The Winnipeg Jets wake up today up 2-0 on the Edmonton Oilers in the NHL playoffs, and one major reason for the success of the Jets to this point is their play on Oilers superstar scorer Connor McDavid.
McDavid had a massive 2020-21 season, putting up 105 points in 56 games, but in two games, both losses to the Jets, he’s been held minus a point – and it’s a major factor as to why the Oilers find themselves up against it as they look to avoid going down 3-0 to Winnipeg on Saturday evening.
Oilers head coach Dave Tippett is being very careful about the words he speaks about McDavid and his early scoring drought.
Friday it was another physical effort on both sides, as the two teams fought hard on defense, and in the end it was the Jets winning the game in overtime 1-0 to take the 2-0 series lead in stunning fashion.
“That was a scrambly play,” Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck said after the Jets win.
“There were so many bodies in front of me, but that shows why we are where we are. We’re grinding and fighting for every second, we’re not giving up on a play.”
And maybe not giving up on a play is the reason the Jets are up 2-0 and McDavid has yet to break the scoring column in the two games played.
Sure the seedings are close, as the Oilers are ranked as the #2 seed in the North Division, while the Jets are ranked as the third-seed, but many playing the books clearly feel that it’s the Oilers series to win, and thus far they are two games away from going home for the Summer.
If the Oilers are going to get back into the series, it’s going to be a simple formula.
Pepper Hellebuyck a LOT more with shots, as so far, he’s only allowed a Jesse Puljujarvi goal, which occurred 8:24 into the second period of the first game.
Next it’s get the puck on the sticks of both McDavid and Leon Draisaitl (84 points this season), and give them chances to shoot at the net.
If they do that, they’ve still got a shot, but until then, it looks more and more like the Oilers might just be ready to land the major upset.