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Clips and Quotes: Edmonton Oilers cruise to 6-0 game two win over LA Kings

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Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
8 months ago
Dominant. 
That’s the best way to describe game two for the Edmonton Oilers.

The Clips

The Quotes

Darnell Nurse

On the game: “I think we were patient. We didn’t try to force anything. We kind of just waited for opportunities to open up. When they came, we made the most of them. It’s going to be important to play that same way, because that’s a good team we’re playing over there in LA that plays hard each and every night and doesn’t give up much. When those opportunities arise, we have to try to make the most of them.”
On the physical play: “Throughout their lineup, there’s a lot of juice too and guys were getting on the body. The crowd was really getting into it too. As a team, we fed off that. We want to play hard and that’s not just a few guys, that’s the whole team and that showed.”
Nurse on the Oilers’ ability to move on from game one: “I think we stayed calm, believed in our structure, believed in the way we can play. With that said, it’s one game. There’s a lot of hockey left to be played in the series. It’s a game we can build off of, look back and see some of the positives within our structure, within the way we played. We get to la, reset and get to the next one.”
On who had a better second-period hit: McDavid or Nugent-Hopkins: “It’s a tie, I’m never going to pick between my teammates.”
On the Oilers’ first playoff win in front of fans in five years: “This is an electric building around this time of year and as players, you feed off the energy they bring. For us, we want to be playing as long as possible to be enjoying this as long as possible. It’s a lot of fun to have the fans not only in the rink, but after games celebrating. It gives a lot of life to the group.”
On if there was more of a sense of calm in game two vs. game one: “Yeah, absolutely. Especially early in the game. We weren’t trying to force too much, we just tried to settle in and play and that’s going to be important that we go into LA, into an opposing team’s building where it isn’t going to be as friendly as it is here. It’s a different type of challenge and for us, we have to take some of those lessons from today of staying calm. We’ve been talking about staying even keel all season and this is another one of those steps.”
On the oilers’ identity, what this game says about it: “I think it’s something we’ve been working on. The big thing is just staying composed, staying in our structure not try to force things. Tonight was an example of that. In the first, like Evander said earlier. They had a good push coming out and we stayed even keel. We stuck to our game, stuck to our game and when opportunities arose, we were able to make the most of it. As an identity, as a group, we want to stay even keel. We want to be on our game and not waver away for a full 60. It was good tonight, but a lot more games to be played.”

Evander Kane

On the key to 5×5 success tonight: “I thought we stuck with it early on here. They had a push early in that first period. We did a good job and a better job of getting pucks behind their d and creating chaos at their net. You look at a lot of our goals, we were great at special teams but we had a big tip by Clouder there to make it 3-0. That really gave us some momentum 5×5.”
On the Oilers’ special teams: “It seems that special teams in these first couple games throughout the league have been very important. The other night we won the special teams battle, lost the game. That doesn’t happen very often.. Tonight we did a great job again and that’s going to have to be continued throughout the rest of our journey here.”
Kane on McDavid, Draisaitl being physical and dragging the team into the fight of the game: “I think it’s so important, especially this time of year, that team toughness no matter who you are whether you’re Yamo’s size or nursey’s size. When you see Davo getting physical and working, it just shows the competitiveness he has and that battle level. That’s important in the playoffs and for both those guys to show that. They’ve done a great job so far.”
On Derek Ryan’s penalty kill play: “He’s a great player for us. He does a lot of really great things, has an offensive touch and does great work on the penalty kill. Our penalty kill has been really good these first few games and that’s going to have to continue.”
On the Oilers’ second powerplay unit, what’s worked: “We know Davo’s unit is going to get the majority of time and as a second group, we have to be ready to strike quick when we get ours. I think we’ve done a great job of that ever since I’ve gotten here anyways. Clouder and Yamo had a big goal last game and staying sharp and contributing. We’ve got 30 seconds to do our thing. So far, we’re doing a good job.”
On the bounce-back game from mike smith: “Schmiddy was obviously great tonight. He was really sharp for us early on, especially on those penalty kills. He did a great job. Personally, I didn’t expect anything less from him. He’s so mentally tough. A mistake was made, it happens all the time and had a great performance. We’ve got a lot of confidence in him as a group.”

