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Clips and Quotes: Edmonton Oilers season ends with game four loss to Colorado Avalanche

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Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
5 months ago
That’s all, folks.
What a season it has been and unfortunately, it came to an end tonight with the Edmonton Oilers dropping a 6-5 decision in overtime. Here’s all the clips and quotes from a rather hectic night.

The Clips

The Quotes

Connor McDavid

On the game: “I liked that there was no quit. I don’t think anyone quit out there. No one quit on each other, that’s always a good sign, but we obviously let it get away.”
On some of the lessons the Oilers can learn from these playoffs: “It feels like it’s steps, right? Every team goes through it. They become a playoff team, they get there most years, and they go on a little bit of a run, learn that lesson then it becomes their time to win. You look at a colorado team that’s been in that situation many, many times. They’re knocking on the door right now. It’s a step in the right direction. That’s all it is.” 
On what the difference was against Colorado: “It finished five minutes ago. We’ll let that one sit.” 

Leon Draisaitl

On his ability to keep playing at the level he did: “There’s lots of guys that go through painful things like that. Not going to make this about myself. Lots of guys play through certain injuries.” 
On what the Oilers can take away from their run: “I’m proud of the group to get to this point. I don’t think anyone necessarily expected us to be here. With that being said, we expected to be here, we want to be here and we want to be even further. I’m proud of the group, but obviously, it’s very disappointing and it sucks right now. We have to make sure we come back next season and understand how hard it is to win, what it takes to go on a deep run and take that next step.” 
On if the run was as fun for them as it was for the fans: “It’s the best time of the year. It’s always fun being in the playoffs and competing for the cup. With that being said, we don’t play for the outside noise. That’s part of it, we love playing in front of our fans. We love playing for them, but our goal is to win a Stanley Cup. If you fail at that, or if you don’t get there to get a crack at it, you’re disappointed. Like Connor said: we took a step, but we also know how hard it is to get back to this point. We have to make sure we come in next season and make sure we’re ready to go.” 
On what the run has done for the younger players, the organization: “I think it showed our younger that you mentioned like, Bouch and Clouder, they took big, big steps this season. It’s great to have young guys like that go on a deep run like we did and learn how hard it is and understand how hard it is. Both of them, all of them, they’re going to come back next season a little older, a little more experienced, they’ll be better. That’s going to push our team big time.”

Mike Smith

On how the result hits him: “Obviously we lost. We’re done. It’s a crazy thing in the playoffs. It was no different tonight. We got the lead. It seems like when we got the lead, they came in waves and we couldn’t withstand it. Couldn’t get some saves, couldn’t get the bounces. Ultimately they get another break at the end there and win the series.” 
On what the Oilers accomplished: “I mean, there’s no participation medal. It’s very disappointing. It’s hard to get to this point. You look over the course of the season: exhibition games, training camp, 82 regular-season games, the grind of the playoffs to get to the conference finals. There’s definitely, I don’t know, a loss when you get to the ultimate goal. That’s the feeling right now obviously.”

Darnell Nurse

On what he saw in the Oilers: “First off, the group was a resilient group. Start off the year great, go through a stretch where we go from the top team in our division, top team in our conference, to six points out of a playoff spot. We easily could’ve quit on each other. I’ve seen it before. I’ve seen us get into January and February and things aren’t going our way and it piles on. You make a coaching change. As the group, it showed the maturity in our group that we were able to turn it around and now. We’re sitting in the final four. You don’t get to the final four by accident. Our group earned it. Like Mike said, there’s no participation medals. We’re all competitors. When you lose, it stings because our ultimate goal is to win a Stanley Cup. We didn’t get it done this year. It hurts.” 
On his injury: “I tore my hip flexor, so dealt with that for three series.” 
On taking that final step to the Cup finals: “We’re hungry. We’re a hungry group, but with all that said, Schmiddy just laid it out. There’s a long, long road to get back into the playoffs next year, then the grind begins. There’s a grind to get through 82. There’s another grind to get through one series, another grind to get through the next one. Our group is just hungry to, you know, it sucks. It stings. We didn’t get the job done we wanted to get done. We got a hungry group that knows you can take steps, but you got to follow it up.”
On how hard it was to play at this kind of level with the injury he suffered: “Everyone is banged up this time of year. Our medical staff, T.D., taped it up and gave me some anti-inflamms and you go. There’s no excuse when you get to this point of the season you want to be on your game and play at a certain level. There’s no excuse. Everyone is banged up this time of the year. Myself first, I wanted to be better in this series and it just adds motivation for the summer to come back and to be that difference maker next year.”

