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Clips and Quotes: Edmonton Oilers dominate Calgary Flames in 4-1 game three win

Oh baby.

The Edmonton Oilers have flipped this series on its head after a disappointing loss, now outscoring the Flames 9-4. In its mist, Edmonton put on a masterclass in a game three that featured a second-period natural hat trick from Evander Kane.

The Clips

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The Quotes

Evander Kane

On the game: “It was fun, a lot of fun. It was good to come back home and play these guys on our home ice. I thought we came out with a good start and obviously, it was a good win for our group.”

Kane on Lucic’s hit on Smith: “It was obviously a play out of frustration, running our goalie. Clearly Schmiddy’s a great puck handler and comes out of our net a lot. The refs made the right call.”

On Leon Draisaitl: “He’s been really good for our group. I think he’s getting better and better each day. You’re seeing it in his play. He’s been great for us this series. He just seems to find another level each and every night. He made some really good plays.”

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On McDavid, Draisaitl elevating their game: “Davo’s been on fire in the playoffs. He’s taken his game to the next level. I think he’s not just doing it on the scoresheet. I think that’s what’s allowing him to really showcase his skill. He’s physical, he’s involved. He’s winning puck battles on the wall, both in the defensive zone and offensive zone. He’s a dominant force out there.”

On his own game: “I think obviously a bit of a shortened season for me. I’m feeling good…

Mike Smith jumps in: “I’ll answer for him. He’s doing pretty good.”

On the Oilers’ start, what allowed them to control the game: “We were skating. I thought we got our legs moving early on. We got pucks in behind their d. I thought we were good on the cycle, we were winning puck battles, we were connected as a group of five. I thought our first period really set our group up for success moving forward the rest of the game.”

On if he thought nights like tonight were not going to happen again in his career: “No, I knew I was going to be back in the NHL. Very confident of that. It was a matter of when and when I got that opportunity to take full advantage of it.”

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On if that’s a record for hats on the ice, if he can remember a scene like that: “I have no idea (laughs). I had one earlier in the season there and there was a lot of hats, a lot of support. It was nice to have one on home ice again. The fans are obviously great here. We enjoy playing in front of them and they were a big reason we got off to a good start tonight.”

Reflecting on his choice to come to Edmonton: “Just happy to be a part of this group. It’s fun when you win and you want to have that feeling last as long as you can. I’m just trying to do my part to bring what I can to this team and be successful.”

Mike Smith 

On his saves on Gaudreau, Tkachuk: “I’m just trying to make saves in there to be honest. Just try to stay as poised as possible and make saves when the team needs me to.”

On the standing ovation when he returned: “The fans have been unbelievable all playoffs, tonight was no different. Maybe a little louder with the Battle Of Alberta. Just an unbelievable feeling to play in front of this fan base. Excited to get a win obviously.”

Smith on the Lucic hit: “I don’t really know what happened, to be honest. I was out playing the puck and then all of a sudden I get buried into the boards. You see it in other series. There’s not that many goalies in the league. and obviously when you’re getting run through the end wall, you’re not expecting it. It’s not an ideal situation. It is what it is. It’s playoffs and they’re trying to rattle you. Like Evander said, the refs handled it and move on.”

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On if his head hit the boards on the Lucic hit: “I don’t even think my head hit anything, my helmet just flew off. I don’t think I hit my head, it’s still attached.”

On if it’s frustrating being taken out of the game: “I do understand. It’s not an ideal situation to leave a game in the third period with 11 minutes left. I get the reason for it. I think the player should have some say in that, but obviously, it is what it is.”

On being able to enjoy the moment of where he’s at in his NHL career: “I have a lot of family and friends here, so to win in the playoffs doesn’t come around very often. You want to enjoy the process and you want to enjoy when you win. But saying that, it’s a busy schedule. You have to be careful how much you enjoy it. It’s fun to win. It’s fun to win in the playoffs, it’s fun to do it with friends and family in the building, in front of our amazing fans. I think we learned a valuable lesson last series when we got up 2-1. We probably played our worst game in game four. We want to learn a lesson from that and not let that happen again and keep doing what we’re doing in this game tonight and keep pushing this thing forward.”

On how Draisaitl is playing in comparison to McDavid, them being close: “I don’t compare them as players. They’re just two totally different players who are special in their own ways. They’re both obviously important pieces of the puzzle in terms of winning. As far as leaders in the locker room. Leon’s been a horse for us. He’s banged up a little bit, I think everyone is pretty aware of that. It seems like he’s just played better and better as these playoffs have gone on and that’s what you want from your top players. He’s just a big human out there that sees the ice incredibly well. You saw some of the plays he made tonight. He can pass the puck as well on his backhand as he can on his forehand. He’s got eyes on the back of his head. It shows when your best players are playing their best hockey of their careers in the playoffs, your team has a really good chance to win. Both those guys obviously have done that.”

Jay Woodcroft

On the Oilers’ play: “Obviously made some plays on those goals and they were spectacular. I’d go to their checking. I’d talk about their checking skills. The way they defended. That line, I think Connor, Leon both finished +4. When our best players are leading the way defensively and setting the tone for what’s expected for the full 200-feet of the rink, I think it makes us a better team.”

