Edmonton – The Edmonton Oilers are a good team. Just not successful.
They’ve got two of the best players in the world, but it’s not equal to playoff success.
So GM Ken Holland has added more depth and more authentic NHL talent at the bottom end to reshape its roster in the off-season. So when unavoidable injuries occur, players are ready to enter, unlike just luggage with passengers.
So, how do Oilers take the next step? What questions do they have to answer?
Well, there are many, but we’ve got three that are really important.
As the training camp hints, here are the top-three questions on the ground of the Wailers.
Current cap location: 0.00
GM: Why Holland
Head Coach: Dave Tippett
Helpful: Jim Playfire, Glenn Gulutzan, Brian Wiseman, Dustin Schwartz (goals)
Signed players: Nothing.
Is Tyson Barry Ready to Damage Oscar Clevebum?
Last season, in 40 years, Oscar Clevebaum played the best quarterback, as Edmonton lost it to the public, about 29.5 percent. However, Cliffbom had only 18 power play points; He played the seventh-highest power play minute of all NHL defenders and was still twelfth in points.
Clefbum can shoot the duck exactly but Barry is not the shooter he was, so he suggested that Clevebum’s role was fairly straightforward to direct people, which he did well enough to create a deadly Euler power drama.
As the unit’s only right-handed shooter, Barry will shoot more of the puck and play a more influential role in the power play. But will it be effective? Barry’s overall game in Toronto improved significantly last season when he was promoted to the top unit – that’s part of what he does, and these minutes affect his confidence during five-on-five games.
But what will happen five times? Clevebom was fifth in the NHL Ice season last season, however, he was a minus player (minus 17). The fact that the Welsh goal this season is a five-on-five better team makes it conceivable that your first number one defensiveman doesn’t work as a clubbomb. Or, at least, didn’t work in Edmonton.
Barry came in, about whom fans called out to Al’s darling, “If the kid isn’t in your zone, this is everyone’s best defense!” This is great until Pak is your zone
Barry will cover Clevebomb aggressively. But will it improve when it comes to keeping Edmonton out of the net? Doesn’t tell its history.
Is Ryan Newgent-Hopkins playing with Connor McDavid or Leon Drysitel?
As strange as it may sound, it’s a real issue: a team with the ruling Art Ross and Heart Trophy winners, and the sensation of “rarely the best player in the world”, Weller’s No. 1 unit will be playing that line of Newgent-Hopkins.
But think about it: if Newgent-Hopkins is the most skilled winger among the Wailers – and he – then it all makes sense. The centerman who got him has the most dangerous line and the opposition’s number one defense pair should be seen.
So the question arises, where would you place the Nugent-Hopkins? For me, it’s with McDavid.
Let’s draw the line. If Kyler Yamamoto is your best right-winger and because of the great chemistry they created last season, he’s going to play with DrySite, which leaves Jack Cassian on McDavid’s right side to start the season. Now, the leech on Cassian is brief. He will have to be much busier than in the qualifying round and last season. But he can keep up with McDavid’s line, the star has a hand in pocket business with a player and no one misses McDavid when the unpredictable Cassian is on the ice.
Call me a dinosaur, but it still has some value.
So, if I give McDavid less than two right wings (according to skill), he gets a better left-winger drink in the RNH, and in the second line I give Dominic Kahun a shot with a drycite – at least to start the season. If that doesn’t work, you’ve got James Neal and Tyler Ennis waiting in line.
Which gives Drystall a steady diet of a second pair of D-men and a left-winger with the ability to maximize the McDavid captain’s offensive output. The defensive intellect of Nowsent-Hopkins allows McDavid to take some risks, far more than other left-wing candidates in Weller.
Can Wallers Transform From Exciting to Successful?
Surprised to see McDavid walking Morgan Riley, or DrySittle 50 scores. But then the playoffs revolve around! The orange team is no longer entertaining anyone, as they have packed their gear and gone home.
Edmonton must watch TV. But how can they be an effective play-off team? Or perhaps (breathless!) Stanley Cup contenders?
“Five of us, both offensively and defensively,” head coach Dave Tippett told 630 CHD this week. “It’s going to determine how good a team we’re going to be this year. There’s going to be a lot of emphasis.
“Five-five is a big part of our game we need to improve. Staff-oriented, we’ve made some changes that I think will help. But now you can do the job on the ice. “
Not only did this columnist beat the drums for more defensive awareness in Edmonton. Ken Holland said earlier this month, “It was very disappointing to lose to Chicago. But I also want to think it’s educational.”
“Some (solutions) are in the roster makeup, and some of them are for players to open it and understand how to play it.”
Darnell Nurse said: “Five, five, obviously, we have to set goals. The last five years I’ve been here we’ve talked about it a lot. You can’t miss two and a half, three goals in one night to be the winning team in this league. This is our goal and definitely my goal. “
We haven’t heard from McDavid or DrySite yet, but we’ve predicted more variations on the same theme from this pair. Edmonton will be a team that focuses more on 3-1 wins rather than 5-2 in the regular season, so when playoffs begin they are inevitably ready for a tougher, more defensive-based hawk.
Which doesn’t mean they can’t load on the power play again and again.
“Hopefully (it) will continue to be a big part of our team,” Tippett said. “But hopefully we don’t have to rely on them too much.”