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How Good Will The Edmonton Oilers Be?

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

Has the time finally arrived for the Edmonton Oilers? Are they finally legitimate Stanley Cup contenders, 31 years after the last parade down Jasper Ave.?

It’s a question we’ll fully explore here, on the eve of Edmonton’s 2021-22 season opener against Vancouver on Wednesday, but it’s also a query you won’t get a lot of help with from within the Oilers ranks.

They know -- the players, the coaches, the management -- that, like the Toronto Maple Leafs, whatever Edmonton accomplishes in the regular season won’t prove anything. After two years of second-place finishes in their division followed by first-round playoff exits, it is all about the playoffs for this team.

They know it. They just won’t say it.

“Right now, it’s all about the regular season. Then, it’s all about the playoffs. That’s the best way to put it,” said Leon Draisaitl, tap-dancing around the elephant in the room. “This league is too strong to think you can half(way) things and think you’ll just focus on the playoffs.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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Eh…unless Mike Smith repeats his last season,
more difficult given the grind of playing the majority of 82 games,
all of this resting on a shaky foundation.

Darnell Nurse has gotta
repeat his last season, too, and Tyson Barrie is a great point-producer
but not so much a defender. Keith and Ceci could click and surprise
everyone, but that’s a second paring is fair to wonder about.
Their their pairing is an offensively-minded rookie and Slater Koekoek.
It’s cool two young offensive D (also Broberg) are making the roster to start.
But who defends?

The top six forwards are really formidable and can likely outscore a lot of
teams during the regular season. It’s the best top six mix they’ve had.
But their depth has been hurt by covid and injuries. The bottom six is questionable.

It’s hard not to see them as sort of Toronto West circa a couple years ago.

Posted by lefty.30 on 10/12/21 at 05:37 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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