So the only game I was able to watch last night was the third period of the Oilers-Sharks game and boy did Edmonton take them to the cleaners. The Oilers certainly had the potential to do this because they were easily the younger, fresher and hotter team than San Jose was. And all that has to be evidence that San Jose has to rebuild and that Connor McDavid is taking over all of hockey from here on out, right?
What I hate about the postseason in any sport is we all get too excited to jump to conclusions when within the first two games of any playoff series. We really don’t know if the road team is able to win their games when it’s their turn to play at home in games three and four and thus, it’s not really a series until the road team wins.
San Jose took care of that thanks to unleashing all kinds of mayhem after being down 2-0 in Game one. Yes, they were the desperate team after being down such a margin, but modern day hockey statistics have been taking care of that observation for a couple of years now with score-adjusted data. Once you do that, you’ll still realize that the Sharks continually put the Oilers to the sword until they got the overtime winner.
According to Natural Stat Trick, the Sharks won the score-adjusted shot attempt battle in game one 53.7 to 31.8. When you include special teams, an area where the Sharks have only scored once in 12 opportunities, the Sharks actually should have scored 2.27 times on their six occasions in game one according to Dawson Sprigings (aka DTMAboutHeart). Once you add just the minuscule amount of production San Jose had on special teams in Game two, there’s still enough evidence that they have been a full one to two goals snake-bitten this series. Add any of those additional goals in game two and you’re talking a completely different complexion of the game and in people’s minds about this matchup.
Instead, San Jose laid an egg in Game two. That still shouldn’t ever let people forget how much Edmonton stopped playing hockey after Game one. The internet will be talking about how terrible San Jose’s power play was thanks to all two goals being given up in those situations in Game two and how much they miss Joe Thornton because of that. The internet will also talk about how awesome Connor McDavid is and, bad season-long puck possession aside, how awesome Zach Kassian and Drake Caggiula are. All that is true, but just don’t forget the little details that have made this series tied up at one.
Edmonton hasn’t proven yet that they can dominate in San Jose in front of fans that don’t like them and can also give them the finger to any of their goal scorers. Trust me, my friends, I’m guilty of it too. I’ll be a miserable wreck if, say, the Capitals blow Game two tonight, yet the possession stats make it look like they dominated them ala Minnesota did to St. Louis in Game one of their series. Until then, let’s never forget this piece of cinematic genius.