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Random Thoughts: Devin Shore, Connor Hellebuyck, and the NHL Playoffs

It’s a beautiful Saturday morning here in Edmonton and it’ll be a while before we’re able to watch our beloved Edmonton Oilers play hockey again, which has given me plenty of time to think about our boys and what’s going on in the NHL playoffs.

DEVIN SHORE

I’m not going to dig into the Devin Shore signing too much — Brownlee and Gregor already gave their takes on what it means for the roster/cap — but I did want to comment on the reaction that came when the news broke. Regardless of where you were at on the signing, the reaction on the site and social media was another example of why Edmonton Oilers fans are the absolute best fanbase in the NHL. Despite having four months until the next season starts and shore being signed for the 4th line, we debated this two-year contract with the fire and passion of a Karen refusing to mask up before heading into Costco. Some people loved the deal, others hated it, and I think it’s all fantastic. To me, the Oilers are so incredibly lucky to have fans that are willing to yell at each other about fourth liners, and while they rarely acknowledge it, I won’t pass up the chance to appreciate the way we all have ideas for how this team can get better. Put another way, I couldn’t imagine being a fan of a team where everyone doesn’t argue about the bottom six.

McHART TROPHY

I’ve been having a good time cruising through Twitter and reading some of the hot takes about why Connor McDavid shouldn’t win the Hart Trophy after posting the kind of ridiculous season this league hasn’t seen in decades. Personally, I think that the only logical outcome is a clean sweep of the Hart Trophy ballots with McDavid at number one, but we know that won’t happen. We know that there will be haters that try to move the goalposts in favour of their personal choice. So far, I think this Rob Rossi tweet is my favourite:

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The best. Thanks for the chuckle, Rob. But let’s be honest, anyone that was nominated against Connor McDavid in 2021 had about as much of a chance to win as I do.

CONNOR HELLEBUYCK MUST HATE THE AIRPORT JOKES

I can’t be the only one that was in a constant state of annoyance as we watched Connor Hellebuyck look more like the regular season version of himself that was good but not great rather than the superhuman that played against the Oilers. That’s not to suggest that Hellebuyck was terrible against the Habs — he was generally fine overall — but I would suggest that he was quite a bit more beatable in round two than he was in our series. I mean, look at the numbers:

Date Team GS W L T OT SA GA SV% SO TOI
Jun 7 @ MTL 1 0 1 0 0 42 3 .929 0 61:39
Jun 6 @ MTL 1 0 1 0 0 32 4 .875 0 59:13
Jun 4 vs MTL 1 0 1 0 0 24 1 .958 0 57:55
Jun 2 vs MTL 1 0 1 0 0 32 4 .875 0 58:51
May 24 vs EDM 1 1 0 0 0 40 3 .925 0 106:48
May 23 vs EDM 1 1 0 0 0 48 4 .917 0 69:13
May 21 @ EDM 1 1 0 0 0 38 0 1.000 1 64:06
May 19 @ EDM 1 1 0 0 0 33 1 .970 0 60:00

How nice would it have been to have a couple of games where Hellebuyck posted a sub .900 save% instead of the Herculean effort he put in on a nightly basis? Now, to be fair, Hellebuyck wasn’t the reason the Jets lost games two and four in that series, but a .923 save% (12 goals on 130 shots) is still a sizeable dip from the .950 save% (8 goals on 159 shots) he rattled off against the Oilers. Were we just unlucky? Did Hellebuyck hate the airport jokes that much? Let me know what you saw.

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CANADA’S TEAM

I don’t know if I’m in the minority here or not, but the idea of cheering for the Montreal Canadiens to win the Stanley Cup just because they’re the last Canadian team in the playoffs doesn’t make any sense to me. Quite frankly, I’m more in the camp of thinking that the playoffs should be cancelled now that the Oilers are out rather than wishing another team well, especially one that was an annoyance for all of us throughout the season. For whatever reason, we hear this ‘Canada’s team’ thing on a yearly basis and I’ll never really get it, but maybe that’s just my saltiness about how the Oilers season played out.  Maybe if I was a bigger person I could find a spot in my heart to cheer for another franchise, but that’s just not where I’m at in 2021 and I genuinely look forward to watching Vegas end Montreal’s dream in short order.

THE CN TOWER

I don’t know about you folks, but I legitimately laughed out loud when I saw that the CN Tower would be lit up with Montreal Canadiens colours after they swept the Jets earlier this week. Honestly, it’s the funniest heel turn they could have done. This would be like having the City of Edmonton light up the Highlevel Bridge to support the Flames and thinking we’d all be okay with it. Could you imagine?