(1C) Colorado Avalanche vs (2P) Edmonton Oilers
Avalanche: 56-19-7 (119 points), the Nashville Predators defeated 4-0 in the first round, and St. Louis Blues 4-2 in the second round.
Oiled: 49-27-6 (104 points), defeated the Los Angeles Kings 4-3 in the first round, Calgary Flames 4-1 in the second round.
Season series: COL 2-1-0; EDM 1-0-2
Game 1: Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; TNT, CBC, SN, TVAS)
Two of the best players in the NHL in Colorado Avalanche striker Nathan McKinnon The Edmonton Oilers forward Conor MacDavid They will face off when their teams meet in the Western Conference Final of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
This will be the third time that Colorado and Edmonton meet in the post-season. Avalanche won five games in the 1997 conference semi-finals, and the Oilers won seven games in the conference quarter-finals the following season.
Colorado is playing in the Conference Final for the first time since 2002, when it lost in seven games to the Detroit Red Wings. Edmonton is playing in the Conference Final for the first time since 2006, when it advanced to the Stanley Cup Final before losing in seven games to the Carolina Hurricanes.
Colorado was led by McKinnon in the regular season, who scored five points (three goals, two assists) in the three games against Edmonton. Darcy Comber He started every match and went 2-1-0 with 2.62 goals-to-average and 0.921 save percentages.
Oilers Defense Tyson Barrywho played his first eight seasons in the National Hockey League with avalanche from 2011-19, knows what makes McKinnon special.
Playing with him, his work ethic, the way he prepares and treats his body reminds me a lot [McDavid]Barry said. They are on top of their game and they take care of themselves to make sure they are on top of their game. From a gaming point of view, you guys look like us. He is a strong, skilled player who can do everything. It’s going to be a handful, but nothing we can’t handle.”
Edmonton led forward Evander Kingwho had five points (four goals and one assist) in three games of the regular season against Colorado. McDavid (four passes), Leon Drystel (Two passes) combined for six points, but no goal was scored.
Mike Smith He started two games against Colorado, going 1-0-1 with a 2.99 GAA and 0.912 save percentage. Mikko Koskinen He made 33 saves in his only start, losing 2-1 on penalties on 9 April.
avalanche Eric Johnson He said he thought training against McKinnon would help them against McDean.
“Sometimes we get in a lot of rush against Nate in practice and you’re kind of like, ‘Stop, that’s what this looks like. “They will always play plays and find a way to generate opportunities, just how many will you let them enjoy and how many will they produce?” Johnson said. But it definitely helps. When you go against the best, sometimes it makes it a little easier in games.”
Avalanche: MacKinnon was put on watch by the Blues for the most part in the second round series, but he reminded everyone in Game 5 how dangerous he can be. McKinnon finished with four points in that match, including his second hat-trick in a playoff. McKinnon has 13 points (eight goals, five assists) in 10 play-offs, and is on a level playing field. Cal Makar to drive an avalanche.
Oiled: It’s kind of a flop between McDavid and Draisaitl, both of whom have scored seven goals and 19 assists in 12 playoffs. Driesitl finished 17 points (2 goals, 15 assists) in five games against the Flames, and McDavid had 12 points (three goals, 9 assists), including the series’ overtime goal in Game 5. So instead of picking only one , Colorado needs to be aware of both at all times.
Video: STL @ COL, Gm5: McKinnon’s second hat-trick in the playoff
Avalanche: Kuemper missed Match 4 of Round 1 against the Predators after sustaining an eye injury late in the first period of Match 3, but was able to come back against the Blues and start every game of that series. Kuemper has had some ups and downs in this postseason, but he’s 6-2 with a 2.44 GAA and 0.904 savings percentage. Pavel Francoswho finished for Quimper against Nashville, 2-0 with a 2.97 GAA and 0.902 savings percentage.
Oiled: Smith has started every game this season, going 8-3 with 2.70 GAA, 0.927 saves and two closings. The 40-year-old finished strong against Calgary in the second round after being substituted early in the first game by Koskinen, who allowed five goals from 37 shots.
Numbers to know
Avalanche: 34.5. Power percentage in the playoffs for Colorado, the best in the NHL. Avalanche averages 10 for 29 with the man advantage, picking up right where he left off in the regular season, when he finished seventh in the NHL with 24 percent.
Oiled: 4.33 goals per game in the playoffs for Edmonton, the best in the National Hockey League. The Oilers have scored at least four goals in eight out of 12 matches, and at least five in six.
[RELATED: Complete Avalanche vs. Oilers series coverage]
Avalanche: headquarters. He may have only had three assists against the Blues, but whether he ends up on the scoring sheet or not, the defender can always make things happen. Makar leads the avalanche in avalanche time per playoff game (26:42), a critical component of both the power-and-kill game.
Oiled: Kane hasn’t entered this season with a lot of playoff experience, but that didn’t matter. The striker was fantastic for the Oilers, leading the team with 12 goals and a shooting percentage of 23.5. His 15 points were also third, behind McDavid and Drysittel.
Video: CGY @ EDM, Gm3: Kane scores a hat-trick at 6:00
they said that
“Playing Edmonton all year round, they have a really tight structure [Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft] there. So it’s a tough team to play against. They don’t give you much, and they stick to both sides of the disc, despite the narrative surrounding this team. Obviously that might change now, but it’s a really tough team to play against. It would be a total team effort to shut down these guys. I have to stay out of the box too, but we’re confident. We feel that if we give our best, we can score against anyone.” — Avalanche striker Nathan McKinnon
“I think we’ve played Colorado really well throughout the year. They have some natural gifts, we have some natural gifts, and sure as we go our way through this series they’re going to have some moments, but we’ll have some good moments as well. We’re going to do some things to try and prepare our team for that.” The level of speed and skill that will be on the ice.” – Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft
He will win if…
Avalanche: They can get deeper points. Everyone knows what to expect from McKinnon and McCarry Gabriel Landskog And the Miko Rantanenbut when it mattered most in Game Six against the Blues, Avalanche got two goals from JT Comfier While the fourth line forward Darren Helm He scored the series finale with 5.6 seconds remaining. If Colorado regains that production again, it will advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2001.
Oiled: If Smith is at his best. He had a strong attack at Flames in the second round, and the avalanche would present the same challenge. Smith couldn’t allow any easy goals if the Oilers wanted to advance to the cup final for the first time since 2006.
how do you look
Predicted lineup avalanche
Gabriel Landskog – Nathan McKinnon – Arturi Laconin
Valery Neshushkin – Nazim Qadri – Mikko Rantanen
Andrei Burakovsky – JT Comfer – Nicholas Ob-Kobel
Andrew Cogliano – Darren Helm – Logan O’Connor
Devon Toze – Cal Makar
Jack Johnson – Josh Manson
Bowen Byram – Eric Johnson
scratched: Nico SturmAnd the Alex NewhawkAnd the Ryan MurrayAnd the Curtis MacDiarmidTrent Miner
The injured: Samuel Gerrard (rib cage)
Expected assortment of lubricants
Evander Kane – Conor McDavid – Leon Drysittel
Zach Heyman – Ryan Nugent Hopkins – Jesse Poliogarvi
Warren Vogel – Ryan McLeod – Killer Yamamoto
Josh Archibald – Derek Ryan – Zach Cassian
nurse darnell – Cody Sissy
Duncan Keith – Evan Bouchard
Britt Colak – Tyson Barry
scratched: Philip BrobergAnd the Devin ShoreAnd the Derek BrassardAnd the Chris Russell
The injured: no one