Nugent-Hopkins, Lucic, Strome, Letestu, Slepyshev, Khaira need to drive attack more
The Edmonton Oilers have too many passengers on the attack, not enough drivers. As a result, Edmonton is scoring just two goals a game. If this doesn’t change, neither will the Oilers won-loss record.
Which players need to pick it up?
When it comes to attacking, you can’t count on a forward to get a point every game, or even every second game, especially in a short period of time. That said, if a forward — and especially a forward in the Top 6 — is doing his job as an attacker, he’ll regularly make some dangerous pass or shot that leads to a Grade A scoring chance.
A superstar in the NHL’s new Dead Puck Era will make more than 2.5 such major contributions to scoring chances per game.
For example, last season Connor McDavid of the Oilers made 280 shots or passes that were key parts of the sequence on hard or dangerous scoring chances from the inner slot, 3.41 per game.
This year, after seven games, McDavid has made 25, 3.57 per game.
So whatever is ailing the Oilers on the attack right now, it’s not Connor McDavid.
A strong NHL attacker will make 2.0 major contributions to Grade A chances per game. Last year on the Oilers, Leon Draisaitl made 2.38 per game. This year, Draisaitl is at 2.33 per game, but he’s only played three games. His absence is an obvious reason the Oilers aren’t scoring so much right now.