Player grades: Sleepy Edmonton Oilers lose one in Detroit Rock City

Player grades: Sleepy Edmonton Oilers lose one in Detroit Rock City

Author of the article:

David Staples  •  Edmonton Journal

Publishing date:

Nov 10, 2021  •  1 day ago  •  5 minute read  •  8 Comments

Kailer Yamamoto #56 of the Edmonton Oilers tries to get around Sam Gagner #89 of the Detroit Red Wings during the first period at Little Caesars Arena on November 09, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan.
Kailer Yamamoto #56 of the Edmonton Oilers tries to get around Sam Gagner #89 of the Detroit Red Wings during the first period at Little Caesars Arena on November 09, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. Photo by Gregory Shamus /Getty Images

Coming off the high of Friday’s dramatic win over the New York Rangers, the Edmonton Oilers came into Detroit looking sleepy and drained.

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The result? Edmonton got smacked in Detroit Rock City, losing 4-2 to a fast and energetic Red Wings squad.

The score would have been worse but young goalie Stuart Skinner held Edmonton in as the team got shelled in the first period.

In the end, Grade A shots were Edmonton 12, Detroit 19 ( running count ).

Connor McDavid, 7. Not a night to remember but they can’t all be that, right? He got going late in the second, rushing end-to-end on a dangerous power play attack and Grade A shot. Scored on a fast rush and quick shot. He led the team with 11 face off wins, just five losses.

Jesse Puljujarvi, 7. In the first both won the puck to kick off a virtuous o-zone cycle, then ended it with a dangerous slot one-timer.  A moment later he made a bad line change leading to a Grade A Detroit shot, then many, many more in the same extended Sequence of Pain. Got the Oilers back into the game late in the second with a great rush and snipe to the top shelf where Momma keeps the cookies. He also popped a puck on the forecheck, which led to Hyman getting set up for a 5-alarm slot shot.

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Leon Draisaitl, 4. Super quiet game. Allowed the outside shot on Detroit’s second goal.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 5. Not his best game, but a dangerous shot on the power play and set up Hyman for a short-handed breakaway.

Zack Kassian, 3. He was having a rough game, then got hurt. He blew the zone on a Barrie clearing pass, leading up to a Grade A shot by Erne in the first. A moment later he was out-battled in the slot on another Grade A shot, this one from right in the crease. He left the game soon after with a lower body injury.

Zach Hyman, 7. Typical hard work this game. He broke in on a shorthanded breakaway in the third only to be foiled by a poke check save by the Detroit goalie. Bulled into the slot to set up Bouchard late in the game, but the young d-man could not drain it.

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Warren Foegele, 3. Poor defensive game, allowing outside shots and crease shot alike. On one notably poor sequence, he and Bouchard failed to cover Givani Smith for two crease Grade A shots in the first.

Derek Ryan, 3. A few major mistakes on Grade A chances against, not much on the attack, not great on face offs, five wins, six losses.

Kailer Yamamoto, 7. At least one Oilers player had it going on. He made a great hustle play without his stick late in the second to push a player and the puck out of Edmonton’s end. In the third he charged hard on the PK and got a solid chance on goal.

Brendan Perlini, 4. He and his linemate McLeod played just seven minutes and were not noticeable.

Ryan McLeod, 4. Same as above.

Colton Sceviour, 4. Nothing too good or bad, but that’s not what you need from a forward, even on the bottom line.

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Darnell Nurse, 7. Not a perfect game but plenty to like. Led the team with six shots on net. He made a good hustle play to stop a Fabbri jam shot early in the second. He got off a dangerous power play one-timer in the second, then turned a 2-on-1 into a lesser chance with solid defensive positioning. His outstanding rush up ice and equally fantastic backhand pass to McD helped get Edmonton within one goal.

Evan Bouchard, 2. Nightmare game on defence. He contributed on the attack but made 11 major mistakes on Grade A chances against this game. Eleven! That’s a record since we’ve been tracking these numbers. Super Ouch! That came after he made just 14 such mistakes total in his first 10 games. He executed a great heads up pass to McDavid down low culminating in a Puljujarvi one-timer. A moment later he was beat on the pass allowing Detroi’s Fabbri to get off a Grade A shot, then got beat on a slot pass as Erne got off a 5-alarmer in tight. A moment later came chaos in the crease, with Bouch part of that chaos on three quick Detroit crease jams at the puck. In the second he softly and gently and out-of-positionally allowed Namestnikov to pound in a crease shot for Detroit’s second goal.

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Duncan Keith, 7. He and Ceci were easily Edmonton’s best defensive partnership. He was smart and cool with the puck all night long.

Cody Ceci, 7. Big, smart, solid on defence, moved the puck well.

Slater Koekkoek, 4. Not his night. His turnover in the o-zone started off the Sequence of Pain leading to Namestnikov’s first period goal. A moment later he and Ryan allowed a pass into the slot for a Grade A jam shot by Bertuzzi.

Tyson Barrie, 2 . Had one of those turnstile game on defence. He got undressed by Namestnikov on the ex-Oil’s first period rush and goal. It was just the first of his seven major mistakes on Grade A shots that period.

Stuart Skinner. 7. He came up much bigger than his team, even if he did make one bad mistake. Stopped first tough shot, a tipped point shot that was then muscled on net in the crease. A moment later came up big on Grade A shots from Fabbri, Erne, on a 5-alarmer in tight. then three quick crease jams, all of them Grade Aers, two by Givani Smith, one by Stephens. Not at fault on Namestnikov’s first goal, but bounced back fast with a Grade A crease jam by Tyler Bertuzzi. The chances just kept coming in the first, 11 Grade A shots in all. He made a few good saves in the second before making a bad turnover on Detroit’s third goal. Made up for it with a massive save off Fabbri late in the second. He made yet another 5-alarm safe early in the third off Lucas Raymond. He did enough for his team to win, his teammates did not.

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Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley and Premier Jason Kenney.
Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley and Premier Jason Kenney. Photo by Postmedia and Alberta Government

At the Cult

McCURDY: Skinner gets his chance

McCURDY: Segment review of Oilers Games 1-10

STAPLES: Ryan McLeod gets another chance

STAPLES: Devin Shore is out. What does it mean? 

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