Edmonton Oilers, Evan Bouchard
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Evan Bouchard disrespected by media after game winning goal in Game 4

Published May 16, 2024 at 9:24

Edmonton Oilers defenseman Evan Bouchard didn't get much media recognition for his performance during the regular season.

Yet the 24 year-old has met the moment in these playoffs, and has outplayed probable Norris Trophy winner and Vancouver Canucks superstar Quinn Hughes in this second round series.

Through the four playoff games so far between Bouchard and Hughes. Bouchard's been a game-changer on both offense and defense. Bouchard's logging an average of 27:51 per game against Vancouver. Hughes isn't far behind, with about 24:48 of ice time per game. Yet Bouchard's got 3 goals and 3 assists so far in the series, including the game winning goal in Game 4 to even the series on Tuesday night.

Even better, all of his goals and one assist came during even-strength play. It disproves the nation of several fans, who argue Bouchard is overrated and solely benefits as being the quarterback of a lethal Edmonton power play which has Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Meanwhile Hughes, has four assists, but none of them have come at even strength—three were on the power play.

Purely looking at power play numbers, Bouchard's got a couple assists under his belt in just over 15 minutes of ice time per game this series, while Hughes has three assists in almost the same amount of time.

Yet what truly has set Bouchard apart from Hughes thus far is at even strength. He has two goals, one assist, and firing 14 shots in over 84 minutes of ice time. Meanwhile, Hughes hasn't managed to notch any points and only has four shots on goal in over 77 minutes on the ice.

The way Bouchard moves with the puck, finding those tiny openings and delivering pinpoint shots, it's something special. For Hughes, his lateral movement is what helps make him great. The best part is, they're both 24 and have several years ahead of them, likely to skate into each other several more times in the playoffs as pacific division rivals and franchise cornerstones. But so far, round 1 has undoubtedly gone the way of the «Bouch Bomb» and it's time fans on social media start recognizing that.

Throughout these playoffs, Bouchard has elevated his offensive game to new heights while also making big strides on the defensive end.

And if he keeps at it, the Oilers have a realistic shot to win their series en route to possibly snapping their 34 year cup drought along with Canada's 31 year dry spell.

As seen on Oilers Daily:
Oilers' Bouchard outshining Hughes in head-to-head matchup
May 16   |   349 answers
Evan Bouchard disrespected by media after game winning goal in Game 4

Would you rather have Evan Bouchard or Quinn Hughes manning your blue line for the next decade?

Evan Bouchard12235 %
Quinn Hughes22765 %
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