There’s no way to say that anyone was prepared for what transpired on the field in Calgary the night of Wednesday during match one of the Flames as well as the Edmonton Oilers.
Who could have thought that that it would be the ninth most-scoring game in the history of playoffs?
The game was far from perfect The Calgary Flames were not in the best of shape. Calgary Flames, but even more so than those Edmonton Oilers who felt a familiar feeling when they went out of the game with a loss of 9-6.
However, it took just 51 seconds for Oilers to lose by 2-0. The Flames scoring their opening two shots and another five minutes. To say that Edmonton was not as good is, to put it mildly, overstating things.
“To one man, neither one of us was even close to where what we should have been in the beginning of playing,” stated Oilers Head Coach Jay Woodcroft. “You do not draw it up with two goals conceded due to missing assignments in the initial two shifts.
“We lost one goal in the beginning of the second quarter also. We battled to come back and turned it into a contest, and we shouldn’t think about it in any way, since the team scored 6 goals within one game, and then found a way to lose it.”
It was, overall awful, terrible awful, extremely poor day for these Edmonton Oilers.
In reality, it was not a good game this game. Mike Smith set the tempo of the contest by giving up two goals in his initial three shots and the third goal on the Flames five-shot. Mikko Koskinen was not much better over the end, coughing five goals in his 37 attempts he took towards closing the evening.
A result of the Oilers who were chasing the game Darnell Nurse as well as Cody Ceci were out for only one goal as well as five against. Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid were in the game for four and three goals each, however they were in the game for four goals each. The list continues.
In reality, by time the evening the three Oilers who didn’t have goals the other three were Brett Kulak, Kris Russell and Zack Kassian, although neither of them was excellent at all.
The third is the one the Oilers depend on for emotional and physical energy in a role of depth in the playoffs, played in the first Battle of Alberta in 31 years without a score sheet, minus two penalty minutes throughout the game, during which the Flames were able to score. This is right, there was no stats on the sheet. It’s not a hit, it’s not an attempt or anything else.
A player that really rose up when asked to do so is Zach Hyman. He scored massive back-to-back goals during the middle of second half that took Edmonton from a 6-2 deficit and 6-4. This led to a 6-6 win at the beginning of the second. From there the wheels came off.
“In the interval between games, we discussed the team that would be able to play their defensive game first and be the winner,” said Woodcroft. “We lost a few pucks after the score was 6-6 and it ended at the net in the back and was not enough. Like I said, we scored six goals against to the Calgary Flames in their building on their first goalie. This is enough to win the game.”
It was the other time Connor McDavid who was a major element in the success that the Oilers achieved. McDavid scored 3 assists and a goal in addition to being the active Oiler in terms of physicality and was the top player among in all Edmonton skaters , with five strikes. Everyone, get in line.
In Jay Woodcroft’s eyes physicality doesn’t only mean making hits on the surface of the ice.
“I believe that if you take a look at the sheet of game, Connor led our team in hits this evening. This is a great thing for him as he’s been playing well, and we be more physically attached for the games,” he quipped.
“To me it’s not the final check or the scrum it’s the 50/50 fight it’s body positioning Net front. How much you are in front of the blue paint, and how tough you are the paint’s blue.
“We were not good enough to men, to all of us.”
This is just one of the many areas that the Oilers must improve in when they play on Friday night in a venue they’ve won hockey matches in before. Don’t be afraid or worry. Although things weren’t as good in the first game with the LA Kings, Edmonton still fell one game. As a response? They returned to work and looked at the issues and beat by the Kings 14-2 in the third and second games. Could that happen to Calgary? I doubt it.
At the very minimum at the very least, the Oilers are aware that they must perform with a far more effective performance. There’s no ifs or ands about it.