8

Update: Oilers at the World Hockey Championships

The preliminary games are complete, Team Canada has themselves a spot in the quarterfinals, and all of the Oilers playing at the World Hockey Championships seem to be finding success for themselves. If you haven’t had the time to watch the games cause you’re either working or sleeping, let me get you all caught up!

If you want to see how all the Oilers have done in the first three games of the tournament, you can check out my first update here. Each team has played their seven preliminary games and it’s time to focus on the playoff rounds. Team Canada finished with a 5-1-1 record and will take on Russia in the quarterfinals this morning. Despite being upset by the Fins, and only beating Latvia in overtime, Canada has had themselves quite a good start to the tournament.

McNuge

The highlight of Canada’s play has without a doubt been McNuge picking up right where they left off after the regular season. Their chemistry is through the roof right now and I’m loving every minute of it. They’ve continued to be the top scoring duo for Canada and they almost single-handedly defeated the Germans on their own at the beginning of the week.

Have we found our permanent winger to play with Connor? Hopefully. We can assume that they will 100% be playing together to kick off the 2018-19 season. For the sake of all things playoffs, I really hope they stay together. Throw a cheap Ty Rattie into the mix and you may have one of the top producing lines in hockey. Please hockey gods, please.

Leon Draisaitl

Now that Connor is covered, the Oilers just need to find a winger that can score with Draisaitl and we’re rolling! Leon had one heck of a tournament if you ask me. I mean his team didn’t… but he played great so that has to count for something right?. Germany finished 2-3-2 after the preliminary rounds and unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to put them into the quarter finals. During his seven games, Draisaitl notched two goals and seven assists to lead his team in points. At the end of the day, Germany wasn’t expected to medal at all in this tournament and I’m fine with that. Draisaitl can now rest and begin to train. He’s got a big year ahead of him!

Darnell Nurse

Darnell Nurse finished the preliminary round with a lone assist. Like I said in my first World Hockey Championship update, he hasn’t been standing out a ton. This necessarily isn’t a bad thing. He’s currently averaging about 15 minutes a night, is a +2, and has eight shots on goal. Admittedly I haven’t watched ALL of the games so I couldn’t tell you if he’s been a complete dumpster fire or a silent killer on the ice. I’m going with in between.

Adam Larsson

We’ve seen some great positives with Adam Larsson this tournament as well. Not only did Sweden go undefeated in the preliminary rounds but Adam Larsson was a great asset to the team during all those wins. Larsson currently sits third in the tournament for +/- with a +11. He’s logging 22 minutes a night on average and has eight shots in the tournament. If this tournament gives Larsson a big confidence boost over the summer that will be more than ideal for Oilers fans.

Andrej Sekera

Slovakia went a surprising 3-2-2 in the preliminary rounds. Honestly, this is much better than I ever expected them to do. Unfortunately, it’s not good enough to land themselves in the playoff rounds but what can a guy do? Sekera had 14 shots, three points, and averaged 20 minutes of playing time in seven games. He will now take some well-needed rest this summer and start strengthening those knees for training camp.

Scoring summary after seven games

Connor McDavid – 5-8-13

Leon Draisaitl – 2-7-9

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 4-3-7

Adam Larsson – 1-2-3

Andrej Sekera – 1-2-3

Darnell Nurse – 0-1-1

  • TKB2677

    I am loving the fact that McDavid and Nuge have been glued together for this tournament. Every game they play together just means more and more chemistry. NHL teams typically have pairs of forward and cycle a 3rd guy on the wing. The Oilers have a great pair in Nuge and McDavid. They just need a guy for Leon. Maybe that guy can be Puljujarvi.

    I am happy to see the 3 guys playing defense in the tournament are doing well. Sounds like Nurse is doing alright. He’s played every game and the coach seems to take out other guys before Nurse. The coach is even taking out right shots and making Nurse play the right side because he wants Nurse in there. Obviously a good sign.

    I firmly believe that the Oilers defense is not as bad as some people think. Could they use another right shot? YES. Could they use some offense from a right shot guy? YES. But I do not think going big game hunting is the answer.

    Klefbom was injured. He had the surgery early, he’s fully healed and should be already training normally. So he will be back completely healthy with a full offseason of training.
    Larsson had some small injuries but had a personal tragedy that would cripple any of us at work and would affect any of us for a long time. My Dad is 66 and going strong. I can’t even imagine what it would have done to me losing my dad when he was only 50. Based on all the reports Larsson has been great in the tournament. Crushing guys, logging mins, being a rock, chipping in the odd bit of offense and this on a very strong Swedish team with one hell of a defense. Its pretty clear he has put the tragedy behind him. The impact of having a healthy, fully into it Larsson will be massive.

    Then you have Sekera. Blew out his knee in the playoffs. Missed the whole offseason, all of camp and over half the year. So he was several steps behind every single player in the NHL. You don’t catch up. He seems to be healthy now and starting to play well. Having a pretty much full offseason to train will be huge for him. This past season due to the injury, if you took the name bar off his jersey, had no idea who he was and watched him play, you would think he was a guy that couldn’t play in the NHL on a regular basis. Before the injury he was a legit, really good #3. Even if he doesn’t ever quite get back to where he was, I don’t see why he can’t at worse be a good #4 dman. So basically it would be like the Oilers adding a legit top 4 dman to their ranks. Again, another MASSIVE addition.

  • Glencontrolurstik

    I have a question? This is your quote…
    “The highlight of Canada’s play has without a doubt been McNuge picking up right where they left off after the regular season. Their chemistry is through the roof right now and I’m loving every minute of it. They’ve continued to be the top scoring duo for Canada and they almost single-handedly defeated the Germans on their own at the beginning of the week.”
    QUESTION: Then, why the heck did it take to overtime to beat Latvia? A “greasy” OT goal no less…
    Are you sure that you are not over-hyping the Oilers, like the media does every year?
    Part of the key to Oiler success is you guys being cool about their superior talent.
    God forbid that you become like “Leaf Scribes”… Look what the media has done to them over the years.
    Take it easy, you don’t have to sell us. We know how good they are. Be Cool about it. That’s strength.

    • Fire Woodcroft!

      You call that OT goal by McDavid greasy? Go shake your head. McDavids first shot should have gone in except for a miraculous leg-in-air-as-he-was-falling-the-other-way save by the Latvian goaltender. Connor reacted in a split second and batted the rebound back into the cage while keeping his stick below the cross-bar.

      Probably only 10 guys in the NHL could have done that. Maybe 15.

      That Latvian goalie plays tough against the Team Canada. He’s stoned them in past competitions as well.