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Five reasons why every Oilers fan should be thankful

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Photo credit:© James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
baggedmilk
8 months ago
It’s Thanksgiving Monday, we don’t have to go to work, which made me feel thankful for the opportunity to sleep in and wear sweatpants all day. As for our beloved Edmonton Oilers, there are plenty of reasons for fans to be thankful for this team, and I wanted to walk through five of the biggest reasons we should excited about this hockey team.

1. THE DYNAMIC DUO

If we’re building a list of reasons to be thankful for the Edmonton Oilers, how can you not start with the Dynamic Duo? The Oilers are blessed with two of the most talented and dynamic players in the NHL in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, who are both worth the price of admission every single night. McDavid, our captain, is the best player on earth and can lift you out of your seat with his speed and playmaking ability, while Draisaitl is an all-world power forward who complements #97 perfectly. I know we say it a lot around these parts, but being lucky enough to watch Connor and Leon do their thing on a nightly basis is truly a gift, and I think now is as good of a time as any for another reminder of how special these two guys are when they’re together.

2. THE BEST TOP SIX WE’VE HAD IN YEARS

Having skilled players littered throughout the lineup is only sexy if they can produce. Still, it’s hard to look at the group the Oilers have in their top six and not get excited about the heights these six guys may achieve. With a little bit of luck and a heavy dose of chemistry, Jay Woodcroft’s top two lines will be a handful for opposing defenders, and that has me extremely excited about what we’ll be watching in the offensive zone this season. Gone are the days of hoping that JF Jacques would be able to find his game on the first line or that Eric Belanger’s four-year deal would be some kind of tipping point, which makes this current top-six group feel all the more special. Again, I know that we have yet to determine how much this group will be able to produce, but what I do know for sure is that the potential for greatness is there, and I’m excited to watch how this plays out.

3. THE POWER PLAY

During the 2022-23 NHL season, the Oilers’ power play was a thing of beauty. Night after night, the boys would leave a wake of destruction pretty much any time the opposition took penalties, and it was truly remarkable to watch. With a 32.4% success rate, the Edmonton Oilers were not only the best power play team in the league, but they were actually the best PP team in history, beating the 31.9% posted by the 1977-78 Montreal Canadiens. I don’t know how many of you watch other groups regularly, but I watched a lot of hockey last year, and it was truly remarkable to see how lacklustre everyone else’s power play was by comparison. And even though we probably won’t be able to build upon last year’s 32.5% success rate, there’s little doubt in my mind that the Oilers’ power play will give us many incredible moments to cheer about over the next six months.

4. EARNED NOT GIVEN

In the NHL, earning a spot rather than being given one is paramount, and it truly feels like we’ve finally reached that point with the Edmonton Oilers. Making guys earn a spot fosters a culture of competition, where players must continually prove their worth without the expectation of minutes being given to them. This drives individuals to hone their skills and elevates the overall team performance. Internal competition ensures that every player on the ice is there on merit rather than being based on who they are or where they were drafted. Ultimately, earning a spot on the roster embodies what hockey is all about – hard work, determination, and a relentless pursuit of the Stanley Cup. And now that the Oilers are considered Cup contenders, having guys bust their asses to be a part of what’s happening here is a very nice change from where we were about 10 years ago.

5. THE FANS ARE AMAZING

Sure, we may argue and yell at each other about everything from contracts to line combinations, but there is no fanbase on earth that I would rather be a part of than this one. Edmonton is known for having one of the most passionate and loyal fan bases in the NHL. Oilers fans pack Rogers Place night after night, creating an electric atmosphere that players and fans alike can be thankful for. Even though it’s not necessarily trackable, the support and dedication from this fanbase help to fuel the team’s success, and while the organization may not always give us the credit we deserve, there’s little doubt that there’s nothing quite like an Oilers playoff run. Frankly, this city is a much better place when the team is good, and it’s all because of how much the fans care about this hockey team.

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