Derek Ryan

On Smith’s performance: “It’s a fresh new game. We have all the confidence in the world in Schmiddy and he had a bounce-back game like no other. I expect nothing else. He’s a great competitor and was leading the troops tonight. It was fun to watch.”
On his return to Edmonton, if it has been everything he thought it could be: “Free agency is always stressful, but I came here to win. I think every guy in the locker room wants to do that. It’s a big win tonight. We’re gearing up for game three. That’s a pivotal game in SoCal. We’re going to live in the moment and enjoy this for a brief second, then prepare for game three because that’s what’s ahead of us.”
On the Oilers penalty kill: “To be honest, there’s been more penalties than expected at the beginning of the playoffs, but we all know special teams are huge come playoffs. You only get so many powerplays and we want our powerplay to be lethal. If they’re not scoring, they’re creating momentum for us right now which is good and the penalty is doing the same creating momentum by killing it off. In the last couple months, we’ve laid a good foundation in what we want our special teams looking like. That rolled into playoffs.”

Mike Smith

Smith on his night: “To be honest, I didn’t feel too bad in game one. I made one mistake and it cost us the game. I think I carried the same kind of mindset into tonight and wanted to put in a good showing, especially after you feel like you’re maybe the cause of a loss. A bounceback is always important and tonight, the team played more up to the capabilities of how we’re able to play and we got rewarded.”
On the Oilers’ physical play from McDavid: “When your leader goes out and he’s banging bodies, I think it’s easy for everyone else to do it too. I think it’s playoff hockey. You want to get touches on guys as much as you can when they’re going back for pucks and it pays dividends in a long series. I think we did a good job of that tonight with the physicality. It started in the first period and carried throughout the game. We got a big win.”
On the fans, the vibes around the team: “It’s amazing. You feel the energy around the city. Everyone’s got oil jersey’s on and hats. You can’t help but get excited about coming to the rink and playing hockey with this loyal fan base we have here. Obviously, you see the people outside and it’s an exciting place to be an oiler right now. It’s a long series, there’s a lot of work left to do… It’s going to be some hard work going into LA.”
On Derek Ryan’s penalty kill play: “He’s a consummate pro. He puts in the work in practice, he’s a veteran player now that’s played on some teams that have done some good things. He means a lot to our kill tonight. We got into some trouble and he was there to make some great plays. He’s responsible in his own end and does a lot of good things for the whole 200 feet of the ice. He’s an important piece to the puzzle and he’ll continue to put in the work and get the job done.”
On the Keith-Bouchard pairing, Bouchard elevating his play: “I think everybody has. Playoff hockey is about upping your physicality and everybody has to get involved in that manner. Bouch is a guy who just has gotten better and better the last couple of months and has gotten comfortable with Duncs. When you play with a guy like that, Duncs is a very vocal leader. I think he’s helped Bouch out in a lot of areas. Bouch has grabbed it and taken advantage of the opportunity with ice time and the powerplay and how dangerous he is in the offensive zone. He’s just poised with the puck. He makes good plays and if he keeps it simple, he can make some unbelievable plays with the puck. He’s got a bomb of a shot, so he has all the tools to be a great defenceman in the league. You put those two together, and it’s a great pairing.”
On the fans lining up outside cheering during post-game interviews: “It is incredible. They’re like 30 deep out there, I think. I don’t know how long it goes on for. It’s pretty incredible when you have a fan base like this and they’re that excited about us having a chance to play for the Stanley Cup. We want to do anything possible to make that happen. It’s one game, we won one game, but it’s great to see the city feeling it. They deserve it because it’s been a long time coming. It’s a long road ahead, but you can’t do it without loyal fans.”

