What time is it when Leon Draisaitl shoots the puck?

What time is it when Leon Draisaitl shoots the puck?

Author of the article:

David Staples  •  Edmonton Journal

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (29) celebrates a goal on Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Jan. 14, 2020.
Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (29) celebrates a goal on Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Jan. 14, 2020. Photo by Ian Kucerak /Postmedia

Game Day 20, Oilers vs Vegas

What time is it when Leon Draisaitl shoots the puck?

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It’s Doom’s Day.

It’s the end of the world for opposing goalies, especially when Draisaitl has the time and space to utilize his best weapon, his one-timer blast, flashing his scythe of a stick at the puck and towards the goalie, lashing the puck hard and fast at the net.

The Executioner’s Shot, I call it, and with good reason.

So far this year Draisaitl has taken 67 shots on net and scored 20 goals, a 29.9 per cent shooting percentage.

Fifty of those blasts have been Grade A shots — hard or difficult shots on net from the slot, including outside one-timers where the goalie isn’t set. Draisaitl has scored on 20 of those Grade As, 40 per cent of them.

Of his 50 Grade A shots, 23 of them have been one-timer blasts. He’s scored on 10 of his Executioner’s Shots, a 44 per cent conversion rate.

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That’s right. When Draisaitl unleashes his one-timer, he has scored 44 per cent of the time this year.

Just about now some smart guys on Twitter are noticing too many happy Oilers fans celebrating, so they’re shouting out a stern warning, “Regression to the mean! He’s on a heater! He can’t possibly keep up this pace.”

This is fair comment. I don’t expect Drai to shoot 30 per cent this year. But in his last three years he’s shot around 20 per cent.

And there’s also a wild card at play — just how many power plays will the Edmonton Oilers get?

If the NHL is serious about building its brand in the USA, it will encourage offensive play. It will do that by having refs more often call the constant hacks, trips, slashes and cross-checks on Draisaitl and other NHL stars. If that happens, if the NHL cranks up its calling of the rule book as the season progesses, instead of moving away from it, Drai could score 70 goals this year.

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One other point — last year Drai was only able to muster 92 Grade A shots in 56 games, 1.6 per game, largely because he was unable to get much going at even strength when it came to shooting, just 35 Grade A shots.

This year in 19 games he’s got his 50 Grade A shots already, 2.6 per game, one full Grade A shot per game more than he had last year. At even strength, playing either with McDavid or with his DYNamite Line wingers Kailer Yamamoto and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, he’s got 28 Grade A shots in 19 games, a vast improvement over his rate from last year.

He’s cranked it up at even strength, finding ways to get off that deadly shot and he’s always been good for lethal power play blasts. Add it all up, and if he can keep it up,  that’s a recipe for a goal-scoring season for the ages.

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Game Day line-up

Hyman – McDavid – Kassian

RNH – Draisaitl – Yamamoto

Foegele – McLeod – Puljujarvi

Benson – Ryan – Sceviour

Perlini – Turris

Broberg – Ceci

Russell – Barrie

Lagesson – Bouchard



My take: Coach Dave Tippett is going back to Stuart Skinner, which makes sense, as he’s looked super steady in net recently.

Tippett is breaking up the line of McDavid, Draisaitl and Kassian, which had its way with Arizona, likely because Vegas is not Arizona. Arizona had no players in the line-up who could nullify the McD-Drai combo, but Vegas is a far more balanced team, so Tippett is meeting their balance with balance of his own.

Kassian gets rewarded for his strong play against Arizona by getting ice time with McDavid and Hyman.

As for the fourth line, I like it. Benson and Sceviour had out-performed Perlini and Turris all years, so deserve this start.

At the Cult

McCURDY: Gretzky, Lemieux, Draisaitl?

LEAVINS: Player grades from Oilers 5-3 win over Desert Dogs

STAPLES: Raw rookies step up with Nurse, Keith out

McCURDY: Oilers getting younger as injury replacements stream up from AHL

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