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Will it collide and burn? Can the Edmonton Oilers avoid the disaster that followed their last great season?

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It’s a great opportunity to become an Edmonton Oilers fan.

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Two superstars, Connor McDavid and Leon Drysitel, lead a team full of solid veterans, from Darnell Nurse and Cody Cesi on defense, to Zach Hyman and Evander Kane on the front line, and Jack Campbell on the net. I’m here.

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Not only that, but the team is budding with some great young talent in the likes of Evan Bouchard, Philip Broberg, Kyler Yamato, Stuart Skinner, Dylan Holloway, Ryan McLeod and Jesse Purjujärvi.

When I think about the upcoming season, I always feel radiant.

almost always.

Only one thing haunts me: the painful collapse of 2017-18.

The last time Oilers fans felt this good was in 2016-17, when McDavid and Drysitel led a promising Oilers team to an outstanding regular season with 103 standing points and a dark decade. finished off and propelled the team to a playoff victory over veteran San Jose. The shark team and the veteran Anaheim Ducks almost upset his team.

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McDavid was only 19 years old that year and Drei Saitle was only 20, but their success and the rise of the team looked nothing like a mirage. Oscar Clefbom and Adam Larson, forwards Jordan Evere, Milan Lucic, Patrick Maroon and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

And it wasn’t just Edmonton that sparked optimism for the Oilers. Hockey insider Frank Serravalli predicts Edmonton will win his 2017-18 Stanley Cup. The Oilers end Canada’s Stanley Cup drought for the first time in 25 years. Conor McDavid equaled Sidney Crosby by winning Hart and Art Ross in his sophomore season. With his version of Evgeny Malkin, Leon Dreisaitl, McDavid puts Crosby one up by winning the Cup in his third season after Crosby fell short in Game 6 against the Red Wings. to place. “

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But instead of making it to the playoffs and challenging for the Cup, the Oilers collapsed in 2017-18, finishing with just 36 wins, 46 losses, and a 78-point standing. They went from him scoring 3.0 goals and allowing only 2.5 goals in his one game, to scoring 2.8 goals and allowing him 3.2 goals.

pain!

The Oilers continued to struggle in the 2018-19 season, with both head coach Todd McClellan and GM Peter Chiarelli out of work.

Only McDavid, Draisaitl, Nugent-Hopkins, Darnell Nurse and Jesse Puljujarvi remain on the team from an exciting 2016-17 Oilers.

Here’s what went wrong and the chances of the same kind of thing happening again:

1. Goaltending collapsed. At age 29, goaltender Cam Talbot was Edmonton’s best player in the 2017 playoffs after a glorious regular season with a .919 save percentage and 42 wins in 73 games. That’s right, Talbot played 73 games in the playoffs, plus he’s 13. Some have warned about his overuse, but perhaps there was something to that mindset. 908 save percentage in his 67 games in 2017-18 and . 893 save percentage in his 31 games in 2018-19, it has never been the same for the Oilers again. This got him traded to Philadelphia for a minor league goaltender.

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What is the probability that this failure will be repeated in 2022-23? 20/80. Like Talbot, the Oilers are once again relying on a good goalie in Jack Campbell, 30, in the prime of his career. But unlike Talbot, Jack Campbell didn’t play in 86 games last year in Toronto, only 56 of which he played. Of course, any goalie can have a terrible season, but between Campbell and Stuart his Skinner, Edmonton could have a credible netmind in his 2022-23.

2. The power play collapsed. Edmonton’s power play went from fifth in 2016-17 to worst in the NHL in 2017-18. Veteran Mark Retestu increased his play power his goals from 11 to 3, Milan Lucic from 12 to 3 and Leon his dry sightles from 10 to 6. Edmonton’s power play has been strong for the third year in a row, with Dry Saitle scoring 24 goals for him last year and McDavid scoring 10 for him. Nets, with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Kyler Yamamoto solid on the wing and Tyson Barry and Evan Bouchard strong on points, Edmonton’s power play could remain one of the best in the NHL Highly sexual

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What is the probability that this failure will be repeated in 2022-23? 20/80. Even the best power plays can be severely patched. This Edmonton power play was mediocre for the Oilers in a massive stretch last year. But with more use of Bouchard and his nasty shots, I strongly doubt this group has enough depth and talent to make sense of it.

