The Edmonton Oilers lost to the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday, ending their winning streak at 16 games and falling one short of tying the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins for the longest NHL streak. So what’s been the key to their turnaround after a terrible start? Are they back to being a Stanley Cup favorite?
We asked our experts to answer questions about the NHL’s hottest team.
What’s been the biggest key to the Oilers turning their season around?
The Oilers record since Kris Knoblauch took over as head coach is 26-7-0. Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire
Ryan S. Clark, NHL reporter: It’s the work that’s been done by Kris Knoblauch and his staff. They found ways to get the Oilers back to being a team that can score in even-strength and power-play situations which was a strength last season. Perhaps the most crucial thing they have done is getting the Oilers’ defensive structure situated. They’re in the top 10 or higher in categories such as shots per 60, scoring chances per 60 and high-danger chances per 60. There’s also the work they have done with Stuart Skinner, who has been one of their most consistent performers.
Kristen Shilton, NHL reporter: There are a couple of key places the Oilers have improved since Knoblauch took over in mid-November. (This isn’t to gloss over how good Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have been, but I mean, we expect excellence from excellent players, right?) For me, it’s the Oilers’ goaltending going from dismal to dazzling that’s set a certain tone. Skinner was at an .876 SV% and 3.27 GAA when Knoblauch took over; he’s posted a .923 SV% and 2.10 GAA since then. And then there’s the penalty kill. It was bottom-five in the league at 71.7% at the coaching change; Edmonton has the league’s best PK (89.3%) under Knoblauch’s watch. When you see those stats trending in the right direction, it’s leading to good things.
Greg Wyshynski, NHL reporter: For lack of a better description, it’s being the Oilers. McDavid told me…
Source link : https://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/39470326/edmonton-oilers-streak-season-turned-around
Author : ESPN staff
Publish date : 2024-02-07 16:27:03
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