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MacTavish on Oilers-Kings Game 2: ‘It’s going to be a completely different game’

MATT WOODMAN: He really needs no introduction, he’s a former Oilers player, a former Oilers coach and a former Oilers general manager. Craig McTavish. has played so many important roles with this team over the years, and he joins us tonight to talk about a bit of playoff hockey.

CRAIG MACTAVISH: A lot of ‘former.’ Jack of all, master of none.

WOODMAN: Better to be former than none at all, Craig.

MACTAVISH: Thank you.

WOODMAN: You won three Stanley Cups with the Oilers between ’86 and ’90? I know you won another one. We won’t go there, though. What does it take to win a championship? And do you think this current Oilers team has what it takes?

MACTAVISH: Well, obviously the single most important ingredient is depth and talent, and outside of that you have to have a lot of character. The Oilers have done a very good job in my estimation over the last few years adding some unbelievable character people like Mattias Ekholm and, and Zach Hyman. Those types of guys that are very rarely available. They look like a team that’s poised to take a run.

WOODMAN: Speaking of runs, when I talked to Oilers fans in the street, they still talk about, they describe it as that magical run in 2006 that unfortunately came to a stop in Game 7 against Carolina Hurricanes. You were behind the bench for that team that year. What do you remember about that series and all of those playoff rounds?

MACTAVISH: Well, it was a magical time is right. We put a whole nother generation of Oilers fans on the bus in that generation. It really galvanized the support of the Oilers. We had just an unbelievable experience for two months until we didn’t end Game 7, which was difficult. I was with Jartett Stoll yesterday — he works for the L.A. Kings — and we were talking a little bit about it. We’re both more disappointed about that now than we were in the moment that we lost the game. But it was an amazing experience. I’m really happy for our current players, that they’re able to see the passion that our fans have for them.

WOODMAN: Do you see any similarities between this current edition of the Oilers and any teams you’ve either coached or played on?

MACTAVISH: Ah, that’s a good question. I think from a talent perspective, back in the ’80s, with Paul Coffey and Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier, we had the elite players in the league, and I think now you can say that the Oilers have the elite players. The Oilers, going into every series, are going to have the best player in that series. And that’s indicative more of the 80s than it really was on our run in 2006 or even in 1990.

WOODMAN: We were talking about this right before we jumped on camera, but the Oilers had a pretty dominant performance in Game 1 against the Kings. How do you keep that momentum going two days later into Game 2?

MACTAVISH: You make a mistake — and we did it in 2006 — you make a mistake thinking that the first period tonight will be like the fourth period of the first game. It’s going to be a completely different game tonight. It’s going to be very difficult for our team to be as good as we were, it’s got to be almost impossible for McDavid to be any better. And L.A., they played poorly and they’re not a poor team, and they’re going to play better tonight. It’s going to be a completely different game tonight.

WOODMAN: Craig, we really appreciate your time today and enjoy the game tonight.

MACTAVISH: Thanks, Matt. My pleasure. 

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