Around the NHL: The parallel between the Edmonton Oilers and Dallas Stars
Photo credit:Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
6 months ago
Both Canadian teams are down in their respective second-round series and the newest expansion team is just two wins away from the Western Conference Finals. There’s a lot to unpack around the NHL, so let’s dig in.
The Vegas Golden Knights lead the Edmonton Oilers 2-1:
For some dumb reason, the Oilers decided to collectively have their worst game of the season, including both playoffs and the regular season, in Game 3.
So far in these playoffs, the Oilers have failed to score the first goal just twice, in Game 3 and 4 of the Los Angeles Kings series. However, they’ve also had a tendency to blow a lead in the majority of the game, say for Game 5 of the Los Angeles series and Game 2 of the Vegas series.
Game 3 on Monday night followed the same trend that we’ve seen throughout the playoffs for the Oilers: Score the first goal early in the game, and completely mail it in the rest of the game. Now, they usually do this with a two-goal lead, but Vegas fired back about two minutes after Edmonton’s only goal. The same happened in Game 1 of the series, only it took the Knights 40 seconds to fire back.
Protecting the lead is one of many things the Oilers will need to improve on… and quickly.
However, they’ve been in this position before. They were also down 2-1 in the series against the Los Angeles Kings, and then they rattled off three straight wins to beat them in six. Hopefully, the same can happen with this series.
The pivotal Game 4 will take place on Wednesday at 8:00 PM MT in Edmonton. Let’s hope they avoid going down 3-0 heading into the first intermission.
The Seattle Kraken lead the Dallas Stars 2-1:
Instead of consistently typing this out, I’m just going to embed the Tweet I wrote on Monday evening.
My friend, a Habs fan, said that I was “being way too superstitious”. However, this has been a trend for nine games. At a certain point, it’s a universal pattern, and you must listen to it.
Game 3 for Dallas wasn’t kind. It was 0-0 heading into the second period, but a shot hit Miro Heiskanen in the face, and the puck landed on former Oiler Jordan Eberle’s stick, which he promptly put in the net. This started a massive goal explosion from the Kraken, who scored four goals in just over six minutes.
Dallas goaltender Jake Oettinger was pulled, but Scott Wedgewood didn’t put up much of a fight either as the Kraken won 2-1.
If you want to know the Oilers’ fate on Wednesday, tune into the Dallas/Seattle game on Tuesday at 7:30 PM MT.
The Florida Panthers lead the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-0:
It took 19 years for the Leafs to finally win a first-round playoff series. Less than two weeks later, they are on the precipice of getting swept by the team with the least number of points in the playoffs. You have to imagine that morale in the dressing room is quite low, as they’ve been outplayed by Florida.
Goaltender Ilya Samsonov went down with what appeared to be a lower-body injury when Luke Schenn took him out trying to save a goal. Florida scored on the ensuing power play. A goal on either side made it 2-2 heading into the third period, where the Leafs had their last gasp. They dominated 15 minutes of that period, but failed to put one past Sergei Bobrovsky, who is somehow only 34 years old.
Three icings in overtime, and Florida sealed it with a sweet wrap-around from Sam Bennett.
Florida looks to close out the series on Wednesday at 5:00 PM MT.
The Carolina Hurricanes lead the New Jersey Devils 2-1:
There are two instances where I’ve been incorrect in my writings about this series. In the last “Around the NHL”, I noted that Toronto may have some pushback down 2-0 in the series, why New Jersey won’t. As you can see by the heading, New Jersey won Game 3.
I also noted in the first-round recap of “Around the NHL” that Carolina had the least number of goals heading into the series, while the Devils had the second least number of goals (both of playoff teams remaining) in the playoffs.
So far in three games, Carolina has scored 15 goals, one less than the 16 goals they mustered in round 1. Furthermore, I noted that New Jersey was out of this series because they had only scored two goals to Carolina’s 11 in the first two games.
They won Game 3 by a score of 8-4.
Will this be an incredibly exciting series? We’ll see. Game 4 is on Tuesday at 5:00 PM MT. There’s still hope that we have a rematch of the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals.
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