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Game 4 Now a Must-Win for Edmonton

Can the Oilers get a much-needed win on Wednesday?

The Western Conference Final has been a battle so far, but after three games and back-to-back wins from the Stars, the Oilers are already in nearly a must-win situation. Game 4 in Edmonton will be massive, as Dallas looks to put the Oilers on the brink of elimination heading home while the Oil look to even the series up once again. Of course, with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl suiting up, it’s hard to ever count Edmonton out. Just last round, the team put together consecutive wins in Games 6 and 7 to eliminate the Vancouver Canucks. However, it’s probably fair to say that Dallas is a different animal. If they do go down 3-1, the chances of taking three straight against the Stars including two on the road are NOT good. So, here’s how they can get one back tomorrow instead.

No Letting Up

Monday night’s tilt got off to a great start in Edmonton. With the crowd behind them, they scored twice in the first ten minutes and controlled play, allowing Dallas just three shots in the entire first period. Instead of keeping the foot down, though, the Oilers completely let up in the second. Halfway through the frame, it was already 3-2 Dallas. Although Edmonton would end up tying the game before the end of the period, all the momentum from the terrific first was gone. 

If the Oilers find themselves up again tomorrow night, hopefully they learn from their mistakes. Dallas is a team full of veterans who know how to adjust on the fly and scratch and claw back into games. Instead of going on the defensive, Edmonton needs to continue to be aggressive with the lead. Obviously, that’s easier said than done, but at the very least, I don’t think they’ll play another period as badly as they did the second in Game 3. 


Another key, not surprisingly, is goaltending. Stuart Skinner continued his inconsistent postseason on Monday with his worst performance of the series, and it hurt. He did make some great saves in the game but allowing four goals on 21 shots is simply not a recipe for success. When he plays well, the Oilers win a LOT more than they don’t. He’ll need to be the best version of himself on Wednesday, as will his defencemen. Depth pieces Darnell Nurse and Cody Ceci were not good in Game 3, and they need to step up as well. If they take another game off, it might be too late to make amends. Struggles with defensive depth and goaltending are not new to Edmonton, and once again, it could be what sinks the ship here this season. 

Just Win

Despite all the concerns being down 2-1 heading into this massively important Game 4, the Oilers should still be confident they can get this done. This series HAS been very close, and they are a VERY good hockey team. On Wednesday, I expect their superstars to deliver. If the rest of the roster can follow suit, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see this Conference Final headed back south all tied up at two. We did predict the Stars would win this series, but Edmonton is not a team that’s going to make this easy on them in any way.

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