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GDB +5.0 Wrap Up: Oilers down in the series again after falling 5-4 in OT

Some things to like, and so much to be upset about. Final Score: 5-4 Kings in OT

I was lucky enough to be at the game on Sunday night, and let me tell you what it was like taking shit from every Kings fan I passed as we walked out of the arena. I’ve taken heat walking out of opposing barns before, but that one felt extra spicy after our boys got tuned up by four goals without being able to muster much of a response. Tonight, the Oilers needed to put the pedal to the floor from right from the jump and show the Kings that a night like Game 4 wasn’t going to happen again. Instead, what we got was basically a carbon copy of the sloppy start we saw two nights ago in Los Angeles. Despite the need for a quick start, Edmonton found themselves down by a goal quickly and they could only manage a single shot on goal at the midway point of the period. I don’t think I have to explain to anyone reading this why that’s a problem. I know the early-game Corskis were a lot closer than the shot clock — the Kings also blocked a tonne of shots — but our side needed to find a way to adjust to the way the Kings were collapsing to the net and basically stopping anything from getting through.

Needless to say, I was incredibly eager to see how the Oilers would adjust to another ugly start because they absolutely had to find a way to win the period. They needed to remember the confidence they felt while pumping 14 goals past Quick in games three and four. So when the Oilers were able to tie the game early in the period, I felt like the tides were turning and that it was only a matter of time before the home side started taking things over. And for a few minutes, it honestly looked like we were going to get there. That was until the Oilers opened up a bake sale in all three zones and basically gave the puck away like it was the whole point of the exercise. Not only were they spotting the Kings all the extra chances they would need to restore their lead with a touch of insurance, but for the second period in a row, the Oilers couldn’t generate more than six shots on net. In what world is this what we get in a pivotal playoff game on home ice? It was like we thought the series was a best of three or something, ya know? Based on the way they were playing, I felt like it was going to take a McMiracle from this group if they had any chance of getting the job done.

Down by two goals with 20 minutes to play, the Oilers needed to throw everything they possibly could at the Kings if they were going to fight their way back into this hockey game. Shots, hits, hustle, execution… they needed all of it. Basically, what I’m saying is that they needed to do the exact opposite of what they provided through the first two periods. No more mistakes, everything on net, hack the bone until the puck crosses the line… So when the boys managed to pull themselves back to within one on the back of a quick power play goal, the building got some life back in and it seemed like we had something building again. For the first time, the Oilers had some extended stretches where they were dominating in the offensive zone. But then, as it seemed to be going all night, the Kings found a way to put themselves up by two goals for a second time. At that point, a lot of us were feeling like a stormy cloud sticker but that wasn’t what was happening on the ice. Instead, the Oilers got a pair of goals from Draisaitl in quick succession to tie the game for the second time and send the series to its first overtime.

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One it got to the bonus period, though, the Oilers looked like they were back in the first period after the Kings came out with all kinds of gas while our side barely even touched the puck. Then, before some people even got a chance to sit back down, Los Angeles wrapped up the game on yet another weak defensive play in the Edmonton zone that saw Kempe walk through Keith like he wasn’t wearing skates before depositing the winner behind a sprawling Smith. We were that close. That close to an epic playoff comeback and in the span of only 1:12 those dreams were robbed from us. That said, you can’t expect to compete for a single people and expect to win in the playoffs, and I don’t care who you’re playing. The Oilers needed to be better than that.

The wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

  • Early in the second period, Zack Kassian tied the game (1-1) near the side of the net after McDavid found him with a quick pass as he was burning around the net on what I thought was going to be a wrap-around.
  • Connor McDavid pulled the Oilers back to within one (3-2) on the power play after a beautiful move in front of quick that saw him nearly lose the puck on Quick’s poke check only to pick it up again and roof a backhander over the flailing goalie.
  • Shortly after the Kings restored their two-goal lead, Leon Draisaitl cut the lead in half (3-2) with a shorthanded marker that saw our side get a lucky bounce after McDavid’s centering pass bounced off a Kings defender and right to Leon’s stick and he made no mistake of cashing in the opportunity. Only two and a half minutes later, Draisaitl added a second goal (4-4)
  • I absolutely have to give the Oilers some love for the resilience they showed to get this game to overtime, but unfortunately, silver linings don’t count in the playoffs.
  • Happy to see the power play come back to life with two clutch goals on three opportunities with the man advantage.
  • At least we won 53% of the faceoffs.
  • If you like hits, the Oilers had 42 of them, I suppose.

THE FACE PALMERS

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  • I can’t even begin to describe how frustrating that start was for the Edmonton Oilers. Where was the urgency? Then again, the second period wasn’t that much better so what the hell do I know?
  • Troy Stecher opened the scoring for the Kings (1-0) with his second goal in as many games after he picked up a pass in the high slot and ripped a clapper that beat Smith and took a friendly bounce in off the post. As much as he got some luck on the shot, the Kings were dominating the play early on and it was the exact start that the Oilers needed to avoid, making Stecher’s goal sizeably more frustrating.
  • Adrian Kempe restored LA’s lead (2-1) with a snapshot from the circle after Keith coughed up the puck at his own blue line and Smith wasn’t able to come up with a save that he absolutely needed to have.
  • Of course Andreas Athanasiou extended the lead (3-1) to two goals. He didn’t do anything for us but of course he gets one here. I don’t know what Smith was doing on the play either, but that’s the way she goes… again.
  • Philip Danault put the Kings up by two goals (4-2) after deflecting a shot-pass through Smith from the side of the net on what, in my opinion, should have been another save.
  • Adrian Kempe ended the game in OT after walking through the Oilers’ defence with ease and dangled around Mike Smith, ending the overtime in about as disappointing of a fashion as you could possibly imagine. I don’t even think the Oilers touched the puck.
  • The Kings were blocking everything and the Oilers really struggled to get pucks through to the net.
  • I truly believe that Mike Smith has been solid for the Oilers throughout this series, but this was absolutely not his night. I don’t have to say more than that. I’m too upset to say more than that. Smith finished the night with 38 saves and a .884 save%.
  • Duncan Keith had a horrible night. No other way to put it. Giveaways at the worst times and a step behind on others.
  • I’ve gotta feeling the Oilers may be without Darnell Nurse for Game 6 after the headbutt he threw at Danault. Maybe he’ll get by with a fine since it’s the playoffs, but generally, these types of actions are frowned upon.
  • Overall, the PK killed off 4-of-5 which is alright I suppose but the one goal they did give up happened to come at the worst time.
  • The NHL site had the Oilers listed at 21 giveaways, but even then I legitimately think that someone is being generous.
  • Can someone please explain why the Oilers were falling down so much?
  • Outshot 43-28 in a game they needed to have. I know the Kings shoot from everywhere but come on.
  • The spreadsheets actually favoured the Oilers in CF% with 52.2 percent but the xGF wasn’t so pretty at a lowly 42.31 percent.

SCORING SUMMARY

#GOODCONTENT

https://twitter.com/cooom/status/1524235398628716544

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BETTER LAIT THAN NEVER

We recorded a bonus episode of Better Lait Than Never on Sunday afternoon ahead of Game 4 to talk about our trip to LA, the amazing Nation Citizens we met, the Ohtani Boys, and a whole lot more. Subscribe on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts.