The puck doesn't stop here, Canucks drill the Edmonton Oilers 6-3: Game Grades

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An historically bad start by Mikko Koskinen and some sloppy, undisciplined play by the guys in front of him led to a 6-3 Canucks win over the Oilers at Rogers Place Thursday night.

At times, it felt as if the home team may find their way back into this one. In fact, they drew within 2 goals of the Canucks twice but couldn’t hold onto the momentum.

The Oilers outplayed Vancouver over long stretches and out-shot them 42-27. But in the end, you can’t argue that Edmonton deserved to win. Not close.

Here’s the tale of the tape.

Edmonton Oilers Game Grades

MIKKO KOSKINEN. 1. Koskinen allowed 4 goals on the 1st 4 shots of the game. The first 2 were more on D-zone breakdowns than Mikko, but the latter 2 were terrible goals on entirely insufficient efforts. Koskinen left his stick in toothpicks after he got the hook but before he skated off the ice at the 12:22 mark. And honestly? Even that effort took 3 tries before the stick finally shattered. The 4-in-4 sombrero from Koskinen has only been accomplished twice before in NHL history: By Dan Bouchard for Atlanta in 1979, and again by Don Beaupre with the Capitals in 1989. Thanks to Reid Wilkins for that bit of trivia. Not what you want to see from the big Finn, 4 games from the playoffs.


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MIKE SMITH. 4. Nice initial save by Mike Smith on a shot from the point and then again on the rebound early in the 2nd. A smart blocker save on Miller forced by Kahun turnover. On the 5-2 goal, it was equal parts good fortune on Tyler Graovac’s part (he released the puck from behind the goal line) and Mike Smith pulling ever-so-slightly off the inside post due to the high shot…which deflected off his mask plate and in. The 6-3, however, leaked right in between his pads. Smith earned a legitimate assist on the 4-1 with a sharp 120-foot head-manned pass, the 19th helper of his career. Needed the rest, didn’t get it.

CONNOR McDAVID. 7. A 3-point night leaves Connor McDavid with 96 points and 4 games remaining in which to hit the century mark. The primary assist on Draisaitl’s 1st. A nice feed led directly to Puljujarvi’s 4-2 marker. Got the 2nd assist on Leon’s 2nd of the evening. An excellent back-check prevented a chance late in the 1st. Sifted a nice pass to Caleb Jones for a late 2nd Period opportunity. Awarded a penalty shot in the 3rd and had the goalie beat on the deke but Demko managed to get his pad on the puck and keep it a 5-2 (at the time) game. Skated past a dangerously loose puck in the D-zone on the 6-3.

LEON DRAISAITL. 6. High event game, sure, but it was no contest without him. Drilled the puck home to the far side of Demko’s outstretched blocker to break up the 0-4 Oilers start. Draisaitl’s forecheck helped lead to the 4-2 marker. And then Leon converted a Darnell Nurse pass with another lovely one-timer for the 5-3 to give the Oilers a chance to get back into the game. But it wasn’t meant to be. Draisaitl was late to the shooter on the 3-0 but still…that soft shot can’t go in. Tried to force a pass up into neutral ice in the 3rd and it was intercepted and turned in the other direction for the 6-3. But the game was all but over by then.


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JESSE PULJUJARVI. 5. Jesse Puljujarvi’s one-timer off a pass by McDavid cut the Vancouver lead to 4-2. He couldn’t cash from the slot on another setup from McDavid and Draisaitl later in the game. Drew a 3rd period penalty after being tripped up on a dangerous looking sortie but the club couldn’t cash on the PP. Beaten badly by the shooter on the 1-0. Jesse’s pretty solid defensively but fronting the puck isn’t a strength. 2 shots, 1 hit. Imperfect game but he IS finding the net.

DARNELL NURSE. 4. It isn’t good when one of your team leaders lets his frustration boil over. Nurse missed his check along the wall and then promptly swatted the loose puck to Travis Hamonick for the 3-0. Darnell got no help from his goalie, though, on what was a butterfly of a shot. Drew a penalty but next shift took a needless retaliatory call. He and MacEwan did eventually dropped the mitts after a lot of jawing in previous shifts. But it was a pretty uneventful bout and besides…Vancouver will take that trade-off every day of the week. Smart defensive play on Boeser down low late in the 2nd. But there were not enough of those. An assist. 5 shots, 4 hits.

