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The Colorado Avalanche have an opportunity to sweep the Edmonton Oilers after beating them 4-2 in Game Three. Other than Game One, the Avalanche have outmatched the Oilers and been the far superior team. The Oilers had a chance to win Game One, but questionable goaltending from Mike Smith lost them the game 8-6. The Edmonton offense did not show up in Game Two, and Colorado shut them out 4-0. Edmonton gave themselves more of a fighting chance in Game Three but lost 4-2 behind two Valeri Nichuskin’s two goals.
The Colorado Avalanche have the top offense in the Playoffs. They are averaging over 4.5 goals a game and have six players with at least five goals. Colorado has a lot of standouts, but Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar, and Gabriel Landeskog have been the most impactful. MacKinnon, an elite talent, has ten goals, seven assists, and a +/- of 11. Makar has been a passing machine in the Playoffs. He is playing almost 27 minutes a game and has a team-leading 13 assists. Makar, like MacKinnon, has been very productive on the ice and has a +/- of 12. Last but not least, we have Gabriel Landeskog. Landeskog has an even seven goals and seven assists, and a +/- of 13.
Pavel Francouz has taken over the Colorado goaltending reins since Darcy Kuemper got injured in Game One. Francouz only played in a little over a quarter of the Avalanche’s regular-season games but has been dominant in the Playoffs. In five games, the Czech netminder has only given up ten goals and has a save percentage of .920.
The Edmonton Oilers have a talented team but have not been able to compete with the Avalanche. They have given up 16 goals in three games, and their defense has not been able to handle the pressure from the Avalanche wingers and centers.
The Oilers have the best offensive duo in the NHL in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. McDavid has nine goals and 21 assists, and Draisaitl has seven goals and 21 assists. Evander Kane has also played incredibly well, but he will not be playing this game after being suspended for an illegal hit on Nazem Kadri in Game Three. The hit injured Kadri, and Kadri will now miss at least one game.
The Oilers have an uncomfortable goaltending situation. Mike Smith has started all three games, but his level of play has dropped drastically since the Second Round. The veteran goaltender had 39 saves in Game Three but gave up four goals in Game Two and allowed six goals in 26 minutes in Game One. Smith is inconsistent in net, making him a problem for Edmonton. He needs to bring back some of that Second Round magic in Game Four, or the Oilers will go home and start golfing.
The Avalanche have outplayed the Oilers at home and on the road and will be going on to the Stanley Cup Finals after this game.
|Colorado Avalanche||Head-to-Head||Edmonton Oilers|
|Jared Bednar||Head Coach||Jay Woodcroft|
|56-19-7 (1st in Central Division)||Standing||49-27-6 (2nd in Pacific Division)|
|Nathan MacKinnon (17)||Points||Connor McDavid (30)|
|Nathan MacKinnon (10)||Goals||Evander Kane (13)|
|Cale Makar (13)||Assists||Connor McDavid (21)|
|Gabriel Landeskog (13)||+/-||Connor McDavid (14)|
|Nathan MacKinnon (5.77)||Shots (Per Game)||Zach Hyman (4.13)|
The Colorado Avalanche have won four games in a row but will only make it five if they slow down Connor McDavid and draw penalties.
Connor McDavid is a generational talent with 30 points in the Playoffs. Edmonton would probably not have made it this far without his outstanding play. Even though Edmonton is down 3-0, McDavid could have a huge game. The Avalanche defensemen need to slow him down and force him to give the puck to his teammates.
The Avalanche have converted over ¼ of their power-play attempts in the Playoffs. They did not score a power-play goal in Game Three but will highly increase their chances of winning if they score one in Game Four.
The Oilers are on life support and need this win to keep their season alive. However, they will only do so if they slow down Nathan MacKinnon and outshoot the Avalanche.
Nathan MacKinnon will have extra offensive responsibility with the absence of Nazem Kadri. If the Oilers’ defensemen can stop him, they have a solid chance of limiting the Avalanche’ scoring.
Pavel Francouz will be in net once more for the Avalanche. Even though he has been playing well, he is Colorado’s backup for a reason. If the Oilers make him face a barrage of shots, he may make some mistakes and let them slip in.
Gabriel Landeskog will have more opportunities since Nazem Kadri is injured. He must take advantage of this and make life a living nightmare for the Oilers’ defenseman.
This was no surprise. Connor McDavid is the Oilers’ best player and needs to step up in this elimination game. It does not matter how but he must put the puck in the back of the net.
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|Colorado Avalanche vs Edmonton Oilers Information|
|What||Colorado Avalanche vs Edmonton Oilers|
|Where||Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta|
|When||Monday, June 6, 8:00 PM EST|
|How to Watch||TNT|
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Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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