Edmonton Oilers MIA in MTL, lose 4-0 to Les Canadiens: Player Grades

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The Edmonton Oilers turned in their worst performance of the season in an un-eventful and (frankly) uninspired 4-0 loss to Montreal.

You could say the Oilers were probably tired, having played 3 games in 4 nights including a long and unplanned hotel stay in the middle and an emotional finish in Toronto the night before.

But the Canadians also had just a single ice-session after a week in COVID purgatory. So, I’m really not so sure I feel that charitable.

I was also surprised Dave Tippett didn’t insert some fresh blood into the lineup on the back end of a back-to-back. But not sure that would have made a huge difference.

Here’s the tale of the tape.

Edmonton Oilers Game Grades

MIKKO KOSKINEN. 4. I thought he was MIA on the 3-0 but so were the troops in front of him. However, I didn’t see the other 3 Montreal markers as being on Koskinen in any real way. Did get the benefit of (by my count) 4 posts behind him. Stopped 28 of 34, including nice saves on Drouin in the 1st and Mete in the 3rd Period. At least he got Mike Smith some rest.


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CONNOR McDAVID. 4. Had a lovely goal taken away on an offside challenge the officials got right. Was lucky to get just a minor penalty on a high hit against Jesperi Kotkaniemi. 2 shots, a nice set-up for Kris Russell in a 3rd Period sortie. 57% on draws, -2. Clearly frustrated.

LEON DRAISAITL. 4. “Led” the forward ranks in shots with 2. Lost the faceoff on the 3-0. Nice pass to McDavid net-side on a 3rd Period PP but 97 couldn’t quite handle it. 50/50 on draws. No real major mistakes, but not himself.

JESSE PULJUJARVI. 3. Skated his Captain off-side on what looked to be the 3-1 goal. Yes, the puck rolled a bit on Ennis on that sequence which probably threw Jesse’s timing off. But the cardinal rule on a 3-on-1 is to not go off-side. Docked for 2 giveaways. Failed clear on the 4-0. Ended the night an ugly -3.

DARNELL NURSE. 3. Had a god-awful 1st Period. I marked Nurse down for 4 major mistakes on Canadians shot attempts. He was caught in no-man’s land on the 2-0. Then allowed Brendan Gallagher a free pass to the net on a complete team breakdown off the faceoff. Well below-par by his standards.

TYSON BARRIE. 3. Left to cover 2 Canadians in front on the 2-0. Didn’t do much of a job on either of them. Lost his man on the 3-0. Fell awkwardly one, injuring his leg. Chopped to the ice late and again got up slowly. Did hit the post on about the only dangerous chance the Oilers had on 2 failed PP’s.

RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS. 5. Nugent-Hopkins wasn’t bad. A clean 3 out of 3 on the Penalty Kill of which he played 3:03. 2 hits and a block. One of only 2 Oilers forwards over 50% CF 5v5 (Kassian was the other). But, also didn’t have a shot on net. Far from the issue.


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KYLE TURRIS. 3. Turris took a holding penalty 190 feet from his own net, but his mates killed it off. Crushed in chances for/against 5v5. Had a shot, a hit. Failed to build on an o.k. game in Toronto.

KAILER YAMAMOTO. 4. Looked out of sync all night. Hustled but had just a single shot on net, after a good outing the night before.

WILLAIM LAGESSON. 2. William Lagesson chased the play all night long and couldn’t make a headman pass to save his life. Thrashed at 5v5 2-20, 9%. That’s 3 sub-par games in a row. I’ll give him a nod for answering the bell against Josh Anderson in the 1st Period.

ADAM LARSSON. 5. I didn’t have the heart to give Adam Larsson a failing grade, even though he was trampled in the possession metrics tonight. The hard-nosed defender did contribute 7 hits and 6 blocks in 25:17. The best D-man on the club. Grant you, that’s not saying a whole lot.

GAETAN HAAS. 4. I saw effort from Haas, and a few smart defensive plays early when the rest of the club was just running in place. But still ended up 2-16, 11%.

TYLER ENNIS. 4. “E” for effort. 4 hits, 2 blocks and a shot. But that shot was one of the few times his line made anything substantial happen.

ZACK KASSIAN. 5. Zack Kassian was perhaps the best forward out of a sorry lot. Displayed a fair bit of jump, 5 hits in 13:21, elevated to the McDavid line after the 1st. I’ve seen Kassian good the last 5 games, since returning from injury. That bodes well. I wonder if he’s back in the Top-6 Friday?

KRIS RUSSELL. 5. You know it’s a rough night for the Oilers when Kris Russell ties for the team lead with 4 shots on net. In fact, the puck was generally headed in the right direction when he was on the ice. Had his man on the 1-0. Not the problem on an otherwise bad night for the Oil.


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ETHAN BEAR. 5. I thought he over-committed a bit at his own blueline on the 1-0 but was not the principle at fault. He and Russell (when they were paired together) otherwise moved the puck all right. Bear had a shot and a block. Looks to be turning the corner in a positive way.

DEVIN SHORE. 3. The high man blew a tire dangerously deep in the opposition zone, leading to a 3-on-2 Montreal break that resulted in the 1-0. 2 hits. -2.

JOSH ARCHIBALD. 4. 3 hits and a block. On the ice for the 1-0 debacle but I didn’t see him directly at fault. Didn’t have his usual jump at all. Not much impact on the game, apart from his 4:26 on the PK, which was substantial.

JUJHAR KHAIRA. 3. Hustled back to get into the play on the opening sequence but then took the wrong man on the 1-0. Failed clear on the fire drill that led to the 4-0. 2:20 of very good PK work.

The loss drops the Oilers to 22-14-1 on the season, 8 up on 5th place Calgary/Vancouver, 6 up on 4th place Montreal.

Next up? Calgary, Friday.

Find me on Twitter @KurtLeavins

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