The preliminary games are complete, Team Canada has themselves a spot in the quarterfinals, and all of the Oilers playing at the World Hockey Championships seem to be finding success for themselves. If you haven’t had the time to watch the games cause you’re either working or sleeping, let me get you all caught up!
If you want to see how all the Oilers have done in the first three games of the tournament, you can check out my first update here. Each team has played their seven preliminary games and it’s time to focus on the playoff rounds. Team Canada finished with a 5-1-1 record and will take on Russia in the quarterfinals this morning. Despite being upset by the Fins, and only beating Latvia in overtime, Canada has had themselves quite a good start to the tournament.
The highlight of Canada’s play has without a doubt been McNuge picking up right where they left off after the regular season. Their chemistry is through the roof right now and I’m loving every minute of it. They’ve continued to be the top scoring duo for Canada and they almost single-handedly defeated the Germans on their own at the beginning of the week.
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) May 14, 2018
Have we found our permanent winger to play with Connor? Hopefully. We can assume that they will 100% be playing together to kick off the 2018-19 season. For the sake of all things playoffs, I really hope they stay together. Throw a cheap Ty Rattie into the mix and you may have one of the top producing lines in hockey. Please hockey gods, please.
Now that Connor is covered, the Oilers just need to find a winger that can score with Draisaitl and we’re rolling! Leon had one heck of a tournament if you ask me. I mean his team didn’t… but he played great so that has to count for something right?. Germany finished 2-3-2 after the preliminary rounds and unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to put them into the quarter finals. During his seven games, Draisaitl notched two goals and seven assists to lead his team in points. At the end of the day, Germany wasn’t expected to medal at all in this tournament and I’m fine with that. Draisaitl can now rest and begin to train. He’s got a big year ahead of him!
Darnell Nurse finished the preliminary round with a lone assist. Like I said in my first World Hockey Championship update, he hasn’t been standing out a ton. This necessarily isn’t a bad thing. He’s currently averaging about 15 minutes a night, is a +2, and has eight shots on goal. Admittedly I haven’t watched ALL of the games so I couldn’t tell you if he’s been a complete dumpster fire or a silent killer on the ice. I’m going with in between.
We’ve seen some great positives with Adam Larsson this tournament as well. Not only did Sweden go undefeated in the preliminary rounds but Adam Larsson was a great asset to the team during all those wins. Larsson currently sits third in the tournament for +/- with a +11. He’s logging 22 minutes a night on average and has eight shots in the tournament. If this tournament gives Larsson a big confidence boost over the summer that will be more than ideal for Oilers fans.
Slovakia went a surprising 3-2-2 in the preliminary rounds. Honestly, this is much better than I ever expected them to do. Unfortunately, it’s not good enough to land themselves in the playoff rounds but what can a guy do? Sekera had 14 shots, three points, and averaged 20 minutes of playing time in seven games. He will now take some well-needed rest this summer and start strengthening those knees for training camp.
Scoring summary after seven games
Connor McDavid – 5-8-13
Leon Draisaitl – 2-7-9
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 4-3-7
Adam Larsson – 1-2-3
Andrej Sekera – 1-2-3
Darnell Nurse – 0-1-1