The Edmonton Oilers are heading to the playoff for the first time since 2006 and Edmonton is abuzz. The team is finally relevant and times are a changing. I thought I would be uber positive and list reasons why the team is playoff bound and ready for success!
- Cam Talbot was a rock this season. He played 73 frigging games while posting a 2.39 GAA and a .919 save percentage! Talbot was first in the league in wins, third in the league in shutouts with 7 and gave the team solid goaltending for the entire season. Without Talbot between the pipes this season the Oilers wouldn’t be near as good as they are.
- Oscar Klefbom stayed healthy for the first time in his career and had a fantastic regular season as a top pairing defencemen. He and Adam Larsson drew the toughest matchups nightly and did fantastically well while doing it. Klefbom finished the season with 38 points, was a plus 7 all while playing an average of 22:22 of icetime. He also finished 17th in defenceman scoring with a career high 12 goals.
- His partner Adam Larsson also shouldered the load as his minute munching partner playing against the Carters, Getzlafs and Benn’s of the Western conference every single game. Larsson averaged just over 2o minutes of ice while playing virtually zero minutes of powerplay time. He is aggressive, calm and under control virtually every shift and he is only going to get better. It is time to move on from the trade already.
- Andrej Sekera looked great in a role suited perfectly for him. He was no longer asked to be a top pairing guy and he succeeded because of it. As a second pairing defenceman he not only held his own but played fantastically well in his role.
- The teams size was shown in spades this season. For the first time in forever this team was bigger, tougher and stronger than the opposition almost every night. The team was able to push other teams around and were first into scrums. I love it!!!
- Connor frieking Mcdavid! at 20 years of age he is already a stud and arguably the leagues best player. 100 points isn’t bad for a 20 year old.
- Peter Chiarelli managed to change and fix his team in a very short order. I am extremely impressed with the work he has done. The team is completely different than before he got here.
- No one would have predicted Leon Draisaitl would have finished 8th in league scoring. No one! He looks fantastic and is only getting better.
- Milan Lucic is coming on strong and will be unreal in the playoffs! Book it!!!
- Nuge and Eberle are coming on strong! Eberle has a history of coming up big in the clutch and I look forward to seeing what he can do come Wednesday.
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