Game 11: Limiting Scoring Chances | Oilersnetwork.com - Edmonton Oilers News and Rumours

Game 11: Limiting Scoring Chances

The Edmonton Oilers will face a New York Rangers team that is tops in the NHL in scoring. They average four goals per game and are a pretty good team at 7-3-0. They are also 6-1 at home.

If Edmonton hopes to make the Rangers go 6-2, one of two things needs to happen. The Oilers have to either get off this lack of scoring in a big way or shut down a team who to date, no one has been able to shut down.

Photo By Anna Enriquez


Goaltender Duel


The game will start in net. It will be a match up against two of the best and former Rangers teammates. Henrik Lundqvist is potentially the best goaltender of the past decade. He'll be taking on a tender in Cam Talbot, who while he doesn't have the pedigree Lundqvist does, has put together a nice start to the 2016-17 season.

In eight games, Lundqvist has a .917 save percentage and has let in 17 goals. With a goals against average of 2.14, he's going to make it difficult for an Edmonton team, who is having troubles scoring, to score. Talbot meanwhile has let in 21 goals in 10 games with a .932 save percentage. He has an identical 2.14 goals against. It should be a fun battle to watch.


Scoring

When the season started, both of these teams were among the best in the NHL at scoring goals. Edmonton, despite getting out-shot in a number of games, were capitalizing on their chances and scoring 4-7 goals a game. Predictably, with such a high scoring percentage, the numbers were bound to drop and they unfortunately did. The Oilers have two goals total in their last two games.

All the while, the Rangers have scored in bunches. They've yet to be shutout and only had one game where they didn't score more than one goal. The games the Rangers have lost are those where they've failed to score, and those games were one goal differences. Meaning, even when New York doesn't score much, they won't let you score much either.



Another Test


To date, this short season for the Oilers has been a series of tests that require a young team pass in order find success. This two game losing streak is the first time that Edmonton is having trouble finding the solutions. Some have suggested juggling the lines as a way to find chemistry. I prefer this alternative to playing Connor McDavid every minute of every game.

The Oilers need to get more than one person running their offense. Undoubtedly, the success and failures of McDavid will largely dictate the success and failure of the Oilers, but even in the Gretzky era, the Oilers had secondary help.

So far, when McDavid isn't scoring, the Oilers aren't winning. This test against the Rangers tonight will show us if the Oilers can change that habit. Sure, McDavid could get two or three points in a high scoring affair. That would be great. But, it would be nice if the Oilers went in with the mentality that McDavid won't score and to beat this high powered Rangers offense, other Oilers will have to pick up the slack.

But, who cares what I think right? For now, I'll just keep my mouth shut until I feel like spilling my guts again.





Jim Parsons is a business owner, husband, father and sports fan. For more information about Oilersnetwork.com founder and Oil Spill articles author Jim Parsons, click here.




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