Oilers v Sharks Game Three Humming Along
Photo: Allan Hamilton/Icon Sportswire
The big question after the Oilers near flawless performance in game two, was whether they could repeat it or regress to their less than stellar game one effort. Although it wasn’t quite as clean as game two, the Oilers used a similar formula to win game three and take a 2-1 lead in the series.
In comparison to game one, negative plays were down a more modest 41% in game three, whereas they were down 62.3% in game two. Even with more mistakes, for the most part they avoided the ‘bad’ variety and still finish 33.9% better than their regular season average.
1. Connor McDavid led all Oiler and Shark forwards for a third consecutive game, despite ending his point streak. After three playoff games, his overall, offensive and defensive averages are almost identical to his regular season average.
2. Zack Kassian continues to surprise, not only with his second game winning goal, but with his strong passes and consistent defensive play which led all Oilers in game three.
3. Anton Slepyshev made several good passes and played well enough to earn time with McDavid’s line.
Leon Draisaitl was bumped from the first line for a while in game three. His contributions through three games are down 40% from the regular season, while Patrick Maroon’s are down 56%, but Maroon’s defense has dropped 10% while Draisaitl’s has dropped more than 50%.
1. Oscar Klefbom continues to lead the Edmonton blue line, and excelled offensively in game three. He has more than doubled his regular season contribution through the first three games, including a significant improvement defensively.
2. Darnell Nurse was a distant second from Klefbom, but led the Oiler’s blue line defensively. After three games, he and Klefbom are unexpectedly at the top of the Oilers defensive contributions.
3. Adam Larsson was close to Nurse in game three and in the first three playoff games has managed to push his offense up 48%, his defense up 50% and his overall contributions up 45.7%.
At the end of the regular season, TP did an article about the bulk of the Oiler's improvement in 2016/17 being generated by their defensemen. See OILERS TURNAROUND
Through three games in the playoffs, compared to regular 16/17 season averages, the Oiler's d-core has improved 19% in offense, 43.9% in defense, and 27% overall. The Oiler forwards have dropped slightly in all three areas.
The numbers indicate the Oiler's defenseman have again raised their game and are a major factor in the Oiler's early playoff success.
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