'Bob is in sicko mode': Hockey world reacts to Edmonton Oilers getting goalied by Bobrovsky in Florida Panthers win

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The Edmonton Oilers dominated the game in many ways but found a way to lose 3-0 to the Florida Panthers in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Here is a chronology of how the game played out on social and in mainstream media:

Hockey Night in Canada host David Amber, pre-game on McDavid:
He’s probably the front runner for a Conn Smyth, leads all players in points, nine multi-point games for 97 this post-season.

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Sportsnet’s Kevin Bieksa pre-game on Aleksander Barkov possibly shutting down McDavid:
He’s got the rare skillset that you need. He obviously has the defensive awareness, the great stick to know what are the most dangerous places on the ice. You have to be able to skate to play against the big boys, and Barkov, although he’s a lot bigger than Connor, he’s still pretty good on his feet and he can skate well. You know what he’s going to do that probably the best out of everything? He’s going to make Connor defend. He’s going to hang on to pucks down low and he’s going to make Connor play as much as he can in the d-zone.

Sportsnet’s Kelly Hrudey, pregame on Barkov vs McDavid:
This is going to be a really hard match-up for Barkov. I just think with McDavid, with his skillset, nobody has been able to stop McDavid, the great centremen he was playing against.

McDavid pre-game interview clip with Elliotte Friedman:
There’s been a lot of tough years, heartbreak I would say… I think our group understands that sense of urgency that maybe you need. Everybody is in that prime age group, there’s no real kids that we’re having to baby and and bring up. Everybody has played in the playoffs and understanding what it takes.

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TNT commentator Paul Bissonnette @BizNasty2point0 pre-game comment:
Let the games begin. Perfect amount of build up to the Stanley Cup Final. I picked Panthers on Oilers in 6 but the more time that passes I regret my decision. We’re in for a treat to cap off the greatest full season of hockey in recent memory if not ever. #McJesus

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau @JustinTrudeau
All of Canada’s behind you. Let’s bring the Cup home. #LetsGoOilers

Starting line-ups:
RHN – McDavid – Hyman
Ekholm – Bouchard
Skinner


Verhaeghe – Barkov – Reinhart
Forsling – Ekblad
Bobrovsky

Scouting The Refs @ScoutingTheRefs:
The Panthers have gone 12-0-1 under referee Dan O’Rourke, including 3-0 in playoffs; Oilers are 0-3 this postseason.
With referee Steve Kozari, Florida has gone 2-1; Edmonton is 0-2

Oilers fan Steven Walton @StevenGWalton:
The optics of this alone are beyond f’ing terrible . How does the #NHL look at this, even with rampant and well known game management , and say “this is fine”
Wow.

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David Staples The Cult of Hockey, end of first period, Florida 1, Oilers 0:
Oilers with 5 Grade A shots, all five of them the most dangerous 5-alarm variety. Maybe raise the puck on Bobrovsky? Florida with two Grade A shots, one of them 5-alarm, the goal where Nurse, Ceci, McDavid and Hyman all combined on small mistakes amounting to one big one.

Bar Stool Sports boss Dave Portnoy @stoolpresidente:
This is essentially Bobvorstky vs the Oilers. We are DOMINATING this game.

Hockey scout Dan Tencer @dantencer:

That’s a very good period for Edmonton, far and away leading in quality looks. Also very frustrating to be sure. Will be little else to do if Bobrovsky holds that level. Need to keep pouring it on and try to break him down.

Florida podcaster Jacob @ PantherPourri, a @FlaHockeyNow Podcast @PTPJacob:
Gotta say, aside from getting crushed in possession metrics, everything went right for the Panthers in the first 20. Barkov line +1 over McDavid line, PK 1/1 so far over EDM’s PP, and Adam Henrique didn’t score an annoying goal.

Athletic writer Jesse Granger @JesseGranger_:
Bobrovsky is seeing the puck incredibly well right now.
His tracking is off the charts. He just followed that slap shot through the screen by Hyman and snatched it with the glove.
This is goaltending at its highest level, on the biggest stage, and it’s so much fun to watch.

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Hockey Night in Canada play-by-play Craig Simpson:
There’s the second time that that Ceci and Nurse pair gets beat… Just a dump-in in the corner and Ceci gets beat in the corner and then no awareness behind (from Nurse). It’s the guy in the high slot, Nurse with his stick in the air, and there’s a tough one (shot) there.

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Paul Bissonnette @BizNasty2point0:
Bad breakdown. One forecheck and Sam Bennett the menace makes a play to catch Nurse sleeping. Have to have your stick down in that lane. Panthers had nothing. Just a gut punch. #letsgooilers

Oilers fan Shane Sander 🏒 @SanderEDM
If we never see Nurse-Ceci as a pairing again I don’t think anyone will be upset.

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HNIC’s Craig Simpson:
I was curious to see if Kris Knoblauch and Paul Coffey would change the d-pairing. It’s been a little bit of a tough start for Ceci and Nurse together. But you see Kulak and Broberg staying together as a pair.

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Hockey commentator P.K. Subban @PKSubban1:
BOBROV-SKEEEE-YEEEE

Spittin’ Chiclets podcaster and Oilers alumni Ryan Whitney @ryanwhitney6:
Ok enough Bobrovsky. Please cut it out…Don’t love seeing Bob this dialled in.