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On Lucic: “I think you saw what I saw, ryan, and I think last series I talked about the four jobs in hockey: player, coach, manager, referee. My job is to coach and let the referees do their thing. I don’t believe in airing complaints about officiating in the media.”

On Leon Draisaitl’s game: “He’s healthy and available, first. The second thing I would say is he continues to make plays, he makes people around him better. You bore witness to what I was witness to on the bench in terms of the skill level displayed. To me, I continue to bring it back to ‘are we playing the game the right way?’ and when your best players are +4 and checking the way they’re checking, I think that serves us well as we move forward.”

On the Oilers’ top-line dictating the way the game is played: “I think we set out with a game plan to assert our game on the other team just like we do every night. We got this first goal and we had a very good first period. For me, I think it’s mindset. When your best players are leading the way mindset-wise and asserting our gameplan on the other team, I think it bodes well for our entire game.”

On if there was any trepidation stacking Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid on the top line: “I think they’ve been together I think this is the fifth game, since game six in la. I sprinkled them around a little bit too, just move the chess pieces around to make sure. That we can keep other teams off balance and whatnot, and not understand what our rhythm is or anything like that. I think they’ve done a good job over those games of playing the game the right way. Finishing on the positive side of the ledger, and they’re driving us forward.”

On what he knew before Kane joined the Oilers, what he’s learned about him: “I didn’t know Evander Kane at all. When Dave Manson and I came up from Bakersfield, I think he only played five games in our organization at that time. For me, what I’ve learned about Evander is he’s a hockey player with really good habits, really, really good habits. I didn’t know that about him, but there’s a reason he finds success on the ice.”

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On the Oilers’ second, third and fourth lines carrying the energy: “I think we have a lot of really good hockey players and we got contributions from all 20 today — all 20 contributed to that win tonight. We have a belief in our players, we trust our players. For me, what I’ve learned about Evander is he’s a hockey player with really good habits, really, really good habits. I didn’t know that about him, but there’s a reason he finds success on the ice.”

Jay Woodcroft was asked about mike smith and how fresh he is. As noted by Jason Gregor on Twitter, Jacob Markstrom has played 63 games this year: “Mike Smith, what can I say about Mike Smith. I think when you look at the games played, he’s played 28 regular-season games. You add 10, that’s 38. He’s in mid-season form right now. It’s not like he’s played 63 games and then you add another 10 on top of it, and the wear and tear of playing 63 games during the regular season. Mike Smith played 28 games in the regular season. Now he’s at 38. I felt he deserved the opportunity to go back in. He didn’t want to get pulled out. It was beyond anybody’s control and that’s why we called a timeout — just to slow the game down so mike could get back in.”

On the goaltending matchup of Smith v. Markstrom, people questioning Mike Smith at times: “I would say maybe the questions came from outside our coaches room, outside our dressing room. Our team has complete faith in mike smith and Mikko Koskinen. We believe in our goaltenders. And as I said, he missed the bulk of the first five months of the season. Then, when he came back in, the team had a few hiccups here and there and was going through a tough time. By the time he was able to get his game under control and game where he wanted to be, he really started to take off in the last month of the season. I keep going back to the number of games played. Mike Smith played 28 games in the regular season. It’s not like he played 63 games in the regular season and had all that wear and tear. For him to have the type of numbers that he has in this playoffs, for him to be able to contribute to our team in the manner he’s doing it, I think it’s a credit to the person.”

On Mike Smith’s big saves on Gaudreau, Tkachuk: “That’s what he does, he rises to the occasion and makes the big save at the right time. I thought we had control of the game and for him to be good when called upon, I thought it was excellent.”

On Smith’s comments re: being up 2-1 against LA, his message to the group of taking advantage of it this time: “I think as you move forward, you learn those lessons. For us, we didn’t love how we played game four in LA. The difference is we’re at home, so that’s number one. I think one of the things that we’ve tried to do for the last few months, we talk a lot about returning to your emotional baseline. We’re quite happy with the win tonight. I thought it was a real good team win. But that games over with. Game number three is finished. We’ll enjoy it for the next half hour. We can, because it’s only 9 o’clock or so, it’s not like 2 in the morning the other night. But we’ll enjoy it for half an hour. We have a business-like approach to every single day. We believe in getting a little better each day, and taking care of that days business. We’ll have good meetings tomorrow, it will be a recovery and reset day for us, and we will be ready for game number four.”

On the play of Jesse Puljujarvi in the playoffs: “I thought he’s been very good. He’s a contributing member on a team that’s up 2-1 in the second round here. I think he’s feeling more and more comfortable in the offensive zone and I think that line he’s on with Hyman and with Nugent-Hopkins has been a real good one here the last few games.”

On if he thinks Leon Draisaitl is getting enough attention league-wide for what he’s doing: “Well, I have nothing but respect for what Leon’s putting out there right now. It’s fantastic. But I keep going to the numbers are great. But to me, it’s the drive, it’s the determination, it’s the willingness to play the game in the whole 200-feet of the rink that I think is contagious amongst his teammates.”

On what it felt like on the bench: “I thought it was an electric atmosphere here with the best fans in the world in the middle of a playoff series with our arch-rival. That building was quite, quite loud tonight. I can’t say what the other team would’ve felt in that situation, but for me, I know that our players felt buoyed by all the excitement in the building.”


Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at [email protected]