Sharks v Oilers Game Two - Oilers Settle In
Photo: Curtis Comeau/Icon Sportswire
Addition through subtraction is the process of reducing the negative, to improve the whole.
The Edmonton Oilers deployed this strategy with near perfection (except penalty minutes), by removing a massive 62.3% of negative from game one, on way to a convincing game two victory over the San Jose Sharks.
The negative refers to offensive turnovers and poor puck management along with defensive miscues from their nervous game one performance. Edmonton’s game one negative totals were on par with their 2015/16 season average (2.1% above), which would strike fear into any Oiler’s fan.
Looking deeper, the Oilers reduced routine negative (poor) plays by 35.6%, but cut those really bad mistakes by more than half. There were still a few, like the pass Andrea Sekera put on Tomas Hertl’s tape with 2:14 left in the third, but the Oilers were perfect on the night in cleaning those up.
Turning from a positive/negative to an offensive/defensive focus, Oiler offensive contributions were below their 15/16 regular season average, but their team defense was up 87%, with 56.6% improvement from the forwards, and 134% jump from the defensemen.
The Oiler's execution was near flawless but their ability to duplicate this winning formula in game three may not get great odds for a betting man. We can expect a better effort from the Sharks as they look to regain their identity that was stolen from them in game two.
INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTIONS - Forwards
1. Connor McDavid was the leader overall and offensively, showing remarkable consistency from the regular season to the Playoffs. Game one and two were both just a touch below his regular season play-by-play average. Special teams were a more prominent part of game two, with the third period short-handed goal being the obvious highlight.
2. Zack Kassian was the inspirational leader for the Oiler’s with his big hits and short-handed tally. His game two contributions were three times his 16/17 regular season average.
Mark Letestu, Drake Caggiula, Leon Draisaitl, Patrick Maroon, and Jordan Eberle and fell within a fairly tight contribution range in the three through seven spots, and nearly all Oiler forwards made significant contributions defensively.
INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTIONS - Defensemen
1. Adam Larsson quietly but convincingly led all Oiler defensemen in offensive and defensive contributions.
2. Darnell Nurse was a ways back in second spot but was very strong defensively, making steady plays and using his great range to clean up a few dangerous situations.
3. Oscar Klefbom had another strong game, including his defensive contributions which were a question heading into the playoffs.
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