Friday’s win over the New Jersey Devils was a nice one. Edmonton scored lots of goals. New Jersey did not.
Not a bad recipe for winning a game if you ask me.
But what’s important is how those goals were scored and who scored them. For one of the first times in a while, the Oilers top line didn’t really contribute a whole bunch.
Sure, Leon Draisaitl scored a highlight-reel goal in the second period that saw him bury a backhand to kick off the 4-0 romp but that was about it all game for them.
That’s okay though because Edmonton got great contribution elsewhere. Gaetan Haas scored his second of the year near the end of the second frame that saw him deflect a Matt Benning point shot in.
James Neal banged in his 12th of the year, assisted by Alex Chiasson and Joel Persson, while Chiasson banged in his first goal of the year in the third and final frame.
Nine Oilers contributed on goals Friday night, the most since the team’s Oct. 30 4-1 win over Columbus.
Chiasson and Persson both had two-point nights. Haas got on the board. Benning and Kris Russell both got assists on a goal. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins came alive with two primary assists.
It’s great to see the depth scoring of the Oilers come out to play, and the hope now is they can continue to build off of it.
Edmonton has a tough November ahead with games against some really good teams like the Colorado Avalanche, who are rolling on all cylinders despite the loss of top forwards Gabe Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen. If the Oilers have hopes of beating them, they need this bottom-six group to pick up their pace.
The secondary scoring woes have been a front of mind concern all season long and rightly so. Edmonton isn’t going to be able to rely on the likes of Draisaitl and Connor McDavid and make it to the playoffs.
Still, I think Edmonton is going to need to address the issue with a trade in the near future. I’m not wholeheartedly convinced the team has a group in the bottom-six who can produce.
On Twitter: @zjlaing