3. The team’s power forward has collapsed. Edmonton’s 2016-17 team has been pushed by a number of big, tough wingers. Milan Lucic (28) has 23 goals, Patrick Maroon (28) has 27, Zach Cassian (25) has 7 and Benoît Pouliot (29) has 7. 8. A year later, the Maroons scored just 14 goals in 57 games, but the Oilers traded him and Lučić dropped to 10. Kassian scored his seven again, and Pouliot finished his 2017 summer. and ended in disappointment with the Oilers. Lucic’s death was particularly devastating for the Oilers. He was paid huge sums and was expected to ride shotgun with McDavid, but he could no longer keep up with that pace of play.

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How likely is this failure to repeat in 2022-23? 30/70. NHL power forwards can get old very quickly. Considering Zach Hyman turns 30 this season and Evander Kane turns 31, this could be bad news for the Oilers. What happened to Rusik and Maroon? It’s certainly possible, given how difficult it is to maintain the style of this rugged and intense game. But both Hyman and Kane could bring in peak or near-peak production for a few more seasons.

4. You are badly injured. Andrej Sekera and Oscar Klefbom delivered outstanding one-two punches to the Oilers’ left defense in 2016-17. Sekera played the best two-way defense Oil has seen since Ryan Whitney and Sheldon Souray were injured. Klefbom was fast becoming his No. 1 d-man in truth, the Tower of Power of the Blue Line. However, Sekera’s knee injury and Clefbomb’s shoulder injury in the 2017 playoffs against Anaheim set both players back, and although Sekera played mediocre hockey in just 36 games in 2017-18. , Clefbomb played only 66 games with his shoulder chopped off. His effectiveness propelled him out of his NHL in 2020.

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How likely is this failure to repeat in 2022-23? 30/70. We don’t know when a major player will end up with a major injury, but the good news is that they are reported to have fully recovered from the injuries that delayed Dry Saitle and Nurse by a significant margin in the 2022 playoffs. On defense, Oil is competent with veterans Tyson Barry, Cody Cesi and Brett Clack all on hand, backed by promising young pros like Bouchard, Broberg and Dmitry Samorkov.

5. Young players were not active. While a number of young players, including Matt Benning, Drake Caggiula and Anton Slepyshev, seemed to make big strides in the 2017 playoffs, none of the Oilers could keep up the momentum. Purjujärvi, on the other hand, has been unable to find his game under Todd McClellan.

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How likely is this failure to repeat in 2022-23? 20/80. There are now some promising young Oilers, but unlike Purjujärvi, high-draft picks like Bouchard, Philip Bloberg and Dylan Holloway aren’t rushed into the NHL, taking one small step at a time. I’m here. Whether or not Ryan McLeod has more endurance than Caggiula or his Slepyshev is still up in the air, but at least he McLeod doesn’t need to make it to the top line. That wasn’t the case for Kasiura and Slepyshev in 2017-18, nor was the plight of Lucic and Maroons traded out to Jordan Evere.

6. The Oilers couldn’t secure a key player. Jordan Evere was Edmonton’s third-leading scorer in the 2016-17 season with 51 points, but his poor 2017 playoff performance upset the team’s hockey bosses, prompting a tradeoff. Became.

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How likely is this failure to repeat in 2022-23? 0. Edmonton was able to retain key players like Evander Kane and Brett Clack this summer.

Another factor is that the key players in the failed 2017-18 team are all older and more experienced. Team leadership, consisting of McDavid, Drysitel, Nurse, Nugent and his Hopkins. His group has weathered this nightmare and, as they always do during the season, leads the team when the going gets tough. you will be ready. Head coach Jay Woodcroft also joined as Todd McClellan’s right-hand man for the 2017-18 season. He must have learned from his past mistakes. Add to that the patient Ken Holland as the team’s hockey boss. He’s a hockey executive and has seen it all in the NHL.

Overall, I think the chances of the Oilers repeating their 2022-23 blunder is 5/95. This Oilers team is expected to collapse as suddenly as his one of his 20 seasons in 2017-18.

Note: Kurt Leavins’ 9 Things column returns next Sunday

Cult of Hockey Prospect Series

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Will it collide and burn? Can the Edmonton Oilers avoid the disaster that followed their last great season?

Source link Will it collide and burn? Can the Edmonton Oilers avoid the disaster that followed their last great season?

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