The Unsung Heroes
Photo credit:© Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
By Woz3 days ago
As the Oilers make their second half of the season surge through the standings, let’s take a look at a couple unsung heroes from the Edmonton Oilers. I asked across Oilersnation Socials for your unsung heroes (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). Let’s see who you chose!
Dallas on Facebook gives his vote to Ken Holland. I like this take because, for all the criticism Holland has had this year and last, he has made some favourable moves for the Edmonton Oilers. He’s signed Kane, Nuge, Skinner and you could even say Hyman to team-friendly contracts. Jack Campbell is a deal that’s yet to show its true value, however, Soup is starting to trend in the right direction. And how can you not love the Klim Kostin trade? Just love to see a positive comment about Ken Holland. He’s not perfect but he’s certainly not the worst GM we’ve seen in this city.
When I first posed the question for the Oilers’ unsung hero this season, the first name that came to mind was Tyson Barrie. I’ve noticed on social media that fans have enjoyed his play. He’d always be praised for his ability on the powerplay but never on the defensive side of his game. For a player who was viewed as a trade piece to shed some cap space, Tyson Barrie has made himself very valuable to this team this season.
Brianna points out Zach Hyman and a few other players. To touch on Zach Hyman specifically, he’s now on pace to score 80+ points in his career. You can’t overlook his work ethic, determination, and his winning drive. You can put him in any situation on the ice and he will benefit the Oilers.
NUUUUGE! His haters will call him a “powerplay merchant” yet he’s the one who makes the powerplay tick. Coaches love Ryan Nugent-Hopkins because of his hockey IQ — overall he’s the perfect hockey player. Quietly, he always has an influence on the game. He’s not flashy like Connor or Leon but he makes this team tick.
DARNELL?! I will take some Nurse love! While Darnell can give some fans a headache, it’s important to look at the positives he brings. Skating, physicality, and an absolute workhorse. Where Nurse seems to falter is the mental side of the game and reading the game in my opinion. He has all the physical traits to be a top defenseman and I believe if he can slow himself down at times, he’ll be a great defenseman. I will always be open to Darnell praise.
Philip Broberg looks like he’s becoming a late bloomer even though he’s 21. The Top 10 pick is turning into a solid defenseman for the Oilers and has had fans wondering if they really need Jakob Chychrun.
Can you be an unsung hero if you’re an All-Star?! Honestly, though, Skinner has exceeded expectations. Where would Edmonton be without his stellar goaltending? The best part? You know he only wants to be an Oiler and be the best version of himself for this hockey club.
Whatever happened to Barrie’s defensive game can we please apply it to the rest of the team?! Just like many players on the team, he didn’t have a great start but is now turning into a great contributor on both ends of the ice.
To wrap it all up, it’s awesome that the Oilers have had numerous players really step up. Gone are the days of Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid carrying the team (we hope). Especially with this six-game win streak, every win is a collective effort. Maybe we should’ve also mentioned Klim Shady?!
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