What if we don’t get a Right Handed Power Play specialist?
There is a very real possibility right now that the Oilers will not be adding any other major pieces. The Oilers are currently sitting at 46 of 50 contracts. Generally you want to leave yourself some flexibility for future moves. So what happens when this is the roster we go into the season with?
I’m purely going to look at the Power Play. Currently it might look like this.
One thing these units’ lack is quality right shooters. I’ve stacked the first unit because most goals are going to come with in the first minute of the PP. Also, if your best playmaker is on the ice, you need to have your best finishers. As you have noticed, I’ve put Larsson on the first unit. This is going to be a change for Larsson, being on this team he will be put in situations to produce. Based on Larsson’s pre-draft scouting report, he does a good job on the PP, he has high hockey sense and passes the puck very well. Those are all very positive, we’ll see if not touching the PP for 5 years has hurt him.
Right now Larsson only has to out perform Sekera. Sekera last year was our best option on the PP. Unfortunately, Sekera has a very tough time getting the shot through to the net. Apparently there is a metric showing that Sekera really does hit the most shins in the NHL. So, Larsson only has to not hit shins to outperform him. Having Larsson on the PP will be important for McDavid. You want the opposition guessing, if you have both Larsson and Eberle out on the PP that gives him 2 options on the Left side. Having Yakupov on the right point, then gives both Eberle and Larsson am easy target for a quick pass. Lucic is in front of the net of course. I’m hoping that this lineup gets us many, many goals.
The only problem is if the first unit does not cash in, the second unit has all lefties. I suppose you could switch out Klefbom or Davidson for Pakarinen. That’s assuming he makes the team, Puljujarvi is also an option, again, if he makes the team. There are a few other options for the second unit, but like I said, the first unit is the most important.
This is all hinging on Larsson and Yakupov doing things they haven’t done yet in the NHL. Both entered the league having been strong offensive options and neither has been put in a position to put up points. I’m hoping this is their chance and they succeed. If not I hope Chiarelli has something up his sleeve, because we’ll need a working Power Play to improve as a team.
Now, you can throw all this out the window if Chiarelli goes out an acquires a proven right handed power play guy. If that were the case move Larsson to the 2nd unit and play him with Davidson or Klefbom.
Looking at this, I really hope Chiarelli finds that PP guy. I’d rather have a guy who has a proven record than hope that a player exceeds previous water marks.
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