|Добавлено: Суббота, 08 Дек 2018 14:35:43
|BRUCE MCCURDY, EDMONTON JOURNAL
#4 Kris Russell, 6. One of those who spent too much time behind his own blueline, losing the flow-of-play battle significantly but making several strong plays in tight to his own net. One early sequence saw him cut out a dangerous pass at the edge of the crease, then block a hard shot from the mid-slot seconds later. Broke up another dangerous pass at the goal mouth on an important mid-game penalty kill. Earned an assist on the game-winner with an almost-nifty behind-the-back pass to McDavid (who in truth still had plenty of work to do!). His failed clearance up the boards led to the second Wild goal. Ended the night 0-1-1, +1 with 2 shots, 2 hits, 2 giveaways and 2 blocks.
#5 Kevin Gravel, 6. Burned on Minny’s first goal when Matt Hendricks easily rolled off his check along the end wall to feed Marcus Foligno in the slot, but otherwise had a solid showing. Earned a secondary assist on McDavid’s game winner, and was +2 on the night in 13 even-strength minutes. Had one dangerous shot from the slot when he smartly joined the play.
#6 Adam Larsson, 7. The game had an ominous start when Larsson took an “inadvertent” elbow from Jason Zucker right on the button and went down for the count. Thankfully he returned after the requisite 15 minutes in the quiet room (nearly 10 minutes of clock time) and still recorded 21 minutes of action, pretty much his usual. Went straight back to his also-as-usual hardrock style, leading the Oilers with 6 hits and 2 blocked shots and winning more than his share of possession battles along the walls. Twice I thought he might receive a “cheap” second assist but none was awarded on either occasion so he had to settle for a well-earned +2 on the night.
#8 Ty Rattie, 6. Played on a very effective bottom six line that didn’t allow a single unblocked shot attempt during his 11 minutes at evens (Fenwick of +8/-0). Had 1 shot himself and did some good ragging of the puck. He is very good along the walls and his stick has a much longer reach than one might expect from a 6’0 player. Also took the body effectively (3 hits) and really mashed one Wild defender with a wicked dart along the end boards.
#16 Jujhar Khaira, 8. Strong on the rush and on the cycle. Had 2 more (primary) assists and is suddenly up to 10 points on the season, including 5 in his last 4 games. The first assist was a cheesy one on a bad misplay by Dubnyk, though his presence in the net front sure complicated DD’s recovery of the rebound that squirted out. But was full value and then some for the second apple with some outstanding grinding along the end wall, winning several battles before feeding Chiasson with a terrific centring pass which the winger shelfed. 13 minutes on a productive second line, and another minute on the PK.
#23 Ryan Spooner, 6. Centred an effective line between Zykov and Rattie which dominated flow of play while giving up flat nothing. 2 shots, 3 hits, and some nice puckhandling and skating.
#25 Darnell Nurse, 5. Stat line shows a tidy 1-1-2, +1 in 23:50 with a defence-leading 4 shots on net. The assist was a bit of a cheapie, the goal full value on a nice shot from the slot to finish the scoring. But chaos behind his own blueline has crept into Nurse’s game of late and there was plenty of it on Friday. His weak clearing shot and subsequent failure to cut out a cross-seam pass led to a great look on a Minny powerplay. Failed to cover either his zone or his man on Nino Niederreiter’s goal that made it 4-2 in the third. Minutes later had a comedy of errors when he dropped way out of position to allow a clean shot from the slot, then collided with a teammate and tried but failed to cover a loose puck from his knees, and could only watch helplessly from 15 feet away as Talbot saved the day with a couple of great stops, or it would have been a 4-3 game with plenty of time left.
#27 Milan Lucic, 5. One of those beaten on the first Wild goal, he earned that back with an assist for a good neutral zone pass to Kassian early in the third to end an 11-game pointless drought. Later had a ten-bell chance but the only thing he rang was iron, extending his goalless skein to 28 games. Watching Lootch play these days it’s hard to believe he has reached the 20-goal and 50-point marks five times each.
#28 Kyle Brodziak, 5. He too was owned on the first Wild goal, but bounced back with a solid effort that included some good work on the penalty kill and a team-best 12/18=67% on the faceoff dot. Made a fine pass to Lucic for a great chance that barely failed to connect. 1 shot, 2 hits, 1 takeaway.
#29 Leon Draisaitl, 8. Played “just” 22:07, his lowest total in two weeks but still enough to lead Edmonton forwards for the sixth consecutive game as Hitchcock continues to lean heavily on the big German. Beat Dubnyk with a quick wrist shot in the first period, and beat Stalock with a similar drive in the third. Was robbed by Stalock on another great look in the middle frame. Eschewed the chance to go for his first (regular season) hat trick in the late going, instead feeding Nurse in the slot for the final nail. Lobbed a forehand sauce pass in the neutral zone that was as inch-perfect as it was audacious. Took just 4 faceoffs for some reason, winning 3 of them. His 7 shot attempts and 5 shots on goal led the forwards in both categories. Posted splendid boxcars of 2-1-3, +4 on the night. Back on pace for >40 goals and >90 points.
