The Edmonton Oilers already found themselves in a hole to start this series. Now, that hole has gotten even deeper with Evander Kane being suspended for Game 4. The Colorado Avalanche and the Oilers have played in three games so far, with Colorado taking all three of them. One more win and they move forward into the Stanley Cup Finals. As for the Oilers, one more loss puts them into the offseason.
Edmonton is going to have to find other offense now without Kane available for them. For those that didn’t know, Kane was suspended after a cross check on Nazem Kadri into the boards. Kane attempted to appeal the suspension, to which their head coach remained optimistic he would win. However, that one game suspension still stands.
Evander Kane usually gets placed on the top line alongside Connor McDavid. Kane leads the playoffs so far with 13 goals in 15 games. It’s safe to say that his absence will most certainly be felt. McDavid himself leads the postseason with 30 points in those same 15 games. He will now be asked to carry the offensive load even more in Game 4.
Oilers Struggling, But Not Out Yet
This recent turn of events now leaves them with yet another guy out of the lineup. Kailer Yamamoto was already ruled out with an injury after he got hurt in the middle of Game 2. Facing a 3-0 deficit with two important players out of commission seems like a near impossible task.
As for the players themselves, they have said that every game will be a Game 7 for them moving forward. There was a resounding answer from the players that they have to take each game one at a time if they want to succeed. The Oilers have still been outscored 16-8 in the series and 8-2 in their last two games. There needs to be an entire mindset change if they want to keep on pushing forward.
One quote that really stood out was this, “Everybody’s kind of counting us out, so there’s no pressure on our end. All the pressure flips to Colorado; they’re expected to win now, being up 3-0. So, for us, it’s just about getting one and then go from there. We’re a team that’s faced adversity; we’ve talked about it all year long. We’re a confident group still. If there’s ever a team that could do it, I believe that this is the team. It starts with one.”
What do you think? Will we see the Oilers force a Game 5 in this series? Or will they still be swept away in the Western Conference Finals anyways?
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