3 usual Edmonton Oilers mistakes which Connor McDavid & co. did not commit in Game 4

NHL: Stanley Cup Final-Florida Panthers at Edmonton Oilers
3 usual Edmonton Oilers mistakes which Connor McDavid & co. did not commit in Game 4

The Edmonton Oilers pulled out a big win in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, pounding the Florida Panthers 8-1. Considering the Oilers have a vaunted offense, it was a matter of time before they broke out with a big goal-scoring game.

Beyond the lopsided score, there are three key mistakes the Edmonton Oilers did not commit in Game 4. So, let’s take a look at what mistakes Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers avoided in their previous game against the Florida Panthers.

3 usual mistakes the Edmonton Oilers avoided in Game 4

#1: Failing to pressure on the penalty kill

In the first three games, the Oilers did a good job of killing penalties. However, the PK unit stuck to defending the front of the net and keeping the Panthers’ shooters to the outside. While the approach has been successful, the Oilers did not pressure the Panthers’ power play.

That changed in Game 4. In fact, the added pressure led to Mattias Janmark's shorthanded goal to open the scoring in the first period. The play originated from pressure by both Edmonton forwards at the blue line, leading to a two-on-one that Janmark buried for the goal.

The Edmonton Oilers continued to pressure on the penalty kill, leaving the Panthers 0 for 4 on the night. Moving forward, expect the Oilers to continue pushing the Panthers’ power play, potentially creating more shorthanded opportunities.

#2: Not creating traffic in front of the net

The Panthers had done a great job of keeping the front of the net clear. The Florida defense made it easier for Sergei Bobrovsky to see shots and avoid rebounds. However, in Game 4, the Edmonton Oilers managed to create all sorts of havoc in front of Bobrovsky.

The traffic in front of the net led to a nifty deflection goal by Adam Henrique. The goal was possible thanks to the commotion in front of Bobrovsky, allowing Henrique to tip the pass from Mattias Janmark. Ultimately, that consistent traffic led to the Ryan Nugent-Hopkins power play goal while creating several other scoring opportunities.

#3: Failing to generate rush chances

Florida had managed to minimize the Oilers’ rush chances in the first three games of the series. However, Game 4 proved to be the game in which the Edmonton Oilers used their speed to blow past the Panthers’ defense.

Case in point: Dylan Holloway’s first goal. The key play was the blaze of speed Leon Draisaitl used to get past the Panthers’ Aaron Ekblad. The play was possible as Holloway kept up with Draisaitl, nailing the pass in the back of the net.

The cross-ice pass was too much for Bobrovsky to cover. He just couldn’t get back in time to make the save.

In short, the Oilers looked much like the team that had been successful during the regular season. They played to their strengths, exposing, for the first time this postseason, the weaknesses in the Panthers’ robust defensive scheme.

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Edited by Brad Taningco
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