#33 Cam Talbot, 8. I wasn’t thrilled with the first Minny goal which found a hole in the screen and another in Talbot to dribble over the goal line, but he didn’t get a good look at that one. Stopped pretty much everything he did see, including a dazzling 4-save sequence on Charlie Coyle and Zach Parise in a 5-second span, those shots coming from 11, 9, 7 and 8 feet. Repelled 4 more shots on the dangerous powerplay that followed to maintain the lead. Extinguished another five-alarm fire midway in the third when he robbed Mikael “Dash-Five” Granlund and Eric Staal in rapid succession, mere seconds before Draisaitl scored at the other end to put it away at 5-2. The final score was a laugher but wouldn’t have been without a strong showing from the ‘tendy, especially in a scoreless middle frame that was mostly spent in his immediate vicinity. 33 shots, 31 saves, .939 save percentage.
#39 Alex Chiasson, 6. Scored his 12th of the year when he roofed Khaira’s fine set-up from close range, his only shot of the night. Otherwise played a lot of decoy while McDavid and Draisaitl worked their magic behind him. Had some struggles winning battles along the walls in his own end of the ice. Hard to argue with a +4 night though.
#44 Zack Kassian, 6. His line lost the possession battle but broke even on the scoreboard, thanks to Kassian’s snipe from range that beat a surprised Stalock and rang iron on its way into the net. His second goal and point of the season on his only shot of the game gave the Oilers some welcome breathing room. Played a team-high 2:25 on the PK, struggling through one sequence when he got bamboozled by Ryan Suter high in the zone and was unable to help put out the fire that ensued, but the puck stayed out and the unit did manage to keep a clean sheet on the night.
#73 Valentin Zykov, 5. Hit the scoresheet in his Oiler debut when he took a needless holding penalty in the neutral zone, but his mates killed that one off with ease. Otherwise he contributed to a solid if makeshift line with Spooner and Rattie that controlled the flow of play. 0 shots but 2 hits, a takeaway, and a blocked shot in his first game in blue and orange.
#77 Oscar Klefbom, 6. Led the team in ice time yet again with 24:33, and in shot attempts with 8, even as just 1 of them found its way through to test the goalie. Took a necessary penalty when he grabbed Parise’s stick during the four shot barrage to barely contain the marauding Wild forward.
#83 Matt Benning, 6. Has really settled in on a regular pairing with Gravel. Consider, in his last six games (in which the Oilers are 5-1-0) Benning’s on-ice share of shot attempts has been 68%, 68%, 53%, 64%, 54%, and 62%, with the latter based on 16 attempts for, 10 against vs. the Wild. Had one dicey moment when he got walked. Was charged with 3 giveaways, but had 4 hits, an assist, and rocked a +3 on the night.
#93 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 7. Another strong night on a line with Khaira and Puljujarvi. Played 14 minutes at evens during which time Oilers outshot the Wild 9-6 and outscored them 2-1. One of those goals came off Nuge’s stick when he followed up his own outside shot and pounced on the greasy rebound that leaked away from Dubnyk. A solid 10/18=56% on the dot on a night the Oilers as a team went 33/57=58%.
#97 Connor McDavid, 9. Had jump in his step right off the hop (so to speak) and that meant huge trouble for the Wild on this night. Was central to the first, third, fifth, and seventh Oilers goals. His perfect diagonal pass through a newly-created seam found Draisaitl’s tape to open the scoring. Scored the ultimate game-winner himself on a ridiculous one-man cycle through the offensive zone, went he went up, down, around and eventually through the befuddled defenders before ripping a bullet from the high slot that tore into the back of the net before Dubnyk moved a muscle. Turned a broken play into a second-chance, one-touch pass to Draisaitl for another wide open look that basically sealed the deal at 5-2. Started a pretty three-way play with Draisaitl and Nurse, who finished the scoring. 3 shots, 2 more takeaways, and an uncounted but non-zero number of great rushes and/or near misses. The bum was only 4/11=36% in the faceoff circle, though. Jokes aside, those counts, while significant, pale in comparison with the number of loose pucks he wins on a nightly basis.
#98 Jesse Puljujarvi, 6. Showing signs that he is learning the process, playing a bit more patiently, dumping pucks deep and then using his speed, leverage, reach and hands to work the end boards and participate in the cycle. Progress is being made. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and “Rome” is a lot shorter word than “Puljujarvi”.