The Oilers have only scored 12 goals on the power play this season. Only two teams — the Buffalo Sabres and Columbus Blue Jackets — have scored fewer at this point. Part of that has to do with how few power play opportunities the team has had, but the Oilers efficiency with the man advantage is only 18.18 per cent. That’s quite a bit worse than last year’s 22.98 per cent figure which ranked fifth in the league and played a key role in the team’s breakout season.
Edmonton’s power play being mediocre isn’t really a new issue. It’s something that’s plagued the team all season and has been pinpointed as one of the reasons they haven’t had much success in the standings. But after an ugly showing against the Arizona Coyotes last night in which the Oilers barely got any offence going on four opportunities, Todd McLellan is shuffling the units.
New PP units— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) November 29, 2017
Draisaitl-Strome-Maroon—Caggiula-Klefbom... Lucic and Puljujarvi rotating with Maroon-Caggiula.
Curious if Khaira sticks. Oilers Haven’t had much crease success thus far on PP.
The top unit features four Connor McDavid and Matt Benning on the point and Mark Letestu, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and JJ Khaira up front. On the second, Oscar Klefbom and Drake Caggiula will quarterback Leon Draisaitl, Patrick Maroon, and Ryan Strome.
The interesting things of note here are RNH and McDavid finally being put on the ice with the man advantage together. That’s two guys who see the ice very well in the offensive zone. Also, the Oilers haven’t had a very good time getting somebody crashing the net, so Khaira will be given a chance to do so. Milan Lucic, who scored half of his points last season on the power play, has been bumped off both units.
That brings us to this week’s What Would You Do Wednesday question. Are these the right units the Oilers should be rolling with? What’s been wrong with the power play so far and how would you change it? Is it an issue with the units, or is it the team’s strategy that’s led to the subpar results?
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