Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

The Best of Round One

What a night. What a series. What a time to be alive.

When the season started I don’t know how many of us truly believed that the Oilers would be a playoff team. As the season progressed, I think a lot of us were waiting for something to go wrong and for the wheels to fall off, but when it didn’t happen it was almost like we had to relearn how to playoffs. We had to relearn what it meant to watch meaningful games beyond November. Now that we’re here I just want the train to keep rolling.


Now that the Oilers are through to the second round, I wanted to take a minute to run through some of the best moments that happened against the Sharks. I’m sure I’ll miss some things but here are a few things that stuck out to me.

  • Zack Kassian, destroyer of worlds. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a guy turn around his public perception quite like what Zack Kassian has done. He was public enemy #1 around here for the Gagner high stick and now he’s inspired dudes all over the Nation to grow chops and look like absolute beauties.
  • Bouncing back after a 7-0 loss is no small feat and the Oilers did that and then some. After getting pumped in Game 4, there was plenty of negativity around the team and the bounce back game they played back in Edmonton was exceptional.
  • If someone had told you that the Game 5 winner would be scored by David Desharnais and that the series clinching goal would be scored by Anton Slepyshev would you have believed them? The fact that the Oilers won the series without Connor McDavid scoring all of the goals/points was something that needs a mention. The Oilers got timely scoring from their bottom six and that’s a big reason they’re moving on.
  • They may not have put up the kind of points they’d want to but the EberNucic line was rock solid at shutting down Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton aside from the Game 4 blowout. Nuge really stepped up as a shutdown centremen and his work shouldn’t go unnoticed despite the lack of points on the board.
  • Adam Larsson was an absolute warlord in Game 6 as he played 26:10 of rock solid defence. After Klefbom went down with the flu and missed all of the third period, Larsson really stepped up and shut the Sharks down at every possible turn. It’s the games like last night when you really understand why Chiarelli made the move to bring him in.
  • Cam Talbot is the goalie we’ve all been hoping for since Roli and the Oilers acquired him for only three draft picks. In hindsight, that trade was an absolute steal for the Oilers and he has been everything they’ve hoped for and more.
  • Leon Draisaitl took over Game 5 and 6 and was to much for the Sharks to handle. The big man put up three points in the last two games and his emergence as an unstoppable power forward couldn’t have come at a better time. Not to mention, find me a better passer on the backhand than Draisaitl – I’ll wait.
  • Oscar Klefbom’s tying goal in Game 5 was a rocket and I’m pretty sure Martin Jones still hasn’t seen it. Sportsnet had the shot clocked at 100.5mph and the sound it made when it banked in off the post still rings in my ears today. Beautiful.
  • I was lucky enough to go to three games in the first round and the crowd at Rogers Place was amazing. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard our crowd get that loud and to be a part of it was really something special. Standing applause for all of you.

I know there has to be some stuff that I’m missing and I’d love to hear your best moments from the first round. Hit me up in the comments section and let me know what stuck out to you from the first six games of the playoff run.

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  • Mr. McDavid

    Youngest captain to lead
    World cup,
    Youngest captain of an NHL
    Youngest captain of Allstar team
    Youngest captain of a playoff team
    With home ice
    Youngest captain of a series
    Winning team…
    Not done.
    And for good measure,
    When all is said and done
    They will be saying he kept
    Getting better the deeper they
    If we get . When we get by the Ducks,
    Home ice advantage in Conference
    Or in the finals if anyone but
    Pens or caps.
    Ride the wave , This is fun
    Best fans any sport
    Any time

  • 99CupsofCoffey

    I downloaded & extracted the Klefbomb “bomb” off the iron sound, and turned that PING! into my text notification on my phone lol. It’s sweet.

  • camdog

    Been happy with this teams depth scoring all season – we’ve got fourth liners that can actually skate and shoot the puck. At forward Kassian was a monster the entire series and LD took over near the end. Klefbom was able to match Burns as an offensive threat for 5 of the 6 games. Larsson, Sekera, RNH, Lucic, Ebs (even Ebs) Letestu, and Pouliot (and more) were great in defensive roles. As the series went on Nurse and Benning began to assert themselves. Russell was Russell both the good and bad and the good is something that the team needed when shorthanded etc. And most important of all Talbot was Talbot.

  • Homer

    McDavid running over buddy in game five swinging the momentum our way or when he took that nasty cross check to the ribs and no retaliation he’s truly growing every shift!!!

  • Cori

    Hope I’m allowed to comment here as a woman and a new hockey fan! LOL! Outstanding game! I think that the Sharks Jones did a great job too. Seems like the only goals he allowed were clean shots. Seemed like the Oil found a weak spot in the five hole. What I noticed is the depth of the team as the forwards from the second and subsequent lines excelled. McDavid may be the lead point scorer but the each player has certainly stepped up. It was great to see families at Rogers Place last night as the watch game was affordable for families. Great series!

    • 99CupsofCoffey

      And the only reason McDavid had 4 points was a last second open-netter (while being hooked and tripped). It was the unsung heros like Kassian & Sleppy, along with Talbot, who were the difference. So fun to not have to worry when the 3rd or 4th line is on the ice. Very strange lol

  • Tombstone

    Talbot was the series MVP and 1st star in all the Oilers win.
    It was great to see guys like Slepy, Kassian, and Desy come up with the big GWG.
    Lucic-Nuge-Ebs had a solid series.
    Having 5 defenceman in the 3rd period of game 6
    Physical play in game 2.
    Drai stick breaking on the open net.
    Drake stick breaking on a break away.
    New rule: new stick every period

    • justDOit

      You open an account at gravatar.com, and use the same email address there as you do here. You add the image at gravatar, and when you log in here it will be displayed. It can take a few minutes before the picture will show up here though.

