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‘It’s disappointing’: McDavid, Oilers burned by disallowed OT winner in loss to Blues

EDMONTON — Everything, as the great Bob Cole once declared, was “haaaapennninggg!” 

After a game that caused Darnell Nurse to admit, “I let my teammates down,” Connor McDavid admitted something else: 

The Face of the Game isn’t even sure about the Rules of the Game. 

Nurse’s poor play — he was directly responsible for two of St. Louis’ three goals in a 4-3 shootout loss — opened the door for another whacky round of video review, as the NHL’s Situation Room disallowed an overtime goal that riled up Oilers captain Connor McDavid. 

Leon Draisaitl scored an apparent game-winning goal in overtime that was overturned in Toronto, where it was decided that McDavid was not in control of the puck as he entered the St. Louis zone. 

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Although St. Louis centre Ryan O’Reilly was waving his stick near the puck, he never touched it. McDavid cruised along as the puck went into his feet, his eyes on the puck but not his stick, and he believed he was in control of the puck the whole time. 

As you watch the puck go into the skates of both players, you can argue McDavid wasn’t in control of the puck near the end of the sequence. But was McDavid in control as it crossed the line, despite the fact the puck was not physically on his stick blade? 

“Since I was a kid, I thought if you have possession of the puck (going over the blue-line) that’s onside. If I had possession or not, I guess that’s the judgment call,” said McDavid, who was seen disciplining his hockey stick against an arena wall as he left the ice post-game. 

As teammate Tyson Barrie said, “You’re talking about Connor McDavid. If he feels like he has control of the puck, I can pretty much guarantee he has control of the puck. 

“He feels pretty passionately that he had it and I’m inclined to believe him.” 

Edmonton felt like they were burned on a similar play early in the Western Conference final last year when Cale Makar preceded a puck over the line in Denver. On that occasion, though circumstances were dissimilar, the ensuing goal held up. On this occasion, it did not. 

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“We kind of get burned on a call in the playoffs over a similar type of situation. You don’t know if it’s offside or onside,” McDavid said. “The league’s got to clarify some of these rules. What’s a kick? What’s offside? What’s goalie interference? It kind of depends on the night, I guess. It’s disappointing.” 

In a rare tirade against the league, turf where McDavid has not tred much in his career, the league’s best player continued with his thoughts on video review. 

“Players just want some clarity on some of these rules,” he said. “We’ve been burned on a few kicks and stuff like that. And obviously, Calgary had this situation (Blake Coleman’s kicked in goal) last year in the playoffs. So it goes back a long way, not understanding some of the rules of our own game. It’s kind of funny, I guess.” 

Every team in the NHL can point to one where they got burned. And it’s true — we all watch these video reviews on goaltender interference or kicked in goals, and no one dares bet the next round on what the outcome will be. 

In the end, a night that ended in weird theatre began the same way, with the Blues being called for icing the wrong lineup for the opening faceoff. Edmonton scored on the ensuing powerplay. St. Louis took two more too-many-men-on-the-ice penalties. 

“It was a crazy game,” said the Blues’ three-point man Jordan Kyrou. “It was just one of those weird games, where weird stuff was happening all game long.” 

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Particularly when the puck met Nurse’s stick. 

The Oilers top defenceman was moving in slow motion when he was stripped of a puck early in the game behind Edmonton’s net that led to a goal. Then, with the Blues’ net empty and Edmonton on a late powerplay, Nurse tried to float a pass to Draisaitl that was batted out of the air by Vladimir Tarasenko. 

Seconds later, it was a tie game. 

“I turned the puck over with 18 seconds left. That’s unacceptable on my part,” Nurse said. “I let my teammates down. We shouldn’t have been in OT. I play too many important minutes in situations like that to be making plays like that. That’s on me. 

“We had the lead and a power play with a minute left. That’s not on anyone else, that’s on me.” 

In the end it was a wasted point. Well-earned by St. Louis, well squandered by the Oilers. 

“Up by two with 10 minutes left, and a powerplay with one minute left?” said McDavid. “We should never even have been in that situation.” 

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