Leon Draisitl EDM pointless streak tune in

EDMONTON -- Leon Draisaitl helped carry the Edmonton Oilers to the Stanley Cup Final with 106 points (41 goals, 65 assists) during the regular season, but the center has been held without a point through the first three games against the Florida Panthers. 

Draisaitl will be looking to end the drought and help the Oilers stave off elimination in Game 4 at Rogers Place on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; CBC, TVAS, SN, ESPN+, ABC), down 3-0 in the best-of-7 series. 

“Not too often Leon’s held off the scoresheet like he has been, but I think he has been contributing,” Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch said Saturday. “You look at the [Ryan] McLeod goal (in Game 3), he didn’t get a point on that but I think he was the catalyst, he did most of the work on that to set that goal up.” 

Draisaitl is second in scoring during the Stanley Cup Playoffs with 28 points (10 goals, 18 assists) in 21 games, behind teammate and Edmonton captain Connor McDavid, who has 34 points (five goals, 29 assists) in 21 games. 

The three-game pointless streak is Draisaitl's longest this postseason. He had 10 points (five goals, five assists) in five games against the Los Angeles Kings in the first round, 14 points (three goals, 11 assists) in seven games against the Vancouver Canucks in the second, and four points (two goals, two assists) in six games against the Dallas Stars in the Western Conference Final. 

Draisaitl did not go three games without a point throughout the entire regular season. 

“Sometimes it’s not fair to just judge a player on his points, his goals and assists,” Knoblauch said. “Yeah, I’ve seen Leon play better, but to say he’s playing poorly, I think is vastly unfair. I think he’s helping a lot but like our team, everyone can be a little bit better and he takes a lot of pride in his game. he doesn’t hide anything; he doesn’t make excuses. 

“So often players will make excuses, things haven’t gone well because of this, ‘I’ve been unfortunate’ and all that, but Leon takes a lot of responsibility and he’s been pretty good from every game I’ve seen him play.”

NHL Tonight on the mindset of Oilers down 3-0

Draisaitl said he was frustrated with being held off the scoresheet after the 4-3 loss in Game 3 at Rogers Place on Thursday. Draisaitl had three shots on net and finished with a minus-1 rating. 

“I pride myself on being good in the playoffs and playing well,” he said Thursday. “I just can’t seem to get anything going. Obviously, I have to look in the mirror and try to be better.” 

With 105 points (41 goals, 64 assists) in 70 career playoff games, Draisaitl became the third fastest player to 100 playoff points (60 games) behind Wayne Gretzky (46 games) and Mario Lemieux (50 games). 

“He does so many other things than just produce to help our team,” Oilers forward Dylan Holloway said. “He’s so good with the puck, he’s good in his own zone and the points will come. It’s been a tight series and I think we’ve gotten good contributions from all over the lineup. I don’t think it’s anything you should be criticizing him for. I think he does so many good things without the puck too.” 

Draisaitl has centered his own line for most of the playoffs with a number of different wings. He teams up on a line with McDavid following an Oilers penalty kill, and on the power play. 

Holloway played alongside Draisaitl on left wing in the Conference Final against the Stars and in the first two games of the Final. 

With an injury to left wing Evander Kane, Draisaitl was put on a line with Ryan McLeod on the left and Corey Perry on the right; the three are expected to remain together in Game 4.

“You have to find open ice, he’ll find it before me,” Holloway said of playing with Draisaitl. “He’s so good at being deceptive with the puck, he always knows where his wingers and his D-men are, he’s always so good with the puck, you just try to get open.” 

Draisaitl’s passing ability is among the best in the NHL, particularly on his backhand. The 28-year-old from Cologne, Germany, is also one of the best at holding off opponents and shielding the puck. 

“They’re talking about the points and that, but he brings something on every shift,” Oilers defenseman Brett Kulak said. “He’s always a threat, you know he’s going to get on the scoresheet eventually and he’s been a top performer for us all postseason. We’re not concerned about a couple of games without a point from him. It’s not like he needs points to be contributing to the games.”

Related Content