Not even his four-goal gala could alleviate Leon Draisaitl's disappointment. The anger over the 4:6 defeat of his Edmonton Oilers at the start of the NHL playoff quarterfinals at the Vegas Golden Knights was too deep.
"Overall we were just not good enough, that doesn't even come close to how we play," complained the German ice hockey star after a crazy game.
But you can hardly do it much better than Draisaitl on this evening. Jari Kurri last scored four goals in a playoff game for the Oilers almost 36 years ago. Draisaitl had only managed such a feat once in his NHL career, in March 2020 in a main round game against Nashville.
Oilers coach unsurprised by Draisaitl's performance
But no matter how many times the 27-year-old scored, the Oilers just allowed too much against Vegas. Shortly before the end, the guests also made a mistake in substitution, were outnumbered and conceded the sixth goal. It wasn't the opponent's strength that was decisive, but rather one's own weakness, analyzed Draisaitl. "It's just up to us," said the goalscorer, "we have to look ahead and do better."
Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft was hardly surprised by his top scorer's strong performance: "At this time of year he usually ups his game again," said Woodcroft, clarifying: "He's one of the players with the most points per game in history. His name ranks high in the list of the most important players in the history of this game."
Draisaitl with eleven goals in seven playoff games
Draisaitl has already scored four games in a row. With eleven goals in seven games, he leads the NHL scoring list in the current playoffs. In the end, however, there was an avoidable away defeat to start the best-of-seven series, in which four wins are necessary to progress.
The next game will take place again on Saturday in the Golden Knights arena. "We can't concede goals in a row and we can't concede goals after we've scored a goal," said winger Evander Kane.
"We made some atypical, individual mistakes," said Coach Woodcroft - mistakes that haven't been seen from his team in a long time. "We can be better and we will be better. But tonight wasn't our night." Despite Draisaitl's gala.