Oilers Trying To Become Better Defensive Team In High-Flying North Division

Oilers Trying To Become Better Defensive Team In High-Flying North Division


Oilers Trying To Become Better Defensive Team In High-Flying North Division


The North Division is, without doubt, the most offensive division in the NHL this season. If you like goals, talent and star players, it’s also the most entertaining division in the NHL this season and it honestly isn’t close.

The Edmonton Oilers, currently 12-8-0 and winners of nine of their last eleven games, are enjoying life with their Canadian counterparts. With two superstars of their own, the Oilers have helped contribute to the offensive outburst in Canada, having scored 72 goals so far through just 20 games.

Those who are surprised at the offensive numbers in the North Division shouldn’t be. After all, the division is absolutely loaded with talented players capable of burning out the red light each and every night.

“You just got really good players. You got top, top players,” Oilers Head Coach Dave Tippett said of the division on Monday. “You got Connor (McDavid) and Draisaitl. You got Matthews, Marner, Petterson, Scheifele. There are some really good players in this division. That’s driving the offence a little bit. When you’re playing against really good players, you better be able to defend pretty well otherwise the game could get out of hand. They go hand-in-hand.”

The Oilers learned that the hard way early this season. The club started 3-6-0 in their first nine games. In the process, they allowed at least three goals in eight of those nine games. They were 2-6-0 in those contests.

Recently? The Oilers have allowed just four goals total during their current three-game winning streak.

“You try to become a better team by driving both sides, offence and defence,” Tippett continued. “Top players that drive offence, that’s a hard job but they’re expected to do it. We’ve got some guys that have really done a good job at it. That being said, we have to be a good defending team if we’re going to be a good team and a team that can be a playoff team.”

In their last four wins, the Oilers have given up just four goals. Part of that is goaltending, while part of that is a commitment to shot and chance prevention. It took a while for the message to set in, but recently it has.

There is no rest for the wicked, however. Over the next five games, the Oilers will face the Canucks and Maple Leafs, who are both completely loaded with talent and scoring ability.

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