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Backs to the wall, Edmonton Oilers pass massive Game 6 test



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Saturday’s Sport 6 was a very powerful evening for the Oilers franchise in nearly twenty years.

A lot was on the road: Going through elimination, the prospect of under-performing pre-season expectations, the final yr of the Holland period, only one extra yr of Leon Draisaitl earlier than UFA-eligibility. And many others.

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The Oilers answered the bell, delivering their greatest efficiency of the post-season. But, the circumstances above will play out once more in a decisive Sport 7.

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That and extra on on this version of…

9 Issues

9. Canucks Head Coach Rick Tocchet confirmed instantly after Sport 6 that Thatcher Demko is not going to play Sport 7. Having solved Artus Silovs 5 occasions in Sport 6, has the goaltending momentum all of the sudden swung again within the Oilers favor?

8. The Oilers have now surpassed what they achieved final season, once they misplaced to Vegas in Sport 6 of the Pacific Division Last. That’s important contemplating how they began this season. However none of them will likely be near glad if they don’t go on to win Sport 7 on Monday.

7. Underneath the brightest lights of the season, Hollywood sparkled. Dylan Holloway, the sport’s Third Star, opened the scoring by leaving Elias Patterson in his mud, blowing previous Norris Trophy favourite Quinn Hughes like a stiff Alberta breeze, after which tucking a tidy deke 5-hole for the 1-0. He lifted all the bench and lit up the entire constructing.

6. Ken Holland has confronted criticism for his deadline offers and the relative influence of them. However in equity, Adam Henrique was good down the stretch for this membership. And it’s not Holland’s fault that Henrique bought injured in Sport 5 of the L.A. sequence and has performed solely ten minutes since. Sam Carrick, nevertheless, jumped into the lineup in Sport 6 and made an influence: 6 hits, 58% within the circle.

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5. Leon Draisaitl registered his one centesimal playoff level on Saturday evening. Solely Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux have gotten there sooner within the historical past of the sport. Simply one other method to remind all of us that we’re not simply privileged to observe probably the greatest gamers ever, night-in and night-out. With many chapters but to be written Leon Draisaitl has already grow to be probably the greatest clutch gamers within the sport.

4. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has been by hell with this Edmonton Oilers franchise. The Decade of Darkness needed to have been soul-sucking for him. I believe the explanation he’s such an enormous fan favourite is as a result of they trudged by it collectively. So nice to see him ship a First Star efficiency on Saturday when it mattered the very most: A objective and two assists. 3:34 of perfection shorthanded. A number of crucial faceoff wins deep in his personal zone on these PK’s.

3. Discuss your gutsy strikes. Kris Knoblauch went to Calvin Pickard in Video games 4 and 5 and was rewarded with two terrific performances. In reality, Cal Pickard was so good, many commentators had been strongly in favor of working him on the market once more in Sport 6. As an alternative, Knoblauch went again to Stuart Skinner. And whereas Stu was not busy, he was nonetheless the most effective goalie on the ice. Few NHL coaches will voluntarily make that many goaltending adjustments in the identical sequence efficiently.

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2. Connor McDavid was fairly good this previous season following video games during which he had gone pointless. It solely occurred 13 occasions. And the Edmonton Oilers had been 10-3 in these “after” video games. McDavid was 9-18-27 in these 13 video games and was +11. Now, make it 11-3, 9-21-30, +14. McDavid and Draisaitl had beforehand appeared in 8 elimination video games of their post-season careers. Every of them had produced a minimum of 1.5 factors per sport. Connor had 3 factors on Saturday, Leon registered 2.

1.Mentioned one other method: The Edmonton Oilers greatest gamers had been the most effective gamers on the ice on Saturday evening. That’s the deciding think about so many NHL video games. And if they’ll do this once more on Monday, the membership will likely be off to Dallas. However allow us to not child ourselves. There are sixty arduous miles between right here and there. The Canucks have confirmed they’re a hell of an excellent staff. There are zero ensures how it will go. Momentum not often transfers from sport to sport within the publish season. They are usually their very own, distinctive, particular person chapters.

I agree that the stress will primarily be on the Edmonton Oilers in Sport 7. Sure, the Canucks completed forward of Edmonton within the standings. However that was solely as a result of the Oilers laid an egg out of the gate. The chances-makers and the vast majority of the prognosticators had the in 5 or 6 video games.

However I’m not in the least apprehensive about how these lofty expectations would possibly have an effect on the Oilers in Sport 7. You understand why?

As a result of the most effective gamers thrive on stress. It’s what makes them nice.

So, carry it on. Drop the puck.

Now on Threads @kleavins. Additionally, discover me on Twitter @KurtLeavins, Instagram at LeavinsOnHockey, and Mastodon at

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. This text shouldn’t be AI generated.

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