Depleted Oilers show signs of confidence in getting point against Bruins – Sportsnet.ca
EDMONTON — Forget everything these Edmonton Oilers tell you about how they’re confident that they can play with anyone. And that they’ve outgrown any moral victories.
This one — a loser point in a 2-1 overtime loss to the mighty Boston Bruins — was a point they never expected they could get. One they didn’t know they were capable of earning, under the circumstances that met the Oilers Wednesday night at Rogers Place.
You could tell by the way the home team dipped its collective toe in the water Wednesday, edging into the game. Already playing without Connor McDavid and now minus Oscar Klefbom as well, the Oilers first view of this game came like a groundhog poking out of his hole looking for the sun.
“What we want to learn from that game is we need some swagger early on,” admitted Sam Gagner. “Making plays under pressure and having confidence with the puck in the first period would have set us up better. But we clawed our way to a point. Lots to like against a really good team.”
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This is the kind of game of which there are very few in a season. A game that sets a template, to be returned to later on, when the games get tough.
This was a 2-1 overtime loss where the Oilers — playing with $30 million worth of players either injured or suspended — fell behind Boston 1-0 just 8:28 into the game, yet somehow didn’t give up the next one.
They killed seven power plays against the No. 2 unit in the league, and then Edmonton — whose league-leading power play is gutted — got its only goal from a seldom used second unit, as Gagner tipped home an Ethan Bear shot.
There were 100 points in this game where a weak link could have coughed up a goal, but unlike Oilers teams of yore that link was never exposed — despite a defence core that employed three rookies and charged Darnell Nurse with playing a game-high 28:44.
“That’s the recipe for us,” Gagner said. “That was a playoff-style atmosphere and we have to be comfortable in the kinds of games like this. We have to have the confidence to play with whatever’s going on around here (injuries). I thought our young defencemen were great. (Caleb) Jones went up into the second pair and played really well. Laggy (William Lagesson) did a good job. You want to see how young guys respond to tough challenges.”
So that’s what this is all about, isn’t it?
How many teams look at this game, consider their injuries and the opponent, and say to themselves, “Let’s face it: We don’t have a chance tonight.”
Surely there was an element of Edmonton’s psyche that was telling them the cards were stacked against them on Wednesday. You could see it in their early play.
“If it is, we shouldn’t be,” said head coach Dave Tippett, whose mantra is to erase all of the negativity that preceded him here, and replace it with some swagger and confidence.
“We are a good team too,” he began. “We just won two games in a row, why can’t we keep winning? It is a mindset, you have to go out and play.”
That David Pastrnak took a stretch pass and salted this game away with an overtime breakaway will be forgotten by Thursday morning in this town. What will live on is the effort a bunch of Bakersfield call-ups gave their parent team; the way Kailer Yamamoto dove into his battles with the giant Zdeno Chara, giving as good as he got; the way Jones and Lagesson’s games escalated as the pressure ramped up.
The way they grabbed a point against the NHL’s best team on a night when McDavid was out and Leon Draisaitl went without a point.
“Some guys have been looking for more opportunities,” Tippett said. “I liked the way Jones’s game evolved during that game. That first period was very average like a lot of the rest of them, same with Lagesson. But as the game went on they got better. That is a really good power play over there and I think Laggy had four minutes of PK (4:41).”
The longer this game went, and the closer it stayed, the more the Oilers believed.
And trust us, this franchise has not been long on belief in the past decade or so.
“Maybe they just need to get so tired that they didn’t think about that they shouldn’t be playing against Boston,” Tippett figured. “They are good players, just get out there and play.
“We have to play with confidence if we are going to win.”
Toronto Maple Leafs: Treliving Hiring Shows Shanahan's Incompetence – Editor in Leaf
The problem isn’t that Brad Treliving is the newest GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, but instead, it’s Brendan Shanahan’s explanation of it.
As previously mentioned, Brad Treliving is a good executive with a long hockey career, but he never should have been hired as the Toronto Maple Leafs GM.
Reports already indicate that the core-four will remain the same next year, which is fine, but why hire someone new if they’re going to do the same thing and not at least scare the roster that they could be moved?
A new GM is supposed to ignite change and bring a new approach to the game. It’s not someone who’s just going to re-do the job that Kyle Dubas just did.
