When it comes to the rivalry between the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames, Craig MacTavish might be as well known for yanking the tongue out of Harvey the Hound’s head in January 2003 as for playing in three of the five Battle of Alberta playoff series between the teams.
Connor McDavid reiterated yet again that he’s the best player on the planet and wound up Edmonton Oilers fans chanted “MVP-MVP-MVP” in the bedlam at Rogers Place last night, but the story that matters around here is a 2-0 win that puts the Oilers in the second round of the playoffs for the first time…
The Edmonton Oilers talked a good game going into Game 5 of their series against the Los Angeles Kings Tuesday and, to be fair, they’d backed up the same kind of talk with regularity since the arrival of Jay Woodcroft behind the bench.
Todd McLellan made his feelings known in no uncertain terms during a post-game availability lasting about 30 seconds after watching the Edmonton Oilers put the boots to his Los Angeles Kings 8-2 Friday. His team responded with a 4-0 win over the Oilers at home last night.
Fragile teams don’t go deep into the playoffs because they are too easily derailed by bad luck or a bad game or even a bad moment. The Edmonton Oilers are not one of those teams, and we saw substantial proof of that in Friday’s 8-2 slap down of the Los Angeles Kings.
So, after 48 hours of consternation over a brain cramp by Mike Smith in the wake of a 4-3 loss to the Los Angeles Kings Monday, the Edmonton Oilers answered with a 6-0 dismantling of the Kings Wednesday. Six-zip. Six-nada. Get outta here. Is that pouring it on enough for you?
It was Mike Smith who made the big mistake everybody was talking about after the Edmonton Oilers dropped a 4-3 decision to open their first-round series with the Los Angeles Kings, but Smith had company as two months of structure and process went out the window inside a packed Rogers Place Monday.
Even with the Edmonton Oilers having just put the finishing touches on their best regular season points-wise since winning their third Stanley Cup in 1987 with a 3-2 shootout win over the Vancouver Canucks Friday, Jay Woodcroft stayed on script, refusing to get carried away.
When I look at tonight’s game between the Edmonton Oilers and the Pittsburgh Penguins, it’s yet another reminder that time seems to pass by faster the older you get. And at my age, it seems to be moving along at warp speed.
Given the choice of feeling sorry for himself when the chips are down or refusing to fold and kicking ass trying to do something about it, Mike Smith has shown which way he’s going to go every time over the course of his NHL career. He’d rather battle, a word critics not so long ago…
When things were sideways and it seemed like Mike Smith couldn’t stop a beach ball, or at least do it without getting hurt, more than a few fans of the Edmonton Oilers were calling him a washed-up has-been who needed to get gone. You remember.
I liked Jay Woodcroft’s style from the moment he was introduced to assembled media as Dave Tippett’s replacement as head coach of the Edmonton Oilers. Standing, not sitting, at the podium in a power stance with his hands on his hips. I’m not sure why that image stood out for me, but it did. Here…