Monday night can see one of two things happen for the Edmonton Oilers, and after a remarkable run to end the season after firing head coach Jay Woodcroft and taking down the LA Kings and than their cross-Province rivals in the Calgary Flames in the playoffs the Oilers are going to need something special to pull of a miracle.
Game Four on Monday sees the Oilers staring down the barrel of a sweep at the hands of the phenomenal Colorado Avalanche who are seemingly making quick work of Connor McDavid and the rest of the Oilers team, but there is a chance for them to get out of this hole.
Down 3-0 in the series could seem like a death sentence for most and their is a tall mountain to climb for them to even be in contention to pull off the “reverse sweep”.
Only four teams in NHL history have been able to pull off coming back from being 0-3 down in the series and winning: The 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, 1975 New York Islanders, 2010 Philadelphia Flyers and finally the 2014 San Jose Sharks.
Of the four teams mentioned above two of them went on to win the Stanley Cup in the Sharks and the Leafs (who completed their miraculous comeback in the Cup Finals) while the Flyers made a run all the way to the Finals where they eventually lost to the Blackhawks.
Click here to read more in-depth about the other four teams who came back from 0-3 down: https://www.nhl.com/penguins/news/3-0-series-comebacks/c-306807442
History does not favour the Edmonton Oilers, who by many fans and reporters alike defied many people’s expectations to even reach a Conference Finals berth, but with players like captain Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl on the team the uphill challenge might not seem like a complete waste of time.
McDavid and Draisaitl are one and two in playoff scoring 58 combined as they are putting up points at Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux levels. While Draisaitl has been noticeably injured during this run as every game that passes keeps taking a toll on the German forward he has still managed to battle through and be spectacular.
If any team is gonna need to rely on their stars for a magical comeback, many people would put their money on the McDavid magic to do so.
Having forwards like Zach Hyman, Evander Kane and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins who are trying to supplement their scoring from just their top two stars alone has been working all postseason but it is starting to run dry in this series.
Not only will their stars need to be on their A+ game on Monday night, but for the rest of the series should they win, and they need their forwards to chip in with goals.
One cause for concern for the Oilers would be a stronger team defence and better performances from Mike Smith who has at times looked shaky in the Oilers net, but at others times looking like he might carry the team all the way for a Cup.
The challenge in-front of the Oilers however would a be a difficult challenge for any team, but especially going up against this iteration of the Colorado Avalanche definitely makes it even harder.
Top to bottom on the Avalanche roster they have potentially one of the most solid teams left in the NHL, but their is some cause for concern.
After injuries to starting goaltender Darcy Kuemper in game one and star forward Nazem Kadri in game three (which also leaves Evander Kane out for game four due to suspension for a dangerous collision with Kadri) their might be some cracks for the Avalanche that the Oilers can pounce on.
Game four can mean one of two things for this Edmonton Oilers team, should they lose to the Avalanche and in-turn the series that could spell the end of their fairytale run in this years playoffs, but with a win it might be able to spark a comeback only seen a handful of times in NHL history.
Knocking off the high-flying Avalanche and then potentially winning the Stanley Cup would be a rather fitting end for a team who has had to battle back plenty of times this season.