To win, Edmonton Oilers need just a wee bit more from Ryan Strome, Jussi Jokinen & the rest of the infantry

The heart of hockey are the key attacking plays that lead to the most dangerous scoring chances (and the key defensive miscues that lead to nasty chances against).

When you look at the Edmonton Oilers through this lens, there’s good news and some bad news.

The good news is that overall in three games, the Oilers have put up 26 Grade A scoring chances for and given up just 21 against. The bad news is that they thumped the Calgary Flames in this regard, 11-2, but have since been out-chanced in the inner slot 11-8 by Vancouver and 8-7 by the Jets. In other words, they richly deserved their first win over Calgary, but also had no claim on winning their second and third matches.

But there’s more bad news, though with a silver lining this time.

McDavid’s line outperforming three other lines combined

The Oilers top line, Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Patrick Maroon, have between them made 19 major contributions to Grade A scoring chances at even strenght, McDavid, 8, Draisaitl, 7, Maroon, 4.

All the forwards on all the other Oilers lines have made 18 such major contributions to Grade A chances (Milan Lucic, 4, Zack Kassian, 4, Mark Letestu, 3, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 2, Jussi Jokinen, 2, Drake Caggiula, 1, Ryan Strome, 1, Iiro Pakarinen, 1, Kailer Yamamoto, Jujhar Khaira and Anton Slepyshev, 0).

So 19 for the top line, just 18 for all the other forwards.

That kind of sounds horrible, doesn’t it?

In fact, it’s close to being good enough. If the other forwards just chip in one one or maybe two more Grade A chances per game, that should push the Oilers over the top from losing to winning.

Last year, in 82 games, those same totals were 460 for the top line, McDavid with 212 major contributions to Grade A chances at even strengh, Draisaitl, 133, and Maroon, 115.

All the rest of the forwards had 548 such contributions (Jordan Eberle, 110, Milan Lucic, 83, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 73, Zack Kassian, 58, Mark Letestu, 42, Benoit Pouliot, 42, Drake Caggiula, 41, Jesse Puljujarvi, 21, Tyler Pitlick, 19, Matt Hendricks, 14, Anton Lander, 10, David Desharnais, 9, Jujhar Khaira, 7, Iiro Pakarinen, 3).

It should not be impossible for the Oilers infantrymen at forward to chip in on about one more Grade A chance per game. If they do, the Oilers winning will be more possible.

…read more

Source:: Edmonton Journal – Sports

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