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-In Game 3, Draisaitl was dominant with 2 goals and an assist and led the club with 7 Grade “A” scoring chances created. I noted 1 minor defensive miscue. McDavid scored and dominated for a better part of that game (but not late).
-In Game 4, McDavid earned an “8” for his play, earned 2 assists and contributed to 9 of Edmonton’s 16 Grade “A” chances. One missed defensive assignment allowed a shot on net. Draisaitl was quiet offensively until late.
Over-all, for the series, McDavid went 5-4-9 in 4 games, Draisaitl 3-3-6 also in 4.
So, having gone back and looked at these 4 games in detail, what do I see? That the theory of the Oilers losing because their 2 very best players were not good enough defensively is not backed up by the shift-by-shift analysis. When I put in the work, I find that the inconvenient truth is that those two along with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins were by far and away the Oilers best players. And that most of the defensive miscues? Were actually committed by other players.
It’s a good thing one of those Edmonton stars didn’t say something negative about the media at the outset of this series or who knows what might have been written about them then.
Finally, just remember…
In Boxing, Mohammad Ali won numerous world titles well before his footwork slowed down to the point where he had to better protect himself. And to be honest…he never really did.
In Basketball, Michael Jordan was indeed a very good defensive player but also often drew the 3rd best offensive option nightly thanks to Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman.