Dave Tippett stays on course with Edmonton Oilers lines despite dwindling offensive returns

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Game Day 26: Caroline in Edmonton

It’s out of the fry and out of the pan for the Edmonton Oilers, who face the challenge of ending their four-game losing slide against one of the NHL’s top teams. That the Carolina Hurricanes come to town with an 18-6-1 record and 0.740 point percentage, the fourth best in the NHL. The Oilers, who led the league in this category just over a week ago, slipped to 10th at 16-9-0, .640.

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They’ll be struggling against Carolina, who has the best NHL goal share in all situations (81 GP, 55 GA = 59.6 GP%) and at 5v5 (58 GP, 35 GA = 62.4%).

For their part, the Oilers are 87 for, 77 against overall for a 53% goal share, 13th best in the league. But you can thank awesome special teams for that; At 5v5, Oil is only 49 for, 57 against for 46.2%, a modest 22nd in the NHL.

At the start of the season, the Oilers were an attacking machine, scoring 44 goals in their first 10 games to rank as the league’s top attacking club and producing a 9-1-0 record in the process. But since then a steady decline, especially on the goal side for the equation. Here are the top 25 games divided into blocks of 5 games:

As the highlighted column shows, offensive production has steadily dried up from one group of games to the next, with the last group barely half the level of the opening segment. The defensive results also worsen gradually but in a more erratic way; Thanks in large part to outstanding goalkeepers, the Oilers managed to turn the ship around in this department in Games 16-20 and grab a few wins in the process.

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They added another in Game 21, a 5-2 win over Pittsburgh. It was the 12th time this season that Edmonton has scored at least 5 goals in a game, and they have won all 12. It was also the 10th time they have held an opponent to 2 or less, and they have won the 10. But since then they haven’t achieved any goals in any game and have lost the 4.

It’s gotten so bad lately that halfway into their 6-game home game of the season, Oil hasn’t scored up to 5 goals. in total. In 180 minutes in front of the faithful at home, Petroleum has scored only 4 goals, including 1 with equal numbers. It’s not good.

Lots of fingers pointing at the last six, and rightly so. This group, defined as any set of futures contracts that does not include any of the Connor mcdavid , Leon Draisaitl Where Ryan nugent hopkins , produced more dismal results than ever this season, scoring just 9 goals while allowing 27 for a miserable 25% 5v5 goal share. The last time the Oilers scored in such a situation was in Vegas on November 27, when Jesse puljujarvi scored during a breakaway. JP had been temporarily assigned to the third line and made the most of it, but was promoted to the top six in the next game.

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The last six? It’s not pretty, guys.

  • Zack Kassian, 4 goals in the season (21 GP) and only 1 in his last 17 games, which happened when he was briefly placed on McDavid’s wing.
  • Ryan mcleod, 3 goals in the season (17 GP), no points in his last 7 games.
  • Warren foegele, 2 goals in the season (25 GP) and none in his last 18 GP.
  • Devin Shore, 1 goal all season (10 GP)
  • Derek ryan, 1 goal over the season (22 GP) and not a single point in his last 20 games
  • Kyle turris, 1 goal in 15 games
  • Colton Sceviour, Tyler benson and Brendan Perlini, 0 goals and only 1 point in 40 games combined

Add to that the lingering scoring issues on the flanks of Dynamite Line, where RNH has only scored 2 goals all season and Kailer yamamoto only 1 assist, despite both playing regularly alongside the NHL’s leading scorer at Draisaitl. Some of these things just don’t make sense.

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Meanwhile, McDavid and Draisaitl continue to do what they do, sometimes playing 5v5 together, sometimes separately, always teaming up on the power play, and currently tied for first in NHL scorers with 45 points apiece. But the state of support behind them is problematic to say the least, only frequent wingers from McDavid, Puljujarvi and Zach Hyman be constantly productive.

So what will Dave Tippett do tonight to shake things up? Judging by the row combinations, pretty much nothing at all.

Tonight’s lineup

The Oilers will use the same twelve forwards as in their last two games, split across the same four lines that started both games. No sign of any sort of reshuffle like, say, Nuge at 3C, Hyman at his natural right winger, or Foegele (who was excellent against Boston) in the top six. Just more of the same. Presumably, if the Oilers fall behind, the first option will be to reunite McDavid with Draisaitl and drop Hyman on the RNH-Yamamoto line.

Mikko Koskinen returns to the net after being spelled by Stuart skinner Last match. He will face Frederik Andersen inside Carolina.

A change for the Oilers at the back, where Guillaume Lagesson takes care of the injured Kris russel . The Oilers have once again lost three of their four left defenders, but this time at least one workaholic Darnell Nurse is back in business.

Don’t expect much sympathy from the Hurricanes, who managed to win in Calgary on Thursday night without any of their three starters. to the right defenders. Neither Brett Pesce nor Tony DeAngelo made the trip west, while Ethan Bear, recently recovered from a fight with COVID, missed that match with unrelated illness.

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Bear returns tonight to play against the club that traded him last summer. Expect it to receive a warm welcome from the Edmonton crowd. If the home team wants the same treatment, they’d do well to come out of the crash playing hard as soon as the puck drops, and maybe even score a goal in the first 30 minutes or so.

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Follow me on twitter @Bruce mccurdy

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