F (OT)
Connor McDavid speaking to media
Photo credit: Edmonton Oilers on X

McDavid and Oilers have poor explanation for meltdown against Canucks

Published May 9, 2024 at 6:24 PM

In the first game of their playoff series, the Edmonton Oilers melted down and blew a 4-1 lead to lose the game. For the back half of the game, the Oilers played panicked defence while the Canucks stormed back.

Goaltender Stuart Skinner allowed some goals which he should've saved, but the Oilers as a team were at fault for the blown lead. Once the score reached 4-1 and Draisaitl had to leave with an injury, the Oilers sat back and played defensive hockey, barely even testing the rookie goalie Arturs Silovs. After the game and at practice today, Connor McDavid and Coach Knoblauch had similar poor explanations for the team's blown lead.

They're doing everything they could to come back, and we were doing everything we could to hold onto the lead. That happens in the playoffs. We're trying to hold onto leads, sometimes we're a little bit too passive, but I thought we were doing a good job of holding the lead. They find a way to get two, and a third there to win.
-Connor McDavid

McDavid was obviously trying to keep his composure, and realize that this is only game one, but it felt like a lacklustre explanation for a horrific loss.

The Edmonton Oilers failed to take advantage of Canucks rookie goalie

The fact is, the Oilers got completely walked over and played much too passively in the second and third period. Against a goalie with 12 games of NHL experience, the Edmonton Oilers only registered 18 shots. It's a testament enough that they scored 4 times, and that's exactly why they needed to test Silovs more. Even in the final minutes of the game while pressing for the tying goal, the Oilers couldn't get any pucks through traffic and onto the net.

The Oilers played 23 full minutes without recording a shot on goal, and Connor McDavid was held without a shot on goal for the first time in his playoff career. The Oilers played far too passive, and didn't push hard enough to get chances against Silovs. Credit to the Canucks for clogging the defensive zone and blocking shots, but the Oilers offence needs to overcome that. Even Knoblauch knew that the Oilers offence needs to show up, and called on the team to find its game quickly today after practice. With Leon Draisaitl out day to day with an injury, things may get much more difficult.

With Thatcher Demko eyeing a return near game 5 of this series, it's absolutely imperative for the Oilers to jump on the Canucks early on and make good on their chances against Silovs. When Demko returns, if the Canucks can keep up this quality of defensive play, scoring may be very hard to come by. In game 2, the Oilers need to come out firing every puck they can on net.
May 9   |   116 answers
McDavid and Oilers have poor explanation for meltdown against Canucks

Was McDavid right in saying the Oilers were too passive while defending the lead?

Yes, they were too passive9682.8 %
No, they played fine, need saves from Skinner1714.7 %
See Results32.6 %
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