Oilers vs. Wild games never seem to go well for Oilers fans. Not only are the Wild one of 29 teams who have been better than the Oilers over the past decade, they're also a team who tend to suck the life out of the Oilers every time they meet.
As an Oilers fan, I'm never going to say that watching my team lose is enjoyable (although it can't be that bad, I am still a fan, after all). But I'll say this for tonight's game: it was watchable. For Oilers fans, that's often as much as we can ask for.
The first period contained the majority of tonight's noteworthy action. The Wild took a pair of one-goal leads, which the Oilers soon matched. At the end of 20 minutes the game was tied at 2, and shaping up to be a high-scoring affair, which nobody would have expected.
Jason Pominville opened the scoring on the power play for the Wild. On the very next shift, Benoit Pouliot, who had seemingly been demoted from McDavid's line after taking two penalties against Anaheim, only to start the game in his usual spot, made a tremendous pass to McDavid , who scored his 10th of the season.
Later in the first, Matt Dumba scored on the Wild's second power play opportunity. Nail Yakupov answered shortly after, with a top shelf goal, following a nice steal. The Oilers were tied at the intermission, despite allowing a pair of goals on the penalty kill.
That was it for the Oilers' offence. Taylor Hall had a second period goal waved off due to a quick whistle on a delayed penalty call, where Jared Spurgeon whiffed on an attempt to clear the puck from the crease. And the Oilers, to their credit, applied heavy doses of pressure throughout the game. But Kuemper stood tall for the Wild, who got second period goals from Vanek and Granlund, and an empty-netter from Charlie Coyle.
The Oilers finished the game with at 74-45 edge in the Corsi department, in all situations. Leading the way was the line of Hall, Draisaitl and Purcell, who were +19, +17 and +18 in on-ice shot-attempt differential respectively.
On the blue line, it was the pairing of Adam Clendening and Brandon Davidson who stood out via the fancy stats. Clendening was on for 20 even strength Corsi for, compared to only 3 against, while Davidson was +23/-8.
Corey's Game Puck
I'm giving my imaginary game puck to Nail Yakupov, who's welcome to come over and claim his prize, as long as he's aware that it doesn't actually exist.
Nail had a lot of jump in his step tonight. He scored one goal, and came very close to another on a a loud shot off the post during a second period power play. He led the team with seven individual shot-attempts, five of which came from medium or high danger scoring areas.
Kuemper seemed to be irritated with Yakupov, as evidenced by a trip on Nail following a whistle in the third period. Kuemper, however, wasn't penalized for this play.
*All stats in this article were found at hockeystats.ca or war-on-ice.com