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*** 2021-22 Western Conference Finals: Edmonton Oilers (P2) at Colorado Avalanche (C1) - (COL WINS 4-0) ***


EDM vs COL  

11 members have voted

  1. 1. Who Comes Out Best in the West?

    • Oilers in 4. Edmonton is still fueled by their win over the tough Flames, that they run through the "mighty" Avs to the tune of a rippling sweep!
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    • Oilers in 5. Both teams show lots of flash n skill, but WHY does it seem the Avalanche are about two steps behind the Oilers???
      0
    • Oilers in 6. Series lives up to the hype...except it is Edmonton's hype that sees them through to the Cup Finals.
    • Oilers in 7. Game set is always in doubt..till the very end when EDM shows they will not be denied their chance at Lord Stanley's Cup.
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    • Avalanche in 4. Oilers 'feel good' moments are short lived as Colorado shows them some harsh reality in the form of brooms.
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    • Avalanche in 5. Lots of speed, maybe even lots of scoring, but Colorado just can't be contained and still win this pretty handily.
    • Avalanche in 6. Oilers are game. Very game, but top to bottom, the Avs prove why they were seeded #1 in the West starting post season play.
    • Avalanche in 7. Great series that many will say "Oilers have nothing to be ashamed of"...except the Oilers themselves EXPECTED to win...while they fall just short.

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Season Series...Who won it?
Avalanche took it, 2-1-0

How they got here:
Oilers with a bit of back n forth with the Kings in Round 1, ultmately proved too much for the transitioning LA squad.
Then, in the Battle of Alberta, and after a crazy 9-6 loss in G1 against Calgary, they go on and rip 4 wins a row, stunning a Flames team some had already pegged to be in the West Finals themselves.

Avalanche weren't overly challenged by the Nashville Predators in R1...some games were close, one game could have definitely gone the Preds' way, but in the end, Colorado made their way through R1 with a 4-0 sweep of Nashville.
Then the Avs faced a St. Louis Blues team, not that far removed from a title themselves, and with still much of that championship core, and that series was pretty competitive...till the Avs showed they are better this year, and moved on after dispatching the Blues, 4 games to 2.

There should be no shortage of star power, speed, and "Holy ^%$#" moments when the Oilers and Avalanche go at it.

Can the Oilers continue their fantastic run, dispelling any notions of 'pre-ordained' Finals teams that they "weren't supposed to beat"?
Have the Avalanche already faced their toughest opponent prior the SC Finals in the Blues? Will they make short work of the Oiler defense, and make Mike Smith look like he truly is 40 years old?

One thing is for sure....the Predators and Blues had no one quite like Connor McDavid.
And if the Oilers also come in with fully functioning Leon Draisaitls, Evander Kanes, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins', Darnell Nurses and maybe some on-their-games Kailer Yamamotos and/or Jesse Puljujarvis, then Colorado will MORE than have their hands full.

On paper, this looks to be a great set of games....now...all that is left, is to actually have the teams play them so we can see if that is so!
All Oilers-Avalanche Western Finals talk....right here!

Also, don't forget to cast your prediction vote before polls close!

Edited by TropicalFruitGirl26
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I'll actually be rooting Oilers here.
I put up a thread some seasons ago about who people thought would be the next Canadian based franchise to win the Stanley Cup, and my answer was the Oilers.
And that was when they still had their inept front office and bench....but STILL had McDavid on the roster.

I felt that if executive leadership was changed or the current one finally got their drills out of their wells, they could really do something building a strong team around the best player in the game today.
I still feel the Oilers will make it to the Cup before Toronto, before Winnipeg, before Calgary, before Ottawa, etc, etc.

BUT, not this year. 
Rooting Oilers, but honestly, the Avalanche are just looking like the real deal all the way.
I wouldn't have said that at the beginning of the season because everybody and their hockey bookie was placing the Avs as number one before a single game was played.
But Colorado has improved all throughout the regular season, and into these playoffs.

Goaltending will be the key more than ever.
If Mike Smith plays like a 25 year old, and McDavid and his skaters do their thing while defending pretty solidly, they got a chance.
Especially if Darcy Kuemper, whom I still feel is the Colorado weak link, isn't up to par.

If Smith plays like a tired 40 yr old, however, it could adversely affect the rest of the team, and this series could be over very quickly.

