“I think you’ll see low grade nights and maybe some nights there are two more goals, but we expect it to be a very tight streak.”
That’s what Conor McDavid predicted before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs version of the Battle of Alberta, well, you could say Game 1 had “two more goals” – 15 in total, to be exact – as it was played at a frantic pace with high levels of intensity and chaos. . The result was somewhat reminiscent of Calgary’s 9-5 victory in late March which MacDavid referred to as a “gong show”.
Wednesday’s final score was 9-6 and the main reason was Edmonton’s poor start.
It can’t be said enough that McDavid wasn’t part of the Oilers problem. The star was almost a part of solutionwhere he fought with his fifth goal in the qualifiers and added three assistants during his team’s attempt to return.
McDavid has 18 points from eight games after the season this year.
“He’s a fantastic player. He’s the best player in the league. He was the best player on the ice (Wednesday). Not even close to that,” Calgary’s bench chief Daryl Sutter said of No. 97. Conor McDavid got four points per game, you have a good next streak, Conor.”
Will the intensity of Kan-Takachuk end in the second match?
Matthew Tkachuk and Evander Kane were at the center of many scratches after the whistle, which wasn’t surprising at all. The two flankers were sent into the penalty area simultaneously during a regular season showdown in March, and both received underdogs leaning toward penetration at each other before the start of the period.
Bodily and jaw-dropping gameplay was present in Game 1 as well, and tensions increased throughout a hot third period. During the pay exchange, Tkachuk could at one point be seen speaking to Kane, “Do you want some money? Need some money?” in a supposed reference to Kane filing for bankruptcy in early 2021.
Tkachuk even rubs his fingers together as if he’s David Brent the desk (the original the deskAnd people!) trying to displease his opponent.
They kept staring at each other in the penalty area with Tkachuk at one point repeating, “You poor bastard” to Kane.
Tkachuk was back on the ice before Kane did – despite the two entering the penalty area at the same time – and scored moments later leading to some confusion.
Sportsnet’s Elliot Friedman was among those who correctly pointed out on social media that rule 16.2 in the official NHL Rulebook explains why Tkachuk was allowed out of the penalty area before teammates Oliver Kylington and Kane.
Tkachuk later came home with an empty net to seal the deal for his team, completing his first triple in the playoffs. The 24-year-old now has 11 points (6 goals, 5 assists) in five regular and post-season games against the Oilers in 2021-22.
Kane, who scored his first hat-trick in an opening round playoff and has seven goals so far in these playoffs, has been largely disappointed in his three games against the Flames this year, with zero points, four PIMs minus -5 plus/minus. And only six on goal.
WILL THE OILS WAKE UP AT THE PUCK-DROP?
The Oilers had lost 3-0 by the halfway point of the first half. This deficit ended up being the ultimate difference and the Oilers know very well that they will have to be much more severe than that early in Game 2.
“We fought and made it a game but we don’t feel good about it in any way because we scored six goals in the game and we found a way not to win it,” Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft told reporters after the second game in a row. The loss to Calgary as his team allowed nine goals against it.
Edmonton were an effective first-period side, outperforming their opponents 87-81 during the opening 20 minutes of the regular season, but Calgary was even better, scoring 93 first-half goals and allowing 52 league goals to be scored.
Calgary is 3-0-0 against Edmonton in games at Saddledome this season, with a total of 21-12.
How many goals and penalty minutes this time?
The first match was a busy night for officials to fill out the match sheet. The penalty boxes were crowded, with calls taking place right up to the last bell, and there was an average goal scored every four minutes.
What can fans expect in Game 2? Let this compilation video below serve as a reminder of what’s possible when these teams meet.
How can Rangers improve in ‘Game of the Year’?
The Battle of Alberta isn’t Friday’s only action. The New York Rangers will attempt to recover from a 1-0 series deficit once again after losing their second straight game 1 in overtime.
The Carolina Hurricanes relied on a strong outing from Ante Renta and increased energy in the third period for a victory coming from behind.
New York put in a full effort throughout the opening 40 minutes. “The first two stints were perfect hockey for us,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant even said, later adding, “I thought it was our best game of the year, it really did.”
If Your Best Match of the Year didn’t yield a win, where would you go from there?
The Rangers must figure out how to fix the Raanta problem, or else tee times will soon be booked for early June. They have not faced the Finnish goalkeeper at all this season, with Fredrik Andersen making three appearances against the Blue Shirts and debutante Peter Kochetkov.
Ranta played for his former team only once in his career, allowing only one goal in a penalty shootout loss in 2018 when he was with Coyote.
The guards could continue to look at their talented youth to create an attack. Alexis Lavrinier has five points in his past six games and has been strong. The 2020 first general selection became the fourth player aged 20 or younger in Rangers history to score five or more points in a single post-season season. Look for Lafreniere to be your Friday helper.