Random Thoughts: The Game 1 Collapse

Photo credit:Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports
1 year ago
The Oilers kicked off their playoff run last night at Rogers Place, and needless to say, it did not go the way we had hoped. That’s why I thought it would be a good idea to empty my brain of all its delicious ideas pertaining to last night’s series opener.


Despite the weather being soggy and generally miserable, Oilers fans still came out en masse and were ready to party for the start of the 2023 playoffs. Long before the puck dropped, Oilers fans were all over the grounds at Rogers Place in anticipation of what was to come and it made for a pretty special sight in the hours leading up to the game. For a fanbase that hadn’t had a whole lot to celebrate over the last 20 years, the way we crank things up for the postseason like seasoned veterans is so much fun to be a part of and witness. No, the fun didn’t last the whole night, but dammit we started things off with a bang and it made me proud of how cool this city is during the playoffs.


Even though I know some of the calls the Oilers took were questionable at best, they have to find a way to stay out of the penalty box in Game 2 and beyond. Not only was the PK mediocre at best and gave up two goals on six chances, but putting yourself down a man that many times is sure to ruin the flow of the evening regardless of how well you’ve started the game. Discipline will be key for Edmonton throughout the remainder of this series, and the boys will need to do a much better job of playing within the lines or run the risk of having the exact same result as last night.


Being an Oilers fan my whole life, I’ve seen a lot of annoying third period collapses, but last night’s debacle has to rank up there with one of the more frustrating finishes we will ever see. Dominant through the first 40 minutes, I think it almost looked like the Oilers were acting as though they had the win in the bag, and the result was that they took their foot off the gas and ended up soiling themselves. Over that final 20+ minutes, the Oilers made more errors with the puck than they probably had throughout their entire nine-game winning streak, and if they can clean up even half of those mistakes then we would have been talking about a Game 1 win instead of a frustrating loss. The Oilers are better at closing games out than they showed last night, and that’s why I’m not actually too concerned about the way things are going. Am I happy? No. But am I gonna be a ‘whiny baby that throws his beer on the ice’ upset? Also no.


Listen, I was as annoyed as anyone in that building last night when the Oilers blew two separate two-goal leads to cough up Game 1 to the LA Kings. I was hammered, sad, and all up in my feelings after the loss, but the last thing I would have ever thought about was throwing shit on the ice when it was over. Did you dummies think that winning the Stanley Cup was going to be easy? Maybe you thought this run was going to be a walk in the park and that the Oilers would win 16 straight games on their way to a championship? Either way, you all looked like idiots and made the rest of us seem like assholes that can’t handle a loss. Frankly, it was embarrassing.


As much as I know we’re all pissed off and a little broker today than we were yesterday, it’s important to remember that the Oilers only lost the first game of a seven-game series. Even though I know it’s incredibly frustrating to watch the boys cough up a two-goal lead in the third period not once but twice, it’s also important to remember that this is a long series, and losing the first game doesn’t mean this thing is anywhere close to over. As much as that loss was irritating for multiple reasons — the penalties and third period collapse certainly come to mind — we’ve seen the Oilers bounce back in a big way before and we’ll need them to do it again on Wednesday night in Game 2. Besides, let’s not pretend that the Oilers lost last night because LA was the better team. The Oilers lost last night’s game because the Oilers kept making avoidable mistakes and essentially gift-wrapped the comeback.


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