The Edmonton Oilers knew what the story would be. They knew how they would be ranked moving forward if they didn’t win Game 6:Three consecutive seasons in the playoffs. Three consecutive years eliminated in the first round.
Celebrate their game 6, win whatever you want. This will still be the story. It will still be how they will be ranked if they don’t win Game 7.this is the truth.
What happened Thursday in Los Angeles was amazing. But there is no trophy to win the sixth game. Every win is to get a 48 hour hold off.
The gallows will now be moved to the north by 3,317 kilometres. The electric chair will be delivered at Rogers Place in Edmonton instead of at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.
Yes, Oilers gave owner Daryl Katz another $3 million gate. Yes, they gave Edmonton fans the fourth occasion this season to create the most extraordinary environment found anywhere in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
But just because Oilers dig in and find the will to win Game 6 doesn’t mean they’ll be able to use the scene created by their fans for all it’s worth to win a series. They haven’t really used it yet.
This is the team that scored the first goal of the game to win three consecutive games and did not turn up in the first period of the other three.
This is the team that won Game 2 with a score of 6-0 and won Game 3 with a score of 8-2 and came out as if they thought the series had won and let a team of 11 players that had never played in it. The Stanley Cup Playoffs series before she topped them on aggregate 36-15 in the first period of her next two games.
How can the two blends claim the advantage of homemade ice? They lost two out of three at Rogers Place. And for the record, you should know that Los Angeles is 7-4 in Game 7 and has won four in a row while the Oilers have won 6-4 and haven’t won Game 7 since 1990.
Yes, the win was a “Get Out of Jail Free” card by Darnell a nurse who allowed himself to carry out a header penalty in Game 5 and a suspension in Game 6.
Yes, that allowed head coach Jay Woodcroft to get a pairing decision they never played together before pairing Brett Colack and Duncan Keith for the fateful first turn of game five overtime loss.
Yes, that gave future Hall of Famer Keith an extra opportunity to prove, after playing so poorly, that he could give the Oilers what general manager Ken Holland thought he could bring into this group in the playoffs as he did in play. Well in game 6.
And yes, it has extended the opportunity to prove to a couple of other players that their careers can continue here next year, and it probably wouldn’t have been the case if they hadn’t given themselves the chance to play in Game 7 and win. Series.
Got all this?
Now think about what it might mean if the Oilers came home and repeated that performance and won Game 7.
Now imagine what that might mean for Edmonton as a city that hosted 81 Stanley Cup playoffs in the Hub City bubble, won just one game and then was eliminated in four games at empty arenas in Edmonton and Winnipeg.
No one said “Gee, I hope the Oilers gas the next couple of games so we can play Match 7” after Oilers won 6-0 8-2.
Otters were supposed to be at home resting in the Dynamic Duo. Leon Driesitl and Conor McDavid were to have seen this amazing year bouncing back from first-round matches of the Stanley Cup rather than getting battered and bruised in attempting miraculous feats. Instead, they participated in a trilogy from Game 7s Saturday at Hockey Night In Canada.
That doesn’t detract from what this might mean for Edmonton fans who have struggled with a dark decade after 11 years of playoffs should the Oilers repeat the feat.
Imagine what that might mean in terms of the future and keeping this team together if they did?
Conor McDavid scored a bypass goal in his first turn and drove the bus. He now has 12 playoff points in the National Hockey League in six games. It was great all over the ice.
Leon Drysittel has five goals and eight points and was an absolute warrior while playing now painfully.
What if Evander Kane could play another match on Saturday like the two goals he played in Game Six? This resulted in a special scene for the series’ controversial offender that the Oilers bet on mid-season. Kane raised seven fingers after scoring the empty net to put it away and had to explain that it was Game 7. You could tell he didn’t even think about seven goals. He was building a relationship like never before.
All of this could be critical if Utterers can do it again.
But if they don’t win, sorry. It won’t mean much.