When Shanahan fired Dubas, he wanted someone who had experience, which is what Treliving brings, but it’s not like he has a ton of winning experience. He’s never been to a Stanley Cup Finals before and only advanced to the second round twice in nine years in Calgary, so what’s really the difference between him and Dubas?
Nothing, at least not in terms of experience or success.
The only difference is that Shanahan is a bitter old-man who was scared that the young buck in Dubas was getting too much attention and that he might take his job one day.
Toronto Maple Leafs: New GM Brings Nothing Different From Dubas
If you look across the league, it’s crazy how much esteem Dubas has. By the way Shanahan described Dubas during his firing, it’s like he was only in the league for 10 minutes and didn’t have the respect of his peers.
Shanahan’s statement was actually hilarious when you compare his words to what other people have said about Dubas. Here’s what Shanahan said during his press conference:
“Treliving earned tremendous respect during his time in the NHL and built excellent relationships … We are confident that Brad’s leadership and strategic vision will elevate the Maple Leafs in our continued pursuit of a championship.”
As for Dubas, if you read Pierre LeBruns’ article in The Athletic last week, the same words were essentially said about him, here are some quotes from that article:
- Jarmo Kekalainen (Columbus Blue Jackets): “I have the utmost respect for Kyle, both as a professional and as a person. He’s always a straight shooter to deal with. No bulls—. Just an all-around really good person and a professional. All our discussions were straightforward and analytical. I think he has a very thorough approach to everything; you have to be prepared when you talk to him because he’s going to look at things from every angle. I have a lot of respect for him.”
- Bill Zito (Florida Panthers) : “Obviously, a very bright man. And a guy that I have a lot of faith in his character. He’s a guy you could do a deal with. And if it wasn’t papered, you could tell the (player) go ahead get on the plane. As an agent, we used to say if you did a deal with a GM and you didn’t have a contract back yet, would you send your player on the plane? That’s a level of respect I have for Kyle’s integrity. Obviously, I’m very fond of him. I think he did a hell of a job there.”
- The GMs of Nashville, Tampa and Edmonton were all quoted as saying really nice things about him as well.
All of these old-school and experienced GM’s said nothing but great things about Dubas, yet the Leafs didn’t want him. They explained all of the attributes that Shanahan wanted in a GM, yet they decided to move on and hire Treliving instead.
Shanahan took a bitter approach and gassed one of the most thoughtful and intelligent hockey minds of this generation and instead hired a guy who hasn’t doesn’t seem to be an improvement in any way.
No disrespect to Treliving because I think he’s going to do a fine job, but the explanation of Dubas’ firing gets dumber with every second and continues to show the incompetence of Shanahan as the President of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
How much are Stanley Cup Final tickets? – ESPN – ESPN
The Stanley Cup Final will return to Las Vegas and South Florida for the Florida Panthers vs. the Vegas Golden Knights. For fans of the Knights, who reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2018, tickets to the first two games at T-Mobile Arena are a bit cheaper this time around.
The average price for a ticket to Game 1 is $763, according to Vivid Seats data. In 2018, during the franchise’s first trip to the Final, the average was $1,062. That was the highest in recent years for a team making its Final debut or returning after a long drought. Last year’s Game 1 between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche had an average price of $1,052. The Avalanche, who hosted Game 1, were playing their first Final game since 2001. When the St. Louis Blues hosted their first Final game in decades in 2019, the average was $869.
For Saturday’s opening game, the lowest-priced available ticket is going for $405 on the Knights’ website, while TickPick lists a no-view, standing room only ticket for $311. The most expensive ticket is $9,750. These prices don’t reflect taxes or fees.
For Game 3, the Panthers’ first Stanley Cup Final home game since 1996, the average price for a ticket at FLA Live Arena is $628, according to Vivid Seats. At Ticketmaster, the Panthers’ ticket-seller, the lowest-priced ticket is $538. The most expensive ticket is reselling for $9,000 before taxes and fees. The average price for Game 4 is a bit higher at $689.
If the series goes to seven games, fans might need some extra casino winnings to get into the arena. Prices via the Knights’ website range from about $900 to $25,000.
NBA Finals Takeaways: Nuggets’ stars show they’re ready for biggest stage – Sportsnet.ca
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