Evander Kane continues to prove his importance to the Edmonton Oilers

Aside from just stepping up his game come playoff time, Evander Kane has proved to be somewhat of a good luck charm for the Edmonton Oilers.
Los Angeles Kings v Edmonton Oilers - Game Five
Los Angeles Kings v Edmonton Oilers - Game Five / Codie McLachlan/GettyImages

If you have Evander Kane on your team, there's a good chance it will make for an interesting time. The Edmonton Oilers knew what they were taking on when they signed the winger at the beginning of 2022, but were hoping that the reality it was probably his last chance in the NHL would motivate him to behave himself.

In fairness Kane has mostly done just that and been a model citizen who contributes in the local community, after previously dealing with assault and harassment charges, gambling debts and bankruptcy. And even when he has made the news, the reality is it's been much ado about nothing.

Yes, the 32-year-old has been in the news this season alone for incidents including comments made during interviews, perceived heated exchanges with teammates, and apparent discipline disguised as a maintenance day. However, the reality of these situations is that it's been the media hyping matters up and causing the drama, rather than the player himself.

Regardless of your opinion of Kane however, what can't be denied is that he always gives 100 percent when he's on the ice. In addition, while his productivity rate this season hasn't been quite to the same level of his first two campaigns in Edmonton, he still been good enough and ultimately gets a pass, when considering he's been dealing with a sports hernia all year.

Kane stepping up come playoff time

Further, once the playoffs begin, the 2009 fourth overall draft pick becomes even more important to the cause. Consider that two seasons ago he led the Oilers with 13 goals (in 15 games) and helped the team advance to their first Western Conference Final appearance the 2005-06 campaign.

Along these lines, if Kane can have an impressive playoff run this season, he could prove to be the X factor in the Oilers finally winning their first Stanley Cup since 1990. In this respect, it's a case of so far so good, including scoring the opening goal in Wednesday night's 4-3 win, which knocked out the Kings and saw the team advance to the second round.

The Vancouver native now has three points (two goals and one assist) in five playoff games this season specifically, and 25 overall (18 goals and seven assists) in 32 playoff games for the Oilers during his tenure in Edmonton. This is of course the type of secondary production which can prove invaluable for a team containing the likes of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

However, more than this, Kane's contributions have proved to be invaluable for the Oilers in terms of him almost being a good luck charm. As per Sportsnet, when he scores for the Oilers, they are 9-1 in the playoffs.

Now of course this comes with no guarantees for the Oilers, in so much as they can't just count on the former Buffalo Sabre to score a goal in every game he plays. Just last season alone, he only one assist and no goals in six playoff games versus the Vegas Golden Knights, who advanced and went on to win their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.

Next. Speculation about Draisaitl leaving the Oilers for the Bruins is refuted. Speculation about Draisaitl leaving the Oilers for the Bruins is refuted. dark

At the same time however, it does show just how important Kane is to the Oilers, again no matter what the opinion is of those outside the organisation. As much as it will be the likes of McDavid and Draisaitl who will continuing leading the quest for glory, he arguably holds the key to unlocking the door and reaching the Holy Grail in what would be the ultimate response to all his naysayers.

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