The Day After +9.0: Edmonton Oilers ‘not good enough’ dropping game three 5-1 to Vegas Golden Knights
Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
By Zach Laing6 months ago
In terms of uninspiring efforts, last night’s performance is about as apparent as they come.
Not that I thought the Vegas Golden Knights were going to roll over after an embarrassing home-ice loss to the Edmonton Oilers in game two, but I sure didn’t expect the road team to play as strong of a game as they did Monday night. Ultimately, it’s what led the Golden Knights to a 5-1 win over the Oilers.
For the Oilers, this game was over almost as quickly as it had started. Warren Foegele got the Oilers on the board with his first goal of the playoffs just 2:45 into this game and things were feeling good. That, however, lasted all of 1:59 seconds as Vegas would come down the other way and Jonathan Marchessault would tie the game at 1.
The Golden Knights hit blackjack, because from that point on they dominated the game.
Marchessault would another goal before the period was over, then come to the second, tallies from Zach Whitecloud, Jack Eichel and Chandler Stephenson would extend their lead to a point they never had to look back from.
After the game, Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft kept coming back to one thing: “to dress tonight up in any other way than not good enough would be false.”
“Not good enough to man, all of us. Is it disappointing? Yeah, it’s disappointing,” she said, “but we understand the type of team we are and in the end, whether you lose this game 1-0 in overtime or lose it the way we lost it, there’s things to learn and take out of this game to be better.
“In the end, they have two wins and we have one. It’s about us making sure that doesn’t happen again.”
THE DAY AFTER IS PRESENTED BY BETWAY
There were more than enough times where the Oilers could’ve gotten themselves in the game. I mean, right after Marchessault’s first of the game would’ve been a great point to you know… get back in the game. The other option would’ve been halfway through the first period, when Golden Knights goalie Laurent Brossoit was forced from the game due to a scary lower-body injury.
Adin Hill came into the game, and the Oilers opted to test him by taking three shots on goal down the back half of the period. That, in and of itself, was a picture-perfect example of the Oilers’ effort as a whole. Piss poor.
“It doesn’t matter who is in there, we got to put pressure on them and put pucks on and get those second and third rebounds,” said Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, whose anemic efforts have stood out. “That was our mindset in game two and we strayed away a bit tonight.”
There was very little in the way of the Oilers trying to get involved in the game akin to how the Golden Knights did in game two. Evander Kane took a run at Alex Pietrangelo as time expired in the first getting a two-minute penalty out of it, but even when the team mercy pulled Stuart Skinner after the fourth goal, you didn’t even see jump from the team.
Darnell Nurse tried to get Nic Hague to drop the gloves with second ticking away on the final buzzer, but the Vegas blueliner, who nicked up Zach Hyman earlier in the game in a collision, rightly passed on the trip to Tilly, Alberta.
So what’s the mindset for the Oilers now? Well, the plan is to pick up the lunch pail and get back to work today. Some video sessions, some coaching, some reflecting. After all, the Oilers have found themselves in this position before. It happened in their first series against the LA Kings this year, and we all know how that series went.
“We’ve bounced back before,” said Oilers captain Connor McDavid. “It’s a big game four, we understand that. I’d expect that sense of urgency to go up, I’d expect our best game in game four.”
Let’s see if they can bring it.
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