Thatcher Demko shut down the Edmonton Oilers to end the season

James Neal #18, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)
James Neal #18, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images) /

The Edmonton Oilers ended their regular season last night against the Vancouver Canucks, and the game did not go their way. Edmonton was outshot and out-scored, and they looked a step behind most of the night.

While it was a tie game going into the third period, the Canucks found another level and put the game out of reach quickly with two speedy goals early in the third. After the first goal of the night by Adam Larsson and assisted by McDavid, honestly I thought this was going to be a blowout.

The thought of a blowout win for the Oilers disappeared because of one person, Thatcher Demko.

The Oilers’ regular season ended with a hot goalie keeping them off of the score sheet. Personally, I am worried about that occurring in the playoffs. Connor Hellebuyck has always been so solid in net, and that did not change this season as he finished the year with a .916 save percentage.

One hot goalie can be the difference maker between winning a series in five games and losing in six. Things are so close these days that the Oilers need to be able to score goals. That comes down to maybe causing a little bit of havoc in front of the net.

Demko only had to make 31 saves last night, and while some were great chances on breakaways, very few included follow-up opportunities and a little net-front presence trying to cause some havoc. Moving into the postseason, hopefully the Oilers are up to the challenge to cause some problems in front of the net and score some gritty goals.

The wonderful shots and breakaways are nice, but when it comes to the postseason anything goes. For the first time since January Connor McDavid has no points and even though the Oilers had a great season, the record in their series against Winnipeg is still 0-0 and that means it is time to compete.