Edmonton Oilers: Four Playoff Improvements

The Edmonton Oilers, led by stars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, are gearing up for the playoffs. To maximize their chances of success, they must address crucial areas. Let's explore five key improvements essential for their playoff aspirations.
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Edmonton Oilers Stuart Skinner
Edmonton Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner (74) makes a save. / Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Goaltending Consistency

Another crucial aspect that the Oilers need to address is goaltending consistency. While Stuart Skinner has shown flashes of brilliance lately, there have been moments that could prove costly in the playoffs. Calvin Pickard has provided solid backup support, but relying on him in the postseason is a risky proposition. The Oilers should explore options to solidify their goaltending tandem, whether through a trade deadline move or if Jack Campbell is ready to come back to the NHL. To ensure they have a reliable last line of defense.

Consistency in goaltending is essential for playoff success, as goaltenders often serve as the backbone of a team's defense. Whether it's making key saves to keep the team in the game or providing a calming presence during high-pressure situations, goaltenders play a critical role in determining a team's success in the playoffs. The Oilers need their goaltenders to be at their best when the stakes are highest, and addressing any inconsistency in their goaltending will be crucial for their playoff aspirations.

Special Teams Efficiency

Special teams play often becomes a deciding factor in playoff matchups, and the Oilers need to optimize their performance in this area. While their power play unit, spearheaded by McDavid and Draisaitl, is among the league's best, their penalty kill has been less effective. Improving their penalty-killing efficiency and minimizing shorthanded goals against will be essential for success in the playoffs. Additionally, maintaining discipline to avoid unnecessary penalties is crucial, as giving opponents too many opportunities with the man advantage can quickly derail playoff aspirations.

Efficiency on special teams can swing the momentum of a game and ultimately determine its outcome. Whether it's scoring a timely power play goal or making a crucial penalty kill, the Oilers need to excel in both aspects of special teams play to succeed in the playoffs. By focusing on improving their special teams efficiency, the Oilers can gain an edge over their opponents and increase their chances of playoff success.