The Edmonton Oilers had a great postseason, but it wasn’t good enough to beat the Colorado Avalanche in the Western Conference Finals to head to the Stanley Cup Finals. That honor goes to the team that beat the Oilers in overtime last night by a score of 6-5 – the Avalanche. Congratulations to them.
I’ll review the play of three key Oilers players in this post – Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Zach Hyman. These three Oilers’ players – and others – played an amazing postseason. While they didn’t win but gave Oilers fans something to cheer about and be proud of that has long been missing.
Related: Dylan Holloway to Make Oilers Debut in Game 4 vs. Avalanche
Key Oilers Player One: Connor McDavid
Connor McDavid registered three points in last night’s 6-5 overtime loss to the Avalanche on a goal and two assists. Throughout this postseason, it’s become clear that McDavid is the best hockey player in the NHL. No one’s close. It was the first time in the McDavid era that the Oilers reached the Western Conference Final; but, the team as a whole was too banged up to complete even up.
Who’s to say they could have beaten the Avalanche even if they were healthy, but they just really didn’t have much of a chance. During the postseason, McDavid scored 10 goals and added 23 assists (for 33 points) in 16 games. The math makes it simple. That’s more than two points each game.
As interesting as his scoring is that McDavid gave his all in every aspect. Not only did he score, but he also played a hard 200-foot game. He had a total of 51 hits in the 16 postseason games he’s played. The fact is that McDavid is not yet in his prime. He’s 25 years old. He totaled 123 points during the regular season; and, as far as NHL players go, he’s the best. There’s a great future for the Oilers.
Key Oilers Player Two: Leon Draisaitl
While McDavid was the best player on the ice during the Western Conference Final, Leon Draisaitl might have been the gutsiest. He played hard and it was obvious that he could barely skate. That said, he had four assists last night and helped his team stay in the game. As the title of this post suggests – amazing play, just not enough.
Draisaitl was playing through an injury, but he was not going to be removed from the game. Every time the trainer checked on him after he limped back to the bench, Draisaitl never acknowledged the conversation. He just kept going back out on the ice. His impact was clear: he totaled 32 points in 16 games. That’s one fewer point than McDavid and two points on average per game.
Both Draisaitl and McDavid played like superstars over the last three postseason series. While McDavid is 25 years old, Draisaitl is now 26 years old. He too had a great regular season, scoring 110 points including 55 goals.
Key Oilers Player Three: Zach Hyman
Zach Hyman isn’t either McDavid or Draisaitl; still, he’s amazing for what he is – and that’s simply Zach Hyman. No one plays with more energy than Hyman. What an addition to the team!
Hyman scored two goals in last night’s overtime loss that eliminated the Oilers. As someone who covers the Toronto Maple Leafs regularly; it was clear what Hyman brings to the ice every game.
It’s not that Hyman CAN do anything on the ice; it’s more that he WILL do anything on the ice that would help the Oilers win. He wins puck battles; he never loses his man; he goes to the dirty areas of the ice. And – btw – he can also score.
It was an amazing playoff performance for the never-say-quit forward, who ended up with 11 goals and five assists (for 16 points) in 16 games. Hyman is now 29 years old. That means that none of these three guys have reached 30 years of age yet.
Hyman was the key free-agent signing for the team this past off-season, and it’s easy to see why. In his first regular season with the Oilers, he scored 27 goals. In his first postseason with the Oilers, he scored 11 goals.
He’s good. I can’t imagine an Oilers fan anywhere who thinks the Oilers went wrong by signing him.
Related: Evander Kane Suspended For One Game Following Nazem Kadri Hit
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