Look at Leon Draisaitl go. One night after Joe Pavelski returned from injury to net four goals for the Stars in their 5-4 OT loss to Seattle, Draisaitl notched a Texas hat trick of his own in Vegas.
Unfortunately, it wasn't enough! The Golden Knights still took Game 1!! WTF.
Late failed dump-and-chase efforts and lost 50-50 puck battles forced the Oilers to keep Stuart Skinner between the pipes and delay the entrance of an extra attacker. Edmonton coach Jay Woodcroft deserves some blame here, too. He mismanaged shifts down the stretch so that by the time Skinner finally did skate off, both Draisaitl and Connor McDavid — fit as fiddles though they are they are — were gassed.
...Which led to this:
Brutal indeed. I swear I was sitting there thinking, "Umm…when are they gonna yank Skinner?" and "Gee, haven't seen a too many men on the ice penalty in a minute!"
Saw McDavid say, "That's fucking bullshit!" during the telecast but I think he was too low on oxygen at that point to fully know what was going on. The Golden Knights
This now marks the Oilers' seventh straight Game 1 loss. Good news is they've overcome adversity like this before. Gets to be a hell of a mental grind to keep putting yourself behind the sticks like this, though. Yep that's a football analogy. Sorry. I'm missing it. Post-draft withdrawals.
Road teams have fared historically well in these Stanley Cup playoffs. The scenes have been electric. So many unpredictable twists and turns in that context alone from the underdogs. But like…two teams losing on consecutive nights when one of their star players lights the lamp not one…not two…not three…
FOUR. GOALS. Yikes. If the Oilers and Stars lose their series, they'll be able to point back to squandering legendary Game 1 performances by Draisaitl and Pavelski respectively as a big reason why.
In any event, the playoffs are going much like the regular season. Incredibly tightly contested, impossible to pin down who's going to win the Cup and wildly entertaining. Not sure if we'll keep seeing parity like this or if what we're witnessing now is an aberration. Whatever the case, hockey fans everywhere should be amped up to see what wild-ass twists lay ahead.
WHAT HAPPENEDUHHHHH, EDMONTON!?!?
More NHL playoff blogginating on the happenings discussed herein: