Posts Tagged ‘edmonton oilers’

The Edmonton Oilers are on the verge of signing head coach Jay Woodcroft to a three-year deal, ESPN’s Kevin Weekes reports.

Woodcroft took over for Dave Tippett in February. The team did not give him an interim title but guaranteed he would be the head coach for the remainder of the campaign.

The 45-year-old did a superb job, guiding Edmonton to a 26-9-3 record down the stretch before leading the club to the conference finals.

Woodcroft has been with the Oilers organization since 2015-16, starting as an assistant coach for three years before heading the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors for parts of four campaigns.

A pair of Pacific Division teams from north of the border are among the suitors hoping to land free-agent forward Andrei Kuzmenko.

The 26-year-old is interviewing with the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers this week, as well as two teams based in the United States, reports TSN’s Darren Dreger.

Kuzmenko hopes to decide on his NHL destination within the next 10 days, adds Dreger.

The Russian winger apparently met with the Canucks in early May.

Kuzmenko can only sign a one-year, entry-level contract at a maximum of $925,000 due to his age.

He ranked second in the KHL points race this season with 53 in 45 games. Kuzmenko played the last four seasons with SKA Saint Petersburg after suiting up for his first four with CSKA Moscow.

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl labored through a high-ankle sprain during the majority of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs, general manager Ken Holland told reporters Wednesday, including The Athletic’s Daniel Nugent-Bowman.

Draisaitl suffered the ailment during a tussle with Los Angeles Kings defenseman Mikey Anderson in Game 6 of Round 1.

Draisaitl still put forth a remarkable postseason, producing seven goals and 25 assists in 16 contests.

The German superstar wasn’t Edmonton’s only injured player.

Among the most notable ailments, Darnell Nurse played with a torn hip flexor, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jesse Puljujarvi had shoulder injuries, and Kailer Yamamoto is in concussion protocol.

The Oilers were swept by the Colorado Avalanche in the Western Conference Final.

Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith has one year remaining on his contract, but that doesn’t mean the 40-year-old veteran is committed to returning in 2022-23.

“It’s too early to tell,” Smith told the media Tuesday while disputing rumors that he’s considering retirement, per TSN.

He added: “To look ahead now after you just get ousted out of the conference finals, it’s hard to see where you’re gonna be in the next two days, let alone four months from now.

“I think there’s a lot of things to deal with mentally and physically, and that doesn’t have to be decided in the next three minutes.”

The Colorado Avalanche swept the Oilers out of the playoffs Monday. Smith started every postseason contest for Edmonton, authoring a .913 save percentage and 3.37 goals-against average across 16 appearances en route to the team’s Western Conference Final appearance. He was pulled twice this postseason.

“I was just telling some of the guys, the letdown today is real life,” Smith said. “When you come up short, obviously, it’s very disappointing, especially as you get older and you realize your chances are getting narrower and narrower to accomplish that ultimate goal.”

Smith battled a myriad of injuries during the regular season and was limited to just 28 showings.

“(It’s) obviously fun to make the playoffs and go on a run like we did, but playing through injuries for the majority of the season is not easy,” he said. “I don’t know where I’m gonna be four months from now but got a lot of stuff to deal with.”

Backup goaltender Mikko Koskinen wrapped up the final season of a three-year deal and is an unrestricted free agent. Stuart Skinner, 23, showed promise in little action during the 2021-22 campaign, logging a 2.62 goals-against average and .913 save percentage in 13 appearances.

Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse revealed he played through a torn hip flexor during his club’s Western Conference Final run, according to The Athletic’s Daniel Nugent-Bowman.

The injury occurred in the final week of the regular season. The 27-year-old played in 15 of the Oilers’ 16 playoff games – he missed one due to a suspension – before they were swept by the top-seeded Colorado Avalanche on Monday night.

Nurse managed two goals and three assists during the postseason while averaging over 21 minutes per contest – nearly four full minutes less than what he logged in the regular season.

