Edmonton Oilers will lose until they stop beating themselves

Published Jun 14, 2024Last updated 42 minutes ago2 minute read

You can save this article by registering for free here. Or sign-in if you have an account.

Article content

Hockey is a brutal game. One moment of confusion or indecision, the puck is in the back of your net. Hockey happens fast. One moment bounce of the puck, one tiny slip up, and your Stanley Cup dreams are in ruins.

This is the story of the 2024 Edmonton Oilers. A brilliant attacking team, a solid enough defensive team and an incredibly resilient team, but one that continues to be haunted by the most mundane of mistakes, and in the critical moments of a must-win Game 3, mundane mistakes by its very best players .

Advertisement 2

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

THIS CONTENT IS RESERVED FOR SUBSCRIBERS ONLY

Subscribe now to read the latest news in your city and across Canada.

  • Exclusive articles by David Staples, Keith Gerein and others, Oilers news from Cult of Hockey, Ask EJ Anything features, the Noon News Roundup and Under the Dome newsletters.
  • Unlimited online access to Edmonton Journal and 15 news sites with one account.
  • Edmonton Journal ePaper, an electronic replica of the print edition to view on any device, share and comment on.
  • Daily puzzles, including the New York Times Crossword.
  • Local journalism support.

SUBSCRIBE TO UNLOCK MORE ARTICLES

Subscribe now to read the latest news in your city and across Canada.

  • Exclusive articles by David Staples, Keith Gerein and others, Oilers news from Cult of Hockey, Ask EJ Anything features, the Noon News Roundup and Under the Dome newsletters.
  • Unlimited online access to Edmonton Journal and 15 news sites with one account.
  • Edmonton Journal ePaper, an electronic replica of the print edition to view on any device, share and comment on.
  • Daily puzzles, including the New York Times Crossword.
  • Local journalism support.

REGISTER / SIGN IN TO UNLOCK MORE ARTICLES

Create an account or sign in to continue with your reading experience.

  • Access articles from across Canada with one account.
  • Share your thoughts and join the conversation in the comments.
  • Enjoy additional articles per month.
  • Get email updates from your favorite authors.

Sign In or Create an Account

gold

Article content

It’s late in the first period and the Oilers have three men back against three Florida attackers on the first goal against. Edmonton’s talisman Connor McDavid moves to the puck instead of his own check, Florida d-man Gustav Forsling. Forsling is unmarked. He takes Aleksander Barkov’s pass and with time and space to pick his play, makes a rifling pass to Sam Reinhart, who directs it in past Stuart Skinner.

Next up it’s Skinner, called on to make the basic play of controlling a dump-in behind the net, but he bobbles the bouncing puck and gets caught out of his crease. A Panthers forward pounces on it and a split second later Vladimir Taransenko slams it into vacant net. It’s a backbreaker of a mistake, the kind of goalie error and gifted goal against that a team rarely recovers from in a game, even a team with Edmonton’s spirit and skill.

Five minutes later it’s Darnell Nurse, again Darnell Nurse, whose struggles are epic this playoff season. Under the heavy Florida forecheck he tries to skate the puck up the middle of the ice, then pass it, but his pass is picked off by Matthew Tkachuk, who rapidly moves it through Nurse to Sam Bennett. Bennett fires in a wicked shot to make it 3-1 Florida.

Advertisement 3

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

Finally it’s Mattias Ekholm, oh so steady Mattias Ekholm, watching the play unfold in the Florida end, and just for one moment watches too long as Florida breaks out on a 2-on-1. The Panthers execute to perfection, Evan Rodrigues beating Evan Bouchard on the pass, Barkov finishing with a nasty strike that beats Skinner, 4-1 Florida.

And, despite an unlikely comeback that comes within one monster Sergei Bobrovsky save on Ryan McLeod of Edmonton tying the game, the Oilers lose 4-3, and are now down three games to zero in the Stanley Cup Final.

Edmonton has 19 Grade A shots to eight for Florida in the game, but Bobrovsky finishes off what Edmonton’s mistakes have started.

That is how the Oilers played. That is how they lost.

And that is how the Oilers will continue to lose until they stop beating themselves.

At the Cult of Hockey

LEAVINS: Player ranks in Game 3 loss

Recommended from Editorial

  1. Mattias Janmark (13) of the Edmonton Oilers stretches for a loose puck in front of goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (72) of the Florida Panthers in Edmonton for game three of the Stanley Cup Final between Edmonton and Florida on June 13, 2024.

    https://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/cult-of-hockey/edmonton-oilers-face-elimination-after-bobrovsky-stares-them-down-again-in-4-3-loss-in- game-3-cult-of-hockey-player-grades

  2. Stuart Skinner (74) of the Edmonton Oilers makes a stop on Aleksander Barkov (16) of the Florida Panthers in Game 1 of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final at Amerant Bank Arena on June 08, 2024, in Sunrise, Fla.

    Two troubling trends Edmonton Oilers must reverse if they hope to prevail against Panthers

Article content

-

-

PREV As homelessness numbers rise, how do European countries compare?
NEXT Plus belle la vie in advance: what awaits you in episode 137 on Wednesday July 17, 2024 [SPOILERS] – News Series on TV