The Edmonton Oilers wrapped up their final road game of the season Wednesday afternoon with a 4-3 overtime win against the Montreal Canadiens.
For the Oilers, it marked the end of what turned into a very long season in terms of road trips mired by a weird mid-season COVID related delay.
But make no mistake, the Oilers absolutely made the most of their games on the road this year. There, they posted a 19-7-2 record for 40 points and a .714 points percentage — all league highs this season. They scored 3.21 goals for per game and allowed only 2.46 goals against there, good enough for seventh and third in the league, respectively.
Their powerplay operated at a league high 30.3 percent on the road, first in the league, and a 86.6 percent penalty kill, second best in the league.
So uh… yeah, the Oilers really had no issues playing on the road this season.
“I really point to our leadership group there,” said head coach Dave Tippett after Wednesday’s game. “You get on the road, and they’ve really kept our group close together.
“We managed to keep COVID out of our group, and we were real disciplined in the cities we’d go to. Sometimes it’s not easy, but the guys have stuck with it. They showed up and make sure they’re prepared to play. It’s not as easy as you think.”
If it’s not as easy as I think, I can’t imagine how hard it was because the proof is in the pudding: Edmonton was an elite team on the road.
And now they start to set their sights more and more on the Winnipeg Jets. This year they played five games on the road against them winning four games and outscoring the Jets 20-11. All the while, Edmonton capitalized on 40 percent of their powerplay chances at the Bell MTS Centre.
- Mike Smith went down in a heap in the second period, but Tippett said after the game that he just got some snow in the eye. I’m sure the team is quite thankful for that given Smith’s play in net and his surefire game one start on the horizon.
- It sounds like Slater Koekkoek might be sliding into the lineup on Saturday. Tippett said after the game that team doctors cleared him to get into some game action.
- Back to the goalie situation, I wouldn’t expect to see Alex Stalock to get any game action on Saturday. Tippett was asked if we’d see him get anytime, but Tippett remained non-committal.