When oilers need it most, Conor MacDavid He played the two best playoff games of his career in the six and seven must-win games against the Los Angeles Kings. He was above ice and had an effect in the three regions. “He’s the best player in the world and he’s shown that in the last two games,” said Leon Drysitl. “It’s not a skill..there is a lot of skill with him, that’s for granted, but it was the will. There was no way he would be denied it. It was amazing.”
McDavid’s brilliance has been on display since his arrival in the NHL in October of 2015, but he has continued to improve each season, and entering the playoffs for this season McDavid wanted to make a statement. In his previous playoff matches, he never really dominated as well as he did against the Kings. His play, specifically in 5×5, was on a higher level than anything he’s played in. And I wouldn’t be surprised if it took another grade against flame. As Draisaitl said, the skill is there, but McDavid’s determination and explosiveness seem to have reached new heights in the first round.
We’ve seen it from the greats before. Jordi Howe, Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Mark Messier, Sidney Crosby Others have carried their teams on occasion. Even when they had fellow Hall of Fame players, these players played at a higher level. McDavid did that in the first round, and I expect that to continue when he drops the disc in the first game of the Battle of Alberta in 31 years on Wednesday night.
The McDavid franchise gives oilers a legitimate chance against flames. McDavid will need to be all the world again, especially with his fellow racer, Leon Drystel He’s clearly fighting through an ankle injury. Edmonton will need McDavid to be great again, but they will also need the rest of the front group to continue to outsmart and outsmart the opponent when McDavid and Draisaitl are off the ice.
|Player 1||Player 2||TOI||GF||GA||%GF||xGF||xGA||xGF%|
|w/o McDavid||w/o Draisaitl||146: 52||4||2||66.67||6.57||5.78||53.18|
In front of the kings, the attackers’ depth beat the kings 4-2, outperformed them 82-74 and scored 53.1xGF%. When McDavid was on the ice, the Oilers crushed the Kings 11-4. When Draisaitl was playing without McDavid, they were bested 3-0 in Game Five and 6-1 overall. He entered the playoffs with an undisclosed injury, then suffered an ankle injury early in the sixth game when Mickey Anderson I put it down.
In the regular season, Draisaitl and McDavid played 292 minutes together, but Draisaitl played 992 without him. And in those minutes he outplayed the opponent 50-43. His 6-1 win in the series shows that he clearly messed up. This will not change immediately. Frank Serravalli reports that Drystel has a sprained ankle, and those rarely recover quickly.
But McDavid’s control and hold on the team doesn’t mean the team is bad. By one run, the Oilers Forward’s production without McDavid and Drystle was better than the deep production of the 2009 Cup-winning Pittsburgh Penguins without Sidney Crosby and Evgeny Malkin.
|Player 1||Player 2||TOI||GF||GA||%GF||xGF||xGA||xGF%|
|Crosby||w/o malkin||320: 24||15th||9||62||13.13||10.45||55.67|
|w/o Crosby||owners||325: 16||17||16||51.5||13.54||10.25||56.91|
|w/o Crosby||w/o malkin||472: 15||12||17||41.3||12.7||17.03||42.71|
When they won the cup, with Crosby on the ice, they outperformed the teams 21-12 at 5×5. Without him they would have been 29-33. Malkin was 17-16.
So far the Oilers have outlasted the opponent 11-4 with McDavid on the ice and have outlasted the opponent by 5-8.
But without Crosby and Malkin, the Penguins are 12-17, while the Oilers are, so far, 4-2. If that continues against Calgary, the Oilers should be very competitive in the series, as I doubt McDavid will top the scores. And with Draisaitl playing, he’ll likely stay on McDavid’s wing for a good portion of his icy time. Draisaitl played 16:30 from 18:21 out of a 5×5 TOI with McDavid in Game Seven.
At 29:31 at 5×5 without McDavid and Draisaitl on the ice, the Oilers were pretty good.
They scored 55.5FF% (20-16), 59.2SF% (16-11) and 70.2xGF% via Natural Stat Trick. Calgary is a more talented team than L.A., so the Depth Oilers will need to do better, but he did very well in the first round against L.A. Evander Kane and Zach Hyman will need to keep scoring, while the other attackers will have to get involved here and there and, most importantly, maintain their defensive health.
I still do not understand the concern about Mike Smith. He’s been good the past two seasons.
Of the 39 goalkeepers who have started at least 50 games in the past two seasons, Smith has the sixth best Sv% at 0.919. Mikko Koskinen ranked 33rd in .902.
In the 2021 and 2022 qualifiers, 24 goalkeepers played at least six matches. Smith had the fourth best Sv% at 0.929. Eight goalkeepers have played over 10 matches and have the highest Sv% among them. When he played he was very good.
Smith and Jacob Markstrom She was equally impressive in the first round, but Smith faced significantly more shots.
Markstrom recorded .943Sv%. He stopped 181 of 192 rounds in 431 minutes.
Smith scored .938Sv% and stopped 244 shots from 260 rounds in 419 minutes.
The Oilers will need to create more chances than Dallas did in the first round. And the flame will need to register more.
They scored 15 goals in seven games against Dallas. MacDavid earned 14 points by himself against the Kings.
This should be a great series.
Finally, hockey fans in Alberta get to experience a playoff battle in Alberta. This would be great.
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