      • cherry picker

        Right on thank you. i just added a photo and as soon as i came back here it came up. Very cool. kind of like a google account where your image can follow u around eh?
        Anyways much nicer looking through comments and being able to look for certain posters pictures….

  • JudgeDredd

    11yrs and I’m remembering how to palyoff again!!!!
    My Dad and I had the opportunity to go to game 5 and that’s something I’ll never forget. The crowd, the Bomb and DD in ot. No matter what happens, this is one hell of a time.

    • 99CupsofCoffey

      Watching the game in overtime, I turned to my girlfriend and commented how awesome it would be to be there and that of all the games throughout the year, the fans in the stands definitely got their money’s worth out of that one.

  • CMG30

    I was pleasantly surprised they made the playoffs, but now that they’ve made the 2nd round I don’t even know what to think! How good are they? How far can they go?? What happens when McDavid starts scoring too???

  • A-Mc

    Favorite game moment: OT winner in game 5.

    Favorite fan moment: every second i spent in rogers. The crowd has been insane and engaged every step of the way.

    Worst moments: reading fear the fin comments where sharks fans seem to think the only difference this year from a 29th place team is connor mcdavid. Its frustrating that we are viewed as a 1 player team when the truth (imo) is nothing of the sort.


    • Kdc

      Yup, fear the fin comments are that the oil was not the better team. It was injuries that killed the Sharks. And Anaheim will mop us up. I guess we have to earn respect one series at a time. What are ducks fans saying? Or do they have a blog?

    • Keyser Soze

      The Fear the Fin writers are barely hockey aware, we can’t expect their fans to have any knowledge or understanding of the game. Having said that, all my TO and Calgary friends just think its Connor too so oh well. People thought it was only Gretz all those years ago…. just ignore the noise and enjoy the ride. We all deserve it.

  • Big Jacks Meat

    Dollars are hard to come by right now , but bought more Oilers stuff in the last week + , BIG flag flying off my deck , I salute that damn thing.

    The People of this City and surrounding areas make Edmonton, But the Oilers
    are our glue. Its like they are all our best friends and we would do anything for them. Now bring us Stanley.

    • Florescent Oil Orange

      Hey man those hard to come by dollars were spent on millionaire players and billionaire owner. It’s okay to support the team with out your wallet.

  • T Ambrosini

    Wow… So many key moments during the series. I’m still soaking in the pleasure of just being in the post-season after 11 years of wandering through the desert. What a great ride so far!

  • CBK

    You forgot to mention that with the Oilers eliminating the Sharks we screw over the Vancouver Canucks as they only get a 2nd round draft pick instead of a 1st rnd pick for the Jannick Hansen trade.

    That’s a pretty cool moment in the first round of you ask me. You’re welcome Vancouver!

  • Mr. McDavid

    Oiler fans are well know for our
    Love of meat
    Pass the shark fin soup
    I’ll have some duck a la rouge
    With a side of Predator
    And for desert penguin

    We and the rest of the NHL
    Never got to see The Great One
    Face of against The Magnificent One
    Here s hoping we get
    Crosby v McDavid

  • corky

    I wasn’t all in this season. Eleven seasons of let downs I didn’t want to let my guard down. But this first round has sparked something in me I haven’t felt since the cup run of 06. In my forties now so getting up is a little tougher. But now I get to share this run with my kids. Good thing they’re underage still so Dad doesn’t have to sponsor the wobbly pops. Just my two cents. Go Oil. Thanks for making the playoffs matter again.

    • m3sh

      So true Corky. Last time in ’06, I wasn’t married, didn’t have two boys. I can remember vaguely ’88 against the Flyers, and I remember large chunks of ’90 – especially that comeback against the Jets down 3-1 in the series, Kurri’s one-timers are etched into my childhood. My boys are lucky they’ll get to see and remember the coming (knock on wood, in McDavid we trust) decade of domination.

      The pendulum swings, and it’s been tough to ease out of the old habit of getting my back up and wallowing in sorrow about the Oil, but.. This. Is. F***ING GLORIOUS.

  • btrain

    If not for McDavids shadow the big German may be getting recognition as a franchise player right now. Hopefully the McD shadow effect continues so the Oil don’t have to pay what Draisaitl is proving to be worth! Favourite player for me down the stretch of the season and series. Oh yeah doesn’t he also have 2 OT winners against the ducks this year? Can’t wait for round 2!

    • Orm Nullman

      This reminded me of last summer when Montreal was shopping PK Subban and it was rumored Edmonton was interested. According to Elliot Friedman the asking price was Draisaitl and a defenseman possibly Klefbom. I was happy it didn’t happen then and even more so now.

  • Keyser Soze

    I’ve re-watched game 5 and 6 – SNW version and SJS version. I’ve re-listened to Jack and Bob’s calls. I may have to find the Punjabi versions next…

  • paul wodehouse

    …best part of Round One is that this squad will be playing into AT LEAST the first week in May … then this summer will be super indulgent when the trades for better assets start happening and 97 signs his early extension for NINE POINT SEVEN MILLION DOLLARS PER ! ! !

  • GK1980

    I don’t know how to post anymore. I’m not used to cheering on a good hockey team. This feels strange yet exhilarating. It’s like coming out of an 11 year playoffless coma.