Craig McTavish says he sensed Oilers collapse against Canucks

The former Oilers bench boss could see it coming.

Michael W.

Everything was going right for the Edmonton Oilers against the rival Vancouver Canucks in the opening game of what is their first postseason matchup since 1992. A pair of goals from Zach Hyman along with tallies from Mattias Ekholm and Cody Ceci gave the Oilers a comfortable 4-1 lead that they held late into the 2nd period. 

However, the Canucks would mount an incredible comeback effort, scoring four unanswered goals of their own to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Nikita Zadorov tied the score with a blast from the point that beat goaltender Stuart Skinner, which was followed up by the go-ahead tally from Connor Garland just moments later. 

Adding to the concern of the Oilers is that they managed only seven shots on goal after the opening 20 minutes, ultimately getting outshot 24-21 by the host Canucks. And the impending disaster was something that former Edmonton bench boss Craig MacTavish could sense was on the way. 

"There’s nothing worse as a player and as a coach, than waking up with the R&R sisters, Regret and Remorse," he explained during an interview with The Edmonton Journal. "They’re waking up with the sisters this morning. That game should have been closed out, but it wasn’t. For me, it was ominous the whole time that something bad was going to happen. In playoff hockey there’s a reaction and a response and the Oilers are going to say it’s one game and we’re disappointed. Then there has to be a response. That’s on the Oilers to respond." 

MacTavish then shared his view that Edmonton essentially got what they deserved based on how they played, which included being dominated in offensive zone time by Vancouver. 

"They were going to be lucky and win, but, at the end of the day, they got the result they played to," he continued. "That’s what I’d say. I didn’t think they sustained anything offensively. I’ve tried to call up the stats and find the zone time but I bet it was pretty significant in Vancouver’s favour. They had more of it. That’s the template on how the Oilers can be beat."

Game 2 between the two rivals will take place tomorrow night from Vancouver starting at 10:00 PM EST before the series shifts to Edmonton for Games 3 and 4.

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