In an Edmonton Oilers news and rumors update, Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid have quickly separated themselves from the rest of the field in terms of NHL scoring. How good can they be this season and could either realistically reach 100 points? In other news, the Oilers have waived forward Alex Chiasson, Stuart Skinner picked up his first NHL win, the power play is clicking and Tyson Barrie is starting to find his place on the team.
McDavid and Draisaitl 1 & 2 In NHL Scoring
After Sunday night’s win over the Ottawa Senators, McDavid and Draisaitl are separating themselves from the group of NHL scoring leaders. McDavid now has 22 points in 11 games and Draisaitl 21. That’s seven and eight points ahead of the next-closest players and it puts the two on pace for 112 and 106 points respectively.
It’s not likely either finish the season at this incredible pace, but it’s important to keep in mind McDavid has played two games this season in which he’s not scored a point. To think he might hit 100 points in a 56-game season is not only remarkable, but potentially realistic. As for Draisaitl, he has more assists this season than any other player (not named McDavid) has points. Barrie was asked to comment on the center’s passing ability and said in a joking manner, “He’s good, and he knows it.”
McDavid and Draisaitl have combined for 24 points over four games during the last seven days. They were selected as the NHL’s second and third Stars of the Week, respectively.
Alex Chiasson on Waivers
The Oilers placed Chiasson on waivers Monday, likely in an effort to create more flexibility with their taxi squad and activate other members of the roster. It could lead to the first appearance of defenseman Evan Bouchard on Tuesday night as the team suits up for another game against the Senators.
Should another team claim Chiasson, this wouldn’t be the worst thing for the Oilers as the hockey club would then clear out $2.15 million in salary for a 13th forward who isn’t in the lineup every night and playing limited minutes when he is. It seems unlikely another team will spend that kind of money and if he goes unclaimed, it opens up some options for Edmonton.
At the very least, Chiasson is a suitable two-way depth winger who offers net-front presence on the power play. While he plays sparingly on this Oilers team, he’s one of the better options on the man-advantage and he and James Neal as a one-two punch in front of an opposing team’s goalie works.
Barrie Starting to Find His Groove
It might not have been fair to suggest Barrie was struggling early with the Oilers this season, but he wasn’t clicking on the power play like the team had hoped he would right out of the gate. That has changed in recent games.
As Oilers Now host Bob Stauffer points out, “Barrie has taken a significant step forward in his last three games. He has his quickness back, is jumping up on the rush and clearly is more comfortable on the Powerplay. Barrie has 1-4-5 and averaging 22:50 TOI as the Oilers PP has gone 7 for 14 over the last 3 GP.”
This is huge for the Oilers who have finally started to get their man-advantage mojo back. The team has gone 9-for-16 on the power play in the last four games to move back into the league’s top 10 at 28.6%. You can tell there’s a different pace to their power play and a confidence is back that wasn’t there in the first handful of games. Many insiders were suggesting the power play was getting the same Grade A chances as last year, but the team was catching a bit of bad luck. Now, it appears those pucks are starting to go in.
Congratulations to Stuart Skinner
Skinner made his NHL debut in goal Sunday night for his hometown team. He looked a bit nervous early, but he settled in during the second and third period and made a number of key saves (of his 33 total saves) to pick up his first win. Thankfully, the Oilers gave him a ton of run support.
How long he stays with the Oilers is uncertain, but the team has to feel a bit better today knowing that they don’t have to necessarily run the gauntlet with Mikko Koskinen. The Oilers goaltending situation is still an issue, but it’s potentially less of an issue today than it was just 24 hours ago.
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Jim Parsons is a freelance writer who covers the Edmonton Oilers and news and rumors posts here at The Hockey Writers.
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