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TimeApr 23, 2017

Oilers v Sharks - Game 6 - Oilers do it again

Photo: Samuel Stringer/Icon Sportswire

Bewildered may be the best word to describe San Jose players after they lost game six at home to the Edmonton Oilers, and ended their 2017 Stanley Cup dreams.

They out contributed the Oilers over the course of the game by 34.2%, but the Oilers made the most of their grade A chances when Draisaitl and Slepyshev scored on consecutive breakaways in the second period.

The Sharks seemed to lack urgency in the first period and squandered some opportunities, none better than a shorthanded chance late that could have put them on the board first.

Contributions in the first period were similar between the two teams, but the Sharks used the first intermission to sharpen up and dominate contributions through the remainder of the game by a significant 63.6%. Unfortunately for the Sharks it took them till less than eight minutes in the game to solve Talbot, and they could not do it again.

Forward Contributions

Oilers

1. Leon Draisaitl was the top forward in game six and 25% stronger than the second Oiler forward. His breakaway goal showed great strength in accepting the contact before making a great shot. Over games five and six, he led all forwards in the series by a massive 39%. .

2. Jordan Eberle trailed Draisaitl by 25% but led Slepyshev by over 70%, illustrating the sharp drop off in Oiler forward contributions.

3. Anton Slepyshev took full advantage of a gift-wrapped breakaway to climb into the third spot, but was not very active other than his game winning goal.

After leading the Oilers by a significant margin in games one through three, Connor McDavid’s contributions dropped steadily in games three through six, to almost a third of his regular season average.

The ‘small area’ nature of the playoffs had much to do with his drop, but before Oiler fans get too concerned, remember it took McDavid about five games in his rookie season to start dominating the NHL. Do not be surprised to see him do the same in the playoffs, especially if he can generate more offense in the offensive zone rather than off the rush. Expect the Ducks to be less giving than the Sharks.

Sharks

1. Joe Thornton was not 100% healthy but still managed to use his vision and deft passing to lead Shark forwards in game six. He did dump the puck at times when there were plays to be made, but that could have been a strategy or just fear of giving up that big play by trying to do too much.

2. Patrick Marleau was only 15% behind Thornton in game six and his average contribution through the series was 5.5% above his regular season average.

3. Logan Couture was third in game six at 22.5% above his regular season average, but over the six games, his average was 10.3% below his 16/17 regular season.

Defensemen

Oilers

1. Kris Russel used his shot blocking ability to help vault him into the top contribution spot, despite losing defensive side positioning on the Sharks lone goal. His night sums up much of the Oiler d-core. They were far from perfect and had very modest contribution totals, but for the most part managed to isolate and clean up their miscues, which is just fine when it leads to winning hockey.

2. Matt Benning and 3. Darnel Nurse had their share of positive and negative contributions. It was Benning’s strongest game of the playoffs.

Sharks

1. Brent Burns played his usual high event game and led the Sharks defensemen, but he was 27% below his regular season average. Edmonton closed lanes and fronted pucks which helped limit Burns as a threat from the blue line. It was also one of his lower defensive performances of the playoffs.

2. David Schlemko performed 66% above his regular season average in game six and was excellent over the six game series, elevating his average play-by-play contributions by 79% over his 16/17 regular season average.

3. Marc-Edouard Vlasic led all defensemen in defensive contributions, and was 81% above his regular season average.

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