EDMONTON — These are the moments when everything a hockey team believes in gets laid out right there on the dressing-room table. Or the video screen, as a coaching staff drills down on how we got here, how we get out of here, and what has to happen to never be here again … in Round 1, at least.
The Edmonton Oilers lost control of their Round 1 series with the Los Angeles Kings in Game 4, taking their collective foot off the throat of the Kings after 6-0 and 8-2 wins had presented Edmonton with the golden opportunity of bringing this series back home with a 3-1 stranglehold.
The Kings stomped Edmonton, winning in every facet of the game. They wanted it more; they executed better; they battled harder; they got what they deserved: a 4-0 win.
An Oilers fan would say that their team let the Kings take this series back. The Kings would remind us that they are trying too, and they’re not at a fantasy camp here.
Either way, it’s all just semantics.
This we know for sure: The series is tied at two games apiece as we return to frigid Edmonton for Game 5. Wrestling back home-ice advantage favours the Oilers, but being even at two wins each favours the Kings, a team that wasn’t supposed to have much of a chance in this series, in the eyes of many.
So, here we are. One team with fresh, new belief, another whose belief is being tested.
Now, coach Jay Woodcroft believes, it’s up to him and his staff to dig into that Game 4 loss and unearth the elements that can be altered in Game 5. So the final score line can be altered as well.
[brightcove videoID=6305809278112 playerID=JCdte3tMv height=360 width=640]
“You want to make sure you’re not just sweeping things under the rug. That you’re seeing things the way they occurred,” Woodcroft said. “You do your work, and you give your players something they can sink their teeth into, in order to improve.
“We weren’t anywhere near where we needed to be in some areas. We’re going to address them, we’re going to improve, and we’ll be ready for Game 5.”
So, what are the building blocks that Woodcroft already has in place? Here are a few:
• As good as Jonathan Quick was on Sunday, Mike Smith’s .942 playoff save percentage was second among all NHL goaltenders heading into play Monday night. Of the three goals he allowed in Game 4, one left him chanceless, another was tipped home by Duncan Keith and the other he stopped before Carl Grundstrom plowed the puck into the net with his body. The goaltending battle is even, or perhaps even advantage Smith — something that was in question when this series began.
• The Oilers have scored 17 goals. Connor McDavid (1) and Leon Draisaitl (3) have combined for less than a quarter of those. On nine of those 17 goals, neither McDavid nor Draisaitl were involved – so the support scoring that sewered this team a year ago is alive and well. Sure, Derek Ryan is hurt. But Drew Doughty isn’t playing for L.A., so we won’t hear of any injury woes in Edmonton.
• When the Oilers got the puck behind L.A.’s defence, then pounded them on the forecheck, that L.A. D-corps eroded. The Oilers played that game to a T in Games 2 and 3, and they won both handily. The Oilers didn’t have the puck enough in Game 4 to ply that trade, and they lost. So, win your battles, get your share of possession time in Game 5, and there is a proven formula to beating L.A.
In hindsight, the Kings looked like a desperate, last-chance team in Game 4 – and rightfully so – while Edmonton tiptoed into the game like a team hoping their opponent would give up after back to back 6-0 and 8-2 shellackings. It was a rudimentary lesson for a team that has not led a playoff series in a long, long time, that an opponent gets harder to beat the closer they are to extinction.
Is there another level for the Kings to raise their game to after that flawless Game 4 performance?
They’d tell you, “Yes,” but we would have to see that to believe it. That game was just this side of perfect, for the Kings.
Can Edmonton play better than it did on Sunday, in front of a home crowd in a massive swing game in this series?
Unquestionably, the Oilers can. Even the most objective observer would agree with that.
“You’re going to see an Edmonton Oilers team that is going to come out prepared, come hard, and play like a team that realizes there are no shortcuts to playoff success,” promised Woodcroft. “There have been moments in this series for both teams.
“In the end, the team that continues to evolve and improve is going to move on.”
How to Spot a Trustworthy Online Casino in Canada
Spotting a trustworthy online casino isn’t hard once you know what to look for, but until then, you better hold off on signing up or making a deposit. This quick guide on how to find a reputable online casino will cover five different factors you can evaluate to determine whether or not a casino is trustworthy. While you could just use a site like the trusted source WikiHow that lists the best online casinos Canada, it does help to be able to evaluate the trustworthiness of casinos on your own. Likewise, you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet. Casino review sites are a great resource, but it doesn’t hurt to also do a little digging of your own. Without further delay, here’s a quick and easy guide on how to spot a trustworthy online casino.
