Edmonton Oilers fall victim to game chasing yet again in 4-2 loss to St. Louis: Cult of Hockey Game Grades

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The Oilers surrendered (yet another early) 2-0 lead in St. Louis Wednesday.

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But while they managed to crawl back and make a game of it, the Blues capitalized on a number of far too many odd-man rushes and one critical Power Play opportunity. Thus, Edmonton is now 0-11 in the 2021-22 season when trailing after 1.

The Oilers had decent moments and for long stretches of the night this was an o.k. hockey game between the 2 sides with some good goaltending at both ends. But in the end, Edmonton was chasing this one early, against a good St. Louis club that won’t let you back into many of those.

Make the final 4-2 Blues. Here’s the tale of the tape.

Edmonton Oilers Player Grades

MIKE SMITH . 6. Stopped 29 of 33. Yes, he allowed 4. But Mike Smith was left to his own devices on the first 2 goals against. And made a series of fabulous saves to allow his teammates a chance to scratch back into it (a point-blank chance on Brown, a hard slapper from Perron, a huge stuff on Kostin, etc.). But then again, he was left exposed on the 3-2 and had next to no chance on the 4-2 Power Play goal notched :16 into the 3 rd Period. Handled the puck masterfully.  Gave his team a chance to win. This loss is not on Smith. At all.

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CONNOR McDAVID . 6. The Blues, as they always seem to, did a reasonable job of containing him. The one time in particular that they couldn’t, McDavid streaked down the left side and chipped a tricky shot off the crossbar…the rebound from which Evan Bouchard pounded home for the 2-2. Connor had 4 shots of his own and was around the net lots. Couldn’t tame a puck after a nice led pass from Hyman. Flipped a puck just over the crossbar late. Reached 50 points in 30 games for the 3rd time in his career.

ZACH HYMAN . 5. Looked a little rusty after the shoulder layoff. Still, an un-official assist on the 2-2 goal…first to stay on-side on a tricky zone entry and then providing excellent net-front presence on the Bouche blast. Dished a gorgeous pass to McDavid on a developing 2-on-1 that 97 couldn’t settle down. A couple dandy PK shifts alongside Nugent-Hopkins.

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WARREN FOEGELE . 4. A good example where a good CF doesn’t tell the tale. Foegele was largely ineffective on the 1 st line tonight: Too quiet by half in the physical department, a single shot on net playing alongside the best player in the game, and a holding penalty 180 feet from his own net. Did have a solid 2 nd Period back-check and a 3 rd Period set-up which Barrie couldn’t finish.

DUNCAN KEITH . 5. Some good, some not so much. Looked like Duncan Keith really had his legs tonight, skated well and lots…leading the team in TOI at 26:50. Keith had 3 shots on net. One pass led to a dangerous Ryan tip in the 1 st , the best of a few examples of quick decisions with the puck. Did the same with Leon Draisaitl in the 2 nd . But also, couldn’t knock down the pass on the 3-2 goal. And the shooter had inside positioning on him on the 4-2 PP goal.

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CODY CECI . 5. Not as high event of a game as his partner Keith, with or without the puck. Although there were 5 high danger scoring chances against on Ceci’s watch. At the other end, 3 shots, 2 blocks and a hit in 22:50.

LEON DRAISAITL . 6. Draisaitl narrowed the score to 2-1 by absolutely undressing Logan Brown and then rifling a wrist shot blocker side on Jordan Binnington. That was 1 of 3 shots on net for Draisaitl on the evening. Fed Nugent-Hopkins for a lovely 1 st Period chance. Ended up -2, but neither goal was on him in the remotest sense. Landed a hard hit on Tarasekno. Just below 50% on his draws. Maybe their best Forward. Hit “50 in 30” for the 2nd time in his career and the 1st (at the time) this season.

RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS . 5. Nugent-Hopkins played quite a solid game but got nothing to show for it. Had 4 shots on net but couldn’t bury any of them. A nice 1 st Period pass that Draisaitl couldn’t convert, either. An excellent defensive play in his own slot late in the 2 nd . He and Hyman formed an effective PK pairing.

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KAILER YAMAMOTO . 4. Yamamoto made a nice little play along the wall leading to the 2-1 goal. But then he surrendered just a terrible give-away in the offensive zone that St. Louis transitioned the other way for an odd man rush on the 3-2 goal against. 0 shots. 2 hits.

SLATER KOEKKOEK. 5. A yo-yo of a performance by Slater Koekkoek, who at times looked sharp in a 2 nd pairing role. But a few other times, he was over-matched. Earned an assist on the 2-1 by recovering a St. Louis turnover. An egregious turnover forced Smith to make a hi-light reel save on Kostin. Etc. Over-all, this pairing held its own and then some. But Koekkoek was more of an adventure than his partner.

TYSON BARRIE. 7. Tyson Barrie was the Oilers best D-man tonight by a significant margin. He had 4 shots on net and moved the puck well. But also contributed significantly on Defence as he logged a solid 24:23. Prevented a goal with a quick-thinking play net-side in the 1 st . A big stick & clear on a PK shift minutes later. High Danger Scoring Chances For/Against 5v5? 5-3 in favor.  A very good night,

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RYAN McLEOD . 3. Centered a line that just got hammered. 1 shot, throttled in faceoffs (13%). Buried in Chances For/Against (6-12, 33%). Too seldom got those quick boots moving.

BRENDAN PERLINI . 3. 1 inconsequential shot. Drilled in 5v5 CF (6-13, 31%). Can’t be that quiet in a game.

KYLE TURRIS. 3. Mostly invisible. Crushed in Chances For/Against. -1.

DMITRI SAMORUKOV. 2. It gives me absolutely no pleasure to do this to a rookie in his 1 st NHL game. Played 2:28. Primarily responsible for the 1 st two St. Louis goals. Far too aggressive on a developing 3-on-1 that resulted in the 1-0. Then he was scorched by Jordan Kyrou on the 2-0. And that’s all she wrote. Samorukov rode the pine the rest of the game. The “2” is doing him a favor.

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EVAN BOUCHARD. 5. Committed a glaring turnover on a low-percentage pass attempt in the Offensive zone instead of just flipping it safely into the corner. The resulting 3-on-1 the other direction ended in the 1-0. Blasted home the 2-2 goal from the top of the circle to knot the game at 2. But then took a holding call at the buzzer to end the 2 nd and :16 into the 3 rd St. Louis had made it 4-2. Whistled again for a phantom high stick later in the 3 rd but his mates killed that one off. Had 3 shots, did some creative things with the puck on net and was -1.

DEREK RYAN . 6. One of Derek Ryan’s best games in a while. Was on the right side of the puck most of the night and his line mates (below) created some effective O-zone time. A very good chance off a Keith pass. 67% on draws, on a night when Edmonton was 2 nd best in that discipline.

COLTON SCEVIOUR . 5. A nifty wrap-around created an open net but Shore couldn’t handle the puck when it squirted out to him. Sound defensively.

DEVIN SHORE . 5. A shot. A hit. 67% on draws. As mentioned, this line had some decent moments on the cycle.

Edmonton’s record slides to 18-12, 4th in the Pacific.

Find me on Twitter @KurtLeavins

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