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Did Oilers’ Draisaitl Slam Silovs? Is Hitting the Post Good Goaltending?

After the Edmonton Oilers loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday, Leon Draisaitl asked about goalie play. What was his comment?

In the aftermath of the Edmonton Oilers’ 4-3 loss to the Vancouver Canucks in Game 3 of their second-round series, one aspect of Leon Draisaitl‘s review of the game caught my attention. When he was asked about the quality of Arturs Silovs‘ goaltending and the Oilers’ offensive execution, Draisaitl issued a straightforward comment: “Well, posts is not good goaltending.”

Although that has been interpreted as being condescending about the Canucks’ rookie goalie, I disagree. I think he was frustrated with his own missed chance.

Related: McDavid Takes Nasty Cross-Check to End Game 3 Loss for Oilers

I have no issue with Draisaitl at all. First, I’m an Oilers fan (although I am also a Canucks fan as well). I think Draisaitl is a class act and a great hockey player. I also commend his leadership in the bright lights of the Oilers’ loss. He stood in there and answered all the questions thrown his way. Sure, he was frustrated with his team’s loss and, in his mind, his own lack of execution. Yet, there he was, facing the music.

Is Draisaitl Right About His Comment that “Post Is Not Good Goaltending?”

What caught my attention in his response to the question about his missed opportunities and Silovs’ performance on the net was whether he was right. It’s the kind of question that seems worth engaging. And I had never considered it before.

The intricacies of goalies’ play in the face of offensive execution are an interesting question. I was told that once the Oilers’ Hall of Fame goalie, Grant Fuhr, said something like, “Of course, he hit the goal. That’s all I gave him to shoot at.” If that is the case, Draisaitl might have made an incorrect assessment.

Leon Draisaitl Oilers Canucks

Several factors come into play when analyzing hitting the post. It could be attributed to shooting accuracy, which Draisaitl seemed to be saying. [It wasn’t that Silovs was great, but he didn’t put the shot where he wanted to.] However, it could also be that Silovs established solid goaltender positioning, and Draisaitl’s quick response to that positioning resulted in his missing his shot.

It could have just been bad luck. Or, it might have been the quality of the shot itself, regardless of Silovs. Although hitting the post could be seen as a sign of the goaltender limiting the shot by covering much of the open space, it’s not always a straightforward indication of goaltender play.

Good Goalie Play or Not, the Oilers Are Trailing the Series

However, whether Draisaitl’s assessment of goaltending quality is accurate doesn’t matter much. The bottom line is that Silovs had a standout night. He turned away 42 shots to help his team take home a critical win for the Canucks. The Oilers had numerous scoring opportunities that went unfinished. This raises questions about whether the Oilers’ inability to capitalize on scoring chances was more about their execution than Silovs’ exceptional play.

Ultimately, the Oilers must raise their offensive efficiency and find ways to solve the Silovs in Game 4. Whether improving their shooting accuracy or finding ways to beat Silovs with quality scoring chances, the Oilers must adapt and execute to overcome their opponent’s goaltending prowess.

Credit Draisaitl For His Leadership and Accountability

In all this conversation, it’s essential to commend Draisaitl for his leadership and accountability within the Oilers’ locker room. His willingness to discuss the team’s play and their frustrations, even after a tough loss, reflects his commitment to the team’s success and his role as a leader on and off the ice.

While Draisaitl’s comment illuminates the frustrations of a single missed opportunity, there is more going on in the series. The Oilers’ goalie play must improve. Silovs is winning the goalie battle.

Stuart Skinner & Leon Draisaitl, Oilers

Additionally, the Oilers’ bottom six must step up. While the Canucks cannot begin to match the elite talent of the Oiler’s top line, the Canucks third line of Elias Lindholm, Conor Garland, and Dakota Joshua is hands down better than the Oiler’s third line.

This is a great series thus far. As the series progresses, the Oilers must reshape their game plan and capitalize on their scoring chances to win Game 4 and the series. If not, perhaps even the best player in the world – Connor McDavid – and the stand-up Draisaitl – won’t be able to pull the team home.

Related: Soucy Faces Hearing with NHL DoPS On Cross-Check to McDavid

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