Oilers’ Season Finale: Lackluster Loss Sets Stage for Playoff Showdown

Edmonton Oilers, season finale, player grades

The Edmonton Oilers closed out their season with a lackluster 5-1 defeat against the Colorado Avalanche in what was their 1310th game of the NHL season. The Oilers, securely positioned in second place in the Pacific Division, opted to rest their top scorers for the finale, a decision that seemed justified as they emerged from the game without any notable injuries. With their own game concluded, the Oilers watched eagerly as the final two games of the season unfolded in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, which would ultimately decide their first-round playoff opponent.

However, the path to determining their opponent proved to be filled with unexpected twists and turns. Initially, it seemed neither the Vegas Golden Knights nor the Los Angeles Kings were eager to face the Oilers in the playoffs. The Golden Knights faltered in their attempt to secure third place with a disappointing 4-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks, leaving the door open for the Kings. Yet, the Kings squandered a lead against the Chicago Blackhawks, only managing to secure a crucial point in the standings thanks to a late-game power play goal.

Ultimately, the results dictated that the Oilers would face the Kings in the first round for the third consecutive season, while the Golden Knights would face the Dallas Stars. The prospect of facing familiar foes like Arvidsson, Kempe, Doughty, Kopitar, Danault, Moore, and Anderson added an extra layer of anticipation for Oilers fans, as they geared up for the playoffs beginning on Monday, April 22.

As for the Oilers’ final game against the Avalanche, it was a forgettable affair. With their top players resting, the Oilers struggled from the start, falling behind 4-0 within the first half of the opening period. Although they managed to show some resilience in the later stages of the game, the outcome was never in doubt.

ALSO READ:Oilers to Face Kings in Third Consecutive Playoff Clash

Here’s a breakdown of player performances from the game:

Evan Bouchard (#2) did not play. Cody Ceci (#5) received a grade of 3, leading the team in ice time but facing challenges early in the game. Derek Ryan (#10) earned a grade of 6 for his strong performance despite being on the losing side. Mattias Janmark (#13) received a grade of 5 for his steady play throughout the game. Mattias Ekholm (#14) did not play. Zach Hyman (#18) did not play. Adam Henrique (#19) received a grade of 4 for leading the forwards in ice time but having some defensive lapses. Adam Erne (#21) received a grade of 4 for his performance on a line with Gagner. Darnell Nurse (#25) received a grade of 3 for his performance on defense. Brett Kulak (#27) received a grade of 4, wearing an “A” but not performing at his best. Connor Brown (#28) received a grade of 5 for contributing to Edmonton’s lone goal. Leon Draisaitl (#29) did not play. Calvin Pickard (#30) received a grade of 6 for his efforts in goal. Warren Foegele (#37) received a grade of 8, despite not registering points, for his energetic play and offensive contributions. Sam Carrick (#39) received a grade of 5 for his performance. Troy Stecher (#51) received a grade of 5 for his efforts, despite taking early penalties. Dylan Holloway (#55) received a grade of 7 for his goal and energetic play. Ryan McLeod (#71) received a grade of 6 for his performance, despite a lack of scoring. Vincent Desharnais (#73) received a grade of 5 for his performance on defense. Stu Skinner (#74) received a grade of 4 for his tough start in goal. Philip Broberg (#86) received a grade of 7 for his solid play on defense and contributing to the lone goal. Sam Gagner (#89) received a grade of 4 for his performance alongside Erne. Corey Perry (#90) received a grade of 5 for his efforts despite fatigue. Evander Kane (#91) did not play. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (#93) did not play. Connor McDavid (#97) did not play.

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