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Random Thoughts: Oilers vs. Canucks — Let’s Dance

Connor McDavid Edmonton Oilers
Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
baggedmilk
1 month ago
The Oilers wrapped up their first-round series against the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday, and that’s given me a few days to let my thoughts marinate for a few days. Now that we know the Oilers will be playing the Canucks in Round 2, I’m emptying my brain’s delicious contents in the hopes that you’ll be able to help me make sense of the chaos.

CANUCKS IT IS

The Canucks squeaked out a Game 6 win in Nashville on Friday night, meaning the Oilers will be heading to Vancouver for Games 1 and 2 starting early next week. This series is going to be a blast. Not only are both sides ripe with skill, but the fanbases are as passionate as they get, which has me expecting all kinds of chaos over the next couple of weeks. If we thought the L.A. series was spicy, this thing already looks like a bomb with the fuse lit.
Moments after the final buzzer on Friday night in Nashville, there were already a bunch of Canucks fans talking trash in our mentions on social media, and the level of confidence they’re showing despite narrowly getting past the Predators is perfect bulletin board material. Many of them seem to think what happened in October will carry over. Frankly, I hope Canucks fans think this series will be easy because that will make the surprise of what’s coming for them land like a punch to the nose.

REGULAR SEASON RECORDS MEAN NOTHING NOW

I know there are plenty of Canucks fans who think this series is going to be a cakewalk because the Canucks beat the Oilers in all four matchups from this season, and I really hope the team maintains that same level of confidence. As we saw in the Avalanche/Jets series that wrapped up with Colorado demolishing Winnipeg in five games, what happened in the regular season doesn’t mean anything in the playoffs.
If you remember, the Avalanche lost every game against Winnipeg quite handily in the regular season but ultimately walked through them in the playoffs. The Jets had no answers, and the Avs had no issues. Of course, we’re obviously talking about two teams that don’t matter at all when it comes to the Oilers/Canucks, but I’m hopeful that the same principles can apply to us. I hope Vancouver’s (team and fanbase) overconfidence will be their downfall.

THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM

Now that we know the Oilers are squaring off against Vancouver in Round 2, my ask is that we all rest up for what is likely to be an intense couple of weeks. Not only will we be having another dose of late nights and early mornings, but going up against another Canadian team likely means we’ll also be dealing with plenty of chirps and barbs from friends and family.
I have a bunch of family who live in B.C. and I’m already hearing about how Vancouver will run through the Oilers. Apparently, a bunch of these cats are taking a 4-0 regular season record as a prediction of the future, and that’s the perfect opportunity for our boys to ruin their spirit. I hope this overconfidence continues all weekend because the reality is that Vancouver is about to see a completely different animal than what they got when the Oilers were struggling back in October.

BEATING THE KINGS INTO A REBUILD WOULD BE INCREDIBLE

Yesterday, we posted some quotes from Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty that said they aren’t interested in playing through a rebuild. Of course, no one from Los Angeles has said the Kings are going to tear the thing down, but people are going to start wondering if you should when you lose to the same team three times in as many years.
“I have no interest in that. I don’t think that’s even necessary to think about, to be honest with you,” Doughty said. “I do not want to go down that road.”
Kopitar, who, at 36, is more than two years Doughty’s senior, put a finer point on it.
“I don’t think I have time for retooling now,” Kopitar said. “Like I said, it’s another two years. If we go into a full rebuild, it’s not something that I want — and I think there are some pieces that are obviously very useful here, and we’ve got to build on that.”
Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t help but laugh when I see these two guys — future Hall-of-Famers, by the way — being asked whether they’d want to stick around to see the organization get torn down to the studs. There’s no way. Winners of two Cup rings each, Kopitar and Doughty are players that will always want to have success, and I wonder if that yearning will always align with what’s best for the organization.
“I think it’s more of a depth thing than an impact guy,” Doughty said. “The guys gelled in well with the team. There are great guys in the room, great guys off the ice. We just need the whole team to perform better. We’re not putting any blame on anyone here, it’s the whole team altogether.
If only they hadn’t traded away some of their best depth pieces in that PLD trade. Too bad, I guess. Too bad.

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