2) Zach Hyman and Evander Kane in fine form
As per McDavid’s comments about the team needing to play well as a whole, the Oilers can’t just rely on him and Leon Draisaitl for points. In this respect, Zach Hyman and Evander Kane have certainly done their bit to contribute.
Against the Ducks, Hyman had two goals and an assist, while Kane added a goal and helper of his own. Each player brings different intangibles to the ice, but both are vitally important to the success of the Oilers.
For Hyman, his brace means he now leads the team with 12 goals, while having 22 overall points. This should come as no surprise after his career-year last season, when he set personal bests with 36 goals, 47 assists and 83 total points.
As for Kane, he’s come a long way from earlier in the season, when he had just one point in his first five games. There was concern that he still hadn’t recovered from the wrist injury which cost him a significant amount of last season.
Want your voice heard? Join the Oil On Whyte team!
Since those first five games however, the 32-year-old has looked more like the player the Oilers saw prior to said wrist injury. In fact, you could go as far as to say he carried the team at points while McDavid and Draisaitl were struggling, in terms of his physical game, points production and in general.
Certainly when Kane puts it all together, you see glimpses of why he was selected fourth overall in the 2009 draft. With 18 points in his previous 15 games, he represents another player for opponents to fear.
As for Hyman, he’s not one to speak about himself, so it was up to his coach to discuss his leading the team in goals. Speaking postgame to the media, Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch said:
"“Goals, no matter who you are — Ovechkin , Stamkos, Matthews — they’ve got an exceptional shot. And maybe he doesn’t have that natural scoring ability of shooting on the perimeter or outside the dots, but even as good as they are at scoring goals, it’s usually around the net. … Zach’s been going to the net and not getting tied up. He’s making sure he’s fighting for position, getting inside position, not allowing the defenceman to lift his stick, doing those kinds of things, and he’s been rewarded.”"