3 Key insights into the recent turnaround from the Oilers

EDMONTON, CANADA - NOVEMBER 28: Leon Draisaitl #29, Ryan McLeod #71, Derek Ryan #10, Warren Foegele #37 and Mattias Janmark #13 of the Edmonton Oilers honour NHL Fight for Cancer before the game against the Las Vegas Golden Knightson November 28, 2023 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Lawrence Scott/Getty Images)
EDMONTON, CANADA - NOVEMBER 28: Leon Draisaitl #29, Ryan McLeod #71, Derek Ryan #10, Warren Foegele #37 and Mattias Janmark #13 of the Edmonton Oilers honour NHL Fight for Cancer before the game against the Las Vegas Golden Knightson November 28, 2023 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Lawrence Scott/Getty Images) /
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Edmonton Oilers
EDMONTON, CANADA – NOVEMBER 15: Evander Kane #91 and Zach Hyman #18 of the Edmonton Oilers celebrate his hat-trick goal in overtime against the Seattle Kraken at Rogers Place on November 15, 2023 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Lawrence Scott/Getty Images) /

2) Much-needed secondary scoring

The Edmonton Oilers, a team heralded for its offensive prowess, found themselves facing early-season challenges that were impossible to ignore. Along with McDavid — and to a lesser extent Leon Draisaitl — struggling, the lack of secondary scoring had become a glaring issue for the Oilers. In a league where depth is crucial for sustained success, the struggles of Edmonton’s supporting cast left fans and analysts alike pondering the team’s ability to contend.

McDavid and Draisaitl are undoubtedly two of the most electrifying players in the NHL. Their on-ice chemistry and individual brilliance have propelled the Oilers to the upper echelons of the league. However, the burden of carrying the team offensively seemed to take its toll, especially when opponents managed to neutralize the dynamic duo.

When McDavid and Draisaitl are not leading the scoring or dominating every shift, the lack of offensive contributions from other lines becomes all too apparent. The Oilers’ early-season struggles highlighted the pressing need for secondary scoring options to step up and alleviate some of the pressure on their star players.

In the roller coaster ride that is an NHL season, the Edmonton Oilers have experienced a recent surge in performance, marked by the emergence of secondary scorers who have stepped up to the plate in the last four games. The team has found a much-needed boost from players like Evander Kane and Zach Hyman, providing crucial support and diversifying the offensive threat.

The performances of Kane and Hyman couldn’t have come at a better time for the Oilers. While McDavid and Draisaitl will continue to be offensive juggernauts, the support from other lines is instrumental in navigating the challenges of a competitive NHL season. The ability of these secondary scorers to produce when called upon, alleviates some of the pressure on the top stars, allowing the team to be more unpredictable and challenging for opponents to defend against.