After stumbling through November with a record of 5-8-2, there’s a lot to criticize about the Edmonton Oilers. At or near the top of the list is their work with the man advantage.
The Oilers finished the month winless in three games. Their power play was 0/12 over that stretch. They could have won Friday’s game in Arizona with a power play goal in overtime. Tuesday versus Toronto, they had a two-man advantage for 1:05 while down 3-1, but they couldn’t convert.
The Oilers are handling the puck too much and waiting too long to make decisions. The penalty killers have time to adjust to where the puck is. The Oilers should be getting the puck to the net as quickly and as often as possible.
“I think we need to be a shooting power play. We’re not shooting enough. If we do shoot it, we wait, we wait, then we shoot,” says winger Patrick Maroon.
“It’s been Jekyll and Hyde,” says head coach Todd McLellan. “I though it was very magnified last night when we had nine minutes of power play time, including a five-on-three, and didn’t do much with it.”
The Oilers rolled out new power play units at Wednesday’s practice. Most notably, Mark Letestu replaces Jordan Eberle on the first unit.
Oilers PP units:
Sekera, McDavid, Lucic, Draisaitl, Letestu
Klefbom, RNH, Caggiula, Eberle, Maroon
— Reid Wilkins (@ReidWilkins) November 30, 2016
“I think if individuals pick up their level of play, that part of the game will also improve,” adds McLellan.
McLellan adds there’s a “good chance” winger Tyler Pitlick will play Thursday against Winnipeg after being a healthy scratch for the last two games.
Defenceman Mark Fayne has been recalled from the AHL. Eric Gryba has been put on injured reserve. He was hurt in practice on Tuesday. (jrw)