Ice hockey star Leon Draisaitl’s dream of winning the title has burst. With the Edmonton Oilers, the 26-year-old from Cologne also lost the fourth duel with the favored Colorado Avalanche on Monday evening (local time) and thus missed entering the final series for the Stanley Cup. The 6-5 after extra time in Edmonton was the necessary fourth win for the guests from Denver in the best-of-seven series. Artturi Lehkonen scored the winning goal 79 seconds into extra time.
Since his NHL debut in 2014, Draisaitl, who was playing with a leg injury, had only made it through the first round of the playoffs once with the Oilers. He had never come as close to the Stanley Cup as he did in the Western Conference Finals this season.
“I’m proud of the team that we’ve made it this far. But of course we’re disappointed, it feels crappy at the moment,” said the visibly disappointed Draisaitl after the game. “I don’t think anyone necessarily expected us to be here. Apart from that we expected to be here, we want to be here and we want to be further. We need to make sure we come back next season and understand how hard it is to win what it takes to have a great run and take that next step.”
Draisaitl is only the second player in NHL history to make at least seven three-point games in the playoffs. Wayne Gretzky managed this feat three times. Draisaitl and Connor McDavid also became only the ninth pair as teammates to each have at least 30 points in the playoffs.