Mike SmithFrom hero to zero in The Edmonton Oilers‘ crease. Now, the team's goaltending may be in flux. 9-6 lossTo the Calgary FlamesOn Wednesday, they played Game 1 in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoff series.
The veteran netminder has never been able to settle into Wednesday's matchup. Mikko KoskinenSmith was replaced by him. In the first 51 seconds of the match, Smith was scored on by Calgary. Elias LindholmAnd Andrew Mangiapane— To record the fastest start to an NHL playoff match in history.
The 40-year old had just won Edmonton's first round series victory over Los Angeles. He also became the oldest NHL goalie to record a shutout in Game 7, when the Oilers beat the Kings 2-0.
Edmonton was still able to score offensively despite the low initial returns in Calgary. Jay Woodcroft, Oilers' coach, was frustrated.
“We scored six goals. He stated that this should be enough for us to win. There are many things we could do better. None of us were where we needed to be in order to begin the game. “You don't have to concede two goals during the first two shifts.”
Woodcroft didn't ask Smith or Koskinen whether they would start Friday's Game 2. He stated that he expected a better effort overall.
“I think we realized tonight that it was only one game of the series. He said, “We're 0-1.” “We have some really great leaders.” [our] players. We will go back to the drawing boards as there were issues. We will be available for [Game 2]Friday
It was Brett RitchieSmith was chasing Smith and allowed three goals on ten shots. Koskinen took over the pipes. Koskinen was not in the playoffs since August 2020, when Edmonton faced Chicago in the NHL's COVID-19 tournament.
It was not the first time Edmonton's goaltending problems had arisen in this pivotal playoff series. It was a problem that persisted throughout the season. Smith was injured only three games into the Oilers' season and missed the rest of the campaign due to other illnesses. Koskinen fluctuated between hot streaks and ice-cold drops, with solid appearances by rookies. Stuart Skinner.
In Edmonton's final weeks of the season, Smith and Koskinen performed at their best. It was difficult to decide who should start against Los Angeles in Game 1.
Smith posted the highest regular season numbers with a.915 SV% and 2.81 GAA. Smith was awarded the nod, and he went 4-3-0 against the Kings with a.938SV% and 2.29 GAA to advance Edmonton to the second round.
The Oilers supported Koskinen by providing much-needed offense. Connor McDavidEdmonton was on the board in less than 90 seconds, just after Koskinen had stepped in. Calgary scored two goals before that. Blake ColemanIt was 5-1 Flames in the second.
After that, the Oilers took control and scored four goals (two by). Zach HymanOne of each. Leon DraisaitlAnd Evan BouchardCalgary's one (by Matthew Tkachuk) to knot the game at 6-6 early in the third period.
Woodcroft stated that “when the game got down to 5-2, it was clear that our team had worked hard to make a win.” We scored six goals in the end. It's impossible for us to lose that hockey game… we got pushed off some pucks [and]We weren't good enough, so they made us pay.”
The Oilers were unable to stop the Flames' attack. Rasmus AnderssonCalgary's third win was secured by Tkachuk who completed the first hat-trick by a Flames player in 26 year.
Koskinen won Game 1 with 32 saves. Calgary's Jacob Markstrom22 stops.
Edmonton now has very little time to regroup in order to try and even the series in Calgary Friday.
“[It was just]Woodcroft stated that it was not enough. “We scored six goals in the Calgary FlamesIn their building, on their goalie. This should be enough for the win.