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The Edmonton Oilers will attempt to tie up this Eastern Conference Finals series in Denver. The Oilers put on an impressive offensive performance in Game One scoring six goals, but the Avalanche outmatched them by scoring eight.
The Edmonton Oilers had a strong second half to the season to the season but turned on the burners in the Playoffs. They had a tough First Round matchup in the Los Angeles Kings. They were down 3-2 in the series after a 5-4 overtime loss at home but outscored them 6-2 in their next two games.
The Oilers battled with the Calgary Flames in the Second Round in the Series of Alberta. Edmonton lost Game One 9-6 but went on to win the next four games and put away Calgary in five.
The Oilers have their most difficult battle yet this round in the Colorado Avalanche. Their offense was on fire in Game One with six players scoring goals, but their defense and goaltending were nowhere to be found.
The Oilers goaltending situation has been interesting in the Playoffs. Mike Smith has started all but one of their Playoff games but could not have played worse in their last game; Smith gave up six goals on 19 shots. Mikko Koskinen might get the start, but either way, it is not an ideal situation for Edmonton.
The Colorado Avalanche breezed through the First Round of the Playoffs. They faced the Nashville Predators and handily swept them. Colorado took on the St. Louis Blues in the Second Round. They struggled a little bit more in this round but beat them in six games. The Avalanche are the best team left in the Playoffs and are the odds-on favorites to win the Stanley Cup.
I do not need to say much more but I will say this: The Avalanche are playing at home and won Game One. They are playing a solid team in the Edmonton Oilers but will win this game.
|Edmonton Oilers||Head-to-Head||Colorado Avalanche|
|Jay Woodcroft||Head Coach||Jared Bednar|
|49-27-6 (2nd in Pacific Division)||Standing||56-19-7 (1st in Central Division)|
|Connor McDavid (29)||Points||Cale Makar (16)|
|Evander Kane (13)||Goals||Nathan MacKinnon (9)|
|Connor McDavid (21)||Assists||Cale Makar (12)|
|Connor McDavid (18)||+/-||Cale Makar (10)|
|Zach Hyman (4.31)||Shots (Per Game)||Nathan MacKinnon (5.36)|
Once again, the Edmonton Oilers are the underdogs but can tie up this series if they draw penalties and score the first goal.
The Oilers had a top-three power-play during the season and an even better one in the Playoffs. They are converting almost 30% of their power-play attempts and scored two power-play goals in their previous game. Edmonton needs to draw penalties and convert their opportunities in this game. They are facing an Avalanche squad scoring over 4.6 goals a game in the Playoffs and need to match their offensive output.
The Oilers surprisingly scored the first goal in Game One and lost. Usually, the team that scores first gets the momentum on their side and wins. I would expect that to happen in this game, so the Oilers need to strike first.
The Avalanche are playing at home and the favorites but will only win if they slow down Evander Kane and step up their defense.
Evander Kane only played a little over half of the regular season but has been on a tear in the Playoffs. The Vancouver native has 13 goals in 13 games and is scoring on almost 25% of his shots. Kane scored Edmonton’s first goal last game and will likely score again this game, which is why the Avalanche defensemen need to slow him down and force him to take bad shots.
The Avalanche may have won Game One, but they gave up six goals in the process. They will likely not win any more games if they give up that many goals. Their defense needs to play better and not allow Edmonton to take so many good shots.
Yes, your read that correctly; for the first time, I put two players as the key player. Mike Smith started Game One but gave up six goals in 26 minutes. Understandably, the 40-year-old was pulled and Mikko Koskinen was put in. Koskinen exceeded all expectations and only gave up one goal on 20 shots.
Edmonton head coach Jay Woodcroft has not announced who will start tomorrow. Either way, the Oilers’ goalies have to play their best hockey against this offensively-strong Avalanche team.
J.T. Compher had a quiet regular season that saw him tally 33 points in 70 games. He has even been quiet in the Playoffs playing under 13 minutes a game. However, that did not seem to matter in Game One.
Compher scored twice on three shots and played less than 13 minutes. I do not expect Compher’s TOI to increase in Game Two, but I do expect him to have another productive game. He has momentum on his side and will probably take advantage of it.
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|Edmonton Oilers vs Colorado Avalanche Information|
|What||Edmonton Oilers vs Colorado Avalanche|
|Where||Ball Arena, Denver, Colorado|
|When||Tuesday, June 2, 8:00 PM EST|
|How to Watch||TNT|
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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