The 2021 National Hockey League postseason is now down to four teams and three former Edmonton Oilers. Jordan Eberle and the New York Islanders take on Patrick Maroon and the Tampa Bay Lightning, while Jeff Petry and the Montreal Canadiens meet the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Semifinals.
Through the first two rounds of the playoffs, the ex-Oilers have all made significant contributions to their respective teams and will continue to play key roles on this quest for hockey’s holy grail.
There is no doubt a large percentage of Oil Country will be pulling for the trio of ex-Oilers, each of who was popular with fans during their stay in Edmonton. Here’s a look at Eberle, Maroon, and Petry’s contributions to their respective teams through the first two rounds of the playoffs.
The 31-year-old right-wing and the Islanders are riding high after a 4-2 series victory over the Boston Bruins, winning the last three games after spotting Boston a 2-1 lead. New York is making a second straight trip to the third round, where a rematch with the defending Cup champs from Tampa Bay awaits.
Eberle, who Edmonton traded to the Isles for Ryan Strome in 2017, had one goal and four assists in six games against the Bruins. His 17 shots on goal tied Matthew Barzal for the team lead in the series. He had two multi-point games, notching two assists in Game 1 and one goal and one assist in Game 5.
Including his two goals and one assist in New York’s first-round victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins, Eberle now has eight points in the 2021 postseason. Eberle’s ice time was down somewhat in the second round, from an average of 18:09 against Pittsburgh to 14:44 per game against the Bruins. He averaged 16:45 during the regular season.
Felled by an upper-body injury, Petry missed Game 4 of Montreal’s second-round sweep of the Winnipeg Jets, and his status for Game 1 against the Golden Knights in Vegas on Monday (June 14) is up in the air.
The 33-year-old defenceman, who was part of the Norris Trophy conversation after totaling 42 points (12 goals, 30 assists) in 55 regular-season games, has yet to score in 10 appearances this postseason. He had just one assist in Montreal’s 4-3 first-round victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs and two helpers against Winnipeg, both in Game 1. Petry did post a plus-four rating over three games against the Jets, a reversal from the minus-four he recorded over seven games in the opening round.
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Petry has been a fixture on Montreal’s blue line since 2015, when he was traded to the Habs by Edmonton for a pair of draft picks. He led Montreal in ice time, playing 22:42 per game during the regular season, and is third on the team during the playoffs with an average of 23:53.
Since being traded from Edmonton to the New Jersey Devils in 2018, Maroon has been collecting rings. First, he signed with the St. Louis Blues, who he helped capture the Stanley Cup in 2019, then was traded to Tampa Bay and helped the Bolts win the championship last year. The Lightning are looking to join the 2016 and 2017 Penguins as the only team to win back-to-back Stanley Cups in the 21st century.
Maroon has appeared in all 11 games for the Lightning this postseason, recording two points and a team-high 28 penalty minutes while averaging 8:25 ice time. The 33-year-old winger had one assist in five games as Tampa blew past the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1 in the second round. His only goal of the post-season proved to be the series winner in Game 6 of Tampa Bay’s 4-2 first-round victory against the Florida Panthers.
Will Maroon get a chance at a third straight Cup? Or will Eberle and possibly Petry get a chance to hoist Lord Stanley’s mug for the first time? One certainty is that there will be at least one ex-Oiler advancing to the championship series, making it six straight years that Edmonton fans have a former favorite to cheer for in the Stanley Cup Final.
Brian is an Edmonton-based sports writer and broadcaster. His experience includes working as a sports reporter for the Edmonton Sun, where he covered the Edmonton Oil Kings 2013-14 Memorial Cup championship season.