He wasn’t the Oilers’ only impact player fighting through injury, though. Superstar Leon Draisaitl was visibly laboring throughout Game 4 on Monday but wouldn’t divulge specifics.

“There are lots of guys who play through things,” Draisaitl said, per TSN’s Jason Gregor. “I won’t make this about me.”

However, Draisaitl’s mystery ailment didn’t slow his production. The German playmaker put up 32 points in 16 playoff games, including four in Monday’s loss.

Draisaitl became the second player in NHL history, along with Wayne Gretzky, to have seven three-point efforts in a single postseason, according to Sportsnet Stats.

The Colorado Avalanche are off to the Stanley Cup Final after completing a sweep of the Edmonton Oilers with a 6-5 overtime win Monday night.

Artturi Lehkonen scored the goal that sent Colorado to its first final since 2001. Remarkably, it’s the second year in a row Lehkonen’s been the hero in Round 3. He scored the overtime winner as a member of the Montreal Canadiens to send the Habs to the championship series last spring.

“I’d trade 10 first-rounders for him right now,” teammate Nathan MacKinnon said of Lehkonen, who Colorado acquired at the trade deadline in March.

Monday’s contest was an instant classic. Cale Makar opened the scoring in the first period, but the Oilers answered back with three consecutive goals in the middle frame.

Chaos ensued in the third, as the teams combined for six tallies. Mikko Rantanen put the Avalanche up 5-4 with just over five minutes to go, but Zack Kassian answered back less than two minutes later to send the high-octane contest to overtime.

Lehkonen’s winner came at 1:19 of the extra stanza.

Colorado will now await the winner of the New York Rangers-Tampa Bay Lightning series, which New York currently leads 2-1.

The Colorado Avalanche are on the verge of reaching the Stanley Cup Final after defeating the Edmonton Oilers 4-2 on Saturday night to grab a 3-0 series lead.

Colorado is seeking its first Stanley Cup Final berth since it won the trophy in 2001.

Saturday’s contest started with a bang, as Oilers captain Connor McDavid opened the scoring 38 seconds in. Less than a minute later, Evander Kane was assessed a five-minute major for a hit from behind that knocked Nazem Kadri out of the game. Kadri will miss the rest of the series.

Valeri Nichushkin scored a pair of goals to put the Avalanche ahead before Ryan McLeod temporarily tied it up near the midway point of the third period. Forward J.T. Compher put Colorado up for good with seven minutes to go, and Mikko Rantanen deposited an empty-netter in the dying seconds.

“Obviously not a great situation to be in, down three. Series isn’t over, obviously. Gotta go one at a time here,” McDavid said after the game.

“It’s not an ideal spot, but we’re not quitting on each other yet,” added defenseman Cody Ceci.

The Avalanche outshot the Oilers 43-29 in Game 3 but did much of their damage on the power play. At five-on-five, Edmonton had 75.68% of scoring chances and 60.62% of expected goals, according to Natural Stat Trick.

Colorado is a perfect 6-0 on the road in the playoffs, and superstar center Nathan MacKinnon believes his team has the perfect recipe for success away from home.

“You don’t gotta please anybody. We’re here to make it boring and gross,” he said, per ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski.

Game 4 is slated for Monday night in Edmonton.

Nazem Kadri had three assists in a 2:04 span in the second period, backup Pavel Francouz stopped 24 shots for his second career playoff shutout and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-0 on Thursday night to take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference finals.

The Avalanche broke through in the second after a scoreless opening period that featured something rarely seen so far in this series — defense. Artturi Lehkonen and Josh Manson scored 15 seconds apart to get things going in the second, with Mikko Rantanen adding another on Kadri’s third assist.

Nathan MacKinnon scored late in the third.

Game 3 is Saturday in Edmonton. The Avalanche are 5-0 on the road so far in these playoffs, and 15-4 in a best-of-seven series when taking a 2-0 lead.

