This team can be exasperating at the best of times. We all know the struggles of the season that have left last year’s quarter finalist team in the draft lottery this year. This is a team that has been constructed as a big burly, heavy team, in a league rapidly heading the way of small skilled players. That’s the recipe for a team that should one of it’s superstars (or any player for that matter) get pushed around, the response shall be swift and pricey.
That has not been the case for a majority of the season and at no time was it more apparent than the last meeting between the Oilers and Sharks on Feb. 27.
The game was going pretty well overall and then Evander Kane hit Matt Benning from behind, as the ref watched on along with the rest of the Oilers team. The play continued and a goal was scored.
The team was done on that night. You had Milan Lucic on the ice for that, the guy who was named the 2nd toughest player in the NHL by his peers, as well as the rest of the team watching, and not responding. It got so bad that night that Benning himself had to try and fight Evander Kane.
Benning fighting for himself because no one else would. pic.twitter.com/GS9CJkqkrQ— ???? ?????? ??? - ?????? ??? (@TheNationDan) March 14, 2018
Thankfully, the linesmen stepped in and stopped that train wreck before it hit.
Since that time we have seen some pretty decent responses by the Oil. Jujhar Khaira fought Cal Clutterbuck after Clutterbuck decided he needed to break his stick over an unsuspecting Iiro Pakarinen. Even last night against the Calgary Flames, Darnell Nurse fought Travis Hamonic in response to Hamonic’s pushing around of Cammalleri.
That same night, the team (except for Nuge) sat back and was totally ok with Connor getting high sticked and then hit after the whistle.
McDavid getting high-sticked and then hit after the whistle.— ???? ?????? ??? - ?????? ??? (@TheNationDan) March 14, 2018
And the swift response from... Nugent... Hopkins? pic.twitter.com/L64JIHi6w4
So what do you think, Nation? Should Evander Kane be afraid of Kassian, Lucic and Khaira? Or is going to be another emotionless game on the ride to the draft lottery?