The Edmonton Oilers’ historic streak came to a close on Tuesday in a typical, and most predictable fashion, by losing to the Golden Knights. The same team that ended Edmonton’s playoff dreams and sent them into an offseason and then early season, spiral spoiled their chance at becoming NHL immortals.
Do the Golden Knights remain a big problem for the Oilers? pic.twitter.com/TFcC6g6HoE
— JayOnSC (@JayOnSC) February 8, 2024
Since December 21st, the two Pacific contenders were heading in different directions. In that timeframe, the Golden Knights lost first-place to the Vancouver Canucks and the Oilers leapfrogged several teams in the division. However, all of that came to a halting crash on Tuesday after the better team came out on top.
It’s always a tough game in this building, we were expecting that. Disappointing, but we move on. It’s been a while since we’ve done that, and you forget sometimes how bad you hate losing. It’s a good reminder. -Connor McDavid, EDM captain
For the umpteenth time, Vegas proved to be more well-rounded. Just like in the 2023 postseason, the reigning champions are better coached, defend and protect the net better, and have an overall better lineup than the Oilers. Sure, there are no players in VGK’s lineup that match skills with Edmonton’s Connor McDavid or Leon Draiaitl but the comparison ends there. While the Golden Knights possess a Stanley Cup-winning roster, the Oilers are a two-man motor that perennially over-exhausts.
We’re back in the hunt, and we’re not content by any means. I think we worked hard to get ourselves into this position, but we lost tonight to a team in our division that we played a lot over the last couple years. It’s gonna leave a bad taste in our mouths. -Darnell Nurse, EDM defenseman
This summer I hammered the Oiler’s inflated confidence heading into the 2023-24 season. Some of it may have come from the exaggerated expectations by dozens of Canadian hockey analysts but Edmonton’s optimism was completely shattered 12 games in. Now that Edmonton has bounced back and is projected to qualify for the playoffs, their sole focus should be directed toward Vegas. To win the Western Conference, the Oilers will most likely have to face the Golden Knights. Going off past history, Vegas will likely prevail on the big stage in under seven games. Tuesday’s poorly designated ESPN+ matchup was just a sample.
Edmonton defenseman Darnell Nurse had a realistic reaction to their first loss in 46 days. On the other hand, Nurse’s captain hasn’t accepted that the Golden Knights are the more complete team. Likely, for a second straight season.
There’s a lot of things we’ve got to do, there’s a lot of things they’ve got to do to get to that situation. Obviously, we’d love to play Vegas in a playoff series again. Makes for great hockey. -McDavid
When asked who the Oilers current rivals were, McDavid veered away from his notorious robotic responses. A geographical rival is one thing but choosing the LA Kings over the reigning champions is puzzling and almost impossible to take seriously.
Good question. For me, it’s Calgary, then L.A., right now. I’d say those two. -McDavid
Has McDavid turned into the most delusional superstar in sports?