Proper now the Edmonton Oilers are clinging to a wild card spot within the Western Convention, which is a far cry from their excellent 2019-20 season debut.
It is going to be a struggle to make the playoffs, and if the Oilers need to advance to the postseason, normal supervisor Ken Holland must shake issues up. What do the Oilers want? A 3rd-line heart or a second-line winger could be superb.
The franchise can’t danger lacking one other postseason alternative, particularly after they have one of the best participant within the league on their staff. It’s embarrassing.
Let’s take a extra in-depth have a look at why the Oilers ought to commerce for a rental.
Can’t Afford to Waste McDavid
Connor McDavid’s feedback after failing to make the playoffs once more final season undoubtedly propelled a blaze of worry in followers. After the Three-1 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on April 1, 2019, formally eradicated the Oilers from playoff competition, McDavid instructed the media about his frustration degree:
“It’s actually excessive. It’s actually, actually excessive. We need to play within the playoffs as a staff. I personally need to play within the playoffs. I’m not completely happy about it. It’s going to be an extended summer season.”
Edmonton Oilers heart Connor McDavid (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Ross D. Franklin)
He additionally mentioned, “Now we have plenty of crap to determine.”
It’s important that the Oilers do what they’ll to make sure that McDavid makes the playoffs. McDavid is the “McJesus,” the Batman, the Harry Potter of the Oilers, however each hero wants help—the Holy Trinity, Robin, Ron Weasley, a third-line heart, a second-line winger, and so forth.
What’s the purpose of letting these seasons with McDavid go to waste?
Powerful Schedule Forward
Up up to now, the Oilers have had the 24th best schedule, whereas they’re projected to have the 12th hardest schedule for the remainder of the season.
Edmonton Oilers have a good time (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson)
In the meantime, the Calgary Flames have had the sixth hardest schedule till now, however have the simplest schedule developing. And they’re one of many groups that the Oilers will certainly be battling for a playoff spot with. Each the Oilers and the Flames have 47 factors, which makes the Battle of Alberta extra attention-grabbing, so there’s one (unhappy) plus.
Sadly, the Golden Knights (ranked 16th) and the Vancouver Canucks (ranked 18th) have simpler schedules than the Oilers for the rest of the season. And guess what? The Canucks now sit one level forward of the Oilers within the standings. Weren’t they imagined to be in a rebuilding part? Sigh.
Fortunately, the Arizona Coyotes have a troublesome schedule forward, too (ranked 11th).
Have to Keep away from Finish-Of-Season Frustration From Gamers
After the Oilers have been eradicated from playoff competition in 2018-19, McDavid, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Darnell Nurse spoke publicly about their frustrations.
As aforementioned, McDavid claimed that his frustration degree was “actually, actually excessive.” Nugent-Hopkins talked concerning the disappointment of being in his eighth yr and solely making the playoffs as soon as, and Nurse commented on the way it’s been too a few years since they’ve had the prospect to make the playoffs and “we have to determine it out.” (from ‘Robert Tychkowski: Oilers administration shouldn’t ignore warning photographs from annoyed gamers’, Edmonton Journal – four/2/19).
And when McDavid dares to let his frustration present, it’s extra horrifying than watching Anaconda together with your eyes taped open.
The underside line? The franchise can’t afford to take a seat round like ineffective squibs when April rolls round, particularly after they have one of the best participant on this planet on their staff. It’s not enjoyable listening to high-end gamers unveil their disappointment in direction of the group.
So let’s keep away from that this yr, we could?
Lack of Depth
It’s no secret that the Oilers lack depth. They’ve lacked depth for the whole lot of the final decade. In the course of the 2016-17 season, the Oilers had 5 gamers rating 20-plus targets (129 in whole), and three gamers attain the double digits (amounting to 46 targets). And that was the final time they made the playoffs.
Edmonton Oilers have a good time Leon Draisaitl’s hat trick. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson)
Final season, depth scoring dropped: 4 gamers scored 20 or extra targets (amounting to 141, however McDavid and Leon Draisaitl mixed for 91 tallies), however solely two reached double-digits (amounting to 25 targets).
And this season, the Oilers have struggled to attain. Nugent-Hopkins hasn’t even reached double digits in targets but (I belief he’ll decide up his recreation). At this level, solely 4 forwards are producing: McDavid, Draisaitl, Neal, and Kassian. However the Oilers are clearly depending on McDavid and Draisaitl.
The purpose? The Oilers want so as to add extra depth to the line-up.
Which Gamers Ought to Holland Take into account?
Mark Spector from Sportsnet shared his three daring predictions for the Oilers, one being that Holland trades for Jean-Gabriel Pageau from the Ottawa Senators. To date this season he has 18 targets and 11 assists, which is much better than any of the Oilers’ bottom-six gamers. Pageau even has double the targets of Nugent-Hopkins.
It’s been famous that Holland doesn’t need to quit draft picks, however I feel it’s price it to commerce for a 27-year-old heart with a $Three.1 million cap hit. Pageau would assist to offer some much-needed depth with out giving up an excessive amount of (hopefully).
Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Ottawa Senators (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)
Another choice could be Tyler Toffoli from the Los Angeles Kings. The suitable winger might assist out Nugent-Hopkins, who’s in want of a gifted, goal-scoring winger. Toffoli has 11 targets and 12 assists thus far. His $four.6 million cap hit could also be larger than Pageau, however a minimum of it’s not as hefty as Taylor Corridor’s contract.
Each contracts expire this coming summer season, so the Oilers don’t need to decide to signing an extension for both participant.
Plus, Kailer Yamamoto and Tyler Benson shall be extra developed by the beginning of subsequent season, which can assist to resolve the depth scoring downside with out having to spend so much of money. One can dream, proper?
Associated: New Decade, New Religion, New Edmonton Oilers?
The earlier decade (and a few seasons earlier than) was all about rebuilding for the Oilers, however followers don’t need to hear that ugly phrase muttered anymore. It’s a taboo phrase. So it’s time to take a danger, one that can propel this franchise into the playoffs.