Today, we’re going to talk about respect. The Edmonton Oilers haven’t had a lot of it since Brent Burns arrived in the NHL, since Joe Thornton hit the left coast. Games like last night are going to help this team’s reputation, because the loss at Rogers Place hurt those San Jose veterans badly. An NHL player, even a great one, only gets so many chances at Stanley. For a man like Joe Thornton, the thought of losing one of his 20 bullets to the Edmonton Oilers must be pure battery acid to the soul. Make no mistake: Last night hurt. Respect. Hard earned and not easily given.
THE NUMBERS BY PERIOD
- First Period: 2-1 SJS, shots 16-13 again favoring San Jose. Corsi for 5×5 is 33-23 Edmonton.
- Second Period:1-1 tie, shots 13-5 Edmonton and Corsi for is 18-9 Oilers.
- Third Period: 1-0 Edmonton, shots 8-7 EDM and Corsi for 5×5 17-15 favored the Oilers.
- Overtime: 1-0 Edmonton, 14-2 Oilers and Corsi for 5×5 27-7 favored the Oilers.
- Overall: 4-3 Edmonton, Oilers led in shots 48-30 and in Corsi for 5×5 95-54
The Oilers were quality throught three periods, and completely dominated the overtime. No matter the result, we would be talking about mostly good on-ice results today. Of course, the win is the only thing that really mattered. The crowd was wild. Not enough coffee in the world to get me back to do this morning. Don’t care. This is so good.
DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT
- Klefbom-Larsson went 24-14 in 18:37 together, and 15-10 with the Nuge line. Pairing went 23-11 against the Marleau-Thornton-Pavelski line, that’s some major league dominance. Oscar’s shot was a pure rocket, this guy is going to have a helluva career. Steady play by Larsson, the pairing kept the puck moving effectively. Larsson made a strange line change on the second goal against, I went back and looked because it was a weird play. He should have had time there, but the puck kept bouncing. Larsson the culprit or bad luck? Was also in photo on the first GA, I choose to focus on the turnover as the demon, your mileage may vary.
- Sekera-Russell went 31-16 in 18:55 together, and 7-4 with McDavid’s line. Impressive. Russell spent a few minutes doing that re-set thing, but he also got the puck to Sekera often for the breakout and that’s a good deal. Went 17-4 against Karlsson-Hertl-Meier.
- Nurse-Benning went 20-17 together including 8-1 with Desharnais. The pairing struggled with the McDavid line, plenty of false starts and chasing the cycle in their own end. Nurse iced the puck during OT when he didn’t have to, that’s a reflection of a young player who is under stress. It’s a learning process for both men, Benning has been the better recently. Two posts for Nurse, two assists for Benning, and both men can wheel and were using that skill in last night’s game. Darnell made a nice defensive play against Marleau net front in OT. Pairing went 10-3 against Jansen-Couture-Ward.
- Cam Talbot stopped 27 of 30, .900SP on the evening. The goals were great chances that cashed, I counted three stellar saves early on in the game that could have counted.
- Numbers via NHL.com, Natural Stat Trick and Hockey Stats.ca.
- McDavid had several brilliant chances and dished to linemates who couldn’t get it done (Caggiula slot as an example). Although the boxscore says just one assist, 97 was in and around the action all night long. He is the best player on planet earth, he and Leon are magic.
- The line went 33-18 against Vlasic in 21:10, McDavid playing 80 percent of the game against that top SJS pairing. Lots of talk about getting 97 away from Vlasic, but DeBoer did a good job of getting that matchup even on the road.
- The line had 12 shots on goal, that’s excellent production.
- Leon Draisaitl’s pass for the winner was Dougie Weight splendid, just a gorgeous bit of creativity and execution. His PP pass to Letestu was exactly the same. Big night for Leon.He is going to get paid this summer, and I think he is going to play the heart of his Oilers career at RW on McDavid’s line (and taking faceoffs) for at least one more year.
- Caggiula had five shots on goal, he was inside on a lot of plays. Especially effective in extra time, where the Oilers speed was absolutely devastating to the mature Sharks. I’m not sure he stays on this line, and remain uncertain of his actual offensive outer marker, but he can scoot and win pucks.
- Nuge was fantastic last night to my eye, he was all over the ice and interescting with the play. This line isn’t scoring but are doing a fine job defensively and getting looks. He had a brilliant chance in overtime, the Hockey Gods must be saving his first goal for a really big moment.
- Line went 13-7 against Martin-Burns and 6-1 against Vlasic-Braun.
- Lucic was a freight train, couldn’t corral the puck on GA No. 2 but I saw him good otherwise.
- Eberle is playing the best two-way hockey of his life in my opinion. Timely.
- The line had 9 shots on goal.
- Two vital goals came from this line, Maroon doorstep and Letestu on the power play.
- Went 3-7 against Martin-Burns, 6-2 against Dillon-Schlemko.
- This line had 7 shots on goal, great production for a 3line.
- Letestu scored a goal later, but sent a hand grenade to Kassian (who didn’t play it well) for the first San Jose goal.
- Kassian was an excellent screen on the Klefbom goal, as pointed out by Louie DeBrusk who is having a fine series. Louie has managed (imo) to point out important things on the ice and explain them in real time, tough thing for a broadcaster to do consistently.
- Maroon scored a Maroon goal, but didn’t get the memo on penalties 5,000 feet from your own net. I suspect he’ll be back on the big line soon.
- Holy hell David Desharnais! He came on with a better effort in recent games, but was the one man in the lineup most vulnerable to a HS in my opinion. Credit to Todd McLellan for keeping him in, and credit to the veteran for staying with it through the struggles.
- The assist was a nice one, he set the table for the Klef bomb nicely. The goal was great execution, but also strong offensive instincts. Lordy.
- Sports is a lot about memories. You and I will share the Desharnais OT winner forever, it’s written in time. Just as the Roloson save or the Marchant goal or the Tikkanen overtime goal are a part of us forever, so too the Desharnais marker.
- The possession numbers for this line are ridiculous.
- Line went 9-4 against Martin-Burns.
Fun stat: Historically, home teams that win Game 5 to go ahead 3-2 win the series 80.5% of the time.
— Oilers Nerd Alert (@OilersNerdAlert) April 21, 2017
The Oilers were thunder and lightning against the Sharks in overtime. Very few sequences in Edmonton’s end and offensively they came in waves and put the puck in good places. I watched the overtime again this morning, that period of hockey represents the best this team has offered us all year long. Devastating hockey.
Cam Talbot has a .920SP and a 2.24 GAA, Connor McDavid and Mark Letestu are 5gp, 1-2-3 to lead the team and Oscar Klefbom plus Zack Kassian have two goals to lead the club. Lucic is 1-1-2 and Leon got his first two points of the series last night, two stunning assists. We wait for Nuge and Eberle, perhaps Saturday.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
All guests of the Lowdown are running on little sleep, so this should be as loose as Neil Young at the Fillmore! 10 this morning, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Steve Lansky, BigMouthSports. Oilers win in overtime and take a 3-2 series lead. Can they close on Saturday?
- Andy McNamara, TSN. The NFL draft is just around the corner, are there clues about how the top of the draft will roll out?
- Matt Iwanyk, TSN1260. Should the Oilers stay with Caggiula on the top unit or bring back Maroon?
- Paul Almerica, SSE. How far can these Oilers go?
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!