Oilers dispel doubts

The offensive abilities of the Edmonton Oilers have never been in doubt, unlike their ability to play close and defensive games in the playoffs.

Oilers dispel doubts

The offensive abilities of the Edmonton Oilers have never been in doubt, unlike their ability to play close and defensive games in the playoffs. However, they silenced several critics by defeating the Los Angeles Kings in seven games in the first round.

• Read also: McDavid and the Oilers finally get the better of the Kings

It was with a narrow 2-0 victory that Connor McDavid and his gang reached the second round for only the second time since the arrival of the prodigy in Alberta in 2015. It was moreover the second time during this series that goalkeeper Mike Smith shut out his Californian rivals, he who blocked their 29 shots on Saturday night. He had also been perfect in the second duel, blocking all 30 shots aimed at him.

"It feels good to win this way," admitted McDavid, whose comments were echoed by the National League website after the game. There is always speculation about our defensive game. So it's a big moment for our group to be able to take our game up a notch and play like that in a 2-0 win with [Smith] playing really well and everyone contributing."

The Oilers also made it easier for their masked man by blocking 26 shots in Game 7, including 20 by the group of defenders.

“I think this series has forced us to grow,” added head coach Jay Woodcroft. We learned a lot about ourselves in those two weeks, and the price to pay to be successful at this time of year.”

McDavid did not block a single shot, but he was not idle either, he who was used for 27 min 23 s by Jay Woodcroft. He not only made his presence felt offensively, as only he can, by setting up the net for Cody Ceci and then shaking the ropes himself after a big individual effort on the forecheck, but also along tapes, he who distributed four checks. He also set the tone for the match by throwing defender Sean Durzi to the ground, barely 22 seconds after the initial face-off.

McDavid will finally have stopped his counter at 14 points in the first round, a mark that had not been seen in 29 years.

The Oilers will also be able to know the identity of their next opponent from the comfort of their home, they who will face the winner of the duel between the Calgary Flames and the Dallas Stars, late Sunday evening.


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