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Edmonton Oilers vs. Arizona Coyotes- Power Play Woes, and Other Problems Too

The Oilers didn't do much right in Saturday's 4-0 loss to Arizona.

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Despite icing a defensive unit that I would optimistically call an above average AHL group, the Oilers had a decent chance of winning on Saturday night, at home, against the Arizona Coyotes.

They did not win, however, they lost. Badly. 4-0 to the also lowly Coyotes, who seem to always play their best hockey against Edmonton.

The Oilers dominated the first period from a possession  and scoring chance standpoint, but goals by Victor Tikhonov and Antoine Vermette sent the Oilers into the locker room trailing 2-0 after 20 minutes.

The second period featured a bit of a push back in terms of possession from the Coyotes. This certainly wasn't what the Oilers needed to get back into the game. Former Halifax Moosehead Alex Tanguay scored a power play marker halfway through the frame to put the Yotes up 3-0, a lead they would take into the second intermission.

The third period saw a decent offensive push by the trailing Oilers. However, they were unable to solve Mike Smith, who, in the end, made 44 saves for the shutout. Antoine Vermette scored his second goal of the night, in the third period. When it was all said and done the Coyotes managed four goals on 29 shots, while the Oilers were unable to convert on any of their 44 shots on goal.

Silver Lining

The 44 shots on goal. Sure the number is a little lower if you adjust for score-effects, but the Oilers were still able to generate more shots than I thought possible with an AHL blueline. The Oilers' forward depth looked pretty impressive tonight, despite the inability to finish. This team has got to get the power play going. They're good at drawing penalties, but can't capitalize on the man-advantage. It's extremely frustrating that a team with a handful of elite 5 on 5 scorers can't seem to ever score on the power play. This topic deserves its own article, but I can't help but wonder how differently tonight might have gone had the Oilers converted on one of their early power plays.

Stats Central

Four Oilers had a Corsi for % above 70% in tonight's game. The three members of the Eberle-Draisaitl-Maroon line manged to spend most of their time in the opposition's end for the second consecutive game. Also Adam Clendening had a big night in the fancies. He was on for 23 shot-attempts for the Oilers, compared to just nine for the Coyotes.

Corey's Game Puck

Tonight was a tough one. A few guys had their fair share of chances, but they were mostly the usual suspects. Hall and McDavid are too good to be the player of the game in a shutout loss. Yakupov played a good game, as did his linemate, Nugent-Hopkins. I hope those two stay together for a few games, but they also fall into my category of too good to get the game puck without a point.

Adam Cracknell was quite involved tonight. He had five scoring chances, three of which were of the high-danger variety, per He also led the team with seven hits. I can't blame him for the ineffective power play, since he's not on it. Also, I can't be too hard on him for not finishing his chances, since it's not really something I would expect from him. So tonight, pretty much by default, Adam Cracknell get's my non-existent game puck.