EDMONTON – It was supposed to be a measuring stick, this first clash with Toronto Division leader Maple Leafs.
It appears that the measuring stick may now need to be removed surgically.
How badly did the Edmonton Oilers fare, losing 4-0, 3-0 and in Wednesday’s final, 6-1?
“We were ashamed of three games in a row. It’s hard to swallow, ”said defender Tyson Barrie, useless in all three games, like so many others.
There is not a single element of the sport of hockey that Edmonton can claim to have performed better than Toronto for nine periods of hockey, so profound was the defeat.
Whether tangible, like winning battles or scoring goals, or intangible (like the heart), the Leafs had more and did better.
As such, everything related to this Oilers team is open to questions.
“It’s very worrying,” said Dave Tippett, a serious head coach. “Very worrying that we don’t want to reach the competitive level in a series like this.”
The Oilers entered the series four points behind Toronto and second. They leave the series 10 points and in third place.
They really are the leaves that much better than Edmonton?
“I would love to answer that question,” Connor McDavid said. “I’m not sure what this is about.”
McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, together, produced less in three games than fourth-placed Leafs player Jimmy Vesey with two goals in a 14-minute span Wednesday. They came out as small as they could be, and the rest of the team followed him.
“It’s not good enough,” Draisaitl said. “It simply came to our notice then. There are so many little mixes that it looks like we’ll never get the record out of it. “
In goal, the Leafs ran three goalkeepers in successive games and scored six points, while the two Edmonton shooters were settled early and often in all games by the Toronto Shooters. Edmonton’s goalkeeping service was exploited, simple and straightforward, as well as a few other things about the orange men.
Heck, we’ll bet the Toronto masseuse was even better than the Oilers masseuse. And the copy of Chris Johnston and Luke Fox? You don’t even start to know how better his things were than mine this week …
The weird thing was that the Oilers came in hot here, the best NHL team in February and authors of an 11-2 partial. Then, boom: the Ferrari hit directly against a brick wall.
“Not bad yet: 11-5,” McDavid reasoned. “I am not happy with the three defeats and the way they went on. But we can’t forget some of the positives we built. We are in a decent place and now we are within reach again ”.
“We have to sit down and talk about it, find out what exactly happened, then take those lessons and move on,” the captain said.
Wow, Tippett said.
“It’s a good dose of reality for us,” he said. “We have a lot of important games, but if we go out and play like that, these games will mean nothing. It cannot be left behind. You have to recognize what you do. Acknowledge how you played.
“If you do not recognize, it is very difficult to solve. We have a lot of recognition to do over the next two days. “
For me, the exercise was summed up at 7:50 a.m. Wednesday’s opening period. The Oilers had started exceptionally well, but were down 1-0 when Draisaitl faced a one-on-one with Kailer Yamamoto.
Draisaitl tried to pass and the record, but it never came to an end, another of the countless occasions frustrated by Leafs ’defense. As the two Oilers skated to the bench to change, Draisaitl, in sight of the entire Leafs bench, collided with the stick on the ice and looked up at the sky, clearly frustrated.
We were here, 15 minutes into the game, and the opponent was looking at one of the Oilers leaders, looking calmly and saying, “We already have these guys.”
During the second of three games, Edmonton did not receive a powerful play.
“You have to have the drive to generate power games,” McDavid said.
If this week showed us anything, it’s that something is still missing in Edmonton. Some level of competence, some way of taking a problem and arranging it in another direction.
Lose once? For sure. He loses twice, it happens.
That was not a lesson. It was a warning.