Saturday, October 21, 2017

11:00 AM start time to Oilers, Flyers game, what was the NHL thinking.

Games that start in the AM are all mental as athlete's bodies are creatures of habits.  Playing at 1:00 am eastern time is likely around the time guys are use to relaxing, not firing on all cylinders.  When do you eat your pregame meal.  I have always felt older teams with more experience do better at the early games just because age teaches players how to mentally will themselves to compete when the body wants to sleep.

5 observations in Oilers 2-1 loss to the Flyers.

1.  I bet the analytics of giving up the first goal and winning are not very good.  The Oilers have to do a better job at start of the game.  They cannot continue to give up the first goal and hope to have success.  Based on the fact they suck at the PK that means not taking penalties.  

2.  By not developing a shot McDavid is like a pass first point guard in the NBA.  You just play off the guy, keep him in front of you, take away passing lanes and dare him to shoot.   McDavid is no different.  His wrist shot is so slow.  He puts his weight on stick, twists body, goalie has a smoke and then he shoots. No slap or snap shot to speak of.  Any competent NHL goalie if he sees McDavid shoot is going to stop his shot.  For all of McDavid's greatness you just have to stop the breakaways and clog up passing lanes to really limit his ability.  I say limit because you can't stop great players, you can just limit them.  What also limits McDavid is he loses so many of his faceoffs.  

3.  Lucic, an older player was a force in this game.  Strong game on the puck.  Make that man an ice man because when you hit him it is like running into a wall of ice.  I love watching Flyers bounce off him.  So strong on the boards.  Didn't show up on score sheet but nobody on his line did.  Strome was missing in action and RNH played way too much on the outside.  Never was able to get the puck into good scoring areas.  

4.  Some like to point out how Oilers keep winning shot metrics which I believe is a fancy way of saying Oilers out shoot the opposing team.  This may be the case but it sure doesn't seem like there are a lot of hard saves being made by the opposing goalies.  What Oiler has a good shot?  Other than injured Draisaitl I can't think of one Oiler with a shot that keeps goalies awake at night.  I also don't see enough passes leading to shots when opposing goalie is moving and not set.  It seem like the team is doing the whole Jordan Eberle, dust the puck off and shoot the puck giving goalies chance to get square to the shooter.  With the size of goalies these days I just don't see how you are going to score unless the goalie is moving, not set.  

5.  Adam Larsson brought the ice tonight.  He seems to have found his game.  You can see him getting in better position, making some real solid hits.  I think at the start of the season he had to adjust to the new ways they were calling the rules but now has seemed to settle in back the really strong physical player we have come to love in Edmonton.  

Disappointing loss.  Team definitely has to figure itself out without Draisailt in lineup.  Looks very slow on ice.  Thoughts?  Leave a comment.

Master Iceman

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