Monday night was one of those nights that could be characterized as crazy. Carey Price went out with what was later deemed to be a concussion. Jake Allen came in and played very well for the Montreal Canadiens.
Then, the third period happened.
The tying goal by Ethan Bear was not so bad. Connor McDavid made a nice play and Bear had the shot thanks to some nice work by Jesse Puljujarvi. That was not the problem.
It was the game-winning goal minutes later by Edmonton’s McDavid. This was a goal that never should have happened.
Film Session Time: Connor McDavid Goal
Again, let’s take a look at the video evidence.
Connor McDavid scored his ninth game-winning goal of the season and moved into a tie with Auston Matthews (9) for the most among all players. #NHLStats: https://t.co/mjKUry9JyV pic.twitter.com/nEM9s9o5e9
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 20, 2021
Again, this is a play set up near the boards as Tomas Tatar got hit pretty good by Jesse Puljujarvi. Maybe Puljujarvi took note of how McDavid was playing earlier in the game. Whatever the case may be, the puck wound up on McDavid’s stick.
Once McDavid takes those first several strides, it is clear the two defensemen are in trouble. Now, it is not just the speed but continued acceleration that helps the center here. From the blueline in, what is lost a bit is the angle the late-arriving Montreal defenseman takes. That late-arriving defenseman is Jeff Petry (a former Oiler ironically).
The angle Petry takes leaves him little choice but to just flail his stick in a hope that it somehow distracts McDavid. McDavid was not even phased by it. All he has to do is accelerate once more and get by Joel Edmundson which the center does with ease. Edmundson even just flails his stick as he passively tries to zone McDavid off. The problem is that the zone is not occupied by Petry until it is far too late.
Then, it boils down to the one-on-one with goaltender Jake Allen. McDavid gets Allen to play small almost right away. After that, he has options to shoot or even make a fake. McDavid opts for his wrist shot. With a gaping top of the net open, the puck is fired into the back of the net as Edmonton takes a lead they would not relinquish.
This play took seconds. The moral of the story is do not let Connor McDavid gain the puck in the middle of the ice with speed. Ever.
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The long night continued for Petry and Montreal…
It has been a struggle since Brendan Gallagher was injured for Montreal but Jeff Petry struggled first offensively and now defensively. These things happen but that third period was one to forget. Being on the ice for three goals, playing a few wrong angles, and getting caught flat-footed is rare for Petry. It happened at the worst possible times on Monday night.
Edmonton added two more goals to make the score look more lopsided than it was at 4-1. This all happened in the span of fewer than eight minutes. Montreal and Petry have probably watched this video on repeat a good bit and hope to avoid the same mistakes on Wednesday night.