Self-inflicted wounds drop Oilers during 2nd Period collapse in 5-0 loss to Dallas: Cult of Hockey Player Grades

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The Edmonton Oilers hung their diligent backup goaltender out to dry in Dallas Wednesday, in a 5-0 loss to the Stars.

Edmonton had its chances over the opening 30, but three posts and a Power Play (which went 0-for-4) that did not put pucks on net kept them at zero. Then the bottom fell out over the last 7 minutes of the middle frame as the Oilers did their best impression of the neighborhood baker with one turnover after another. When the siren mercifully sounded after 40, it was 5-0 Dallas.

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Full credit to Dallas, though…they were the better team tonight, hands down en-route to their eighth straight win. Stars keeper Jake Oettinger was solid. At the other end, Calvin Pickard deserved more support than he got.

Here is the tale of the tape…and it ain’t pretty.

Edmonton Oilers Player Grades

CALVIN PICKARD. 4. Good early save on Benn. Mostly left to his own devices on a Dallas 2-on-1 that led to the 1-0, and still got a healthy amount of that puck on the way in. Back-to-back saves at the top of the crease off Johnson and Stankoven. Got a toe on a Hintz shot later in the first. A good stop on Pavelski in tight late in the 1st. Opened the 2nd by stoning Lindell from the slot. Stopped Robertson on the Dallas PP. Stuffed Steele on a 2-on-1. Finally beaten again on a bang-bang play on a Dallas PP. Then absolutely robbed Johnson on a Grade “A” shot from the mid slot. The 3-0 came on a Stars 4-on-1. The 4-0 on a D-zone turnover. The 5-0 a turnover behind the goal line. Had far too little help.

CONNOR McDAVID. 5. Created chances for Nugent-Hopkins and Bouchard early. Then danced into the Dallas done on a lightning-fast sortie but both his initial shot and rebound were saved. Set up Draisaitl for a 1-timer on the PP that dinted the post. A steal below the goal line led to a Nurse shot in the 2nd. One of the better Oilers on a poor night. But some of the failure of the Power Play sticks to him as well.

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RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS. 5. Like McDavid, was solid. Sent Carrick in all along on a short-handed breakaway. Nabbed for a 2nd Period trip. Led all Oilers in 5v5 CF at 22-9, 71%. A shot, 3 hits in 19:40. Part of the issue on the 0-4 PP though.

ZACH HYMAN. 4. Drew a 1st Period PP but he & his mates did not get a lot done on it. Nor did they on 3 subsequent chances on the man advantage. Not often do you notice this very fine player that little.

DARNELL NURSE. 2. Rough, rough night. A smart defensive stick disrupted a developing Dallas 2-on-1. But then took an interference call seconds later and (worse) a 10-minute misconduct on top of it. That took him out of the rotation for a long stretch, leaving the remaining 5D rotating through. Could not knock down the cross pass on the 2-0. Then…just terrible timing in an attempted pinch led to a Dallas 4-on-1 and the 3-0. Honestly, that was a read (and an apparent lack of awareness of the situation) that betrayed the player’s considerable experience. Needs to be way better. They need Nurse to be the “good version of Darnell” in short order. The playoffs are just around the corner.

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CODY CECI. 5. Rang the post in the 1st. Sharp play in front denied Robertson a chance. Good shot in the 2nd as well. Could not corral a pass on the 2-0. Part of the problem on the 5-0. But 5v5 High Dangers were 7-4 on Ceci’s watch. He was decent.

LEON DRAISAITL. 3. A double-teamed Leon Draisaitl turned the puck over at his own blueline on the 1-0. Unceremoniously dumped in front of the Dallas net but there was no call from Steve Kozari. Beat the goalie clean buy hammed a PP 1-timer off the post. Turnover off a diagonal pass attempt in his own zone led directly to the 4-0. Part of the 1st PP unit that went oh-fer.

ADAAM HENRIQUE. 4. An impressive back-check in the 1st in response to a developing Dallas jail break. Fed Ceci for a good point shot. 4 hits, 0 shots.

COREY PERRY. 5. Dove to stop a pass that was headed toward his own slot in the 1st. Rocketed a slapper off the crossbar from the top of the circle. -3, although damn difficult to suggest he was the issue on any of the three. He was the lone man back on two (two!) 2-on-1’s.

MATTIAS EKHOLM. 4. Interference call led to the 2-0. Part of the fire drill on the 5-0. Just below the break-even mark in 5v5 CF.

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EVAN BOUCHARD. 6. A couple of 1st period shots. Fine keep at the attacking blueline extended an Oilers shift in the attacking zone. 5 shots. One of the few defenceman to have a decent night, High Dangers were 4-3 5v5.

RYAN McLEOD. 4. 2nd Period shot. Skated well but ultimately did not get much done.

EVANDER KANE. 5. Nice feed to Ceci for a dangerous 2nd Period shot. 5 hits led the club. Broke even in 5v5 CF. At least he showed some life. But still can not score, it seems.

WARREN FOEGELE. 4. Could not seem to get on track all night long despite want appeared to be a decent effort.

BRETT KULAK. 4. Fine recovery of the puck deep in his own zone on the PK leading to a clear. Hustled back on a Dallas breakaway and applied pressure on the shooter prior to the puck sailing wide. But High Dangers Against 5v5 were 0-5 with him on the ice.

VINCENT DESHARNAIS. 4. Three 1st Period hits. But HDSC’s 5v5 0-5. Crushed in shot shares and struggled with the puck on his stick.

SAM CARRICK. 4. Fine deke in a shorthanded breakaway, but the goalie’s toe shot out to deny him. Giveaway on the 5-0. 4 shots.

MATTIAS JANMARK. 5. Had a gaping net in the 1st but Benn got a last-second stick on it. Good clear on the PK. Dangerous chance in the 3rd. Decent.

CONNOR BROWN. 4. Some sound PK work. Not much 5v5.

Edmonton’s record falls to 45-25-5, 95 points. 5 back of the Canucks for 1st in the pacific, 3 up on Vegas with a game in hand.

Find me on Threads @kleavins, on Instagram at LeavinsOnHockey, Mastodon at [email protected], and X @KurtLeavins.

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