TNT’s Paul Bissonnette @BizNasty2point0:
Bob is in sicko mode. Crazy performance so far.

After second period, Grade A shots now 14 for the Oilers, six for Florida and 5-alarm shots eight for Edmonton, four for Florida but score Florida 2 Edmonton 0. Sportsnet’s Kevin Bieksa on the two goals against:
You got to feel good if you’re an Oilers fan because they played some pretty good hockey, but I think these goals in particular are just bad reads and bad mistakes. It’s something you can clean up for sure by watching video. (On the first goal against) Ceci and Nurse have to identify this is straight 3-on-2 quick strike. So what they have to do is hold the middle and not allow themselves to get 2-on-1. When Nurse goes here (towards the boards and puck carrier) he gets 2-on-1 and when Ceci goes (towards puck carrier) he gets 2-on-1. And it’s great passing by Florida and it’s in the back of the net and Skinner can’t really save that. That’s all because they open themselves up. They got. to buy time. (On the second goal against) The coverage is good, the positioning is good here but just having your stick on the ice (which Nurse failed to do) is a key detail. I know you don’t think the pass is coming, and it’s kind of not really your guy, but just having sticks on the ice in the d-zone, those are two easy things to clean up if you’re the Oilers.

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Sportsnet’s Evanka Osmak after the game, with Florida getting an empty net goal to win 3-0.
It’s only one game but, man, the Oilers are going to have to find a way to figure out Bob. Bobrovsky played phenomenally.

Sportsnet’s Bieksa on Sam Bennett of Florida:
He led the way…Dominant performance… We knew that Florida was going to need Sam Bennett but I didn’t expect him to dominate this early in the series.

Sportnet’s Kelly Hrudey on McDavid:
You’re going to look at the boxscore and go, ‘Well the Oilers were shutout, McDavid didn’t have any points.’ I thought he was great. He had six shots on goal… Even though Florida had the shutout, I didn’t think that they didn’t think they defended all that great against.

Sportsnet’s Jennifer Botterill
A big concern was if the Oilers could play their style of game and I feel that was evident. They absolutely did. They found a way to generate a lot of chances tonight.

Sportsnet’s Luke Gazdic
Bob was next level tonight. It’s got to be so frustrating for that group just coming back to the bench shift after shift, chance after chance, Grade A after Grade A, and he’s just up to the task every time.

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Edmonton Oilers forward Zach Hyman
We come out strong and dictated the pace of the play. I think if we play like that we’re going to be fine.

McDavid on the Oil failing to score on its Grade A shots
Maybe that was the Hockey Gods getting us back for Game 6 that we didn’t deserve to win.

My take:

1. The Oilers were the better team in Game 1 but Florida had the best player in goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. Edmontong got goalied in this one. It happens, as the Dallas Stars will attest.

2. What the Oilers and Stuart Skinner did to the Dallas Stars in beating them in Game 6, the Florida Panthers and Sergei Bobrovsky did to the OIlers. In that game the Stars had 14 Grade A shots 6 5-alarm shot, and the Oilers just three Grade A shots and 2 5-alarmers, but they won the game.

In this game, Edmonton had 16 Grade A shots to eight for Florida, with the 5-alarm shots nine to six for the Oilers.

3. Darnell Nurse and Cody Ceci aren’t bad players, but they’ve been rancid together for many months now. It’s not clear to me why the Oilers coaching staff went back to them in Game 1 after Nurse had played well with Brett Kulak and Ceci had played well with Philip Broberg. It is clear that the Oilers can’t go into Game 2 with the Ceci and Nurse pairing intact. In the playoffs they have now been on the ice at even strength for five goals for, 14 goals against.

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Edmonton in the McDavid era has found a way to lose too often, and they did so again this time, and as much as I hate to say it, a big part of this is on the coaching staff. I’m still confounded about why they went back to Nurse and Ceci, and I’m sure the vast majority of Oilers fans are just as bewildered by the move and upset at the predictable result.

4. Connor McDavid was left bloodied and bruised from some special attention from the Panthers, but he was dangerous all game. He made major contributions to eight Grade A shots. He failed to put up a point but was in on numerous 5-alarm plays and was unlucky not get to get a few points.

5. All due respect to Corey Perry, an all-time playoff warrior, but he’s evidently out of gas. He was late to too many battles in this game, including to Sam Bennett’s dump-in at the blueline on the second Florida goal. The Oilers should go back to Derek Ryan or Sam Carrick.

6. Bright lights? The Oilers had enough great shots to win this one easily. Stuart Skinner looked solid, as did the d-man pairing of Broberg and Kulak. Broberg made a key shot block on a 4-on-2 rush in the second and also made a stretch pass to help send in Adam Henrique on a breakaway.

At the Cult of Hockey

STAPLES: ‘This hit so hard’: Hockey world erupts in praise for tear-jerker Edmonton Oilers hype video for Stanley Cup finals

STAPLES: High praise from unlikely source for Stuart Skinner

STAPLES: Triggered: Will NHL refs refuse to call penalties because Oilers power play is so excellent?

McCURDY: How the Oilers were built

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