The lone individuals to make this list are the pairing of Ladislav Smid and Nick Schlultz. The duo has arguably been the best defensive pairing the Oilers have put on the ice so far and it’s their defensive abilities that are leading the way.
Both Smid and Schultz have a rating of zero, the only blue liners not to own a minus rating. Aside from Anton Belov who checks in with a minus-1, all the other Oilers’ defenseman are a minus-4 or worse.
On a blue line that has left plenty of suspicion and provided very few answers if they’re strong enough to help the Oilers win, Smid and Schultz have given the team that shutdown pairing they so sorely need. The team could certainly benefit from having this pairing on the ice more than they currently are, with Schultz averaging just over 14 minutes of ice while Smid is logging over 17 minutes per game.
Not to mention Smid is tied for the team lead with 10 blocked shots while Schultz sits fourth with 8 blocks.