2) Bodies on the ice
In some cases, numbers can explain a situation just as well as words. Let’s begin with the Oilers’ penalty kill, which last season was ranked a lowly 20th in the NHL.
The ability to kill penalties continued to be an issue on Wednesday night in Vancouver. The Canucks were efficient in taking advantage, going 3-for-6 on the ice when they had the extra man.
On the flip side, the Oilers went 1-for-4 with the man advantage. As most fans know, the Oilers set an NHL record last season, with a 32.4 percent success rate on the power play.
When it came to 5-on-5 the Oilers were effectively toothless, despite having a team which scored the most goals in the NHL last season. They did not score even once though, on a night when overall they generated 27 shots.
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Meanwhile, the Canucks feasted on the Oilers when it was even stevens. (This might be the first time in using that description in a hockey post.) The home side scored five further goals, as they totaled 32 shots on the night.
As much as it didn’t ultimately help the Oilers, they did win 55.6 percent of the faceoffs versus the Canucks, at 35-28. In addition, they had 21 hits compared to 22 by the home team, as well as 10 blocks versus 13.
The Oilers can’t even use the excuse of being undermanned in Vancouver. While they were only able to suit up 17 skaters, so were the Canucks.