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If you don’t like the NHL or don’t follow it, even you had to be excited for this series and hopefully enjoyed Game 1 of this Western Conference clash.
The goals were flying in the first period and they never stopped, as Calgary beat Edmonton in Game 1 by a score of 9-6 on Wednesday night.
That was a fun game and the Oilers looked dead in the water not once but twice. They made major comebacks and just ran out of steam late.
When you have arguably the best 1-2 punch in the NHL in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl who each had a goal and an assist in the game, you are never out of it.
Game 2 should not have quite the same fireworks. We had so many records in Game 1, including the fastest two goals in a playoff game (51 seconds) and the highest-scoring game in the heated Battle of Alberta.
We talk about the 1-2 punch but each game is its own entity. In fact, every game in the playoffs this year when McDavid and Draisaitl have scored the Oilers have lost.
That’s right, as ridiculous as it is, they are 0-3 in games when that has happened in this year’s playoffs.
Obviously, this doesn’t mean the Oilers don’t want those two to score. McDavid has been unstoppable so far in the playoffs with 18 points and five goals in eight games.
“He’s the best player in the league. He was the best player on the ice (Wednesday) night. Not even close,” Flames coach Darryl Sutter said to the media. “So at the end of the series if Connor McDavid gets four points a game, ‘Have a good next series, Connor.’ ”
Like a superstar in any sport you can’t really stop him, but you need to contain him. The Flames know that Goalie Mike Smith will be better and if McDavid does what he did in Game 1 all series, the Oilers won’t be beat.
The Flames and Dallas Stars gave us one of the best defensive series we have seen in the playoffs. It took until Game 5 before they scored fifteen goals in the series as opposed to Game 1 like we had in this series.
“We played probably the worst 15 or 20 minutes of hockey we have all year, definitely in the playoffs, and it’s still a tie game (6-6 early in the third period),” said forward Matthew Tkachuk, who collected his first career playoff hat trick.
But, Dallas was an inept offense and Edmonton is a top ten offense that can rarely be contained. This series will not be a sweep, and it might go the distance. For that to happen, the two best players have to deliver tonight, and maybe Edmonton can win a game when they both score.
We will take the Oilers at +1 -105 at BetRivers tonight, protecting ourselves in case of an overtime loss. This is a game where the Oilers probably know they can’t come back from 3-1 and 5-2 or even 6-2 deficits again.
They have to pounce early and protect Mike Smith from the onslaught of shots like Calgary had in the first game.
The Oilers are 7-1 in the last eight when their opponent gives up 5 or more goals. In the last two years, the home team has won every game but this is the playoffs and it’s time for a road team to break through — or at least go to overtime where we can’t lose with a +1 line.