logo

Oilers clinch playoff berth with 6-2 demolition of the Colorado Avalanche

alt
Photo credit:Tom Kostiuk
baggedmilk
1 month ago
The Oilers had a big test on Friday night with the Avalanche in town, and I am thrilled to report that they handled their business like champs, dumping Colorado by a 6-2 final score. Would it be unfair if I said that was the best complete effort we’ve seen in a while? I don’t think so.

MATTIAS EKHOLM, DESTROYER OF WORLDS

He only played 21:23 in total TOI against the Avalanche, but based on Mattias Ekholm’s impactful night, you’d think he played all 60 minutes. From start to finish, the guy was all over the ice. Even though the first noticeable moment was a downer — Ekholm got walked by Russ Colton on the 2-1 goal late in the first period — the rest of the game was played on Full Viking Daddy mode. It’s a working title.
My point is that Ekholm was absolutely everywhere and nowhere at the same time. From creeping up on Rantanen with a devastating hit (a clean hit) to cashing in his 10th goal of the year by driving to the net to picking up a helper on McDavid’s 30th, Mattias Ekholm made an impact on the game nearly every time he was on the ice. The guy was an absolute unit.
After going so long without a defenceman like him on the roster, I almost find it unbelievable that the Oilers were able to pull of the trade that brought him to town. From my perspective, I knew Ekholm would be good for the hockey team but I never would have imagined that he would have turned into such a force at both ends of the ice. With 15 points in his last 10 games, he’s everything we needed and then some.

EVANDER KANE GETS ON THE BOARD

After going 22 games without a goal, Evander Kane finally got himself back on the board after a juicy rebound off Georgiev took a friendly bounce into the net off #91’s chest. It was the kind of greasy goal Kane needed after the longest scoring drought he’s had since his rookie season, and I was seriously hopeful that it would be the start of better days for him. What I didn’t expect, however, is that Kane would pick up another one only 12 minutes later.
If the Oilers are going to make a deep run in the playoffs, they’re going to need Evander Kane playing at his best. Yes, they need him to bang and crash and be a menace on the forecheck, but they’ll also need him to come up with some offence from time to time. On Friday night against Colorado, Kane came up with two big goals that helped Edmonton pick up an important win, and it would be a serious gift for this team down the stretch if he can heat up a little bit.

MORE AWKWARD LOVE FOR COREY PERRY

Talking about how much I like Corey Perry makes me very uncomfortable, but it has to be done. It’s just a strange feeling to have despised the guy for the better part of two decades, and now that he’s with the Oilers, we’re thrilled by how annoying he is. Even though it’s an obvious thing to say, watching Corey Perry act like an asshole is way more fun for us rather than against us.
Not to mention, Perry has chipped in with seven goals in his 31 games with the Oilers, which puts him on pace for 16 over a full season. That’s not too bad for a guy who is averaging around 13 minutes per night. I know we’re not talking about the same guy that won the Hart Trophy all those years ago, but Perry has consistently found a way to contribute since signing with the Oilers back in January and I’m very much enjoying the way he plays the game.

OTHER THINGS WORTH MENTIONING

-BACK TO THE PLAYOFFS, BABY!
-Connor McDavid picked up his 30th goal of the season on Leon Draisaitl’s 100th point of the night, and I couldn’t think of a more fitting way for both players to reach their respective milestones. They’re each other’s person, and I’m always here for it. Not done there, McDavid added a second goal to extend the Oilers’ lead to three and push him to 128 points on the season. McDavid also became the fourth player in franchise history to record eight straight 30-goal seasons.
– Stuart Skinner made his 53rd start (55th appearance) of the season on Friday, and while it wasn’t the busiest night he’s ever have, there’s little doubt in my mind that he did his job well. He only faced 23 total shots, but there were a handful of them that came in key moments of the game that allowed his teammates to weather the storm.
-With the pair of assists he pitched in, Evan Bouchard is up to 78 points on the season. That’s a remarkable number for a defenceman, and I have never seen anything like it as an Oilers fan that I can ever remember. I know Paul Coffey put up numbers like this, but I wasn’t old enough to experience it, and that’s why what Dad is doing blows my mind.
-I respect Jonathan Drouin’s comeback story — the way he’s playing in Colorado is amazing considering how many people had given up on him — but I very much dislike watching him score against the Oilers. Both sides of the coin, I suppose.
-Knowing that Friday was an Oilers game day, did you also spend the day wondering how the Oilers would do in the faceoff circle? Me too. Thankfully, I was elated when I find out that the boys won 66.1% of the draws.

THE BOA VIEWING PARTY AT GRETA

GAME DAY, hosted by Oilersnation at Greta Bar YEG, is on April 6th! Join the Oilersnation crew at our favourite Game Day Watch Party spot, Greta, on Saturday, April 6th, 2024, for the next BOA. Doors open at 7 pm. Tickets are $20, with proceeds going to support The Logan Hunter Memorial Fund – an organization dedicated to supporting the community in the memory and spirit of Logan Hunter, #18 from the Humboldt Broncos. Good food, a great cause and a guaranteed good time. Get your tickets at nationgear.ca before they sell out!

Check out these posts...