Checking for Proper Licensing and Regulation
One of the first things you should do when assessing the trustworthiness of the best online casinos Canada is to check for proper licensing and regulation. Reputable online casinos are licensed by recognized regulatory bodies such as the Malta Gaming Authority, the UK Gambling Commission, or the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority. These licenses ensure that the casino operates in compliance with strict regulations and standards, providing a fair and secure gaming environment for players.
Never play at a casino that does not have a license or whose license is unverifiable. The easiest way to verify a license is to head to the licensor’s website and cross-check their registry with the name of the casino you’re looking at. If a license does appear in the registry, always double-check the names and domain names associated with the license. Some scam sites use domains that look similar to real casinos and act as if they are operating under their license. When in doubt, head to the URL listed on the license you find in the registry to be sure that you’re at the right site.
Evaluating the Casino’s Security Measures
Examining the Casino’s Game Selection
Game selection is another important factor to consider when choosing from the best online casinos Canada. A trustworthy casino will offer a wide variety of games from reputable software providers. Look for popular titles from well-known developers such as Microgaming, NetEnt, and Playtech. Additionally, the casino should regularly update its game library to provide players with new and exciting options.
Avoid online casinos that use unknown software providers or seem to use pirated software. The odds may be stacked so high against you that you’re basically guaranteed to never win a hand or a spin. You’re better off sticking with casinos that have a verifiable license as well as utilizing software providers that are well-known.
Verifying the Casino’s Customer Support
Good customer support is essential for a positive online casino experience. A trustworthy casino will have a responsive and knowledgeable support team available to assist you with any queries or concerns. Look for casinos that offer multiple support channels, such as live chat, email, and telephone. Additionally, check for the casino’s operating hours to ensure that support is available when you need it. You should also try and give their customer support a test run. By simply asking their 24/7 Live Chat simple questions about the site, you can get a feel for their response time and overall knowledge. Sites with poor customer service will often take a long time to connect to an agent and be unable to answer even the simplest of queries.
Looking for Fair and Transparent Bonus Terms
Bonuses and promotions are a common feature of online casinos, but it’s important to carefully review the terms and conditions associated with these offers. A trustworthy casino will have fair and transparent bonus terms, clearly outlining the wagering requirements, maximum bet limits, and any other conditions that apply. Avoid casinos that have overly restrictive or confusing bonus terms, as this may indicate a lack of transparency.
In conclusion, when looking for a trustworthy online casino, it’s important to consider factors such as proper licensing and regulation, security measures, game selection, customer support, and bonus terms. By taking the time to evaluate these aspects, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable gaming experience. Remember to always gamble responsibly and set limits for yourself to avoid any potential issues.
Canadiens acquire Tanner Pearson, trade Casey DeSmith to Canucks
A third-round pick in 2025 also goes to Montreal in the deal completed Tuesday.
Pearson hasn’t played since suffering a broken hand last November during a game in Montreal.
Pearson, 31, had one goal and four assists in 14 games last season.
In 590 career games with the Canucks, Pittsburgh Penguins and Los Angeles Kings, Pearson has 133 goals and 139 assists for 272 points.
The Kings picked the Barrie Colts product in the first round (30th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft.
Pearson is in the final year of a three-year contract with a cap hit of $3.25 million.
DeSmith, 32, has been with the Pittsburgh Penguins since 2017-18. He was acquired by the Canadians in a three-team deal also involving the San Jose Sharks last month.
DeSmith was 15-16-4 with a 3.17 goals-against average and .905 save percentage last season.
In 134 career games, the undrafted DeSmith is 58-44-15 with a 2.81 GAA and .912 save percentage.
DeSmith is on the final year of a two-year deal with a cap hit of $1.8 million.
Blue Jackets GM, president admit fault in Babcock debacle, reveal more red flags
Days after Mike Babcock was accused of inappropriate workplace conduct by podcast host Paul Bissonette — with the retired NHL player claiming Babcock was forcing players to airplay personal photos on television in his office — Columbus Blue Jackets management addressed the debacle in a tense press conference at Nationwide Arena.
