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Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Draisaitl Dominates Ducks

Leon Draisaitl scored six goals and eight points in five regular season games against the Anaheim Ducks, and he’s continued to feast on them in the playoffs.

He has 13 points in six games, including four points in game one and a five-point effort in game six last night.

His domination of the Ducks has him scoring at a pace we haven’t seen since the Oilers were winning Stanley Cups.

Jari Kurri was the last Oilers to register five points in a game. He did it in 1990 versus the Winnipeg Jets.

Mark Messier was the last player to have two, four- point games in one series. He achieved that in 1988 in the conference Finals vs. Detroit, seven years before Draisaitl was born.

Draisaitl became the second youngest Oilers to score a playoff hat-trick at 21 years young. Wayne Gretzky was 20.

The 3rd overall pick in 2014 had a breakout regular season, tallying 77 points, but he was somewhat overshadowed by Connor McDavid’s 100 points. Some people incorrectly suggested Draisaitl’s production was due to mainly playing with McDavid. No one is saying it, or even thinking it, today.

The young German was a force in game six.

He scored three goals.
He had two assists.
He had four shots on goal, and another four shot attempts.
He had four hits.
And he was 62% in the faceoff dot.

He used his size, speed and elite-level skill all over the ice, and he was the catalyst for the 7-1 victory from his first shift of the game.

“He didn’t score on his first shift, but he made two really strong plays and it really sparked us,” explained Mark Letestu.

“His focus was there from the first shift, and that’s what you need in the playoffs. I’ve played with some really great players (Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby in Pittsburgh) and Leon has elite skill that very few have. He is also very driven. He was exceptional tonight,” smiled Letestu.

Letestu had a career night as well, picking up two goals and four points. It was his first four-point game of his career, and Letestu is now second on the Oilers in playoff scoring with 11 points.

But Draisaitl was the main story. He has thirteen points in the series and there is still one game to go. He is now second in playoff scoring with 16 points, trailing only Malkin’s 17.

He is absolutely crushing a good Anaheim team. He isn’t feasting on a 30th place Colorado team, he is lighting up one of the top teams in the NHL, and he’s doing it on a nightly basis.

He had four points in game one.
None in game two.
One in game three.
Two in game four.
One in game five.
Five last night.

Eight of his 13 points have come at even strength, and as the Ducks prepare for game seven, they need to be very concerned with how they can slow down Draisaitl. He and Milan Lucic have found instant chemistry this series. Lucic was also a man on a mission last night. He made some nice passes and was both physically and emotionally involved in the game. Toss in Anton Slepyshev’s skating and size and they’ve become a formidable line.

Draisaitl is the driver and his performance in this series has shown the NHL he is much more than McDavid’s sidekick. He is a legimate threat on his own, and he and McDavid give the Oilers a dominant one-two punch down the middle, not only for game seven vs. the Ducks, but for years to come.

PARTING SHOTS

  • Odd stat of the series: McDavid scored in three straight games, three to five, but the Oilers lost all three. In their three victories, McDavid only has one assist. McDavid was good last night, and the threat of either him or Draisaitl going off in game seven has to be a major concern for the Ducks.
  • Rookie Matt Benning played a game-high 23:38. He looked very poised on the first unit PP in place of Oscar Klefbom, who will be available for game seven according to McLellan. I like Benning on the PP a lot, and with Andrej Sekera out for Friday, and likely longer, Benning will be on one of the top-two units. He gives the Oilers another much-needed right-shot option.
  • Griffin Reinhart played his first NHL game of the year last night, and in 13:23, he was solid. The most noticeable difference in his game now from last year was how assertive he was. He attacked the Ducks offensive players. He went at them rather than wait for them to attack with speed. He finished with an assist, was +1 and had five hits. A solid season debut.
  • It was 4-0 only 11:39 into the first frame last night, and a D-man had an assist on the first five goals: Larsson, Nurse, Reinhart, Russell and Benning.
  • The Oilers hadn’t scored five goals in the first period since April 9th, 1987 versus the Los Angeles Kings.
  • The last time they scored seven goals in a playoff game was May 4th, 1991 versus the Minnesota North Stars in the third round. It was the only game the Oilers won in the series.

Recently by Jason Gregor:

  • dougtheslug

    The conventional wisdom around the league is the Oilers are a one man show. But it’s not true. There is much more to this team than just Leon Draisitl.

