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Eichel & Draisaitl Agree Playoff Series Came Down To Depth

(Photo Credit: @_jkarsh on Instagram)

On the night of May 15th, 2023, after the Golden Knights eliminated the Edmonton Oilers in the second round of the 2023 NHL playoffs Jack Eichel and Leon Draisaitl walked into two very different locker rooms. Eichel was promptly drenched with celebratory champagne and puffed on Ashton Aged Maduro’s with his jubilant teammates. Draisaitl stepped into a locker room that was emotional, furious, and unsatisfied with how their season abruptly ended. In fact, it was in that moment Oilers captain Connor McDavid sternly stated that he and his teammates were on notice.

We’ve heard the story now from a few places, that he cleared all but the closest team staff out of the room and laid down the parameters for his franchise going forward. That the window for learning how to win was slamming shut, and the time for applying those lessons — and winning Stanley Cups — has officially begun. – Mark Spector on

Now, both Pacific Division contenders are preparing for a new 82-game regular season with a mutual agreement on how that six-game series ended in mid-May. In Elliotte Friedman’s latest 32 Thoughts blog, Draisaitl noticed the difference of quality bench players on VGK’s side.

At the NHL/NHLPA media tour in Las Vegas, Jack Eichel said the difference between Edmonton and Vegas in that second-round series was depth. Leon Draisaitl conceded that, but added, “We couldn’t get to our top game…They didn’t make those little mistakes we made and that was the difference.” –Elliotte Friedman in 32 Thoughts

Depth Goals By Teams In 2023 EDM-VGK Second Round Series:

  • Game #1: VGK – Micheal Amadio
  • Game #2: None
  • Game #3: EDM – Warren Foegele, VGK – Zach Whitecloud
  • Game #4: EDM – Nick Bjugstad, Mattias Ekholm, VGK – Nic Roy
  • Game #5: VGK – Nic Hague
  • Game #6: EDM – Warren Foegele

VGK’s deep bench was heralded throughout their Stanley Cup run due to the offensive emergence of Amadio, Brett Howden, and other depth players in the playoffs. However, based on game-by-game record sheets, the Oilers were not defeated solely because of the Golden Knights cavernous lineup. There’s a fair argument that Edmonton’s depth performed better than expected in their six-game defeat. The Oilers received two goals from a 12:00-minute-per-game forward and a pair from role players over the age of 30. Let’s not exclude that each club picked up multiple goals from defensemen in their second round series.

For some reason, the Oilers continue to ignore their weaknesses in net and on the blueline all summer long. After rolling back mostly the same roster, the Oilers are carelessly expecting a different outcome in 2024. If they end up facing Vegas again in the postseason, Edmonton will have to rely on more than just their depth.

Now, if Draisaitl agreed that allowing 3.7 goals per game to a quality opponent would have washed out any more depth goals. If only he noted his team’s glaring weakness in the defensive zone and in net, then maybe Eichel wouldn’t have been so kind with his assessment.


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  1. former season ticket holder

    Edmonton IS the Definition of Insanity!!!

  2. Jailbird

    They have some talented players for sure. I expect they will be tuff to beat for the pacific reg season crown. But come playoff time,can they be a TEAM as the Knights are. We’ll see.

  3. knights fan in minny

    oilers can go blow

  4. George T

    The depth they have isn’t the main issue. The goaltending is and the poor coaching that didn’t change them out.

    Rookies on both moves

  5. John W

    The old maxim for the NFL and NBA both is that “Defense wins Championships”

    Management and coaching for the Oilers continue to try to prove that wrong.

    My prediction is that EDM can’t maintain their lofty PP numbers from last year, and they suffer in the standings as a result. Additionally, an injury to either of their top two ends their season.

  6. Emmanuel

    Only 2 Canadian teams were in the top 16 in Goals Against. It doesnt seem to be a priority in the great white north. Maybe thats why they dont win Cups?

  7. THE hockey GOD

    “Two men and power play don’t win Stanley Cups”- Canadian press.

  8. THE hockey GOD

    Ahac day to day
    Wiggy Biscouit, aka RL, out on Long Term for whole year

    Miramanov on long term disability also, he had flashes of brilliance, but not
    enough to earn a position on regular basis.

  9. Jake

    Draisaitl played zero defense, wait, wave at the opponent defense.

    There’s your answer…check the mirror Mein Hockey Freund.

    -4 in final game of series.

    Wave defense = wave bye bye to the Golden Knights.

    • Emmanuel

      That was the ONLY time in the playoffs I was worried, Drai was just scoring at will. Let’s be honest all 32 teams would take him, its a matter of sheltering him with a lead in the 3rd…..

  10. Mark

    If that hot shot with all the individual trophies stops for a second from powdering his nuts and polishing his trophies, he should cough up Cap space money and that other power play wizard they have too, he should step up too. A team like Vegas was extremely disciplined and didnt fall for their goon tactics, that was the difference, except, Petro and I supported his slash. Mr. Scoring champ will play golf, get his ass kissed forever but the only Cup he will lift is his nut sack Cup, its painfully obvious. This is a tesm sport, not a one man show.

  11. THE hockey GOD

    the posters tone will change if these two players ever decide to come
    to the WIn Bin city of champs and put on the black and gold, aka vomit yellow.

    • Emmanuel

      If I could pick 1 player for a swan song in the City of Sin it would be Ovechkin. Anything’s possible nowadays there’s a lot of anti-Rus sentiment in DC!

      • THE hockey GOD

        there’s a lot of anti putin Rus sentiment every where, and this putz sticks up for that clown in kremlin

        pass and i hope he never passes the great one

        • TS

          I had respect for Ovechkin as a player…
          Until Putin’s genocidal March into Ukraine. Thg pointed out that O has been a staunch Putin supporter…I have since changed my mind, my respect is gone…

  12. Tim

    There’s no disputing our top six D-Men are the best in the NHL and our 4th line is the best 4th line in the NHL. Injuries can change everything with our depth we can survive but if McDavid or Draisaitl get hurt they be in big trouble.

  13. Jailbird

    I love the GOLD sweaters of our Stanley Cup CHAMPIONS!

  14. Ts

    Pretty simple. WE had the depth. They DIDN’T.

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