(Photo : (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)) MONTREAL, CANADA – JANUARY 13: Evan Bouchard #2 of the Edmonton Oilers celebrates his extra time purpose with teammates Connor McDavid #97, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins #93, Leon Draisaitl #29, Warren Foegele #37 and Adam Erne #21 on the Bell Centre on January 13, 2024 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Edmonton Oilers defeated the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 in extra time.
After a disastrous begin to the season, the Edmonton Oilers are driving a scorching stretch that has established them as legit contenders for the Stanley Cup.
The group that has upset in current playoff runs regarded prefer it was nearing a breaking level in October, because the Oilers opened the season on a depressing 2-9-1 stretch that fueled hypothesis of blow-it-all-up trades.
Their goaltenders could not make saves. Their protection could not do something to stop top quality possibilities in opposition to, and their trademark offensive punch led by two of the sport’s prime 5 gamers in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl merely was not there.
Everything that might go flawed did go flawed, and the pre-season Stanley Cup favorites regarded headed for whole catastrophe in a pivotal season of their window of competition.
Then every little thing modified.
Stuart Skinner’s Emergence as Edmonton’s Goalie
Goaltender Stuart Skinner turned heads final season with a powerful effort to start out the yr, however the younger goaltender faltered a bit down the stretch and within the playoffs, leaving the Oilers with a query mark in purpose for one more season.
Those questions regarded prescient early, as in eight video games from the beginning of the season to November 10, Skinner put up a putrid save proportion of .854 to go together with a 3.87 objectives in opposition to common.
Veteran Jack Campbell was even worse, forcing Skinner into additional motion whilst he floundered. Since then, he is flourished.
Skinner at the moment owns a 2.49 GAA and a .908 SV%, having put up an impressive .924 since November 11 to completely proper the ship.
The Oilers’ Historic Winning Streak
Edmonton is at the moment within the midst of a 14-game successful streak, a run of success that’s unparalleled in current NHL historical past. Since 1993, solely the 2012-2013 Penguins and 2016-2017 Columbus Blue Jackets have gone on longer runs.
No Canadian franchise had ever gained greater than 12 in a row for the reason that Oilers hit this run. The group has not misplaced since December 19, marking nicely over a full calendar month since their final defeat.
Everything has gone proper since. McDavid has gotten going, with 19 factors over the 14 video games. The encouraging factor about this for Edmonton is that whereas that’s robust manufacturing, it isn’t all that near McDavid at his easiest. The reality that they are successful with help scoring, protection, and powerful goaltending is what actually ought to have individuals believing within the Oilers.
Veteran defenseman Mattias Ekholm was seen as an excellent acquisition finally yr’s commerce deadline, and he has been excellent alongside younger celebrity Evan Bouchard on the again finish.
In the McDavid period and for a few years earlier than it, the Oilers have by no means seen efficiency this robust from a single defenseman not to mention each halves of a pair.
The backside of the unit is a little bit of a weak level, however Edmonton’s top-end expertise all through the roster, now that there is really a few of it on protection, may very well be greater than sufficient to gas a playoff run that might make it into June.
The Oilers are three video games away from tying the document for the longest successful streak in NHL historical past. To get there, they should undergo the Chicago Blackhawks and Nashville Predators at house. They’ll be heavy favorites in each video games, and in the event that they win them, it will arrange a matchup with historical past on the road, on the highway on the reigning Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights after the All-Star break.
© 2023 Sportsworldnews.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce with out permission.