The historical significance of the Oilers' collapse versus the Canucks

The Edmonton Oilers giving up a three-goal lead in game one was undoubtedly stunning, but how does it stack up compared to previous franchise playoff collapses?
Edmonton Oilers v Vancouver Canucks - Game One
Edmonton Oilers v Vancouver Canucks - Game One / Derek Cain/GettyImages

You can use any number of words to describe the collapse by the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night, as they gave up a three-goal lead in game one of their second round series versus the Vancouver Canucks. Stunning, inexcusable, devastating, soul-destroying - the list goes on.

It was just one game and the Oilers certainly have the talent to come back and still win the series. At the same time however, they're going to need to display immense mental fortitude to rebound from losing a game that seemed impossible to lose once they were up 4-1 with just under seven minutes remaining in the second period.

The three-goal collapse also brought to mind, the question of how it compares to previous situations in the playoffs, when the Oilers threw away a game which seemed all but won? As it turns out, they are almost 'experts' when it come to snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Not a stat for the Oilers to be proud of

As per Sportsnet, the 5-4 loss on Wednesday night in Vancouver at Rogers Arena, represented the eighth time in Oilers history that they had lost after holding a three-goal advantage in a playoff game. Even worse, this is the most by any team in the history of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Now we appreciate the Oilers have one of the more revered playoff histories of all time in the NHL. They are tied-sixth all-time with five Stanley Cups, and keep in mind the five teams ahead of them are all part of the Original Six.

In this respect however, it is somewhat surprising the Oilers have the all-time record for three-goal collapses in the playoffs, just by virtue of how long the Original Six have been around. The Oilers only joined the NHL for the 1979-80 season, while the last of the aforementioned Original Six -- the Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks and New York Rangers -- began playing in the 1926-27 campaign.

To be clear, the Original Six do all understandably lead the way with most ever playoff games, with the Montreal Canadiens topping the list at 781, followed by the Boston Bruins with 698. However, you have to go down to 13th place to find the Oilers, with 306 games at the time of posting as per

Further, it should be noted the Oilers are second all-time in playoff winning percentage at .580 percent as of Friday morning, trailing only the Vegas Golden Knights at .614 and ahead of the Canadiens at .572. This only adds to the surprise that the Oilers lead the way all-time with three-goal collapses.

More absence concerns for the Oilers ahead of Game 2. More absence concerns for the Oilers ahead of Game 2. dark. Next

None of this should be perceived as any attempt to take away from what is a storied history of success for the Oilers, with the promise of more to come. However, it's safe to claim they aren't going to win their sixth Stanley Cup this season if they give up many (any) more three-goal leads during these playoffs.

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