The Anaheim Ducks continued their seven game home stand against the Pacific Divion leading Edmonton Oilers. The Oil came into this one with a 11-5-2 record and a total of 24 out of a possible 38 points. It was also announced that Hampus Lindholm was being placed on IR with a supposed lower body injury. We all knew this would be a tough one facing the first place McDavids with a patch work defensive core. Let’s briefly recap how it went.
The first period was one of those even periods where the Oilers made the most of their opportunities. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was able to flick one past John Gibson after some aggressive forechecking. Rickard Rakell was able to answer back after some good forechecking and puck retrievals that led to his fifth on the season (this is a quick recap, but just a heads up, this goal was a beauty). About midway through the period, Connor McDavid (ever heard of him?) was able to snap a wrister by Gibby after storming down the left side and slightly turning the corner on Cam Fowler.
The Oilers took the 2-1 lead into the break.
The second period was fairly balanced in terms of five on five, but the Ducks were unable to capitalize on either of their four power play opportunities. The powerplay did not look good and it would be an understatement to say that three total shots on goal across five power play opportunities was not good. Not only that, the Edmonton penalty kill was able to register two shots on goal during the Anaheim power plays. Lots to be desired there.
Doing their best to be the exact opposite of the Ducks, Edmonton took advantage of their 40 seconds of power play time when Ryan Nugent-Hopkins fired a perfect shot over the right shoulder of a John Gibson for his second goal on the night. This one put the Oilers up 3-1. Tip of the helmet. Good shot RNH.
The wheels fell of quick from there as Zach Kassian was able to bull his way in for the fourth Edmonton goal. He powered his way to a semi-break away and dragged the puck from his forehand to his backhand and slid it past Gibson. 4-1 Edmonton.
Let’s go to the third.
Max Jones showed off a lot of what has had Ducks fan excited about his potential. He and Steel did some nice, tenacious work down low to keep possession agains the Oilers defenders. Jones received the puck from Steel, decided to stick handle to the front of the net and roof the puck over Mikko Koskinen. This was Jones’ first goal on the season and one for the highlight reel.
The Ducks had some hope after this, but McDavid had other plans. He was able to complete the hat trick and seal the deal for the Oilers.
I am not posting video of his second goal even though it was awesome. I love hockey and think McDavid is out of this world. If you want to see, go check it out since it is all over the interweb.
Ducks lose 6-2 and are now 2-3 having lost three in a row on the homestand.
The numbers might show this one being closer than it felt. It seems like the theme of the night was “John Gibson should have stopped that”. Based on the expected goals numbers for the Oilers, that would be a fair statement. Gibson has somewhat spoiled us Ducks fans. Not only has he carried bad Ducks teams to victories, but he has been consistent in making the saves he “should” make. Tonight the Ducks rolled out a suspect (to say the least) defensive crew. I thought they did ok all in all, but the team defense did not look good in front of the Ducks goaltender. If you add that in the fact the he was not his best and the Ducks went 0-5 on the power play, you quickly realize how bad your team can look. This was not a fun one for the Ducks or Ducks fans alike.
BY THE NUMBERS
Total Shots on Goal – DUCKS: 33 OILERS: 31
5v5 CF% – DUCKS: 52.87% OILERS: 47.13%
5v5 High Danger Chances For – DUCKS: 10 OILERS: 16
5v5 xGF – DUCKS: 2.52 OILERS: 2.65
**All stats courtesy of naturalstattrick.com
**Score card courtesy of hockeystatcards.com
1) Connor Mcwhatever his name is - He is good at hockey.
2) Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Two goals will get you a start. Usually a first star, but he has a good teammate or two.
3) Leon Draisaitl - Four assist for the other guy on the Oilers.
The Ducks will play the Detroit Red Wings at 7PM PST at Honda Center on Tuesday 11/12.