I say, the Oilers come to play, come to win, and push the Avs to the limit.....but Colorado still finds a way and skates away Western Champions in 7

Edited by TropicalFruitGirl26
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I have seen a lot of pundits not giving the Oilers a shot here which i think is foolish with McJesus playing the best hockey of his career in this postseason. I took the Avs in 6 but it was a weak vote. Colorado is steamrolling everyone right now, I think Smith turns back into a pumpkin and the ;Lanche back end holds Mcdavid down to 3 points a night while shutting down all secondary scoring  and that is how Colorado wins.

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I don’t see Edmonton having the ability to stop this team.  McDavid and his side kick will get theirs but it won’t be enough.  Colorado wins.  Only team left I like at times are Rangers 

I look forward to NBA final more

Edited by Hockey Junkie
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I usually pull for a team with an ex-Wild player but I just can't with Kuemper. He was a head case with us and has he matured since then? Or is it he has a great team in front of him.
Hopefully Smith doesn't turn into that pumpkin as yave1964 said ^^ and make this a fun series. 
Oilers in 6 I hope.
 

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4 hours ago, yave1964 said:

I have seen a lot of pundits not giving the Oilers a shot here which i think is foolish with McJesus playing the best hockey of his career in this postseason. I took the Avs in 6 but it was a weak vote. Colorado is steamrolling everyone right now, I think Smith turns back into a pumpkin and the ;Lanche back end holds Mcdavid down to 3 points a night while shutting down all secondary scoring  and that is how Colorado wins.

 

As always, great take.

I'd love for the Oilers to move and possibly set up a EDM-TB Finals, should the Bolts win obviously, but I was one of "those people" who picked Colorado because they do seem to have everything but goaltending rock solid.

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This reminds of an old anecdote from the early days (mid-1960’s) of the  hapless expansion New York Mets.  Guy says, “hey, ‘dya see the Mets scored 12 runs this afternoon!”  His pal replies, “Who won?”

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4 minutes ago, TropicalFruitGirl26 said:

 

What goaltending!?? :shifty: 

 

Right, there's no goaler in football games. I still hope for a TD a some point.

 

And Smith with a GAA of 13.19 in this series.

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6 hours ago, yave1964 said:

I have seen a lot of pundits not giving the Oilers a shot here which i think is foolish with McJesus playing the best hockey of his career in this postseason. I took the Avs in 6 but it was a weak vote. Colorado is steamrolling everyone right now, I think Smith turns back into a pumpkin and the ;Lanche back end holds Mcdavid down to 3 points a night while shutting down all secondary scoring  and that is how Colorado wins.

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Goaltender Darcy Kuemper injured as Colorado Avalanche outlast Edmonton Oilers in series opener

 

DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche hung on to defeat the Edmonton Oilers 8-6 in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals Tuesday night, but the home team lost starting goaltender Darcy Kuemper to an upper-body injury in the process.

 

Kuemper was late returning to the ice when the second period began, and then left for good at the first TV timeout. He finished with 13 saves on 16 shots. Backup Pavel Francouz backstopped Colorado the rest of the way in an 18-save performance.

Avs coach Jared Bednar had no update on his goaltender after the win.

 

"We'll see," was all Bednar said when asked if Kuemper's issue was day-to-day or something potentially longer term.

 

Depending on the severity of Kuemper's ailment, his extended absence could create a noticeable momentum swing in the series.

 

Kuemper has been solid throughout the postseason, producing a 6-2-0 record with a .904 save percentage and a 2.44 goals-against average heading into the conference finals. And he's coming off a terrific regular season (37-12-4, .921 SV%, 2.54 GAA) that helped Colorado gain strong positioning for the playoffs.

 

The 32-year-old was set to play an integral role in lifting Colorado past Edmonton and its bevy of electrifying offensive stars -- namely forwards Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl -- who will attempt to feast on Francouz given the opportunity.

That was already apparent in how Francouz fared coming off the bench. He entered the game when it was 6-3, and gave up goals to McDavid, Derek Ryan and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins late to allow Edmonton to get within one with over seven minutes remaining in regulation.

 

"We didn't plan to play such a game," Francouz said, "but we'll take the win. It's obviously easier [to come in] if you have a pretty good lead, so I think that kind of helped us for sure. I didn't feel cold for like five seconds; I was warm pretty quickly. That wasn't an issue. We all know what kind of players are on these two teams and we didn't plan to play such a game, but we take this win for sure, and we move forward."

