Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports

What We Learned: The Oilers hit the wall

A big-time win was there for the taking. And yet, the Edmonton Oilers now find themselves down 3-0 in the Western Conference Final, trying to stave off elimination on Monday night at Rogers Place. 

The Colorado Avalanche were down their starting goalie, a couple of depth wingers and, just a few seconds into the game, their No. 2 center. And the Edmonton Oilers were already up 1-0 on a Connor McDavid goal.

The Oilers completely controlled play at 5-on-5 basically from start to finish. They had more shot attempts, a 28-9 edge in scoring chances and a 13-3 advantage in high-danger attempts. And it just didn’t matter. They had just seven SOG in the third period.

Yes, the game-winner was a goal that you just cannot give up, not at that stage of the game, not from that player. All that stuff is true. But at some point maybe you just have to say the outcomes of these games, and the Avalanche as a whole, just start to look unbeatable.

Controlling play at 5-on-5 is one thing, but the Oilers gave Colorado 11:27 of power-play time, which is a bad idea for a lot of reasons. Obviously, the big one is that Colorado has a highly proficient power play, at least under normal circumstances. Chalk the lack of scoring — but certainly not the lack of attempts, because they had 25 of them — to not having Nazem Kadri in the bumper position on the top unit.

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This article is about:
NHL Colorado Avalanche Edmonton Oilers New York Rangers Tampa Bay Lightning NHL J.T. Compher Ondrej Palat Igor Shestyorkin Mike Smith
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