Oilers were flat. Then the Pak-handling Godfather created a ‘Play of the Year’

Being Mike Smith has not been very fun this year. Or finally, when you think about how long the hockey world has been talking about the need for a No. 1 goalkeeper for the Edmonton Oilers.

Don’t think he’s listening. How can you not?

He’s 40, and he’s suffered more injuries than expected to stay healthy this season (presumably), finally combining a 5-0-1 run as a starter that will do nothing to control the noise in Edmonton. The Eulers have earned the nickname “Philly West” for failing to find an early goalkeeper over the years.

But there was Smith, on Tuesday night in a shark tank, leading his team through a San Jose slipwalk and somehow dragging the Oilers into an overtime period, they had no business, had a 1-1 tie.

Then after 31 runsSt. And the last save of the night, there was an old rib, dropping the puck down and throwing it out of the center ice, where Connor McDavid was passing a defender from San Jose and taking an isolated pass for his 41 runs.St. Goal, a game winner in overtime.

First aid went to Smith, the winner of the 2-1 game you will never see again year after year, we bet.

“Smithy has been here for several years now and she always asks me when we will be connected for a breakup,” McDavid said. “We couldn’t have had a better time.”


That goal, and the brief effort of Ryan Nujent-Hopkins to tie the game at 8:04 for the game, put the Oilers in second place in the Pacific, surpassing the Los Angeles Kings. With a game in hand for the Kings, Edmonton ended their 2-0 California road trip with a final Thursday night in LA, a chance to clear the Kings for a home-ice advantage in Round 1.

“Our goalkeeper made the best game of the year there,” said McDavid Beam, who ran his points streak in 14 games and capped his career-high goal. “It simply came to our notice then. It was one of the highlights of the day. ”

The night an injured Leon Drysitel sat outside after playing 354 games in a row, the Oilers were more flattering than a Loni on the train tracks, with only 24 shots in the net. Hey, they are 11-2-1. They were allowed a sleepless night and it was a.

“I don’t think it was the cleanest, sharpest or best game of our year. But we are working, “said head coach Jay Woodcroft. “How we talked during the period, even if you’re not feeling well, doesn’t mean you can’t play well. And the way you play well is to stay within the team structure. ”

That, and having a 40-year-old goalkeeper who is still able to save your bacon at once.

In the power play, Smith was defeated only by a Thomas Hartel one-timer and made a ton of important stops until the final episode, which he quickly turned into first aid.

If only the Oilers could turn the fan opinion of their team’s goaltending situation as quickly as possible.

“You know, he’s struggled all season with different injuries and different things. And he’s got a lot of heat, “said McDavid. “When he is on the net, he gives everything he has. Tonight, he gave us what he had and then something. ”

In the 90’s, there was a play by Eulers goalkeeper Curtis Joseph and penalty-killing forward Kelly Buchberger where Buchberger bolted for a breakaway while Joseph flipped a high backhand that landed somewhere around the opponent’s blue-line and the rest of it. Wide receiver in a long bomb way.

But Joseph has only worked in effective Pak handling. Smith is the reigning godfather among the NHL tenders.

When Joseph-to-Buchberger worked – about five percent of the time – it was a miracle. When Smith passes 120-feet, you know it’s not a mistake. He does two or three in every match.

“I saw him save… and I just saw him out of the corner of my eye, watching him move it very quickly,” McDavid said. “So I tried to get there as soon as possible. You know, he must be a curling fan or something. Perfect, perfect weight on him. It was a great drama. ”

This kind of win in the dressing room of Edmonton will probably be mentioned more than the previous one, a 6-1 kickwalk in Anaheim. Edmonton are good at winning when they have all the guns and they feel good. In the last two months they have managed a lot of groups that they should lose, at night where they are dancing.

This was not that.

“It was ugly, it was ugly,” McDavid repeated. “(San Jose) had legs and they were definitely inspired, and I thought our team did a good job of hanging around. Smitty held us up all night and you know, it looks like we stole two points here.

“But how you get them at this time of year doesn’t matter.”

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