Oilers takeaways: Edmonton finds grit and maturity with sixth straight win vs. Canucks

It was a different route to the same destination. Edmonton Oilers The team that’s been giving Google Maps a run for its money of late when it comes to finding a new way to get to the ‘W’.

An early 3-0 lead against a team that had every emotional edge, with Bruce Boudreau looking like he was coaching his last game?

Well, the Canucks shaved it off at 3-2, but the Oilers looked like a solid team experienced in taking the lead, killing a couple of penalties before ending the game and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scoring an empty netter. killed. The victory is 4-2 away.

“Listen” began. Zach HeymanAfter a four-point night (1-3-4), “They’ve got a ton of skill players out there. And when it’s 3-0, they try to open it up, take some risks and chances, and they Managed to catch us on a couple.

“If only this had happened to us earlier in the year,” he said, choosing not to finish the thought. “This time we managed to nip it in the bud and catch it. So that was a good way to keep things rolling.”

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What are we seeing here, as Edmonton extends its winning streak to six games and passes the Los Angeles Kings to move into third place in the Pacific? We are seeing a team that has lowered its panic level. A team that thinks the opponent is going to win a few minutes in a 60-minute game, and has learned how to weather those minutes.

This is a team that played and won a lot of high-pressure games from mid-February through Round 3 of the playoffs last season, and bounced back to that form. The only difference is, it’s the second time they’ve been down this road, and there’s some muscle memory that’s kicking in.

“A little maturity,” said Connor McDavidWho scored his 40 runsTh “We’ve found ourselves in some tough games and found a way to finish them. That’s a big part of winning,” said Vancouver.

McDavid became the first player in 23 years — since Pavel Bure — to score 40 goals in 48 games. He leads the league in goals, points (86) and trails only Nikita Kucherov with 47 by one assist. In all only 48 games were played.

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McDavid’s 40-goal streak is a surefire feat that we’ve marveled at over the first seven years of his career, where his career high was 44. He’ll finish this season, and could very well go into NHL awards night with Hart, Art Ross and Rocket Richard.

“That’s not why we play sports,” said McDavid, who would never pump his tires in a media scrum. “We play to win, and we’re finding ways to do that, which is good.”

“Everybody knows what he’s capable of,” Hyman added. “He’s a pass-first guy, but he’s shooting more and he’s scoring more. I think that’s a credit to him working on it.

“It doesn’t happen overnight. He’s working on scoring goals and I think that’s a development for him.

Hockey Day in Canada

Hockey Day in Canada connects hockey to the community and empowers the next generation of hockey players. Host Ron MacLean and the Sportsnet team, along with Scotiabank, celebrate the game with a day-long marathon of live NHL coverage on January 21st.

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Speaking of Heyman, he had the second four-point night of his career, both coming this season. Heyman already has his career high in points, and still has 34 games to play in the 2022-23 season.

“When you’re playing against him, it’s definitely an exhausting night. He’s like a dog on a bone on the puck,” McDavid said.

Edmonton has won six straight games, outscoring opponents 31-13.

•••

How do you get your entire team to buy into a tight, hotly contested, 4-2 game?

You give them all plenty of ice time.

Every Oilers player — except for backup goalie Jake Campbell — played at least ten minutes Saturday. That way you get a team that believes in itself.

“Whether it’s on the score sheet, playing physical, blocking a shot or being solid defensively, I think we’re getting contributions up and down the lineup,” McDavid said.

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