As all Oilers fan know, this organization doesn't do many things well these days. The one thing they actually do well, however, is honour their former greats. If you're looking for evidence of that, just look at the game earlier this year when they honoured Glen Sather. Of course if you watched tonight's ceremony, you don't need to look for any evidence of that, you saw it first hand tonight.
Much like the aforementioned Sather game, the players who currently play for this team decided it would be as good a time as any to play their best. Maybe in the new building there should be a ceremony every game.
Despite all the love I gave the team in my introduction/ love sonnet, the team actually looked pretty lackluster out of the gate. Thankfully the Canucks aren't much of a team either. They outplayed the Oilers marginally in the opening 20, but the teams remained tied after the first. Which was actually a very boring period of hockey.
The second period was different, though. Nail Yakupov opened the scoring nearly half way through the frame. Yakupov's goal was followed by a Marron goal on an awful turnover by Emerson Etem. Minutes later, Connor McDavid jumped on a Jodan Eberle rebound in the slot, and buried it for a power play goal. The Oilers led 3-0 after 40 minutes.
The third period was even more jam-packed with action. After the Oilers allowed an early goal to Matt Bartkowski, Patrick Maroon answered with his second of the game. That goal was followed by a Taylor Hall Tally a mere 18 seconds later. Bo Horvat narrowed the lead to three goals just after the eight minute mark, but the Oilers weren't finished. On the power play, Taylor one-timed a pass from Connor McDavid towards Leon Draisaitl. Draisaitl made no mistake, and because of that he will always be the answer to the trivia question: 'who scored the last goal at Rexall Place?'.
Although the Oilers actually lost the Corsi battle in this game, 56-54 in all situations (not adjusted), it seemed as though their chances were of a much higher quality than than Canucks' chances were. According to xG stats, that observation was absolutely correct. The Oilers lead the Canucks 4.49 to 2.39 in all situations tonight. That gap grows even larger if you apply a score-effects adjustment.
The Oilers' leader in score, venue and zone adjusted 5 on 5 expected goal differential was Jordan Oesterle, with a +1.35, per corsica.hockey. The Oilers' leader among forwards was Connor McDavid, who was +1.2.
Corey's Game Puck
Last game I wasn't willing to hand over my imaginary puck, after a terrible performance against the Flames. Today I think the team totally redeemed themselves, so I'm going to give out two pucks. Taylor Hall and Connor McDavid can share my 'player of the game' honours. Each had a goal and two assists, and each was an integral part of generating offense for their respective lines, as well as the power play.