OILERS’ NOTES: Edmonton’s best outperformed Calgary’s best

McDavid was literally bouncing down the hall after the post-game handshake line, embracing Devin Shore, who hadn’t played but was waiting to celebrate

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Connor McDavid keeps his emotions a secret most of the time, but the greatest player on the planet looked 10 on Christmas morning when he headed to the locker room after his overtime winner Thursday in Calgary .

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He was literally bouncing down the hall after the post-game handshake line, embracing Devin Shore, who hadn’t played but was waiting to celebrate.

“We all want to win. Everyone wants to win. I think our group has been through a lot this year and in years past,” said McDavid, who passed the second round for the first time in seven seasons with the Edmonton Oilers, beating the Flames to get there. .

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“I think it just made us more and more hungry to succeed. We had to learn a lot of lessons along the way and it got us to this point, and obviously we want to continue here.

The Oilers got rid of the Flames because McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and either Evander Kane or Zach Hyman on the left wing, clearly outplayed Calgary’s top dogs Elias Lindholm, Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk, who got an assist during the last four games with Calgary coach Darryl Sutter. face to face pretty much all the way rather than going with Mikael Backlund and two-time Stanley Cup winner Blake Coleman with Tampa Bay on a line of check.

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Maybe Tkachuk got hurt, maybe he broke his hand in that fight with Dallas defenseman John Klingberg in the first round and he was hiding that. But otherwise, Tkachuk wasn’t nearly as impactful after his hat trick in Calgary’s 9-6 Game 1 win.

The entire Calgary line, the NHL’s most productive line in the regular season with 301 points, had 14 points in the series; Draisaitl was 17 himself. McDavid had 12. Hyman, who replaced Kane after the first period of Game 5, scored in every game. Kane, who moved to the second line Thursday with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, scored a hat trick in Game 3.


It still looks like a good goal from Coleman late in the third, on his skate in the blue paint, but the Flames couldn’t blame referees Wes McCauley and Eric Furlatt for wiping it out. The Toronto Command Center, along with Colin Campbell, Mike Murphy and former umpire Bill McCreary, once the game’s top zebra, watched it countless times from countless angles and said it was with a kicking motion.

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“I was being pushed (by Cody Ceci) and trying to keep my foot on the ice. Live, I felt like I was in a battle. From what I understand, you can direct the puck, but you just can’t hit it. I just don’t feel like I’ve done what it looks like,” Coleman said.


Hyman had seven shots on Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom in Game 5, recording one goal and three points. While Kane plays with a grit, where opposing players must hold their heads high, Hyman plays with contagious stubbornness.

“Zach found his groove in the Calgary series,” said Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft, who went to Hyman (eight goals in 12 playoff games) to start the second period.

“Zach’s effort is personified and I thought that (changing) made us better as a team. Zach makes everyone around him better. There’s a lot of sacrifice in his game at this time of the year. year, with shot blocking, to make hard plays on the wall.

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“Switching Kane to Hyman gave us a boost in Connor and Leon and bringing Kane to another line gave us the game we wanted (against Backlund).”

Woodcroft spoke to Kane about the change just before the start of the second period. “I didn’t have a chance at intermission. I wanted him to clearly understand what we were trying to do.


The Oilers, who will face either Colorado or St. Louis in the next round, beat Anaheim in five games the last time they got there in 2006.

“We’re proud of our history, we’re proud of the people who have come through this organization…we’re proud of the different races this team has run over the years. Our team now wants to contribute to this story. Our team is looking to make its own mark and the emotion of this moment (McDavid OT winner) was important for our team,” said Woodcroft.

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Jesse Puljujarvi had a strong Game 5, hitting in a rebound from Hyman’s shot into the crease after a 3-on-1 break to tie it 2-2, and was also foiled in an earlier break on Markstrom, who released his pad on a deke. He stood out offensively.

“Big goal for Jesse. He’s stuck with that and throughout the show I thought he brought a lot of energy. Good to see him score,” said McDavid, who had a private moment with Puljujarvi after the 2-2 goal to pump it up.


Woodcroft went with 10 forwards, with Zack Kassian getting just 2:48 of playing time and Josh Archibald 4:17. Kassian didn’t play after Backlund’s deflected goal to make it 2-0, and Archibald got two shifts after that… Gaudreau, who could work well as a free agent, had eight shots on Mike Smith Thursday but only one goal of the five. games… Flames defenseman Chris Tanev, who tore his labrum and separated his shoulder, will undergo surgery next week.

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