The song the Edmonton Oilers played in their locker room right after their first-round playoff victory at the Los Angeles Kings, at decent volume: “Hotel California” der the Eagles, which contains this memorable line of text, according to which one may indeed check out of this hotel, and thus the state on the Pacific Ocean, but never be able to leave this place. There could not have been a better song for the celebration, which featured a beverage called beer, but is actually diluted water.
The mood was less festive and more toasty and lighthearted. One was really tempted to look for all the rocks that must have fallen from the hearts of the Oilers players. They were so afraid that they, undoubtedly currently the best team in the NHL, could actually fail against this toxic opponent, the hawk and end up this season in the Hotel California, trapped in a semi-eternal dream that never came true – Where they are, but because of their stellar performances, they finally believe they can become champions for the first time in 33 years. The Oilers passed this tough test, which gave amateur psychologists ample evidence that they were finally tough enough to pull off the big victory.
They trailed 0:3 going into the fourth game, and in the best-of-seven series the score was 2:1 for the Kings. The Oilers bounced back because of their stars Conor McDavid and Leon Draistel, who together scored ten goals and handed out eleven assists in six games. They weren’t nervous when Los Angeles tied Game 6 near the end because goaltender Stuart Skinner’s bat broke – and the heroes of the last two victories weren’t McDavid or Draistel, but the players who were important after the first few games said so now please. PLAY THEM: Evander Kane, Killer Yamamoto, Zack Hyman, Ryan Nugent Hopkins.
‘Seren, Confident, and Very Disciplined’: That’s How Their Coach Wanted the Oilers to Look, and That’s How They Played
“What happens in the playoffs is very exciting, you can see it in almost every series,” Draisaitl said in the locker room, eschewing canned water softeners. . You are preparing for it. However, at that moment it is very difficult to master it. The spectators are there, out loud, thinking about everything. Suddenly there is no time left on the clock. One must not be too happy or too depressed; the three words Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft wrote on the board: “Calm, confident, and very disciplined.” The Boston Bruins and Colorado Avalanche already – leaving the door wide open for the Oilers.
“Anyone who masters the mood swings in a straight line will be successful,” Draistel said. “You can’t win anything with three players. But we showed that we have some players who can score important goals. Goals. But we know that since the start of the season: we score a lot of goals, we A fast team. When we find our game, it’s hard for us to stop.”
They found their game in the series against Los Angeles, which is why the song from “Hotel California” took on another meaning for the Oilers: They’re out of that first round of the playoffs—but they stay in California for the time being, and they stay in Los Angeles and practice at the Kings Hall. Why fly to Canada when your next opponent is a 40-minute flight away?
It’s Wednesday now against the Vegas Golden Knights, who also believe they’re ready for the title after the disappointments in the playoffs of the past few years. The 4-1 series against the Winnipeg Jets was nothing more than a warm-up, but that’s exactly what’s dangerous, as every NHL pro explains like a mantra: You can only take psychological elements with you, comically and tactically starting from scratch. And then it’s up to seven times against a team you finally know inside and out.
Knights are the opposite of oilers: they wait, lurk, and then strike
The tactically interesting thing this time around: the Golden Knights are almost the opposite of the oil veterans. The Oilers are technically gifted, insanely quick; Always looking for the next target. On the other hand, knights are known for fiercely blocking attacks and patiently waiting for an opportunity – and coldly seizing it. It should be a treat for anyone interested in the tactical aspects of the sport: how the series will play out, and how the coaches will react (against Los Angeles, Woodcroft let Dricettle and McDavid out together; against Vegas, they should be on separate again in the first games, except in the case of the majority) ; Which will best match the state of the game and series.
Not feeling like praising the strengths of the next opponent, Draistel said, preferring to say, “A very deep team, a lot of good players – a very noisy arena.”
The Oilers will be relocating between Las Vegas and Edmonton in the coming days, with games one and two and potential games five and seven at the arena off the Strip. If the Oilers ever win this series away from home again, it should get pretty loud in the locker room again. Maybe there would be better beer, and of course a different song. Elvis’ “Viva Las Vegas”, for example.
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