GDB 5.0 Wrap Up: Connor McDavid hurt as Oilers fall 3-2 to Jets
Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
By Zach Laing1 month ago
The final score of Saturday night’s escapade between the Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets saw the hosting fall 3-2 at Rogers Place.
But the final score, no matter what it was, is far from what was on the minds of Oilers fans. Instead, the next few days will be spent in angst over the status of captain Connor McDavid.
His night started with two assists in the first six and a half minutes of the game, but ended with him not taking a shift in the final minutes of regulation, nor in overtime.
The final shift of his night ended at the 4:20 mark of the third period: one where McDavid won a defensive zone draw, and raced towards the Jets end of the ice following the lead of linemate Zach Hyman. But as he crossed the Jets’ blueline, he slowed up as Hyman chipped the puck in and reached for his left hip.
The puck cycled in the offensive zone, and McDavid’s shift ended with him, once again, reaching for that hip.
After the game, Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft didn’t have much in the way of an update, saying, “it appeared to be muscular… just to me as I watched during the play.” A further update, he added, is expected Sunday as more information is available.
Sportsnet’s post-game broadcast highlighted an incident in the first period where McDavid and Jets defender Josh Morrissey got tangled up and fell to the ice. The area McDavid was reaching to late in the game is the spot he landed on when he fell.
When asked about it after the game, Woodcroft said he thought McDavid was shaken up “coming up the ice and just something felt off for him,” rather than on the entanglement, but added he hadn’t watched anything back yet himself.
THE WRAP UP IS PRESENTED BY BETWAY
Back to the game itself, where it was another largely disappointing one. What’s clear is the Oilers wanted to come out with some jump on Saturday night. After all, a week ago at the same, they were embarrassed in their season opener 8-1 against the Vancouver Canucks.
Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl were the key cogs in helping make that happen, with the pair notching assists on goals scored by Darnell Nurse, and Evan Bouchard. On Nurse’s goal, the game opening tally, Draisaitl carried the puck into the offensive zone along the benches, but stopped up when Jets defenders pinched him off. He protected the puck and took a step back towards the blueline, dropping a beautiful pass through two defenders and onto the stick of McDavid. Nurse came flying down from the blueline taking the pass, walking into the high slot, and ripping home his first goal of the year.
And just like that, 1:25 into the game, the Oilers took the lead.
And a mere five minutes later, it would be extended to two in thanks to more nice passing between McDavid and Draisaitl. This time it was the former finding the latter on the power play, who held onto the puck vacuuming in the Jets’ penalty killers. It gave just enough time for Bouchard to find a soft spot coming down from the point, and blasted home a 2-0 lead.
The Oilers kept the gas pedal down the rest of the period, but Connor Hellebuyck settled into the game for the Jets, and all of a sudden this game started to look different. Jets rearguard Josh Morrissey scored on a power play of their own 10:10 into the first period, but it was a foolish mistake from Stuart Skinner that allowed Winnipeg to tie it in the second.
In the dying seconds of an Oilers power play, the Jets cleared their own zone and Vladislav Namestnikov was chasing after it. Despite Nurse retreating to the Oilers zone and able to have picked up the puck, Skinner errantly skated towards the top of the faceoff circle, and lost his positioning. Namestnikov, meanwhile, scooped the puck up and tucked it home to tie the game.
The remainder of the game meadered between the two sides. Winnipeg conrolled the pace of play in the second, while the Oilers recovered with a strong third. The affair went to overtime, where Mark Scheifele was able to deflect home a Morrissey shot from the point to seal the game.
Next up for Edmonton is a trip to Minnesota Tuesday night to take on the Wild.
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 email@example.com.
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