‘I look forward to people doubting us again:’ Oilers captain Connor McDavid ready for series to shift home

Edmonton Oilers Florida Panthers
Photo credit:Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 month ago
Adversity has been the story of the Edmonton Oilers season.
They faced it in the regular season when a 2-9-1 start lead to a coaching change. They faced it needing to crawl out of the NHL’s basement to make it to the playoffs.
They faced it in Round 1 after a tough Game 2 loss against the Los Angeles Kings. They faced it going down 2-1 and 3-2 in Round 2 against the Vancouver Canucks. They faced it when down 2-1 against the Dallas Stars.
And now, after dropping the first two games of the Stanley Cup Finals to the Florida Panthers including a 4-1 loss Monday, Oilers captain Connor McDavid is relinquishing more people doubting his team.
“It’s exciting, it’s another opportunity for our group to come together and dig our way out,” he said when asked about the Oilers facing adversity. “It’s supposed to be hard, it’s supposed to be difficult, and I’m excited to see what our group is made of.
“I’m excited to see our group come together, I’m excited to see us fight through adversity, and I’m looking forward to people doubting us again. We’re good with our backs against the wall.”
Much like McDavid, the Oilers as a whole have proven doubters wrong all season, and in the playoffs, it’s been no different. While they haven’t been at the top of their game through the first two games against the Panthers, they have shown an ability to win games in different types of ways all season, and all playoffs long.
They’ve found ways to win the high-scoring affairs while also often shutting down opposing offences. The latter is an element of their game the Oilers have struggled to find against Florida, but including the majority of Game 1, Edmonton has had their stretches of solid play.
“First game, their goalie played outstanding,” said Oilers winger Zach Hyman after the Game 2 loss. “I thought we had our looks. I think you have to look at it as how many chances you get.
“Sometimes you run into a hot goalie and that was the case in the first game, so they stole that one. This game, they played better than we did and we didn’t have as many looks. We weren’t playing with enough pace, I don’t think. I think they were controlling the play for the majority of the game. Having said that, again, we had an opportunity to win.”
“I thought there were stretches in the game where we had possession and we had the opportunities, but like you said, they controlled the pace of the game more so than we did,” Hyman added.
Both teams will now make the long trek back to Alberta, with Game 3 of the seven game series set for Thursday night at 6 p.m.

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@thenationnetwork.com.

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