell was just barely offside. It sucked but those are the rules and have been forever. The problem was how the offside was called, the coaches challenge!
Many will agree that the coaches challenge has become a joke. Two on ice officials huddling around an iPad to determine if a player was offside or if a goalie was interfered with is dumb. If you are going to institute a coaches challenge then do it right, use the war room in Toronto where their job is to keep track of the games and watch them on TV. It is a joke and needs to be changed or eliminated but keeping it the way it is doesn’t make sense.