Top Five NHL Goals Of November

Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

Go ahead. Mention it to an Edmonton Oilers fan.

And then be prepared to duck.

On Dec. 2, after a 5-2 defeat of the Pittsburgh Penguins in which Connor McDavid had four points and Mikko Koskinen made 32 saves, the Oilers were 16-5-0 and had the league's top points percentage (.762).

McDavid was up to 40 points by then. Running mate and fellow MVP Leon Draisaitl had 41.

And the patchwork goaltending tandem of Koskinen (12) and Stuart Skinner (two) had combined for 14 of the 16 wins in the nearly full-time absence of would-be No. 1 netminder Mike Smith.

Since then, well, to say the Oilers have fallen off would be a colossal understatement given that they now stand 18th in points percentage stat (.553) and have long since been evicted from the Pacific Division penthouse, plummeting to sixth place.

If the playoffs started today, Edmonton would not be on anyone's travel itinerary.

As a result, McDavid's future has become popular grist for the hockey conspiracy mill. Draisaitl has been branded "pissy" by a Hall of Fame writer. And the talk about whether or not Detroit Red Wings dynasty architect Ken Holland still has the stuff of a big-time general manager is getting louder by the day.

Thanks to a stint in COVID-19 protocols, coach Dave Tippett has been behind the bench for just two of the four wins the Oilers have recorded during the post-Penguins slide. But even when a roster pockmarked by injuries and other COVID-19-related absences is intact, the question marks won't disappear.

Outside of McDavid and Draisaitl—who have combined for 49 of the team's 123 goals (39.8 percent)—only four players have scored more than five times, and the fearsome power play that was operating at 50 percent through the first 10 games has cooled to a more mortal 30.5 percent.

And given the team's lack of significant wiggle room beneath the salary cap—CapFriendly reports the Oilers have no cap space—it's unlikely any deal Holland could swing, unless it involves a trade partner retaining heavy cash, would be the sort of needle-mover to significantly change what's been northern Alberta reality in recent months.

Not exactly the dreams dancing in Edmontonians' heads when they went to bed on Dec. 1.


Honorable Mention: Seattle Kraken

Let's go ahead and say it: The Vegas Golden Knights spoiled things for everyone.

When the NHL's 31st team not only reached the playoffs but advanced to the Stanley Cup Final in its first year, it set the bar absurdly high for any expansion team that followed.

That said, even hardcore realists probably expected more from the Seattle Kraken in Year 1.

Seattle plucked a legitimate No. 1 goaltender in Philipp Grubauer and assembled a veteran defensive corps around him through the expansion draft and free agency, and the crop of veterans and youngsters added to the forward mix—including Jordan Eberle and Yanni Gourde—figured to be enough to least be in the Western Conference postseason mix if not actually qualify for it.

Instead, the goaltending has been porous—the team is 30th overall in goals allowed per game (3.60)—while the offensive's rate of 2.64 goals per game is better than those of only seven teams. And not a single Kraken player was among the league's top 127 scorers.

In a word, meh.


Lyle Fitzsimmons 

Source :

Marchment’s 2 goals help Florida over Winnipeg, 5-3


Marchment’s 2 goals help Florida over Winnipeg, 5-3

John Forslund: 2 Seattle Kraken players worthy of more attention, Grubauer’s season

John Forslund: 2 Seattle Kraken players worthy of more attention, Grubauer’s season