GDB 42.0: Historic Power Play (8:30pm MT, SNW)

Photo credit:Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Gregor
1 year ago
The Edmonton Oilers’ power play is keeping them in the playoff race. The Oilers’ PP is scoring on 32.2% of its opportunities. The NHL record in a full season is 31.9% set by the 1978 Montreal Canadiens. They have been deadly on the man advantage, and if they can find some consistency in scoring, and defending, at 5×5, they will start winning much more frequently.
improved 5×5 play is not a guarantee, but their PP is so consistent I’d be surprised if it dipped significantly in the second half. And it isn’t just the team that will be chasing an NHL record.
Be sure to check out the latest Oilers game day odds from NHL odds site Betway
Connor McDavid has a realistic chance to become only the second player in NHL history to score 70+ power play points in a season and is on pace to push for Mario Lemieux’s record of 80 power play points in a season. Lemieux had 80 PP points in 1988 and he scored 79 in 1989 and 1996. He had 22 goals in 1988 and 31 in both 1989 and 1996.
McDavid has 39 PP points thru 41 games this season. He’s on pace for 78. He is going to shatter his career-high of 44, which he set last year. Leon Draisaitl had 44 in 2020 and 41 last year while McDavid had 43 in 2020. Both of them look poised to pass Wayne Gretzky’s franchise record of 57 PP points which he set in 1982. Draisaitl set the franchise record for 24 PP goals last year and both he and McDavid could break that this year. The Oilers’ PP is rolling and the team could have three players with 50 PP points.
McDavid has 39, Draisaitl 31, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has 26, which ties his career high which he set in 2019. All three will set new career highs this season, but McDavid is chasing history.
Lemieux is the only player in league to score more than 64+ PP points in a season. He owns the top-four totals with 80, 79, 79 and 66.
Paul Coffey had 64 with the Penguins in 1989. Al MacInnis had 63 with the Flames in 1991, Pat Lafontaine scored 63 with Buffalo in 1993, Denis Savard (1988, CHI) and Adam Oates (1993, BOS) had 62 and Sidney Crosby (2006, PIT) and Wayne Gretzky (1994, LA) each had 61. McDavid is poised to become only the ninth player to score 60 PP points, and Draisaitl could be the 10th.
McDavid and Draisaitl each have 14 PP goals after 41 games. Only seven players have scored 28 PP goals in a season.
Tim Kerr owns the NHL record with 34. Dave Andreychuk (32 and 28) did it twice, as did Lemieux (31 both times). Joe Nieuwendyk also had 31, while Brett Hull scored 29 twice, Michel Goulet had 29 and 28 and Mike Bossy scored 29 in 1981.
Having two teammates with 22+ PP goals each is rare, but these players did it on the following teams.
Marcel Dionne (23) and Charlie Simmer (23) with LA in 1981.
Lemieux (31) and Rob Brown (24) with Pittsburgh in 1989.
Andreychuk (28) and Lafontaine (23) with Buffalo in 1992.
Markus Naslund (23) and Todd Bertuzzi (23) with Vancouver in 2003.
The 1988 Winnipeg Jets are the only team in NHL history to have three players with 20 PP goals when Dale Hawerchuk and Andrew McBain had 20 and Paul MacLean had 22. McDavid, Draisaitl, and Zach Hyman (11 in 40) games could match them this season.
I’ve always disagreed with the notion PP points are less important. They count the exact same on the scoreboard. The Oilers’ deadly PP is the main reason they are in the second wildcard spot today. But it isn’t just a hot streak. This PP group has been great for the past 250 games (2020-today) with a 28.5% efficiency. St. Louis is second in that span at 24.9% and Toronto is third at 24.1%.
The PP success should continue, and when the Oilers figure out how to have consistency at 5×5 the wins will follow.




Kostin – McDavid – Yamamoto
McLeod – Draisaitl – Hyman
Janmark – RNH – Foegele
Holloway – Ryan – Puljujarvi
Nurse – Ceci
Kulak – Barrie
Broberg – Bouchard
We have seen Woodcroft run lines in the morning that differ from what we see in the game, so take this lineup with a grain of salt. Will McLeod be on the wing all game?
The Oilers also recalled hulking right-shot defender Vincent Desharnais. He didn’t take part in the morning skate, and I’d be a bit surprised if he played tonight without a practice, but I won’t be shocked if we see him Wednesday in Anaheim and they dress seven D-men.


Byfield – Kopitar – Kempe
Iafallo – Danault – Arvidsson
Fiala – Lizotte – Vilardi
Lemieux – Kupari – Anderson-Dolan
Anderson – Doughty
Durzi – Roy
Edler – Walker
Pheonix Copley has started 12 of the last 16 games for LA. He is 10-2 with a .904Sv% and 2.52 GAA. He has given the Kings a major boost in goal compared to Jonathon Quick (.884Sv% and 3.40 GAA in 22 starts) and Cal Petersen (.868Sv% and 3.75 GAA in nine starts). Copley has allowed two goals (or fewer) in eight of his 12 starts. He isn’t just a “third stringer.” He has played very well.


Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk
GAME DAY PREDICTION: This should be a very competitive game. The Oilers finally don’t beat themselves in a big game and gift the Kings multiple goals. Oilers win 4-2 with ENG.
OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Draisaitl scores a PP goal.
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Yamamoto scores two goals in a three-game span for the first time since March, 2022, when he scored a goal in three consecutive games.

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