The recipe for Oilers success is playing McDavid and Draisaitl together

Edmonton Oilers forwards Connor McDavid, #97, and Leon Draisaitl # 29. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Edmonton Oilers forwards Connor McDavid, #97, and Leon Draisaitl # 29. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports /

For the Edmonton Oilers to have sustained success in the long run, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl should play together as much as possible.

Over the past few seasons, ever since the dynamic duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have becoming the driving force for the Edmonton Oilers, many have pondered whether or not it was best to play them together or keep them separate. After all, each of them are phenomenal players on their own and could drive their own line to success,

At the same time though, the chemistry of having the two together is definitely unmatched by anyone in the National Hockey League. Following a disappointing 1-3 start to the 2023-24 season, the Oilers may want to start putting the two together again to help jump-start the team into their winning ways once again.

Just looking at the stats from last season, whenever Draisaitl and McDavid were on the ice together in any situation, they would each have a CF% of 69.28%. However without each other, the CF% of Draisaitl would fall to 47.44% and McDavid to 49.67%. In case one wanted to argue that the bulk of it was because of their lethal power play, both of their CF% were still at a strong 56.36% in 5-on-5 situations.

However on top of this, it’s the magic and chemistry between the two that make them super dangerous. They seem to always know where each other are on the ice without even looking, while setting up plays that one can only imagine perhaps in a video game.

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It has been quite evident this season so far as well, as in the first couple of games, with McDavid and Draisaitl fielding their own lines, they were less effective and essentially lost both games to their divisional rivals Vancouver Canucks. After putting them back together for the third game of the season, they were unstoppable and instantly combined for three goals and three assists for six points in a 6-1 thrashing of the usually defensively-strong Nashville Predators.

Obviously, the combination of the two doesn’t always guarantee victory, as seen in the case of the following game against the Philadelphia Flyers. However, the chances are, the more they play together, the more the Oilers have a shot at winning.

There have been many hockey duos in the past that have been dominant forces in the league when put together. In recent memory this includes Brett Hull and Adam Oates, Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr, Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin, Teemu Selanne and Paul Kariya to name a few.

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Those combinations helped led their teams to contending status year in and year out, so why mess with a recipe of success when the Oilers can do the same by keeping McDavid and Draisaitl together once and for all? And who knows, a Stanley Cup could be waiting for them down the road if they ultimately choose to do the right thing.

All stats from