TYSON BARRIE. 5. Moved the puck smartly up the wall to Connor McDavid, leading to the 4-2 goal, Tyson Barrie’s 37th assist of the campaign. Barrie wasn’t perfect defending but wasn’t the problem on this night. In fact, the puck was very often headed in the right direction with him on the ice.

RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS. 5. Maybe the Oilers more consistent 2-way forwards on what was a a bad night for the team. A late 3rd Period chance after Bear and Jones had traded passes at the point. A good clear on the 3rd Period PK. 3 shots, 2:43 on the PK.


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DOMINIK KAHUN. 4. 2nd Period turnover, forcing Smith to make a good save on Miller. 1 shot. Not nearly as visible as he has been as of later.

KAILER YAMAMOTO. 6. Deserved better than he got for his effort tonight. Yamamoto’s hard work and pass led to a good Barrie point shot in the 1st. A terrific 2nd Period shift led to a Larsson shot, a Nugent-Hopkins shot and a great chance for Kahun who missed the net…all 3 created by #56. He’ll score again…eventually.

DMITRY KULIKOV. 3. Handed the puck away on the 2-0, and while he did block a shot in an effort to make up for it his initial gaff was “damage done”. Committed a 2nd Period turnover that did NOT go in. A 3rd Period stick covered up a Mike Smith misplay. Lost the all-events chances for-against game, the only skater on the Oilers to do so.

ADAM LARSSON. 6. Larsson was the Oilers best defender on the night. Unfair that he should shoulder a -2 for his well above-average effort. Examples? One of his best series was a tremendous PK shift in the 2nd in which he blocked 2 shots and then clean the puck on a 3rd effort. Reprised that effort on a 3rd Period PK. They needed more like him.

RYAN McLEOD. 4. Had some issues on coverage. Over-skated the puck after a Kulikov shot block on the 2-0. Not hard enough on a loose puck in the high slot on the 4-0. But also set up Nurse for a 2nd Period shot. His faceoff win gave Neal a good chance. A pass later that period gave Chiasson a good opportunity as well. Skated well. Needs to shoot more.


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PATICK RUSSELL. 4. 2 shots and a give-away. A good 3rd Period clear. I say the following with respect: Russell is always solid but almost never impacts the game in a significant way.

JOSH ARCHIBALD. 4. Had a 2nd Period breakaway but couldn’t get the rolling puck on net. Killed the final few seconds of a 3rd Period PK with a good clear. Took a 3rd Period trip that was more of a knee. 5 hits.

CALEB JONES. 4. It wasn’t your night Caleb Jones when the game notes include: 1st Period giveaway. 2nd Period giveaway. 3rd Period giveaway. I haven’t seen much strong evidence that Jones is ready to man the 6D spot in the playoffs. Hope he turns it around. Did have one good opportunity off a Nugent-Hopkins feed.

ETHAN BEAR. 5. Some shaky mixed in with a decent bit of good for Bear. Had lost his stick on the 5-2 goal but had succeeded in skating his check past the goal line. However the puck still found a way in past Smith’s ear. Helped clear the zone on a 3rd period PK. Set up by McDavid and Draisaitl in the 3rd. Committed a 3rd Period turnover. Posted excellent for-and-against numbers (All Events 26-12, CF 69%).

JUJHAR KHAIRA. 4. Physical. Led the team with 6 hits. 3rd Period turnover. Nothing going on with the puck, though. -1 in 12:29 of TOI.

ALEX CHIASSON. 4. Alex Chiasson was one of a couple players who lost puck battles in the high slot on the 4-0. Scrapped Travis Hamonic after a late, mid-ice hit to the head that went uncalled (the hit, that is, not the fight). Saved a goal with a big shot block after Smith had turned the puck over and the net was gaping. -2.

JAMES NEAL. 4. Couldn’t sneak home a quick shot off a Ryan McLeod faceoff win. Had a chance late off a Patrick Russell pass. 3 shots in 11:41. -2.

The loss leaves the Oilers safe in 2nd Place in the Canadian Division, 7 up on Winnipeg. The Jets are 2 up on the Habs for 3rd.

Next up? Another against the Canucks, Saturday.

Find me on Twitter @KurtLeavins

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