The Colorado Avalanche got sunk by Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night, losing 6-2 on the road. McDavid scored six points - including a hat trick - in the win, while Andre Burakovsky scored both goals for the Avalanche. Adam Werner started the game, but after giving up five goals on 18 shots, he was replaced with Antoine Bibeau. The fourth-stringer managed to stop nine of 10 to stem the bleeding and finish off what was otherwise an awful night.
The Avalanche gifted the Oilers six power play opportunities in the game, and the Oilers converted on four of them, including all three of McDavid’s goals. This was the difference in the game because at 5v5, the Avalanche dominated, out-shooting the Oilers 49-31 in shot attempts (61%), 26-14 in scoring chances (65%), and 58% in expected goals.
The Oilers can burn you if you set them up for it, and they put on a masterclass of that such tactic in this game.
Andre Burakovsky opened the scoring early, following a great first shift from Nazem Kadri. The second line center was battling in the corner for the puck, chasing it up the boards as the Oilers were trying to get it out of the zone. Kadri stripped Darnell Nurse of the puck and scurried back into the corner until he spotted Burakovsky barreling down the slot. Bing, bang, boom. Avs with the lead.
The Oilers came back with four unanswered goals to end the first period.
The first was by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins when Connor McDavid burst into the offensive zone and laid a drop-pass to Nugent-Hopkins, who sniped it from the top of the slot. The first goal against for Adam Werner. The biggest issue with this goal was Connor McDavid. But the second was Ryan Graves lagging behind the play and failing to backup his defense partner. He allowed Nugent-Hopkins to walk into the slot and take a clean shot.
McDavid got his second point of the game on the power play with Tyson Jost in the box for tripping Alex Chiasson. Ian Cole tried to dive to clear a puck, but missed and allowed McDavid to walk right in from the wing and score.
The third goal also came on the power play. Leon Draisaitl tried a wrap-a-round from behind the net, but missed and inadvertently set up Zack Kassian for a perfect tap-in on the weak side. The missing assignment was Samuel Girard, who chased the puck side, rather than getting his man on the weak side. He also lost the puck to McDavid, causing the initial wrap-a-round by Draisaitl.
Fourth goal, another one from McDavid, and another one on the power play. Off the initial zone entry, McDavid got the puck right before the blueline at full speed. He juked JT Compher, then Erik Johnson, before cutting into the slot and sniping on Werner for his second goal of the game.
When it comes to the teams going head-to-head, the Avalanche out-played the Oilers by a decent margin. At 5v5, they held the shot attempts lead 16-13, shots 9-7, and scoring chances 8-5. The problem came from giving up two power play goals on as many attempts because the best player in the world can beat one guy to create a tap-in. The defense wasn’t good enough here, they couldn’t make any mistakes in this game, and unfortunately, they made four in the first period alone.
Kadri scored....just after the buzzer sounded. 4-1 Oilers at the end of the first. pic.twitter.com/BVDzRx6UBK— Avalanche Gifs (@Avs__Gifs) November 15, 2019
Three power play goals, and five points for McDavid in the game following this goal.
The Avs came close a couple times, including this post from Vladislav Kamenev.
And then Kadri stole the puck from Mike Smith behind the net. He nearly buries the wrap-a-round, and his own rebound, but couldn’t get the between-the-legs shot to go up into the net.
A minute later, Burakovsky got his second goal of the game with a well-placed rebound at the far side of the net. Compher won the faceoff and Johnson put the puck on from the point.
The Avs took yet another penalty, this time the worst of all: too many men. The Oilers converted yet again. This time Nugent-Hopkins with his second from the slot.
Again, the Avalanche were great at even strength. Their problem was staying at even strength long enough to come back in the period. Score Effects is a term that describes teams out-shooting their opponents when trailing in a game. It follows in all sports. This largely led to a 20-6 shot attempt margin for the Avs at 5v5 in the second. They also led in shots (10-3), and scoring chances (7-2). Unfortunately, they gave up two power play goals on three attempts. At least they stopped one?
The Avs tried to make a run at the start of the period with the help of a rare power play, but couldn’t catch a break with pucks bouncing off Smith and other bodies in front without going in.
About halfway through the period, both sides turned it down and skated the rest of the game off. Really boring stuff.
- It’s easy to say ‘don’t make costly mistakes’ from my bedroom in Mississauga, but that’s all tonight came down to. Limiting the amount of set plays the Oilers could put their only good players on the ice for. Graves took three penalties, and in my opinion, was to blame for the first goal of the game. Jost also took a penalty that cost the team, though the game was already gone by then. The penalty against Kadri was total crap.
- Burn this tape or use it as a learning to show this team what they can be and what they shouldn’t do. Either is good by me.