Last night, on the road in Colorado, the Edmonton Oilers lost to the Colorado Avalanche by a score of 8-6. Talk about Deja vu all over again. The Oilers did this same routine in the last series against the Calgary Flames, being embarrassed in the first game by a 9-6 score and then winning the next four in a row. Can it happen again?

Mike Smith was pulled in Game 1 of the Flames’ series and was pulled again last night. The Oilers fell behind by a ton of goals in the Flames Game 1 and came roaring back, and they did it again last night. They won neither game.

So, who’s to say if the Oilers won’t do a similar thing. In this edition of Oilers Takeaways, I’ll share my three takeaways from the game.

Related: Oilers vs. Avalanche Series Preview: More than McDavid vs. MacKinnon

Takeaway One: This Loss Isn’t on Mike Smith

Mike Smith gave up six goals on 25 shots; but, to my eyes, he wasn’t as bad as the score would suggest. The first goal he lunged at and missed, but the others were earned by the Avalanche.

All that said, Smith surrendered three goals in the first period and three more goals in the second period, and that isn’t the way he played against the Flames in the last series (except for the first game).

Mike Smith Edmonton Oilers

Then Mikko Koskinen came in. After the team gave up a seventh goal, they trailed by four goals. But the Oilers have been there before and showed the same resiliency they’ve shown before. The team’s offense would come close; but, in the end, wouldn’t make it all the way back. Still, that pushback has to bode well for the Oilers in their second game. All they need is one win in Colorado to gain a home-ice advantage.

It would be a surprise if Koskinen started Game 2. Smith is such a battler that he’s likely to come back and throw a shutout at the Avalanche. Even when he gives up a lot of goals, he stops most of the pucks he needs to stop. That said, Koskinen was great in last night’s game and only gave up a single goal in 21 Avalanche shots. He could go.

Takeaway Two: It Really is Tough to Stop Connor McDavid

For the most part, it seemed as if Connor McDavid was neutralized by the Avalanche pressure – they hit him on almost every turn. However, when the ice chips melted, McDavid scored a goal and added two assists (for three points) in the game.

His goal was perfectly timed to push the Oliers back into the game. And, his second assist – although it wasn’t a primary assist – was the pass that made the play successful.

Connor McDavid Upper Deck Oilers NHL

The benefits of his helpers were Zach Hyman (who continues to keep on scoring and digging out pucks) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (who’s looked strong during the postseason). McDavid is just playing himself in this role and has now scored eight goals and added 21 (yes 21) assists in 13 games during the postseason.

McDavid’s was amazingly good again, even though tonight – as I suggested – he was taking a beating.

Takeaway Three: Leon Draisaitl Looks Like HHis Injury Is Improved

Leon Draisaitl seemed to show up large in the second period after being quiet in the first. In the end, he has registered two assists in last night’s loss to the Avalanche in Game 1. His assists came on McDavid’s goal and on the nice passing play with McDavid to set up Nugent-Hopkins, who had snuck in from the goalie’s right. That goal later in the third period gave the team hope for Game 1, but also gave the team hope for the upcoming rest of the series.

It’s not much of a surprise that Draisaitl is racking up the assists. His head coach Jay Woodcroft calls him the best passer in the world. Draisaitl had an NHL-record of 15 assists in the five-game series against the Flames during the last round of the playoffs.

Related: Scribe Suggests NHL Rigging Games in Favor of McDavid and Oilers

The post Three Takeaways from Oilers’ 8-6 Loss to the Avalanche appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

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