Author of the short article:
David Staples – Edmonton Journal
Oct 14, 2020 – – 5 minute read
Short article content
The Top 10 methods the Edmonton Oilers will be much better this coming season?
- Much better puckmoving. The team has actually been injuring for puck-moving d-men for a very long time, players who can quickly and accurately get the puck to Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Last year, the Oilers had just 3 d-men in their staring 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 4, Bear, Nurse, Tyson Barrie and Caleb Jones. If Klefbom plays and Kris Russell sits, Edmonton can opt for 5 puck-movers in addition to Adam Larsson. If Larsson is out, they can choose 6, Klefbom-Barrie, Nurse-Bear, Jones-Evan Bouchard. Not too shabby.
- Much Better McDavid We didn’t know it in 2015 however McDavid was coming off a serious, career-threatening knee injury. He’s now that a lot more removed from the injury, that a lot more along in his rehabilitation, which far more closer to peak McDavid powers.
- 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. Collectively, they managed to leave the d-zone slot large open all frequently. At the very same time, to totally understand his attacking video game Draisaitl is best served as the lead canine in give-and-go attack, not serving as the shooter awaiting McDavid to set him up. With Kailer Yamamoto and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Draisaitl found the best give-and-go linemates, all 3 of them pass-first, shoot-second gamers, all three of them adding up to be higher than the sum of their parts. And that’s why Draisaitl won the Hart Trophy this year. If Oilers coach Dave Tippett reunites the Dynamite Line and keeps them together, Draisaitl might easily duplicate as league MVP, and not go through the horrendous protective slump he experienced last December on McDavid’s line.
- Betting goaltending. The goaltending is a much better wager this year than last. Yes, I know that everyone, including me, is groaning 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. Last year at this time it was an unknown as to whether Koskinen was a genuine NHL starting goalie or a phoney who would fold. He had just a.906 conserve percentage in 2018-19, after all. Koskinen had a.917 save portion last year, just behind Vancouver’s Jacob Markstrom at.918 Koskinen was a middle-of-the-pack NHL starter in 2019-20 Okay, which certainly makes him a better bet this year. Not just that, the Oilers signed up seasoned AHL goalie Anton Forsberg, who is an excellent bet as a back up if Smith can’t get it done.
- Improved secondary scoring. I’ve currently pointed out 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 second 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 attacking success from d-men Bear and Jones and from second-year NHLers Gaetan Haas and Joakim Nygard (if he’s healthy).
- 3 assaulting lines. Lots of Oilers fans have actually hungered for three attacking lines and it appears like Holland and Tippett are going in that instructions. As I see it the most likely lines to produce are Ennis-McDavid-Puljujarvi, RNH-Draisaitl-Yamamoto and a strong third line of Neal-Turris-Chiasson. JJ Khaira centered these two vets in the playoffs however Turris will supply more attacking expertise in this area. A fourth line of Josh Archibald, Gaetan Haas and Zack Kassian will also be plenty quick and able to pick off some goals.
- Greater depth. Nygard, Khaira, Cooper Marody, Ryan McLeod, Patrick Russell, William Lagesson, Bouchard and Tyler Benson are all capable players who I have outside the beginning line-up right now. This type of depth will serve the Oilers well in a long NHL season.
- Connection. Steady leadership remains in place at the top in Holland and Tippett, who have actually learned a couple of features of the team, which is why Holland preached and delivered continuity and patience, instead of significant change. He made couple of changes to the line-up, including simply Barrie, Turris and Puljujarvi, while supplying openings for young players like Jones, Lagesson and Benson to make a mark, if they have the quality. There’s more of a steady-as-she-goes approach, which is a welcome technique.
- Better understanding. Tippett now understands his team, understands 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, knows that the Dynamite Line can bring the group, and knows more about who and what will deal with McDavid. Undoubtedly, perhaps the final major riddle for the Oilers, at least if Koskinen steps up in net, is finding the best linemates for McDavid. Ennis appears like a suitable for now. Kassian can work at times. Puljujarvi, Benson or Nygard might likewise be a huge part of the answer. Tippett has actually currently accomplished the difficult part by splitting up McDavid and Draisaitl and now he’s getting a much better sense of what will and won’t work. I expect he and McDavid will crack the code at some time this year.
- Broberg! Is child Philip Broberg going to make the Oilers this year? The 19- year-old is grabbing major 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 launches. If he’s anywhere near his video highlights, he could likewise be prepared to give the Oilers a lightning assaulting dimension from the blueline that they have not had in years.