This game was a departure from a high-scoring Game 1 in which there were 14 goals and 84 shots.

Francouz grew stronger with every save he made as he stepped in for Darcy Kuemper, who left Game 1 with an upper-body injury. Francouz was serenaded with chants of “Frankie! Frankie!” from the crowd.

Colorado held Edmonton’s big three of Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Evander Kane to seven shots. Draisaitl saw his streak of nine straight games with at least one assist come to an end.

Mike Smith allowed four goals on 40 shots. This after the 40-year-old Smith was pulled in Game 1 after surrendering six goals.

To slow down the speedy MacKinnon, Edmonton shadowed him virtually at all times. The relentless pressure included a trip by Duncan Keith after the whistle. It didn’t draw a penalty but drew plenty of boos from the crowd. MacKinnon also got smacked in the face on a play.

The heavy focus on MacKinnon opened the door for others like Kadri, who was originally credited with the first goal at 3:58 of the second before it was ruled that Lehkonen tipped the puck.

Kadri tied the franchise record for assists in a period. It was a mark set by Quebec’s Risto Siltanen in 1987 and matched in 1996 by Avalanche Hall of Fame forward turned GM Joe Sakic.

Colorado and Edmonton turned in about as entertaining first period as possible for no goals scored. It included Edmonton weathering Colorado’s 5-on-3 advantage.

There was also a play where Smith used his helmet to redirect a puck out of the air.

Francouz got into the nifty save act, too, including one when he ventured well out of his crease. He was able to stop Cody Ceci’s liner.

THIS & THAT

Colorado’s two goals over a 15-second span was the fifth-fastest in a playoff game in franchise history, according to NHL Stats. The fastest was seven seconds by Adam Foote and Adam Deadmarsh during the 1996 conference final against Detroit.

MISSING KUEMPER

Colorado coach Jared Bednar didn’t specify the exact nature of Kuemper’s injury or say whether it had anything to do with the stick that went through Kuemper’s mask and caught him near the eye during the Nashville series.

J.T. Compher scored twice, Cale Makar had a goal and two assists and the Colorado Avalanche held off the Edmonton Oilers 8-6 on Tuesday night in a fast-paced, no-lead-felt-safe Game 1 of the Western Conference Final.

The Avalanche’s eight goals were tied for the most in a playoff game in franchise history.

Even Colorado’s four-goal lead in the second period hardly felt secure in a matchup between the two highest-scoring teams in the postseason — and the win wasn’t in hand until Gabriel Landeskog’s empty-net goal with 21.4 seconds remaining.

Not only were there goals galore, but both teams needed to use backup goaltenders in: Mike Smith was pulled after giving up six goals and Darcy Kuemper left with an upper-body injury.

This was a matchup billed as a showdown between stars Nathan MacKinnon and Connor McDavid and they delivered. MacKinnon had a goal and an assist for Colorado, and McDavid a goal and two assists for Edmonton.

But it was the supporting casts that produced big time.

Nazem Kadri, Mikko Rantanen and Andrew Cogliano also scored for the Avalanche, who have a 19-6 series record when taking the first game of a best-of-seven since relocating to Denver. Twelve Avs recorded at least a point and six had multi-point games.

Evander Kane, Zach Hyman, Ryan McLeod, Derek Ryan and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins added goals for the Oilers. Hyman has scored in six straight postseason games to tie the team mark set by Esa Tikkanen in the 1990 playoffs.

Edmonton and Colorado scored six times over a 6:43 span — nearly a goal a minute. And the opening two periods saw 11 total goals. At times, this looked more like an All-Star Game — lots of scoring and defense being optional — rather than a conference final.

Game 2 is Thursday.

Edmonton’s no stranger to dropping the first game of a series in high-scoring fashion: The Oilers lost Game 1 of the second-round series at Calgary 9-6 but won the series in five games.

Compher’s second goal of the night made it 6-3 and ended the night of Smith, who allowed six goals on 25 shots in just over 26 minutes. Mikko Koskinen came on in relief.