  • A-Mc

    I enjoy the simplicity of game 7’s; go for broke. Someone is getting sent to the golf course, so its simple: play your ass off like it’s your last game of the season (because if you don’t, it probably will be). When Leon goes for broke, we see nights like last night. Let’s hope he brings it again on Wednesday night!

  • OldOilerFan

    Fantastic game by Leon. I hope everyone brings the same effort again. Lucic was mad. I like him when he’s mad. Kassian was a beast. Push the Ducks at their own physical game, loved it. Practice the penalty kill and power play because that’s what it will come down to IMO.

  • YFC Prez

    Mcdavid and Draisaitl are everything I ever wanted. Dating back to “Hallsy and Ebs” that didn’t turn out. A lethal 1-2 punch at the front that can only be matched by Crosby-Malkin.

    For the first time in a long time I feel blessed to be an Oilers fan. We deserve these 2. We paid our dues and I’m enjoying this ride.

    • gongshow

      Same^. Hall is gone and Eberle is likely next as he’s looking like a passenger. Question for me is do you protect Letestu in the expansion draft ahead of Ebs. It would be poor asset management to just have him plucked for nothing so maybe a pre-expansion trade?

  • Randaman

    But I thought Reinhart sucked! Most of ON wanted PC hung for making that deal. Patience with young D is paramount here. He will develop into a great 4, 5 or 6 option next year I think

    • Oil4Ever

      Long time reader, first time poster.
      Mic drop for Father! I’m still laughing!
      I’m old enough to have been able to party during the 80’s and I am so glad a new generation of fans are getting to experience this. It changes a city. Keep the faith and be loud and proud fellow Oiler Fanatics!
      P.S. kenbone has finally come over to the Dark Side!

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    I am so, so, SO thankful Buffalo passed on Draisaitl for Reinhart. Hindsight is 20/20, but that’s shaping up to be one of the bigger draft day gaffs I can remember.

    Don’t get me started on the people who wanted Bennett because “he’s feisty!”

    • YFC Prez

      Draisaitl is a big mashmallowey soft player who skates like Bambi. He will never be a top player in the NHL, speed is everything. I don’t care if he won the fastest skater in an Oilers NHL skills competition. He’s slow, his acceleration is garbage. Another bust. Zero chance of NHL productivity. He just can’t skate.

      I can’t believe we left Sam Bennett on the table and picked another bust. Sams going to be a pain in our asses for the next decade. Wtg Oilers brass. Wtg.

      ^there. There’s some old time ON talk for us to reminisce and get our lolz on.

      • Reg Dunlop

        I thought passing over Bennett, who was higher on Bob McKenzie’s draft list, was a mistake. I thought trading Lean as part of a package for Subban was a great idea. Looks like I was wrng. I guess I was wrngg. Wrnng.

  • Gordie Wayne

    So many great things last night – here are 7 of them in tribute to the 7 goals scored:
    1. Drasiatil’s hat trick and 5 point game – things we haven’t seen around here in many years… since Billy the Butcher for the hat trick and Jari Kurri for the 5 point game – just awesome

    2. Letestu’s 4 point game – 2 of them beauty goals, this guy just keeps going to the right places and producing – so happy for the guy from Alberta

    3. 4 goals in 11:39 from start of game??? What is the record for fastest 4 goals to start a playoff game, did Oilers just break a record?

    4. Lucic setting the tone with big hits and also going after Kesler near the end of the game a couple shifts after roughing up our Captain Connor. This is one of many reasons he is here.

    5. Scoring a goal with Kesler in the box? And hats raining down to boot… love it!

    6. Kassian’s goal (and it wasn’t called back!) and his celly with the fan – priceless!

    7. 7 goals in a game – beating down the Ducks like that feels so good

    • tileguy

      2. Letestu’s 4 point game – 2 of them beauty goals, this guy just keeps going to the right places and producing – so happy for the guy from Alberta

      Didn’t that use to be Maroon’s modus operandi? Whay happened?

    • @S_2_H

      The majority? Really man? Was there a poll done? Because I don’t know anyone who preferred Bennett over Drai. All I remember from that draft is we finally had a chance to draft a BIG skilled center and how exciting that was.

    • ed from edmonton

      There were some who thought Bennet the better pick, but I’m not sure the majority. What is really sweet is that Burke and Trev were high fiving after the Oil took Drai, figuring they got the best player. Amazing these guys still employed, but I’m pretty happy that they are.