Jay Woodcroft

On getting everyone involved in the game: “I thought we played a strong first period, had two big penalty kills. I thought that settled everything down for us. We had scoring chances, but didn’t convert. We stuck with it and the second period was a breakout period. For us and it was lead by our leaders. We went out and scored a huge powerplay goal that kind of broke the ice for us. It was a strong game, 20 players deep in our lineup tonight.”
On winning the special teams battle: “I think it’s really big. I thought those two penalty kills in the first period really set us up. We scored a short-handed goal, which is a huge thing to create momentum. Powerplay has been good. It was a factor in our team winning the game tonight for sure.”
On the Oilers upping their physicality, especially from McDavid, Drasiaitl: “I think it’s important. I thought there was a physical investment in our game tonight. I also think it’s a function of how we have to come through the neutral zone vs. Their structure that if we want to have success, you’re putting pucks in places where it invites physical contact. We did a good job of establishing ourselves on that forecheck. I look at the stat sheet, Zack Kassian, someone who probably doesn’t get talked about enough here in this room, somebody who finished with six finished checks. He was a menace out there for the other team to handle. I thought Josh Archibald, who was introduced to the lineup today, finished checks. When you see your leaders getting physical, guys like Leon, Connor, Nuge finishing checks, it’s contagious. I think it pays off over the long haul.”
On the Oilers fans: “I think we have the best fans in the National Hockey League. The most passionate, the most knowledgeable. Our team feels everybody’s support, I think it drives us forward, pushes us forward. For us, I said this when Dave (Manson) and I came up from Bakersfield, we wanted to make this community proud of this team. We want them to embody the values of this community and it’s a credit to the players, because they’re working their tails off.”
On the Oilers’ first playoff win in front of fans in five years: “I’ve been on the other side of it in a playoff series as well and saw how the fans spur the team on. Certainly, I can tell you everyone hears it in the dressing room. I’m going to go back to what I said the other night, that we’re going to return to our baseline. We realize this was a very good hockey game for our team, there’s lots to build on, but we’re coming back to our baseline. We’re going to refocus, re-energize and replenish ourselves and be prepared for game number three in Los Angeles.”
On Derek Ryan’s pk ability: “I think for Derek it starts in the faceoff circle. I think last game he was 6-1. Today he was 63% in the faceoff circle. He blocks shots, he made a lot of really good reads on the penalty kill when there were breakdowns. He’s an unsung hero for our team, and I think the playoffs is when you see those when every little play gets magnified. He makes a lot of really good ones.”
On Jesse Puljujarvi and his goal: “I think he had a good game tonight, a full, 200-foot game. I’m happy for him he scored that goal and finished off that great feed for Connor for his own personal confidence. But I thought he played a really good game. I thought that line was dangerous every time they were on the ice and for him, I think what happened a few days ago is the new season started and he should feel good about his game. He has the confidence of his teammates and… Of his coaching staff.”
On Mike Smith’s game: “Another one of our unsung heroes that is a true pro. I thought he made some really good saves in game number one as well. It was an unfortunate puck handle, but like I said, I keep coming back to this: when that game was played, we moved onto preparing for game number two and he led the way in his preparation. I thought he went out and executed tonight. The team had a good night but again, I’m going back to it, tonight was one game. Our focus and concentration is on getting ready for game number three.”
On limiting ice time for McDavid and Draisaitl: “It was just a factor of the way the game was being played. I thought they both had good games. Leon scored the game-winning goal when the game was in the balance and you talk about a heckuva shot, holy cow. He threaded that through the eye of a needle. It was huge for our team. The way the game played out, that’s the way the minutes got distributed today.”
On if part of the message was smarter placement in dump and chases: “I think that team plays a certain brand of hockey. They make it hard, they want to put up roadblocks for you. You got to navigate your way through and part of navigating your way through is placing the puck properly. When we do, it gives ourselves a chance to be physical. That’s their identity. We want to play towards our identity and at the same time understand you have to just take what’s given and try to make a good play.”
On if it’s different getting back to the aforementioned baseline after a win, or loss: “We’ve been pretty consistent in our messaging for the last two and a half months. You win a game, we’re going to enjoy it for about 20 minutes or so after the game then our efforts and concentrations move on to the next game to be played. In a playoff series, it’s different because you keep seeing the same team, so it comes down to small adjustments here or there. We’re going to enjoy this for probably another 10 minutes or so, then start preparing for game number three.”
On what the game says about the Oilers’ identity: “I think when we’re simple, straightforward, direct, when we play with simplicity and we have a pace and purpose about us, we’re a tough team to handle.”

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 zach@oilersnation.com.

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