The best holiday gift for Oilers fans in 2018 may actually turn out to be their new head coach.
Out of the four NHL teams to do so thus far this season, the Edmonton Oilers – far and away – have benefited the greatest from making a coaching change. Since Ken Hitchcock replaced Todd McLellan on November 20th, the Oilers have surrendered 21 goals over a nine-game span where they’ve gone 6-2-1.
Suffice it to say, Edmonton’s renewed attention to detail defensively has propelled them back into the playoff picture in the Western Conference.
1. It’s a small sample size but Cam Talbot has won back-to-back starts for the first time since late October. The 31-year-old has surrendered a total of seven goals over his last three appearances. With defensive wizard Ken Hitchcock now in town, expect those numbers to keep on rising. Talbot and Mikko Koskinen will each get their fair share of playing time.
2. Jake Allen is finally turning a corner. Although St. Louis is just 3-4-0 under interim head coach Craig Berube, they’ve really tightened things up defensively. Over his last 10 appearances, Allen is 3-3-3 with a 1.92 goals against average and a .934 save-percentage. Those numbers are still relatively unknown so I think that the 28-year-old Allen can still be had for cheap on the fantasy trade market right now. Be alert.
3. Having some trouble trying to find a suitable replacement for the injured Alex Pietrangelo? The logical in-house candidates in St. Louis are Colton Parayko or Vince Dunn.
Here are some external looks:
EDM Oscar Klefbom
TOR Jake Gardiner
DET Mike Green
ANA Brandon Montour
CHI Duncan Keith
4. Don’t read much into William Nylander’s (C/RW) lack of production and line assignments thus far. It’ll take him a bit of time …read more