The Edmonton Oilers are suffering a slight power outage in their power play so far in 2023-24, but will it hurt them in the long run?
For the past few seasons, we have certainly gotten used to the Edmonton Oilers power play wrecking havoc on the opposition night in and night out. Led by the dynamic duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, it sure felt like every time they had the man advantage, they were going to score a goal.
In fact, dating all the way back to the 2019-20 NHL season, the Oilers have always ranked in the top three in the NHL in power play success rate, including leading the entire league on three separate occasions. More impressively, they clicked at a booming rate of 32.4 percent last year, which set the record for the best power play percentage in a single season in NHL history.
As a result, the power play helped “power” the Oilers to victory on many nights, as the opposing team had no way of stopping them. However, so far in 2023-24, they appear to have suffered some kind of power outage to their power play.
Could the Oilers’ lowered efficiency on the power play so far this season hurt them in the long run?
After nine games played, the Oilers currently rank outside the top 10 in power play success rate, at 21.2 percent. That rate would actually be quite productive for many teams in the league, but not for an Oilers’ team that have been used to clicking at a standard closer to 30 percent.
Instead, it has been quite the disappointment thus far in 2023-24. Additionally, the Oilers haven’t been ranked as low in the league since the 2018-19 season. (All stats courtesy of NHL.com.)
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The Oilers also rely on the power play for their success more than any other team in the league. As a result, this could partly explain why they have gotten off to a rough 2-6-1 start to the season.
More importantly, without the power play clicking at their usual optimal rate, the Oilers could eventually find scoring that much harder to come by as the season progresses. Some people might pinpoint the fact that Connor McDavid missing some games due to injury, as having a negative effect.
However, McDavid was already back this past Sunday, and the Oilers have failed to score on the power play since then. As a matter of fact, they haven’t registered a power play goal since Oct. 24, in the game against the Minnesota Wild.
The Oilers will definitely need to get their power play back on track soon, so that it can be as lethal and deadly as it once was. Otherwise, their opponents may start to play more aggressively against the Oilers’ stars, knowing they won’t have to pay for it on the power play in the end. Although, with the best hockey player on the planet around, hopefully things should get better in no time.