Kuemper left the game in the second period as well, after surrendering three goals on 16 shots. He was replaced by Pavel Francouz.

After Cogliano’s goal gave Colorado a 7-3 lead late in the second, it looked like the game might be in hand. But by 7:24 left in the third, Edmonton made it 7-6 on Nugent-Hopkins’ power-play goal.

The Oilers pulled Koskinen with under two minutes remaining but couldn’t score despite a wave of chances.

“Definitely have some things to clean up but happy we got the win,” MacKinnon said.

DAD OR GRANDPA?

Oilers assistant coach Dave Manson went over to visit his granddaughter after practice Monday. Oh, and his son, too — Avalanche defenseman Josh Manson.

“They played a bunch and she was all over them. So it was great,” the defenseman said. “Made me happy, too.”

Given the family rivalry, Manson was asked what side his two-year-old daughter was picking.

“She does love her grandpa,” Manson said. “She better be pulling for me.”

BARRIE’S TAKE

Edmonton defenseman Tyson Barrie skated with Makar in the 2019 playoffs as part of the Avs and instantly realized Makar’s potential.

“I knew I was in trouble right when I got on the ice with (Makar) the first time,” said Barrie, who later traded to Toronto in a deal that landed Kadri in Denver. “I thought, ‘I might be out of here.’ He was exceptional.”

ELWAY APPEARANCE

Hall of Fame QB John Elway joined Wayne Gretzky and the crew on TNT’s pregame show. Elway praised the work of Joe Sakic, the Avs’ Hall of Fame player who is now their GM.

Elway won two Super Bowls as a player for the Broncos and another as an executive. Sakic captured two Stanley Cup titles as an Avalanche player and is trying to deliver another calling the shots from the front office.

“I’ve got so much respect for Joe,” Elway said. “When he first started we had some conversations. And then things weren’t going very well, he says, ‘Why’d you ever get me into this?’ But he’s come back and he’s done a heck of a job.”

The Edmonton Oilers cemented their place in the Western Conference Final for the first time since 2006 after defeating the Calgary Flames 5-4 in overtime in a chaotic Game 5 on Thursday night.

Oilers star Leon Draisaitl led the way with four points, while Connor McDavid ended the Flames’ season with his overtime winner.

“I was bad all night,” McDavid said. “I was riding the coattails of my teammates. They gave me a great opportunity to get it in overtime. I’m just so happy to contribute in this one.”

McDavid only had one point in the high-scoring contest, but it was the goal that mattered most.

“The best player won the series,” Flames head coach Darryl Sutter said, according to Sportsnet’s Eric Francis.

The contest wasn’t short on drama. The two teams set an NHL record for the fastest four goals scored in playoff history after each club lit the lamp twice in 1:11 during the second period.

Flames forward Blake Coleman had a goal disallowed in the third period due to a kicking motion, denying Calgary a late lead.

“Depends what you call a distinct kicking motion,” Sutter said of the call. “If somebody is on the ground, and you lift your foot up and kick them in the head, that’s a distinct kicking motion. If you slide your foot on the ground it’s not a distinct kicking motion.”

Andrew Mangiapane opened the scoring in a quiet first period before Mikael Backlund doubled the Flames’ lead early in the middle frame. The teams combined for six more goals in the second period, with Darnell NurseJesse PuljujarviZach Hyman, and Evan Bouchard contributing for the Oilers and Johnny Gaudreau and Calle Jarnkrok finding the back of the net for the Flames.

“Get your chin up and your chest out and walk out proud,” Sutter said of his message to his players, according to Postmedia’s Wes Gilbertson. “They did a hell of a lot more than anybody said they’d do, (to be) quite honest.”

Both goaltenders posted sub-.900 save percentages in the wild contest. Jacob Markstrom made 30 saves on 35 shots, while Mike Smith stopped 32 of 36.

The Oilers will either face the Colorado Avalanche or St. Louis Blues in the conference finals.