Local broadcasters tend to view games through team-colored glasses. In Vegas, our favorite analysts wear golden goggles, and up in Edmonton, they’re rocking orange and blue shades. There’s nothing wrong with the optimism and positivity coming from club insiders, it’s just natural. However, on last night’s Oilers broadcast, there were comments made that were tough to argue against.
This is a message game by the Oilers. And the message is, ‘Vegas. you guys may be on top of the standings right now but we’re picking up steam.’ When they play the good teams the Oilers have another gear. This is the best the Oilers have played in the last ten games. This is the best they’ve played and the Golden Knights have had no answers. -Rob Brown, former NHL’er and Oilers analyst
Tuesday’s matchup meant a lot to Edmonton and it showed. The Oilers controlled the pace, their power play was on point, and the Golden Knights’ offense was tempered. Edmonton thought Vegas “stole” two points from them on Saturday, so last night’s contest must’ve been circled by Connor McDavid and his teammates.
Every line contributed. Power play was good, PK was really good. So, that’s a great sign. We still gave up four goals, we want that to come down a little. All in all, we had the play in our favor for most of the night and handled them very well. -Leon Draisaitl, EDM forward
Maybe it was a message game, and maybe Vegas wasn’t prepared for it. Move on, that can happen in a long 82-game regular season. Still, after a listless defeat the Golden Knights sit three points ahead of the Oilers for first place in the Pacific Division.
None of that mattered to Edmonton’s insiders. What they viewed last night was more than just a dominant performance by the Oilers. According to pundits in Edmonton, Vegas began showing their true identities in Tuesday night’s defeat.
I don’t see with Vegas how they’re as good as they are and how they have the record they have. With the injuries they have and the goaltender situation. They’re best player is hurt and their next best player, Jack Eichel, is having an average year at best. Yet they’re still on top. It’s just a team I don’t understand. Vegas looks older, looks slower. They look error prone. -Rob Brown, Oilers radio network
If we’re going by one game those critical remakes are fair. If we’re judging on the entire season, the Golden Knights deserve more credit for their success. Also, although they looked unbeatable last night, Edmonton has had their share of duds as well. Just this month alone, the Oilers allowed seven goals twice against the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets. A reminder for any analyst, McDavid and Draisaitl cannot play net too.
"We wanted to respond & did a great job tonight."
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins records a goal & four assists to lead Edmonton to a clean sweep of their road back-to-back and bring them within three points of first place in the Pacific. Game recap ⬇️
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) March 29, 2023
Lastly, the one concerning comment that came up several times on the Oilers broadcast was energy. In their opinion, the Golden Knights had none. We all see it with our eyes, Edmonton is faster, younger, and has the edge in talent. Results show age and skill are just a portion of what a team needs to win a seven-game series. Vegas’ defense, goaltending, and two-way play have proven to be more reliable through 74 games. Come playoff time, energy is important but execution is how Vegas will advance.
Am I the one wearing the golden goggles?