The Edmonton Oilers are just over a month away from the start of their preseason games and that will give fans and coaches a good idea of what to expect from the team this year. However, preseason games do more than just provide an insight into the team’s performance as a whole – they also allow Jay Woodcroft and his staff to evaluate individual players and their abilities.
During the preseason, coaches can experiment with different lineups and strategies to see what works and what doesn’t. This means that players who may not have had a chance to shine in previous seasons can showcase their skills and potentially earn a permanent spot on the team. Conversely, established depth players who don’t perform well during the preseason may find themselves on the bench or even cut from the team altogether.
One of the key benefits of the preseason is that it allows coaches to evaluate players in a more relaxed environment than regular season games. Since the games do not truly matter, the pressure isn’t quite as intense, and players have more time to work on specific skills and aspects of their game. This means that coaches can get a better sense of a player’s potential and how they might fit into the team’s overall strategy.
Another benefit of the preseason is that it allows players to work on their conditioning and build up their stamina for the regular season. This is especially important for younger players who may not be used to the gruelling schedule of the NHL. By the time the regular season rolls around, players need to be in top form and ready to take on the competition.
Of course, it’s important to remember that preseason games are just that – preseason. While they can indicate a player’s potential, they don’t always translate to regular-season success. Players who perform well in the preseason may struggle when the games start to count, and vice versa.
Overall, the Edmonton Oilers preseason has been a valuable opportunity for coaches to evaluate individual players and the team as a whole. While the results of the preseason games aren’t the be-all and end-all, they can provide valuable insights into what to expect from the team in the upcoming season. Fans can look forward to seeing how the team performs when the regular season kicks off, and which players step up to take their game to the next level.