DENVER, CO- The Avalanche held home serve and now the Oilers are looking to do the same.
Denver’s flight home won’t be joyful after a pair of losses to the Avalanche, but there’s still a sense of anticipation knowing the Rogers Place crowd awaits them for a pair of crucial Avalanche Finals games. Western Conference in Edmonton.
“We’re two behind, returning to a rink we love to play in. You’ve seen how excited the city and the people of Edmonton are,” Tyson Barrie said at his post-match press conference. “We’ll be ready to do our best and bounce off a crazy building. We definitely don’t count ourselves on this one.”
“We’re excited to come home and feed off the crowd and listen to the atmosphere,” Ryan Nugent Hopkins said. “Obviously we’re focused on Game 3 at home. We have an opportunity to step up right now. We didn’t get a win in Denver like we wanted, but we have a great opportunity to come back to home, feed the fans and keep this thing going.”
Video: RAW | Leon Draisaitl 06.03.22
Noise levels at Rogers Place have been failing so far in the playoffs. The full throats of Blue & Orange fans frequently crossed the 120 decibel mark – a level similar to the sound of thunder or the sound of an airplane taking off. The Oilers players were able to channel that energy and propel them to some of their best playoff performances.
Edmonton is currently 4-2 in the friendly grounds of Rogers Arena in this playoff series and outscored opponents 24-13 in the process. The rink has been the centerpiece of some of the Oilers’ masterful wins this postseason, including the 6-0 rebound win over Los Angeles and their back-to-back wins over Calgary, which pushed rival Alberta to the brink.
The Oilers will have to harness that electricity again and use it to bring out the best in the group. The players know that the series and their Stanley Cup aspirations are essentially on the line over the next two games.
“I think we haven’t done our best yet and that’s encouraging, but we need to make sure it happens soon,” Leon Draisaitl said. “Obviously it’s not the situation we wanted to be in after two games, but that’s how it is. We can’t dwell on that, we have to be better, and we have to adapt and make sure that we are going out well at home.”
Video: RAW | Ryan Nugent Hopkins 06.03.22
Despite an elite opponent and a size deficit against the Oilers, there is no panic in the locker room. In a season full of ups and downs, the constant specter of adversity has been a singular constant.
“We can be happy that we lost 3-2 in Los Angeles and went there and got that win,” Nugent-Hopkins said. “But during the season we had a streak there where we were 2-14, we had covid stuff, we had a ton of injuries and we were out of a playoff spot. We found a way to fight back and stay resilient as a full group and push ourselves into a good spot in the playoffs. We’ve certainly been through adversity and the way we’ve responded has been one of our best attributes this season.
The Oilers finished the regular season with a 28-12-1 record at Rogers Place during the regular season which, despite their midseason lull, was good for the third-most wins in the Western Conference. . They’ll need three more over the next week to earn the chance to compete for the ultimate hockey prize.
“We’ve done it all year. We’ve faced a lot of adversity all year, in the playoffs and pretty much every round so far. I believe in our group,” Draisaitl said. . “We have to start with a game tomorrow, obviously it’s a big game. Start at home, get the crowd behind us and then we’ll be back.”