10 Big Oilers’ Stats From December

The Edmonton Oilers played 15 games in December, which included a Battle of Alberta win, a heartbreaking loss to the Anaheim Ducks, and a 7-2 dominant victory over the Seattle Kraken. With that in mind, let’s recap ten significant Oilers’ stats from the month of December.

1st Career NHL Assist for Stuart Skinner

Where would the Oilers be if it wasn’t for the solid play of goaltender Stuart Skinner in the first half of the season? Not only has he taken over the starting role from fellow netminder, Jack Campbell, but he has also contributed on the scoresheet, picking up his first NHL assist.

Stuart Skinner Edmonton Oilers
Stuart Skinner, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Lawrence Scott/Getty Images)

Against the St. Louis Blues on Dec. 15, he not only stopped 29 out of 32 shots and finished the night with a .906 save percentage (SV%), but he also picked up an assist on a powerplay goal by Connor McDavid in the second period. However, it wasn’t a Mike Smith type of stretch pass, rather, he touched the puck, Tyson Barrie picked it up, and dropped it for the Oilers captain to work his magic to skate up the ice to beat Jordan Binnington. Unfortunately for Edmonton, they gave up a 3-1 lead and eventually lost in a shootout.

1st Career Hat Trick for Zach Hyman

Prior to the game against the Nashville Predators on Dec. 13, Zach Hyman had never scored three goals in the same game at the NHL level. Yet, on a night when the Oilers defeated the Predators 6-3, he finally recorded his first career NHL hat trick and did it in “Hyman-like” fashion.

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With Nashville’s net empty, he outworked defenceman Roman Josi, won a puck battle, and deposited the puck into the empty net. Additionally, it was his first career four-point game, as he picked up an assist on Leon Draisaitl’s 21st goal of the season in the middle frame.

3:55 Was the Third Fastest 3 Goals to Start a Game

The Oilers visited the Seattle Kraken on Dec. 30 and they confidently won 7-2. Hyman opened the scoring 2:44 into the game with a power-play marker. Thirty-two seconds later, Klim Kostin potted his third of the season, and 39 seconds later, Darnell Nurse scored his sixth. With the flurry of goals to open the game, the Oilers recorded the third-fastest time in the NHL to score three goals to start a game. The record for the three fastest goals to start a game was set by the Vancouver Canucks on March 30, 2013, with a time of 2:43.

10 Game Winning Goals Against the Flames for McDavid

The Oilers visited the Saddledome for the third and final match of the season against the Calgary Flames on Dec. 27th. It was a tight-checking game, with the Flames throwing 47 shots on net, but it was the Oilers’ captain that snapped the 1-1 tie when he scored his 31st goal of the season on the power play in the third period.

In doing so, he scored his 10th game-winning goal against his provincial rivals and extended his point streak to 16 games. The Oilers wrapped up the season series with the Flames on Dec. 27, winning two out of the three games, but it just seems like a missed opportunity by the NHL for the Alberta teams to only meet with each other three times this season.

Puljujarvi Snaps 26-Game Goalless Streak

It’s been a disappointing season for Oilers’ forward Jesse Puljujarvi, at least, offensively. Before the game against the Predators on Dec. 19, he had only scored one goal in 29 games. However, on a night when the Oilers picked up a point in overtime, the Finnish forward snapped a 26-game goalless drought, when he beat his fellow countryman and goaltender Juuse Saros.

Credit to Puljujarvi for playing sound defensively all season and using his big frame to impose his will physically, but with his $3 million cap hit and inability to produce points when playing in the top six, he’s the likely candidate that will be packaged in a deadline deal.

26.27 Was Niemelainen’s Winning Time at the Fastest Skater Event

After a big win over the Flames on Dec. 27, the Oilers held their skills competition a night later at Rogers Place. They held the fastest skater competition, and unfortunately, the heavy favourite, McDavid, did not compete. However, Team Blue, which consisted of Markus Niemelainen, Kostin, and Dylan Holloway, faced off against Team White, who had Mattias Janmark, James Hamblin, and Kailer Yamamoto.

The fastest skater event was a little unconventional, as the players skated two laps, instead of the usual one, and it was none other than the towering 6-foot-6 Niemelainen who won the event with a time of 26.27 seconds. Overall, Team White took home a 31-15 victory in a fun-filled event for Oilers fans.

50th Point of the Season for McDavid Was Quite the Feat

McDavid is having himself quite the season. He’s on pace for over 155 points, which would put him on pace for the highest point total in 25 years.

The Oilers’ captain recorded his 50th point of the 2022-23 campaign against the Coyotes on Dec. 7. In the process, he became the first Oiler, since Wayne Gretzky, to score 50 points through 27 games. Additionally, if McDavid reaches the 150-point mark this season, he’ll join only Gretzky (nine times), Mario Lemieux (four times), Steve Yzerman (once), and Bernie Nicholls (once), as the only other NHL players to hit the mark.

100 NHL Goals for Tyson Barrie

For how much Tyson Barrie had been in trade rumours heading into this season, he played steady hockey for the Oilers in December. That said, on Dec. 27 he scored a significant marker, recording his 100th career NHL goal. He played 19 minutes on a night when the Oilers defeated the Flames 2-1 to close their season series.

Career Goal No. 209 Was Significant for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

Edmonton forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is having a career year. The longest-serving Oiler is on pace for over 90 points and is on his way to crushing his career-high 69 points set back in the 2018-19 season.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Edmonton Oilers
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Edmonton Oilers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Nugent-Hopkins had a big night on Dec. 7 when his team beat the Arizona Coyotes 8-2. He scored two goals and added an assist, and his second tally of the night was his 209th career goal. It also had significance, as with that goal, he tied Paul Coffey for eighth all-time on the Oilers’ goal-scoring list. Moreover, he passed the Norris Trophy-winning defenceman the next game, claiming seventh place on the Oilers’ all-time goal-scoring list with another goal against the Minnesota Wild on Dec. 9.

669th NHL Point for Draisaitl Tied Paul Coffey

In game No. 32 against the Ducks on Dec. 17, Draisaitl achieved a significant feat. With his 32nd assist on Nugent-Hopkins’ power-play goal in the second period, he tied Coffey for sixth on the Oilers’ all-time points list.

Related: 10 Significant Oilers’ Stats From November 2022

Not surprisingly, he surpassed the Hall of Fame defenceman and took over sole possession of sixth place, when he recorded point No. 670, with another helper on the man advantage in the third period. Unfortunately for Edmonton, Ducks’ defenceman John Klingberg scored the go-ahead goal with six minutes remaining in the game, en route to a 4-3 Ducks win.

The Oilers are home for three games to start January, and then they hit the road for four, taking on the Los Angeles Kings, Ducks, San Jose Sharks, and Vegas Golden Knights. They play divisional opponents in seven out of the 12 games in January, which should make for exciting games for the orange and blue. Stay tuned for next month’s edition of ten big Oilers’ stats.

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