“It’s on us. It’s on me…. Sometimes you flat-out make a mistake. We made a mistake,” said Blue Jackets president of hockey ops John Davidson, per Associated Press reporter Stephen Whyno.
“Maybe they were right,” Davidson said of people who were critical of Mike Babcock’s hiring in the first place.
Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen, meanwhile. said he apologized to Blue Jackets players this morning for hiring the embattled head coach.
“I believe that Mike Babcock deserved another opportunity to coach,” Kekalainen said. “Obviously that was a mistake and that responsibility’s mine.”
Still, even with the talk of accountability, Kekalainen detailed what should’ve been a red flag: Babcock apparently pulled the same phone stunt he was accused of pulling with his players on the 57-year-old executive.
GM Jarmo Kekalainen said Mike Babcock did the phone thing with him as well. “Personally I had no problem with it but I can see how it might put someone in an uncomfortable situation.”
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) September 18, 2023
But while Kekalainen stated he doesn’t believe there was any ill intent behind Babcock’s actions, he admitted that some of his players were not comfortable with his methods and that was concerning.
Blue Jackets majority owner John H. McConnell announced in a team-issued statement Monday morning that he does not anticipate further changes to the team’s leadership, erasing speculation that one or both of Kekalainen and Davidson would end up on the chopping block alongside Babcock.
“Additional disruptions would be detrimental to our players and coaches as they prepare for the opening of training camp in two days,” McConnell’s statement read.
To say this story escalated rapidly would be the understatement of the century. Initially, it seemed like it would die quickly after both Babcock and captain Boone Jenner released statements through the team on Wednesday morning refuting the Spittin’ Chiclets host’s version of events.
Both Columbus’ captain and the now-former coach described their encounter as nothing more than a way of sharing snippets of one another’s life in an effort to build a working relationship. During an appearance on the 32 Thoughts Podcast on the same day as Jenner and Babcock condemned Bissonette’s comments, Blue Jackets star winger Johnny Gaudreau gave a similar account to Jenner when asked about his photo-exchange meet-and-greet with Babcock.
But the story didn’t end there, obviously, with Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reporting things changed on Wednesday night when the NHLPA received information that some of the younger Blue Jackets players were uncomfortable with their interactions with Babcock.
Friedman later reported that the information gathered on Wednesday night prompted NHLPA executive director Marty Walsh and assistant executive director Ron Hainsey to begin an investigation before flying out to Columbus and leading what was described as an “intense” meeting.
On Friday, Walsh and Hainsey relayed their findings during a joint meeting with the NHL and NHLPA. Saturday was arguably the quietest day of the scandal in the public eye, according to ESPN’s Greg Wyshinski, because that’s the day Columbus and Babcock started plotting his exit.
By Sunday, the Blue Jackets announced that Babcock had resigned and Pascal Vincent would be taking over as the team’s head coach.
Vincent, 51, had served as the Blue Jackets’ associate coach since the 2021-22 season. Before joining Columbus, Vincent spent 10 seasons with the Winnipeg Jets organization, serving as an NHL assistant for the first half of his tenure before pivoting to head coach of the organization’s AHL affiliate, the Manitoba Moose. Vincent was named AHL Coach Of The Year for the 2017-18 season.
US-China Relations Thaw With Groups to Discuss Economic, Financial Issues – Bloomberg
US auto workers expand strike as Biden prepares to join picket line – Al Jazeera English
Indian Media Attack Trudeau Over Claim of Extrajudicial Killing of Sikh Leader – Bloomberg
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Search for life on Mars accelerates as new bodies of water found below planet’s surface
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Business17 hours ago
Morgan Stanley Says All Oil Signals Flashing Tightness
Art22 hours ago
‘You could fill a museum with it’: the $963m Roman Abramovich art collection revealed
News21 hours ago
Ukraine news: Zelenskyy in Canada, will speak to Parliament
Media16 hours ago
The Supreme Court showdown over social media “censorship” and free speech online
News17 hours ago
Canada recall: Shimano bike cranksets removed over crash hazard
Art17 hours ago
Culture Days in the City of Barrie aim to inspire public participation in arts and culture
Business18 hours ago
Amazon to move to default ad-tier model for Prime Video
Business20 hours ago
Rupert Murdoch exit may give Trump a Fox News ‘reset,’ Republican strategists say