Player grades: Another day, another drubbing as listless Edmonton Oilers hammered by Hawks

Oilers 1, Blackhawks 4

Edmonton Oilers coach Todd McLellan tried every option at his disposal in an attempt to turn things around for his disappointing club. He dressed all three of his Black Aces from Saturday’s 5-1 loss in Dallas, while sitting a veteran d-man (Andrej Sekera) and two young forwards (Drake Caggiula and Anton Slepyshev). He shuffled all four of his forward lines and all three of his defence pairs. He shifted Leon Draisaitl to right wing, Ryan Strome to centre and used Yohann Auvitu on left wing. He returned Cam Talbot to the net after finishing up with Al Montoya on Saturday.

Nothing worked.

Yet again the Oilers melted down in the first period, allowing a pair of goals in the opening ten minutes. Yet again, the Oilers could muster little in the way of offence as they struggled to get back in the game. Yet again, the Oilers allowed a critical goal-against late in a period on an inexplicable brain cramp. And yet again, the Oilers found themselves playing out the string in garbage time, this time on the short end of a 4-1 score in Chicago.

Make it six games of seven that the Oil have allowed 4 goals or more. Make it five in a row that they have scored 1 goal or fewer. In a disastrous 168 hours since puck drop vs. Winnipeg one week ago, the Oilers scored 3 goals, allowed 20, and were fortunate to win one game of five.

The Oilers won the shot count again on Sunday, 33-29, although the shot attempts — 68-47 Chicago — support the fact that the disc spent a lot of time in the Edmonton end of the ice. The visitors stepped up to block 27 shots, 20 of them by the defence corps, but made a few critical defensive errors. A “few” too many, given the popgun nature of the Oilers’ attack these days. The scoring chances recorded by the Cult of Hockey‘s David Staples (log and summary) show the Oilers with a 14-11 edge, but just 5 for, 8 against in the crucial Grade A scoring opportunities.

Postgame podcast

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Player grades

#4 Kris Russell, 4. Played a team-high 21:47, including 3:32 on the penalty kill unit that hasn’t been the problem since the club left Edmonton. 4 blocked shots, and mostly decent flow-of-play metrics. But, got caught on the wrong side of Nick Schmaltz on the all-important first goal, and was also unable to put out the fire on the critical breakdown on the killer 3-1 goal when Brandon Saad got inside position on him for the tip.

#6 Adam Larsson, 4. Slugged it out in his own territory for the most part, as evidenced by a weak Corsi of +9/-17. Blocked 3 shots, landed 3 hits, but struggled to move the puck north. Took a penalty for an unnecessary crosscheck, and didn’t draw one when he got tripped/slewfooted behind the net. So it’s been going for the Oilers this year.

#13 Mike Cammalleri, 6. One …read more

Source:: Edmonton Journal – Sports


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