Author of the short article:

David Staples Edmonton Journal

Publishing date:

Oct 14, 2020 5 minute read

Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) celebrates a goal with Leon Draisaitl (29) and Kailer Yamamoto (56) on Nashville Predators’ goaltender Pekka Rinne at Rogers Put On Jan. 14, 2020. Picture by Ian Kucerak/ Postmedia

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The Leading 10 ways the Edmonton Oilers will be much better this coming season?

  1. Much better puckmoving. The team has actually been harming for puck-moving d-men for a very long time, players who can quickly and precisely get the puck to Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. In 2015, the Oilers had just 3 d-men in their looking line-up who were at least NHL average at this ability, Ethan Bear, Darnell Nurse and Oscar Klefbom. This year even, and without Klefbom, the Oilers have four, Bear, Nurse, Tyson Barrie and Caleb Jones. If Klefbom plays and Kris Russell sits, Edmonton can go with 5 puck-movers along with Adam Larsson. If Larsson is out, they can go with 6, Klefbom-Barrie, Nurse-Bear, Jones-Evan Bouchard. Not too shabby.
  2. Better McDavid We didn’t know it in 2015 however McDavid was coming off a serious, career-threatening knee injury. He’s now that far more gotten rid of from the injury, that much more along in his rehabilitation, which much more closer to peak McDavid powers.
  3. Better Draisaitl. For several years McDavid and Draisaitl played together, which may have dealt with the attack but was a quasi catastrophe in their own end. Both gamers appeared confused about their d-zone functions. Jointly, they managed to leave the d-zone slot wide open all too often. At the exact same time, to fully realize his assaulting video game Draisaitl is best functioned as the lead pet in give-and-go attack, not functioning as the shooter waiting on McDavid to set him up. With Kailer Yamamoto and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Draisaitl discovered the best give-and-go linemates, all three of them pass-first, shoot-second gamers, all 3 of them adding up to be greater than the sum of their parts. Which’s why Draisaitl won the Hart Prize this year. If Oilers coach Dave Tippett reunites the Dynamite Line and keeps them together, Draisaitl could quickly duplicate as league MVP, and not go through the horrendous defensive depression he experienced last December on McDavid’s line.
  4. Betting goaltending. The goaltending is a much better wager this year than last. Yes, I know that everyone, including me, is moaning that Oilers GM Ken Holland said goaltending was his top concern this off-season, yet he still revived Mike Smith as Mikko Koskinen’s back up. However last year at this time it was an unknown as to whether Koskinen was a real NHL beginning goalie or a phoney who would fold. He had just a.906 save percentage in 2018-19 However Koskinen had actually a.917 save percentage last year, simply behind Vancouver’s Jacob Markstrom at.918 Koskinen was a middle-of-the-pack NHL starter in 2019-20 Okay, and that certainly makes him a much better bet this year. Not only that, the Oilers signed up veteran AHL goalie Anton Forsberg, who is an excellent bet as a back up if Smith can’t get it done.
  5. Enhanced secondary scoring. I have actually currently discussed how RNH and Yamamoto discovered success with Draisaitl, with RNH scoring 41 points, Yamamoto 26 and Draisaitl 49 in the 30 games of their most outstanding 2nd half run. Along with the Dynamites, the NHL’s most unsafe line, and McDavid, Tippett will get scoring this year all year from Jesse Puljujarvi, Tyler Ennis, Kyle Turris and Tyson Barrie. With another year of NHL experience, I also anticipate more assaulting success from d-men Bear and Jones and from second-year NHLers Gaetan Haas and Joakim Nygard (if he’s healthy).
  6. Three attacking lines. Lots of Oilers fans have hungered for three assaulting lines and it looks like Holland and Tippett are entering that direction. As I see it the most likely lines to produce are Ennis-McDavid-Puljujarvi, RNH-Draisaitl-Yamamoto and a strong 3rd line of Neal-Turris-Chiasson. JJ Khaira focused these two vets in the playoffs however Turris will supply more assaulting prowess in this area. A fourth line of Josh Archibald, Gaetan Haas and Zack Kassian will likewise be plenty quick and able to choose off some objectives.
  7. Greater depth. Nygard, Khaira, Cooper Marody, Ryan McLeod, Patrick Russell, William Lagesson, Bouchard and Tyler Benson are all capable gamers who I have outside the beginning line-up right now. This sort of depth will serve the Oilers well in a long NHL season.
  8. Continuity. Steady leadership remains in place at the top in Holland and Tippett, who have learned a couple of aspects of the group, which is why Holland preached and provided connection and patience, instead of major modification. He made couple of changes to the line-up, adding in just Barrie, Turris and Puljujarvi, while offering openings for young gamers like Jones, Lagesson and Benson to make a mark, if they have the quality. However there’s more of a steady-as-she-goes approach, which is a welcome technique.
  9. Better knowledge. Tippett now understands his team, knows that it’s best to not to ride McDavid and Draisaitl on the very same line, knows how to get the most out of Koskinen and Smith, understands that the Dynamite Line can bring the group, and knows more about who and what will work with McDavid. Indeed, possibly the last major riddle for the Oilers, a minimum of if Koskinen steps up in web, is finding the best linemates for McDavid. Ennis looks like a fit for now. Kassian can work at times. Puljujarvi, Benson or Nygard might also be a big part of the response. Tippett has actually currently accomplished the tough part by splitting up McDavid and Draisaitl and now he’s getting a better sense of what will and will not work. I anticipate he and McDavid will crack the code eventually this year.
  10. Broberg! Is child Philip Broberg going to make the Oilers this year? The 19- year-old is grabbing significant minutes now in the Swedish league and wowing fans there with his skating and puck-carrying. He might well be all set for the NHL when the season starts up. If he’s anywhere near his video highlights, he could likewise be prepared to offer the Oilers a lightning attacking dimension from the blueline that they have not had in years.

At the Cult

STAPLES: Sabres, Golden Knights, Canucks and Oilers are NHL off-season winners, Habs, Blues, Flames and Coyotes losers

McCURDY: Holland emerges a third-line in three days

LEAVINS: Barrie signing signals shift in market conditions for Oilers– 9 Things

STAPLES: Jesse Puljujarvi returns, and on a two-year offer

STAPLES: Is Kyle Turris the 3C the Oilers have been searching for?

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