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GDB +10.0 Wrap Up: Absolute domination, Oilers take series lead with 4-1 beat down of the Flames

Do you like apples? Final Score: 4-1 Oilers

How can you not love a Battle of Alberta that starts at 6 o’clock on the Sunday of a long weekend? Everything about the setup for this game was fantastic, and I spent my day basically pacing around the house in eager anticipation for puck drop. I fired up the BBQ, cracked a couple of NationBeers, and lived my best life in an attempt to do my part in setting the right vibes for victory. So when the Oilers started the game like a house on fire, I could feel the heart rate soaring like I was doing some kind of workout rather than just sitting on my couch screaming at my TV. Without question, this was the best start the Oilers have had in this series and had it not been for Jacob Markstrom coming up big with saves and horseshoes, the boys could have easily found themselves up by a goal or twelve. Absolutely buzzin. Yet, despite their best efforts, the Oilers couldn’t get anything done on the scoreboard and needed to keep their foot on the gas without stopping for even a minute.

Moving into the second period, the Oilers did exactly what we hoped we would and kept pressuring the Flames until they were back on their heels and leaving skids in their undies. Just as we saw in the opening frame, the boys were all over Calgary in every zone on the ice and they had absolutely no answer for anything that was happening. Skating with as much purpose as we’ve seen all playoffs long, the Oilers were basically doing as they pleased with the puck as the Flames’ defensive zone coverage looked more like a hindrance than a challenge of any kind. Only this time around Markstrom wasn’t able to bail his teammates out as the Oilers were able to tag the visitors with four straight goals that included an Evander Kane hat trick. To say that was this was a complete dismantling by the Oilers would be the understatement of the playoffs. Through 40 minutes, this beat down was so bad that you’d almost have to imagine that the Flames had considered lobbying the NHL to run the clock. But as much as this was a blast to watch, the Oilers had to keep it going for one more period because even though we were up by a sizeable margin, I had no interest in giving the Flames any life.

Heading into the third period, I was looking for the Oilers to keep the hammer down and keep suffocating the Flames at every turn. Instead of sitting back and trying to defend, I wanted the boys to keep shooting holes in the sinking dinghy that was Calgary’s chance to come back. But unsurprisingly, the Flames started the third period with a different goalie and a whole lot more gas than we had seen to that point, and it was very nice to see our side weather the storm efficiently despite a few tense moments. With the early push out of the way, the Oilers were able to settle down and get back to playing their game. Even so, the Flames kept pushing to break the shutout and that moment came with under five minutes left when Oliver Kylington got on the board with a snipe from the high slot. Once that happened, we found ourselves in heart attack time as the Flames’ pressure kept building as they tried to inch closer. Yet, even with the increased attack time, Calgary couldn’t get more than the one goal past Smith and the Oilers ran out the clock on what was a dominating win. What a night.

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The wrap.

THE BRIGHT SIDE

  • Zach Hyman opened the scoring (1-0) as the business end of a tic-tac-toe with McDavid and Draisaitl after the trio moved the puck around the offensive zone beautifully before sneaking a shot past a sliding Markstrom.
  • Over the first couple of games, I thought Evander Kane needed to get his game going but I certainly didn’t expect him to rattle off a natural hat trick in the span of six minutes (4-0) as he did tonight in the second period. In the snap of a finger, the boys went from having a one-goal lead to a four-goal lead after Kane scored two nearly identical goals before adding a third on the back of another perfect pass from McDavid.
  • Connor McDavid has played 10 playoff games and has nine multi-point games over that run. Absolutely ridiculous. This is hero stuff we’re watching and I hope everyone is taking a few moments to recognize how special this is.
  • What can you say about a casual four-point night by Leon Draisaitl? Guy is playing on one leg and still looks better than anything the Flames have in their lineup.
  • After a nice bounce-back performance in Game 2, I was looking for Mike Smith to get back between the pipes and handle his business. And from the moment the puck dropped until the final buzzer sounded, Smith did exactly that with a foundation that his teammates could build upon. Whether it was a big save from in tight or a routine stop from the outside, Schmiddy looked dialed in and I wanted to make sure to give him some love for that performance. Simply put, he was fantastic. The only downside was when he had to leave for 15 minutes due to concussion protocol after Milan Lucic decided to be an idiot and ran the goaltender as he was out playing the puck. Smith finished the night with 32 saves and a .970 save%.
  • The Oilers’ PK was perfect in all four shorthanded situations that they faced. Huge night for the boys when down a man.
  • Jay Woodcroft did a really nice job of spreading the defensive minutes around as no d-man played more than 22 minutes or less than 17 minutes.
  • Jaaaaaaaaaaaaakob. Jaaaaaaaaaaaakob. Jaaaaaaaaaaaaakob.
  • For the first time this series, the Oilers won the Corskis after outshooting the Flames by a 41-33 margin.

THE FACE PALMERS

  • Oliver Kylington got the Flames on the board (4-1) late in the third period after he picked up a pass in the high slot and ripped a beautifully placed shot up and over a sprawling Mike Smith. Honestly, you’ve gotta tip your cap to the guy for the placement on that baby because it went in right under the bar.
  • Milan Lucic is hanging onto anything he can to stay in the league and it’s embarrassing. Not only is he terrible in every possible fashion, but the only way he can contribute anymore is by doing something stupid. Because of his bonehead choice to board Smith,
  • Unfortunately, the Oilers’ power play went 0-for-5 on a night when it would have been a whole lot of fun to see them keep tacking goals on the board.
  • Cody Ceci took a puck to the hand in the third period and went straight to the bench clearly in pain. I don’t know about anybody else but I had horrible thoughts of a broken hand/finger by the look on his face. The good news is that he came back to the bench shortly after leaving but I’m still worried about what’s going on under that glove.
  • I guess I can’t be too upset about the boys winning only 45% of the draws.

SCORING SUMMARY

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#GOODCONTENT

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