The Dynamic Duo (and Ian Cole) were unstoppable in Oilers’ Game 2 overtime win

1 month ago
The Oilers coughed up a two-goal lead in the third period of Wednesday’s game, and the boys were looking to rebound on Friday night in Vancouver. Led by some magic from the Dynamic Duo, the Oilers climbed back from three separate deficits before finally closing the game out 4-3 in overtime. The goal was to pick up at least a split in Vancouver, and the Oilers did precisely that.


Remember when Canucks fans were celebrating that Connor McDavid didn’t have a shot on goal in Game 1? I remember. Their overconfidence that he was stoppable was like tempting fate, and I couldn’t find it funnier that he torched Vancouver for four points (1G, 3A) in Game 2. After a quiet night on Wednesday, Connor McDavid showed the Canucks what he’s all about.
Right from the jump, you could tell that McDavid wanted the puck on his stick. Yeah, Knobby reunited the Dynamic Duo to utilize the nuclear deterrent and mitigate any mobility issues Draisaitl may have had, but it was clear as day from his first shift that McDavid was going to do something special.
From the way he distributed the puck, to the speed he utilized in the neutral zone, to the way he cashed in a clutch goal to tie the game at three apiece, Connor McDavid served up a fresh dose of humility for any Canucks fan who thought he was stoppable. Sure, you may be able to keep him quiet for a night now and then, but it’s nearly impossible to do it twice in a row. Last night, McDavid showed everyone why he’s the best player on earth. Doubt him at your perile, Vancouver.


Obviously, the big question on Friday was whether or not Leon Draisaitl would be able to a) play in the game and b) still be effective despite whatever ailment he’s working through. After watching him play in Game 2 and produce four points of his own (1g, 3A), it’s almost funny that we ever questioned whether he’d be able to go in the first place.
Despite being labelled as a game-time decision and everyone in the hockey world speculating on how he’d perform once it was confirmed that he’d play, Leon Draisaitl did what he always does when faced with a playoff challenge: He knocked it out of the park. I don’t know how else to describe the fact that he played 27:05 despite being banged up as real grade-A king shit.
From my side of the laptop screen, Leon Draisaitl’s performance was truly remarkable, and I wish I were smarter to come up with better words to describe how fantastic he played on Friday night. Through seven games in the playoffs so far, Leon Draisaitl has already scored six goals and 10 assists for 16 points, and it’s nearly impossible to stop him when he gets on a roll like this.


Yes, Evan Bouchard was given credit for the overtime winner, but how could we not give some love to Ian Cole for the perfectly executed deflection in front of the net? For a moment, I thought Ian Cole was Zach Hyman by the way he expertly got his stick on Bouchard’s centering pass, finessing the puck past Silovs like a 50-goal man.


-I hope everyone watches the clip of Nikita Zadorov diving like there were snipers in the building and has a good hearty chuckle about it. What was amazing to me was how many Canucks fans thought they got jobbed by the refs — yes, the McDavid high stick on Quinn Hughes was a miss — only to watch that team try and pull garbage like this the whole time. In reality, both sides had things happen that probably should have been called, but the way some Canucks fans think the refs are out to get them is genuinely fabulous to read.
-I loved Evan Bouchard’s Game 2. Of course he scored in overtime to give the Oilers a comeback win, but he made all kinds of plays with the puck that were causing the Canucks fits. When Dad is on his game, his puck skills are tough to manage, and I think last night was a great example of what he can do when he’s feeling it. Not to mention, Bouchard played a team-high 29:59 in TOI, registered five shots on goal, and looked incredibly comfortable at both ends of the rink. That pairing of Bouchard and Ekholm has been so good in these playoffs, and it’s honestly been a treat to watch.
Even though he only played 11:38, I was happy to see Adam Henrique back on the ice. The Oilers need him for his two-way abilities, and I hope his ability to play in Game 2 is a good sign for the rest of the series. I know he only played limited minutes, but they were mostly quiet minutes, and that’s a pretty solid place to be given that he’s battling some kind of lower-body injury.
-Stu, you’ve gotta stop that Zadorov shot. I love you, pal, but that one can’t go in from that angle at that stage of the game. Thankfully, the boys bailed you out with a solid third period and OT finish, but that goal made every Oilers fan’s heart sink. Stuart Skinner is better than an .842 save% — I truly believe that — but it’s tough to deny that he’s had some major gaffs through the first two games.
-Looking at the special teams, the Oilers got more than one power play opportunity in Game 2, and they were able to convert on 1-of-3 chances with the man advantage. Edmonton finally gave one up on the penalty kill but still handled 2-of-3 shorthanded situations they faced.
-I loved seeing the Oilers fire 15 shots on net in the third period alone after posting 18 through 60 minutes in Game 1.
-In Game 1, the Oilers won barely any faceoffs, and it was one of the many small details that I wanted to see them improve in Game 2. Well, according to the NHL’s official recap, our boys won 47.8% of the draws they took, which is certainly better than Wednesday but still not good enough for ol’ Baggedmilk.


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