Home sport The Oilers are fighting hard in the current loss to the Golden Knights

The Oilers are fighting hard in the current loss to the Golden Knights

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March 26, 2023, 02:10

EDMONTON – Few picked Vegas for a top finish in the Pacific Division when the “Experts” made our pick in October. Many have chosen the Edmonton Oilers, as we remember.

Well, here’s a caveat, as the Golden Knights made sure to finish ahead of the Oilers, with a 4-3 win in overtime that put them seven points ahead of Edmonton with just nine games to go. calendar.

So what did we learn on Saturday night’s playoff-style game in Edmonton, other than the idea that another LA-Edmonton opening-round series is getting more and more likely by the day?

We’ve learned there are quite a few options to choose from between Vegas and the Oilers, two offensive teams that each performed as well as they did on Saturday.

“Teams are built almost the same way,” said Matthias Ekholm, who was stuck on the ice for a long overtime, and the Oilers didn’t survive. “They have very good players up front and so do we. I think it’s a strong team.

“Tonight was a very good hockey game and both teams played well. I thought we had a chance to win and I think they did too. It was a tough game. “We were as good as they are. I thought we could have won the game as much, but tonight they went ahead and we’ll have to learn from that. »

Really, there isn’t much to learn here that we didn’t already know.

Edmonton has the best high game and the best power play, which is how they take on every opponent in the NHL, including maybe Boston. But the defense and attackers are likely to favor the Golden Knights, who led the game 1-0, 2-1, 3-2 before midfielder Nicholas Roy scored in overtime.

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And the goalkeeper, with Stuart Skinner and Laurent Brossuyt both having good lines, fell far behind.

You can question the Oilers, who have been behind for the lion’s share of three games now against San Jose, Arizona, and Vegas. Or you can give credit for five out of six possible points by finding a way to come back, as they did three times against the Golden Knights.

“We’re also a good team. We’re not going far,” said Leon Dristel. “We’ll keep pushing them.”

Draisaitl has peaked in the past three weeks or so. He was Edmonton’s leading tackler again on Saturday with a goal and an assist, and now has a four-game winning streak with multiple points (1-10-11), a career-high in points (112) and an eight-point streak.

Draisaitl’s 28 goals are the most in a single season in the NHL since Mario Lemieux in 1995-96.

“It was a tough match,” he thought. “It was what I expected in the qualifiers, (against) a team we could go up against. I think we know how to handle these kinds of matches. Tonight obviously wasn’t our way, but we’ll take the point.”

Hey, Vegas had a lot of points for this win. The teams were tied at 2-2 after 40 minutes, and Vegas stormed in and outscored Edmonton in the third period by a 15-6 lead. They were the better team in the last 20 minutes, without a doubt.

Salute the vectors for matching them three times. But give Vegas the two points for being, overall, the better team.

“I think we’re playing really well,” Dristel said. “There are two things we need to clean up and I think we’ll be fine.”

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