 

Francouz hadn't been totally idle in the playoffs. He stepped in for Kuemper when Colorado's starter was sidelined in Game 3 of the Avalanche's first-round sweep of Nashville. Predators forward Ryan Johansen accidentally hit Kuemper in the eye with a stick, and he missed the remainder of that series before returning healthy for the second-round matchup against St. Louis.

 

Filling in for Kuemper, Francouz went 2-0-0 with a .902 SV% and a 2.97 GAA while closing out Nashville.

 

Kuemper's exit wasn't the only goalie drama in Game 1, either. The Oilers also flipped from Mike Smith to Mikko Koskinen in the second period, after Smith allowed a sixth goal to put Edmonton in a 6-3 hole.

 

Smith finished with 19 saves (760 SV%) to Koskinen's 20 stops (.952 SV%).

 

The 40-year-old Smith also got the hook in Game 1 of Edmonton's second-round series against Calgary, when he gave up three goals in six minutes to start the first period.

 

While Smith could make light of the fact that "obviously, we don't like Game 1s," he was clearly unhappy with how this one played out.

 

"When you're on the bench halfway through the game, it's not a good sign," Smith said. "In saying that, it's one game and I've been in this position before, so you park it. It's a long series."

 

In the end, it was a tight loss for the Oilers, where an unsuccessful -- and controversial -- offside challenge still loomed.

 

When Cale Makar lit the lamp with just 13 seconds left in the first period, Edmonton coach Jay Woodcroft challenged the play for being offside. The NHL upheld the goal, though.

The issue at hand was whether Valeri Nichushkin had made it back across the blueline before Makar carried the puck into Edmonton's end. Woodcroft didn't think he did. The NHL's explanation for the goal standing was that Makar pushed the puck into the zone but didn't himself cross the blueline until Nichushkin had tagged up. Therefore, the play was onside.

 

The unsuccessful challenge not only upheld the Avalanche's 3-2 lead, but Nazem Kadri also scored 32 seconds into Colorado's ensuing power play.

Woodcroft believes he made the right call in challenging, and still thinks it shouldn't have counted. But on a night when 14 pucks found mesh, Woodcroft was more concerned about what Edmonton conceded throughout.

 

"We didn't win or lose this game because of that call," he said. "It's not about what you get sometimes, it's what you give up. Things happen in hockey games, you have to move on. We didn't get the kill, that was disappointing for us. We gave up too many goals against and we have some work to do to clean it up."

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  • TropicalFruitGirl26 changed the title to 2021-22 Western Conference Finals: Edmonton Oilers (P2) at Colorado Avalanche (C1) - (COL Leads 1-0)

Pavel Francouz will be in for Colorado tonight.
Will the Avs play a bit more conservatively seeing as how their backup is now in to face the Edmonton attack?

If so, could be a mistake, as "conservative" Colorado isn't what got them to the number 1 seed in the West and to this point in the playoffs.
Sure, their defense has to play smart, but the Avs best stay with their best attributes: Raw offense...from both the forward units and the blue line.

On the Oilers' side, Mike Smith will be back in. 
No surprise, as I think Edmonton will NEED a sharp Smith to win this series and advance to the Finals.
I really don't believe Koskinen can carry the squad through the Avalanche (even a conservative one)....Smith HAS to be the man.

Other than better defense (duh!), I don't expect the Oilers to deviate too much from their usual gameplan that usually runs through McDavid or Draisaitl.

If guys like Kane, Nugent-Hopkins, and some of the younger players like Pulju and Yamamoto are factors, the Oilers could square this series tonight, and head home having 'stolen' a road game from the mighty Avs, setting them up to take the lead in front of their home crowd in G3.

X-factor for G2?
How physical does this game get? Whom does it benefit to get things really dirty and grimey?
As much offense as both sides can display, looking closer at the rosters, some hellacious nastiness is also possible from either of these squads.

Teams are in warm ups as I finish this....both sides look ready to go!

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  • TropicalFruitGirl26 changed the title to *** 2021-22 Western Conference Finals: Edmonton Oilers (P2) at Colorado Avalanche (C1) - (COL WINS 4-0) ***
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