Leon Draisaitl and Evander Kane incident on the bench just shows their passion to win

Leon Draisaitl and Evander Kane's animated conversation during the second period of the 6-3 loss to the Leafs, doesn't have to be viewed as a negative.

Boston Bruins v Edmonton Oilers
Boston Bruins v Edmonton Oilers / Codie McLachlan/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

As shocking as it was for the Edmonton Oilers to fall apart defensively on Saturday evening in Toronto, it's actually nothing new in 2023-24. The reality is the 6-3 loss to the Leafs is the tenth time they have allowed six or more goals in a game this season.

Little went right for the Oilers, with the final scoreline actually proving to be flattering to them. Stuart Skinner was chased from the game after allowing five goals during the first two periods, and it was only during the final 20 minutes when Kris Knoblauch's team finally started showing what they're capable of.

Perhaps best encapsulating a tough night was a conversation on the bench during the second period, between Leon Draisaitl and Evander Kane. From an optics standpoint it alluded to a lot of frustration and emotion; no surprise when you're down 5-0 in a game where you've done effectively nothing.

Kane not always as bad as perceived

Now anytime you have Kane involved in something, it's going to cause some concern given his past troubles both on and off the ice during his NHL career. However, as per an incident earlier this season regarding comments the winger made during intermission in a loss to the Winnipeg Jets, there have been several times when a scenario involving him has been blown out of proportion.

Inevitably, there has been speculation about what Draisaitl and Kane were discussing on the bench on Saturday evening. One theory from Sportnet's Hockey Night in Canada panel, was that Kane wasn't giving Evan Bouchard an option on the wall during a power play, which would have normally been filled by Draisaitl if he hadn't been sitting in the box.

Another perception is that Draisaitl believed Kane wasn't showing enough effort. However, the reality is the 2020 Hart Memorial Trophy winner would be in no position to comment on this, given his own lack of effort versus the Leafs, regardless of scoring the Oilers' third goal. (In fact, in this respect pretty much the whole team lacked the required effort on the night, save for maybe Corey Perry.)

Teaching goes beyond the coaches

The thing is though, the exchange between Draisaitl and Kane isn't necessarily a bad thing. It can easily be perceived as one player trying to offer some advice to a teammate, who looks like he is acknowledging what's being said to him.

As much as Knoblauch is the coach, it doesn't mean players can't also interact with one another. If, for example, someone notices something on the ice that needs to be rectified or can improve a situation, why not speak to your teammate about it?

It's no secret Draisaitl and Kane have not been able to gel or form a consistently effective partnership on the ice. However, that doesn't mean they can't still help each other become better players, no matter who they are lined up with.

Next. Oilers in a very healthy position in more ways than one. Oilers in a very healthy position in more ways than one. dark

Overall, this is more about concern for two players having an animated conversation, with one renowned for being emotional and the other for having a history of controversy. In truth though, it's much ado about nothing.

Recent Posts

feed