Hyman could have gone to a quiet market.  Instead, he's in Edmonton - and he's thriving - Sportsnet.ca

Hyman could have gone to a quiet market. Instead, he’s in Edmonton – and he’s thriving – Sportsnet.ca

LOS ANGELES – We’re not sure if Zach Hyman went from the frying pan to the fire or the other way around, but either way the heat around him is intense.

The guy who spent six seasons under broilers in Toronto, roasted for traditional first-round exits for the Maple Leafs, might want to go somewhere cooler and safer to play. Instead, the winger picked the Edmonton Oilers.

Oilers, who have won one playoff tour in the past six years with Conor McDavid and Leon Drysittle? The Oilers, who followed up their surprising run to the 2006 Stanley Cup Final by missing the playoffs for the next 10 seasons? Yes, those oilers.

This is the team Hyman picked last summer as a free agent. Sure, he’ll make $38.5 million over seven years, but he’ll also get more grill marks if he disappoints the Oilers again.

“There are a lot of similarities,” Hyman said Saturday of leaving Toronto for Edmonton. “First of all we are both in a Canadian market, two Canadian teams, and with not having the Stanley Cup in Canada for a long time, I think any Canadian team doing the playoffs has extra pressure from the market. Just putting the two teams down after losing early and having some mishaps. Early on… in the first round, I think there are similarities with those. Two young teams, as well as young cores, and an elite group of elite players – Connor, Leon, Auston, Mitch (Matthews and Marner) – so, yeah, tons of similarities between the two. Only eastern and western.

“I love playing in this kind of market. I love going to the rink, especially in the playoffs. If you’re there in Edmonton for Game 1 and 2, you might feel something. The atmosphere was incredible. The crowds are loud, probably the loudest in my career.” I’ve never heard a fan like that. You want to be in a place that cares and you want to be in a place where when you win, it means something. The bottoms may be lower and the highs may be higher, but as a player you want to be in a market that really cares” .

On his sixth trip to the National Hockey League playoffs and first with the Oilers, Hyman scored two goals in Friday’s 8-2 Game 3 embarrassing Los Angeles Kings, surpassing not only the only goal he scored in the Maple Leafs’ first-round meltdown against the Montreal Canadiens last spring but a higher record A new professional level for the goals of the playoffs.

The 29-year-old has not scored more than a single goal in any of his five attempts with the Leafs in the Stanley Cup Championship, which is surprising given that the powerful bull Hyman appears to have been built for the playoffs. The 210-pound winger is all about winning puck fights and protecting the puck, controlling play along boards and fighting traffic to get to the front of the net.

In his second goal on Friday, he simply outpaced former Oiler Andreas Athanasio to win the ball, used his body position to skate away from King and then scored with a forehand that made the score 4-0 and chased Jonathan Quick out of Los Angeles. It’s 7:42 in the second period.

“He’s a puck protector, someone who makes people stand on his back, and he’s able to smash teams into the attack zone just by keeping his feet moving, through his discus protection skills,” Edmonton coach Jay Woodcroft told reporters on Saturday. The Oilers Hotel is across from the square here. “I’m thinking about his goal last night… It was a 50/50 puck fight and he was, in my opinion, more determined to win that ball. He passed someone’s hands and then had the power to take him down.”

Hyman has scored 27 career goals for the Oilers this season, spending the first half of the year mostly as MacDavid and then moving to the Drysettl streak after Edmonton signed Evander Kane in January.

Hyman also controlled 52.6 percent of shot attempts and scored a projected goal share of 53.9 percent in five against five.

“I think every player wants to up their game in the playoffs,” Heymann said. “That’s what you play for. A regular season is almost like the playoffs experience, and that’s when the real hockey starts. And you want to be a successful player in those games.

“I have always felt that I have raised my level in the past. You may not have shown up statistically, but I just want to keep helping the team win and keep moving forward.”

The rising tide of Oilers reflects the rise of many players. Kane scored a hat-trick on Friday and talented Ryan Nugent Hopkins scored a distant third behind McDavid and Drissettle with two goals.

First Defender Evan Bouchard had assists and Cody Cisse had three assists and was plus four and led the Oilers with a 22:08 icy time. Cody Sissy!

It’s no wonder Woodcroft has put a “teamwork spirit” on the media to describe his team spirit and togetherness even if almost no one, players included, knows what he means.

The Kings are supposed to be the sum of his parts in this first-round streak, but the Oilers, with their deep contributions and well-balanced ice times, just beat them 6-0 8-2 to take the 2 1 top of the seven and show the “team” by far the best.

“Woody said it best: The camaraderie with the team is everything,” Heyman said. “You enjoy playing with the guys, you enjoy being around them and you want to win, you want to play for as long as you can, right? It makes it so much better when everyone enjoys being around each other.”

Winning through relegation doesn’t hurt either.

Hyman’s heaviness, determination, ability to finish, and willingness to play against the blast furnace on the market seem perfectly suited to the oiler.

“As a player, you know your capabilities and you want to push it to the limit,” he said. “And the playoffs are the time to do it. That’s when things get a little more difficult. It’s a phase, right?”

the biggest.



2022-05-07 23:55:00

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