If you’re an Edmonton Oilers fan with his coaching hat on today, you’ll be pleased that the Oilers put in a strong effort in losing 1-0 to the Calgary Flames, and somewhat content knowing that puck luck essentially decided the game, not anything bad about Edmonton’s performance.

If you’re an Oilers fan with his GM hat on today, you’ll note that the team worked hard, the two points was meaningless in any case, and you got some indication that Ethan Bear might actually be ready sooner than later as an NHL d-man, as well as more indication that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins could be the long term answer on Connor McDavid’s wing.

If you’re simply a fan, you’re just ticked off.

Sore as hell.

The Oilers had a chance to inflict a mortal wound to the playoff hopes of archrival Calgary and failed to do so.

Connor McDavid, 8. He didn’t get a point, but he might have got two or three the way he sliced through the Flames defence repeatedly. The Oilers had nine Grade A scoring chances in total. McDavid made major contributions on seven of them. Chipped in on a team high ten scoring chances in total. Led the team with 24:41 of icetime.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 7. Unlucky not to get a point or two himself. Showed excellent chemistry with McDavid, constantly finding him with passes. Also had one five alarm scoring chance, a cross-seam one-timer from the kill floor that RNH simply could not get up over Mike Smith’s pad.

Pontus Aberg, 6. A solid enough game but likely lacks the offensive juice to stick with RNH and McD. Looks to be more of a third liner at this point, as he’s got some skill, smarts and hustle, but not enough of any of those things to play on a top line. It might be a good idea to have him on the PK, because he’s going to have to find some way to make himself useful.

Leon Draisaitl, 5. Crushed it on the faceoff circle, winning 13 and losing just four. Hustled hard all game, but was saddled with two linemates in Milan Lucic and Mike Cammalleri who struggled to keep up. This was the Hindenburg Line, a big flying German with no wings. If the Oilers are trying to sell Draisaitl on the idea of not playing on McDavid’s line, they’re doing a damn poor job of it. When Jesse Puljujarvi …read more

Source:: Edmonton Journal – Sports


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Cult of Hockey game grades: Connor McDavid dominates Calgary Flames but can’t buy a goal

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