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Can Connor Brown Be for the Oilers What Pisani Was in 2006?

Taking a closer look at depth players on the Edmonton Oilers who could have a big impact down the stretch, let’s look at Connor Brown.

As the Edmonton Oilers play the final 18 games of the regular season, they have a chance to go on a run that will firmly put them in an enviable spot to open the NHL playoffs. Sitting in second in the Pacific Division with three games in hand on the Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton could be in tough to pass Vancouver, but it’s not impossible. Perhaps more importantly, the Oilers can distance themselves from the Los Angeles Kings and Vegas Golden Knights while also finding roster chemistry.

Taking a look at players on this roster who haven’t found their groove yet, should they kick it up another level, the Oilers could be incredibly dangerous at just the right time. Examining the impact of a few players as the season winds down, first, let’s look at Connor Brown.

Did Connor Brown Open the Floodgates?

Scoring his first goal of the season the other night against the Washington Capitals, Brown isn’t going to reach the 15-20 goals many fans were hoping for when he was signed, but he doesn’t have to make an impact. With the gorilla off his back, Brown can get back to simply playing hockey and hopes is the first goal will lead to others.

If Brown can get even three or four more to close the season, he could enter the playoffs as an underdog to have an impact in a depth role. Could he be this season’s version of Fernando Pisani and the magical 2006 run? He’s a solid penalty killer, a good two-way player, can forecheck, and can score. That sounds a lot like the role Pisani was asked to fill. Granted, Pisani had 18 goals that regular season, so to expect Brown to score 14 in the playoffs would be a stretch. At the same time, if he can add some depth offense in the bottom six, that’s a huge win for the Oilers where deeper teams gave them fits in last season’s run.

Where Will Brown Be Used?

The Oilers added penaltykillers Adam Henrique and Sam Carrick at the deadline. That should ease a bit of the pressure off of Brown to only be useful in that role. If Brown can maintain his level of consistency on the kill but also use that extra energy from not having to play every second shift, he’ll have a bit more juice to grind in the offensive zone.

Evander Kane Connor Brown Oilers

Meanwhile, if Evander Kane — who could share spot duty on the second and third line — makes it a mission to find chemistry with Brown, that duo could be fun to watch. Kane said before the Washington game this week that it was his mission to help Brown get a goal. He did exactly that. One has to think that might spark Kane to do more of the same to see if they can keep that magic going.

A strong third line of Brown, Kane, and Henrique is a good third line for Edmonton. It will be potentially more dangerous than many third lines they’ll be up against and they’ll be playing softer defense pairings. That’s an opportunity the trio can take advantage of.

Next: Corey Perry Settles Contract Termination Dispute With Blackhawks

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