There are championship seasons that come together quickly. The Philadelphia Eagles began the 2017 season with a 1-1 record, won nine in a row, lost their franchise quarterback and romped to the Super Bowl behind a quarterback chosen in the third round five years previously. Generously, it was the third best Eagles team I’ve seen since becoming a fan of the team in 1973, but the only one to win a championship.
What would this Oilers team need for a championship run? One Nick Foles? Two? Would Ilya Konovalov turning into an on-ice Semyon Varlamov be enough? What if that happened and Dmitri Samorukov emerged as a top-four shutdown defenseman overnight?
- New Lowetide: A set roster? Oilers training camp gone wild? Expect the unexpected
- Lowetide: Xavier Bourgault and his ETA with the Edmonton Oilers
- DNB: Warren Foegele Q&A
- Lowetide: Dylan Holloway’s season and why patience is vital for Oilers’ prospect
- Lowetide: Oilers reasonable expectations for 2021-22: Goal differential
- Lowetide: Oilers’ reasonable expectations for 2021-22: Goal scoring
- New DNB: Mailbag.
- Lowetide: Oilers’ potential Olympians are a small group with maximum possible impact
- Lowetide: What should the Oilers expect from Cody Ceci in his first season?
- Lowetide: Why Oilers can expect an offensive rebound from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
- Lowetide: Projecting the 2021-22 Edmonton Oilers opening night lineup
- Lowetide: Why Oilers fans should be excited about the progress of Maxim Berezkin
- Lowetide: What should Oilers expect from Duncan Keith in his first season?
- Lowetide: Did the Oilers find the new Fernando Pisani when signing Derek Ryan?
- Jonathan Willis: Tyler Benson, Devin Shore and the 4-year difference between a prospect and a has-been
- Lowetide: What should Oilers fans expect from Zach Hyman in his first season?
- Lowetide: Dylan Holloway headlines new arrivals for Bakersfield Condors in 2021-22
- Lowetide: Why Oilers fans should expect more trades and a deep playoff run this season
- Lowetide: How much playing time will Evan Bouchard get with the Oilers this coming season?
- Jonathan Willis: A resurgent Zack Kassian could be an important part of the Oilers’ scoring
- Lowetide: How many goals will Jesse Puljujarvi score for the Oilers next season?
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers 2021-22 depth chart
- Lowetide: Oilers top 20 prospects, summer 2021
THREE YEAR AVERAGES FORWARD FIVE ON FIVE PTS-60
- Zach Hyman (1.97); Connor McDavid (3.04); Jesse Puljujarvi (1.23)
- Nuge (1.75); Leon Draisaitl (2.69); Kailer Yamamoto (1.72)
- Warren Foegele (1.54): Derek Ryan (1.81); Josh Archibald (1.14)
- Devin Shore (1.30); Ryan McLeod (0.56); Zack Kassian (1.62)
- Tyler Benson (0.88); Kyle Turris (1.32)
The possibilities are far more attractive than a year ago. if you move Nuge to No. 3 center and Foegele to 2LW, the possibility of three outscoring lines is there. Now. If you added 2000 Marian Hossa on a reasonable deal?
I kid, but if the Oilers were fortunate enough to discover Dylan Holloway was healthy, he could have an impact on this roster. Don’t look past Ryan McLeod either, his speed is such a difference maker.
THREE YEAR AVERAGES CORSI PCT AT FIVE ON FIVE
- Darnell Nurse (48.5); Tyson Barrie (52.2)
- Duncan Keith (48.1); Cody Ceci (46.8)
- Kris Russell (44.5); Evan Bouchard (52.4)
- Slater Koekkoek (49.6)
Holland is rocking a veteran unit, with just one youngster in the group. On the other hand, we’re looking at two blue ticketed for the minors (Philip Broberg and Dmitri Samorukov) who could impact the 2021-22 season at the NHL level. Plus Markus Niemelainen who showed enough in Bakersfield to earn a mention when we discuss the season to come. No one knew much about Artem Zub not long ago, and he had a positive impact relative to his fellow defenders last year.
Filip Berglund? He’s more than a distant bell, and based on the lack of a PTO for a RH defenseman, should also be considered an option.
What if, and hear me out, what if Philip Broberg emerges as a real option? His game seems to translate well to the smaller ice, every indication we’ve seen suggests it.
Or what about Samorukov? His KHL season suggests he has turned a corner, and if true, he might solve any issues that arise on the left side of the defense.
GOALIES FIVE ON FIVE SAVE PERCENTAGE OVER THREE YEARS
- Alex Stalock: .918
- Mikko Koskinen: .916
- Mike Smith: .910
I suspect Smith will win the starting job, but am about 50-50 on Koskinen taking over the bigger load by the quarter pole. Stalock is a wild card, he hasn’t played in some time, but there’s no harm in bringing him to camp.
What if Konovalov is the real thing? He isn’t a big man but those KHL numbers shine like a diamond. Stuart Skinner is also in the conversation, and he delivered a strong run in Bakersfield last season. Did he turn a corner?
Holloway. Samorukov. Broberg. Konovalov. The Oilers are in a position to survive without them, but if one of them pops, or two, we’re talking about a step or two closer to a championship. The moves of summer were jarring, absolutely outside of expected, and the team no longer has a pile of cap room to solve issues.
The positive? No kids are being relied upon to make a giant leap. Those young players are the next step. When they arrive is key.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, TSN1260, we have a great show planned. Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal will talk about the Oilers goaltending situation, and Joe Osborne from OddsSharks will chat pennant run and Stanley Cup odds. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!