Jay Woodcroft

On how the Oilers found life in the second, how it got away in the third: “I thought it was a cautious start for us. Then in the second period, we talked about getting on our toes. There’s some weird stuff that happened in the second and that led to us shortening the bench. We got into a bit of a rhythm and we were able to build a lead. I thought that game felt like a boxing match with two good teams throwing punches. In the end, they found a way to win it and that’s a credit to them and their team, they did a good job.” 
On the Oilers being unable to fend off the Avalanche in big moments: “You use the word moments there. I thought there were moments in the game that we’d like to do better. In the end, they’re a really good team. They pushed hard and they came back, but so did we. There was no give up, or people not fighting to the bitter end. Our group pushed as hard as we could, we emptied the tank with everything we had. As I said, it’s a credit to colorado for the game they played tonight, but also the series. They played very well.” 
On the high-scoring games, if it’s a way the Oilers can win, or if the destination includes a much tighter defensive game: “I would say that from February 11th on, we played a pretty tight game defensively. The way the playoffs worked, we lost three one-goal hockey games in this series. There was a couple empty-net goals here or there in games one and game three. That’s a function of the way the game was being played. Can we do better defensively? Sure we can. We scored five goals tonight. Should be enough to win a game. It didn’t work out for us tonight. I think if you look back Spec to that day in February, the team was where it was. We got to the third round of the playoffs. We learned some hard lessons. We’re utterly disappointed with not finding a way to win tonight’s game. In the grand scheme, or the big picture of things, I think our team has taken a step this year.” 
On how he would describe this Oilers group: “As I said, I think we’re utterly disappointed with not being able to move on and not finding a way to close out this game. That’s the first thing. I think that’s a credit to our opponent. I think we learned some lessons in our journey this spring. We’re playing hockey, I think today is June 6th. We’re playing hockey on June 6th. In order to accomplish that and be one of the final four teams, you’ve done some good things. I don’t think we can lose sight of that. There’s a lot more required in order to find a way to get to the Stanley Cup final, and there’s more required to win the trophy. But, I go back to that date on February 11th a healthy margin outside of the playoffs.. We asked that group of players to play hard for each other. To sacrifice. To commit. And we’re not here today if that group didn’t do that. I’m proud of our people.” 
On the Draisaitl/Nurse injuries, their ability to play through them: “Those are the big ones everybody knew as the playoffs wore on. Warriors. That’s the term I would use. They’re people who you talk about laying it on the line in order to achieve something, our people did that. There’s a lot more that hasn’t been made public. I’m proud of them. I’m proud of them for being able to play with those type of limitations.” 
On the Avs’ game-winning goal: “That was the third shift in overtime. We were on our third line, it was a three-line game for us tonight. The group of people we had went out. It was a 50/50 faceoff. We got beat to the net. The puck got tipped and they found a way. We’re not here without the people you are referencing.” 
On what the Oilers did different tonight to get their offence going: “We adjusted a few things on our forecheck. We talked a lot about going to hard areas to score. You saw that tonight. I thought some of our investments from earlier in the series started to pay off and we saw some turnovers. In the end, I feel we scored enough goals to win the game. We could be a lot tighter defensively.” 
On Nurse playing through the torn hip flexor, how he managed against the top Avs players, if he thought about backing him off: “I think if you watched, we dressed seven in the last two games, right? Different people were on the ice in the matchup you’re referencing. Those are some good hockey players on the other side. They had the ability to find a way to affect the game. That’s not on one player, one injury like that. We’re a team. In the end, we didn’t do a good enough job with the amount we were giving up. The most important thing I’m going to take out of this is to get to this spot we’re proud of, but we also realize to move on there’s more. There’s more. We’re going to find it as we move forward.”

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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