Quotes, Lyrics, Skinner and Why the Oilers Don’t Need to Panic

Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Gregor
9 days ago
This is what playoff hockey is like.
“It ain’t how hard you can hit. It’s how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. It’s how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done,” Rocky Balboa.
The greatest fictional boxer in movie history knows. He knows. The Oilers lost round two of their scheduled seven-round fight v. the Los Angeles Kings last night. Now they have to move forward.
Some peeps need to remember how the playoffs work. It isn’t lollipops and rainbows every day. After game one you were elated. Connor McDavid was going to score 40 points en route to the Oilers’ sixth Stanley Cup. Okay, let’s be real, no one in Edmonton was parading down the street after game one with a replica Stanley Cup. That only happens in Vancouver. But I digress.
Monday night, Oilersnation was elated, as you should have been, but last night and today many of you are, “In a glass case of emotion,” to quote Ron Burgandy.
Take a breath. The Oilers aren’t panicking. They didn’t play close to their potential in game two. They started cautiously. Their passes weren’t as crisp or accurate as in game one. They dumped the puck in far too frequently when they were changing, thus giving LA time to regroup without a forecheck. Their top guns were pretty quiet offensively at 5×5.
Stuart Skinner needs to make a few more saves. He knows it. We all know it. Skinner described his view of the five goals against.
“He (Kempe) made a good shot, but I think I can make that stop. The second goal was an odd bounce off of two guys. On the third one Doughty mishandled the breakaway as he was trying to go to his backhand and I could have made a better read. The fourth one I didn’t see it at all, Byfield made a good screen. The fifth one was a strange deflection that lands right on Kopitar’s stick and he made a good shot. It is a good opportunity to learn and grow,” said Skinner.
A quick glance at Skinner’s .857 sv% and some might think he’s been terrible. I’m not sure it tells the entire story. The final three goals on Monday weren’t anything I’d be concerned about. As Skinner said, he could have played better last night. Kempe batting his second of the game out of mid-air is not one I’d put on the goalie. Does he need to play better? Of course. But in game one when the score was 2-0 he stopped Viktor Arvidsson on a breakaway and moments later Zach Hyman made it 3-0. That was a massive save and a huge part of the game one victory.
Cam Talbot’s save on Leon Draisaitl with 21 seconds remaining in the second period last night arguably saved the game for LA, according to head coach Jim Hiller. “He made a huge stop. You could say it saved us the game.”
Talbot has allowed 10 goals in two games and Skinner’s allowed nine. It would be fair to say that LA has had a few more fortuitous bounces thus far. That is part of playoff hockey, and some fans might want to take the advice of a rather popular singer…
You are somebody that I don’t know
But you’re taking shots at me like it’s Patrón
And I’m just like “Damn, it’s 7:00 a.m.”
Say it in the street, that’s a knock-out
But you say it in a Tweet, that’s a cop-out
And I’m just like, “Hey, are you okay?”
The angst, outrage and hyperbole regarding Skinner’s performance last night was intense. I understand why some are fired up and concerned, but did anyone think the Oilers were going to sweep the Kings?
And was Skinner the only key player on the Oilers who didn’t have his best game last night? No.
The fourth line was the Oilers’ best line 5×5. Dylan Holloway scored twice. He and Mattias Janmark were very good. Sam Carrick made a nice pass to set up Holloway’s first goal and none of them were on the ice for a goal against 5×5. Usually, when your fourth line chips in with two goals, you win because you’d expect some offence from your top lines. But the problem was the fourth line, and Darnell Nurse were the only skaters who outscored the Kings 5×5 last night. Brett Kulak was even, while the other 13 skaters were all outscored 5×5.
Edmonton didn’t lose solely because of Stuart Skinner, just like they didn’t win solely because of McDavid’s five points in game one. Many players played well in game one, and many players underperformed in game two. The Oilers didn’t play horribly, but they can play better, and I expect they will tomorrow. LA responded with a better performance in game two, and now the Oilers have to do the same. Maybe they will fire up some old-school Chumbawamba.
I get knocked down, But I get up again
You’re never gonna keep me down
I get knocked down. But I get up again
You’re never gonna keep me down


Stanley Cup-winning teams are resilient. Almost none have a smooth run to sipping from Lord Stanley’s Cup. Since the NHL went to seven-game series for all four rounds (1987), 36 teams have hoisted the Cup. The 1988 Edmonton Oilers went 16-2. Five teams, including the 2022 Colorado Avalanche, lost four games and 27 of the 36 teams lost at least six. Most teams experience some serious adversity along the way.
1989 – Calgary Flames defeated Vancouver in overtime in game seven of the opening round.
1990 – Edmonton Oilers trailed Winnipeg three games to one, before winning the final three games to advance to the second round.
1991 – Pittsburgh Penguins lost the first two games in the Conference Finals, before rebounding to defeat Boston in six games.
1992 – Penguins lost their opening two games to Washington, then trailed 3-1, before winning three in a row and winning their opening round.
1993 – Montreal Canadiens won an amazing 10 games in overtime to win the Cup.
1994 – Rangers had to overcome a 3-2 series deficit to the New Jersey Devils in the third round, which included the infamous Mark Messier guaranteed-win game, then they lost games five and six v. Vancouver in the Finals, before winning game seven.
1999 – Dallas Stars led 2-1 in Conference Final v. COL, then lost games four and five, before having to win games six and seven against a great COL team.
2000 – Devils trailed Philadelphia 3-1 in the Conference Final before winning three in a row, including games five and seven, in Philadelphia.
2001 – Avalanche were shutout in games five and six in the second round in LA before rallying to win game seven. They then rallied from a 3-2 deficit in the Finals to defeat the defending champion, the New Jersey Devils, in seven.
2002 – Detroit trailed the Avs (defending Champs) 3-2 in the Conference Final, before winning games six and seven.
2003 – Devils won in OT in game seven on the road in the CF v. Ottawa and won the Cup in game seven over Anaheim.
2004 – Tampa Bay trailed 3-2 in the Finals before rallying to defeat the Flames.
2009 – Penguins trailed 2-0 in their second round to Washington and 2-0 to Detroit in the Finals. Rallied to win both series in seven games.
2011 – Bruins lost the first two game to Montreal in round one before winning in seven. They trailed 2-0 and 3-2 to Vancouver in the Finals before winning game seven on the road to hoist the Cup.
2013 – Blackhawks trailed Detroit 3-1 in the second round, before winning in seven games.
2014 – Kings trailed San Jose 3-0, before becoming only the fourth team in NHL history to recover and win in seven games. They won their first three series in seven games.
2016 – Penguins trailed Tampa Bay 3-2 in Conference Finals, before winning in seven games.
2017 – Penguins won the Cup without the services of their top D-man, Kris Letang.
2018 – Capitals lost their first two games to Columbus, then started Braden Holtby in game three and won the series.
2019 – Blues trailed 3-2 in the second round to Dallas and won in seven. Also won three games in Boston, including game seven, to hoist the Cup.
It is rare to breeze through the playoffs, and last night’s loss should be easy to overcome. They didn’t play up to their capabilities. Many players can be better.
Tomorrow is another day, and as the great Eminem wrote, another opportunity.
Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted, in one moment
Would you capture it, or just let it slip?

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