The post McDavid Out to Change Narrative for Oilers in Series vs. Canucks appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

How will the series between the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks be different than the series between the Oilers and Los Angeles Kings? There are a few ways, the biggest of which might be the regular season record coming into each respective playoff series. The Oilers will be motivated, as will Connor McDavid to prove that their games versus the Canucks during the regular season didn’t tell the whole story.

The Oilers won 3-of-4 versus the Kings this season. They lost all four games to the Canucks. Not only that, Edmonton was badly outscored in their season series. Now, the Oilers are gearing up to face off against the Canucks in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup playoffs starting on Wednesday night and they’ve got a point to prove.

Connor McDavid Oilers vs Canucks

The stage is set for an all-Canadian showdown and a social media frenzy — one that has already gotten out of hand based on a clip that has gone viral of a young Canucks’ fan cursing out the Oilers. However, Oilers fans are particularly intrigued by the tactical approach Oilers’ coach Kris Knoblauch will employ, especially concerning the deployment of a motivated superstar in Connor McDavid who will lead an Oilers’ roster against the Canucks that has more offensive firepower than the Kings did.

Reflecting on McDavid’s performance against Vancouver during the regular season, where he tallied three points in 69 minutes but endured three disheartening losses, there are questions about whether his production was an anomaly and his downturn happened while dealing with a minor injury, or if the Canucks know something other teams don’t. The Oilers were not playing well when they repeatedly lost to the Canucks. Since then, it’s been a different story.

How Motivated is McDavid to Rebound Against the Canucks?

It’s logical to assume that McDavid has it in the back of his mind that he didn’t put up McDavid-like numbers versus the Canucks this season. While it’s about the team result and moving on, make no mistake, he’ll be pumped to change that.

He mentioned that he doesn’t put much stock into the results of their regular season losses, calling the playoffs a much different animal. He also quickly shut down one reporter’s question about the opening-night drubbing the Canucks laid on the Oilers, saying “That was so long ago… I’m not even going to answer that.”

“I am looking forward to the challenge, they are a great team.”

Connor McDavid shares early thoughts on the Round 2 series with Vancouver. @Enterprise | #LetsGoOilers pic.twitter.com/mMry2dhIBp

— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) May 4, 2024

Knoblauch’s coaching philosophy typically prioritizes getting McDavid on the ice promptly rather than worrying about specific matchups. However, recent strategies, like pairing McDavid’s line with a defensive tandem of Mattias Ekholm and Evan Bouchard, have proven highly effective, as seen in the series against the LA Kings. Plopping McDavid on the ice with Leon Draisaitl in advantageous situations seems to work almost every time in either creating a chance or capitalizing on one.

In the upcoming series, Oilers fans can expect Knoblauch to continue prioritizing McDavid’s minutes, backed by solid defensive pairings and a lethal power play. While the Canucks may attempt to counter with some potent offense of their own, the Oilers’ winning formula, centered around McDavid’s dominance could prove insurmountable.

Get McDavid Going Early and Often vs the Canucks

Ultimately, the key to success for the Oilers won’t just be their depth and special teams play. It will matter how well the team capitalizes on their opportunities when McDavid’s line is off the ice. With a potent offense, a motivated star, and a coach committed to maximizing his captain’s ice time, the Oilers are poised to explode offensively where they found trouble against the Canucks in the regular season.

Next: Mitch Marner Wants to Sign Long-Term With the Maple Leafs

The post McDavid Out to Change Narrative for Oilers in Series vs. Canucks appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

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