The Day After 3.0: ‘Mayor’ Leon Draisaitl continues dominance in Nashville as Jack Campbell shuts the door
Photo credit:Alan Poizner-USA TODAY Sports
By Zach Laing1 month ago
All it took was a trip to Nashville.
And boy, did it help the Edmonton Oilers “get right.”
The start of the Oilers’ season could have been better. An 8-1 walloping on opening night at the hands of the Vancouver Canucks, and while they fared better last Saturday night, three goals still led them to a loss.
So when everyone looked at the calendar and saw a trip to Broadway was in the cards for game three of the season, a sigh of relief was released given Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl’s success against them in the past.
The former scored a goal and an assist, while the latter piled up another big night with two goals and as many assists en route to a 6-1 win.
THE DAY AFTER IS PRESENTED BY BETWAY
For the Oilers as a whole, it was all clicking. The offence was there with multi-point performances from the Dynamic Duo and… *checks notes* …Zach Hyman, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Warren Foegele and Evan Bouchard. The goaltending was there, too. Jack Campbell turned aside 42 of 43 faced, good enough for a .977 save percentage — far and away better than the .750 he was sporting heading into the night.
And for Draisaitl, the Mayor of Nashville, the offence continued to click — but don’t ask him about it.
“I get asked this a lot, and I’m kind of sick of it; I’m not gonna lie,” he said with a chuckle. “I have the same answer every time. It’s annoying.
“Sometimes it works better against certain teams than other teams, and I’m sure there’s going to be a time where it comes to an end too. Hopefully I can drag it out a couple more games. We’ll see. It’s nothing I overly think about too much. It happens that way, and I’ll take it.”
For as good of a night as Draisaitl had — one you could spill an unlimited amount of ink on — Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft was equally focused on the performance of another player: goaltender Jack Campbell. His performance, as mentioned above, was one of his strongest as a member of the team, and Woodcroft was quick to point that out after he got his first question in Tuesday night’s post-game press conference.
“I wouldn’t go to the offence; I would go to the defence first, and I would go to the way Jack played,” Woodcroft explained. “He played the way he expects to play. He played the way we expect him to play. (He) made numerous big saves, looked like he was confident and big out there and he allowed us to get into the game and find a way to win it.
“We got contributions from a lot of people, but certainly, Jack’s contributions stood out above the rest.”
The next step for the Oilers will be to keep this bit of momentum going. As Woodcroft further alluded, it was “far from a finished product,” with “things we’re going to have to continue to clean up here.”
Edmonton will have a chance to continue that process against the Philadelphia Flyers Thursday night — a team that downed the feeling-good Vancouver Canucks last night in a 2-0 shutout. Edmonton will return home Saturday to take on the Winnipeg Jets that night.
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 email@example.com.
Recent articles from Zach Laing