GDB +12.0 Wrap Up: The Edmonton Oilers’ season is over, as they fall 5-2 to the Knights
Photo credit:Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports
6 months ago
Well, this is not an article anyone wants to write.
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The Edmonton Oilers’ season is over, as they fell to the Vegas Golden Knights 5-2 on Sunday night. Moreover, they lost 4-2 in the series…
Heading into the second period, the Oilers looked to be sitting pretty, as they led the Knights 2-1. However, Jonathan Marchessault scored a natural hattrick in the second period which eventually sunk the Oilers season.
Let’s look at the Oilersnation’s Player of the Game, as well as things worth mentioning, and what went wrong,
PRESENTED BY BETWAY
Oilersnation’s player of the game: Connor McDavid
Say what you want about the Oilers as a whole, but Connor McDavid showed up. Vegas scored early in the game, but McDavid immediately fired back.
The Greatest of all Time finished with eight goals and 12 assists for 20 points. Teams put all their effort into stopping McDavid, so 20 points in 12 games is still quite impressive. This was also the second straight game where McDavid attempted to will his team to win.
Hopefully, the Oilers can win him a cup in 2024.
Things worth mentioning…
Stuart Skinner is receiving a lot of flak. When looking at the box score, it makes sense. However, after watching the goals against, it’s hard to really blame him for the goals except for the third goal.
Evander Kane finished tied for goals in the 2022 playoffs. In 2023, he wasn’t great to say the least. In 12 games, he only scored three goals and finished with five points. In the Vegas series, he only had one assist on McDavid’s goal. He needed to be better.
Leon Draisaitl was on pace for one of the best playoffs of all time, and then he went quiet. At one point, he had 13 goals in eight games, heck, I even wrote an article about how he was the second best player in the world. Over the last four games, he had a single assist and was -7. Not great.
Please keep the Warren Foegele-Ryan McLeod-Derek Ryan line. The three of them once again combined for a goal, which happened to be the last goal the Oilers scored in the 2022-23 season. It’s nice to finally have a third-line centre in Ryan McLeod as well.
Vincent Desharnais improved drastically over the past few games. It was pretty apparent that he had some nerves early in the playoffs, but his game improved to that of what we saw in the regular season.
The refs weren’t fantastic. They missed four pretty obvious calls against Vegas in the first period. Not just that, but they also missed a blatant high stick which should have been a double minor. It’s hard to blame the refs for how poorly the Oilers played in Game 6, but if that double minor was called, who knows how the game changed. Game management is a fickle mistress.
What went wrong:
The Oilers kept letting their foot off the gas. It’s something that happened throughout the playoffs, but it was amplified in Game 6. Too many times, the Oilers had the lead after the first period, but ended up blowing it. Not just that, but they would score, and Vegas or Los Angeles would fire right back. They have to hold the lead better.
The turning point was when Laurent Brossoit went down with an injury. In the four games he played in the series, goaltender Adin Hill finished with a 1.000, .879, .914, and .950 save percentage. He also saved all four shots he faced in Game 2, but Hill made key stops in all but one game, which Edmonton did not.
To me, I think you just have to run it back. Derek Ryan, Mattias Jankmark, Devin Shore, and Nick Bjugstad will all become free agents at the end of the season. Ideally, you try and sign all but maybe Shore in that pack. There will also be a few restricted free agents, like Ryan McLeod, Evan Bouchard, and Klim Kostin.
Even if the unrestricted free agents leave, players like Dylan Holloway, Xavier Bourgault, and Raphael Lavoie may be able to fill in.
The Oilers will be up against the cap next season, so I wouldn’t expect drastic changes. Let’s just hope that the young players gain experience, and the Oilers can be more successful next season.
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