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Oilers’ Bottom Six Underperformance a Major Concern vs. Canucks

The Edmonton Oilers bottom six have underperformed in the playoffs, but kinds of impact does a underperforming bottom six have?

The Edmonton Oilers’ bottom six has seriously underperformed in the 2023-24 NHL playoffs. In 10 postseason games, the regulates in the group have combined for two goals. That’s fewer goals than Zach Hyman had in a single game. Furthermore, the bottom six only have eight points in the playoffs. That is just not good enough. But how important is it to have depth scoring? And what impacts does having an underperforming bottom six have on a team?

Some key players for the Oilers have failed to produce in the playoffs. Notably, Corey Perry and Ryan McLeod both stand out as goalless in 10 games. Both of these players had key roles in the regular season and were being counted on to spread out Edmonton’s offense. McLeod had a career season; with 12 goals and 18 assists, he reached a new career-high with 30 points. But has a whopping zero points in the playoffs.

Corey Perry Ryan McLeod Oilers

A similar story goes for Perry, who had 13 points in the regular season and has produced absolutely nothing but a +/- of -3 in the postseason. Without a doubt, both of these players must start producing if the Oilers want to survive round two. There is talk that Perry might be sitting a critical Game 6, even though that has yet to be officially confirmed.

How Does the Oilers’ Bottom Six Stack up to the Remaining Teams?

Teams like the Dallas Stars and the Florida Panthers have a multitude of different goal scorers. In particular, the Stars have 16 different goal scorers, 13 of whom are forwards. Only 13 different players on the Oilers roster have scored, nine of whom are forwards. Additionally, the Panthers alone have 10 separate forwards scoring. It’s vital to have that depth scoring and three out of the five teams remaining have more depth scoring. Further, all those teams have advanced to round three.

The non-existent production of the Oilers’ bottom six has stunted the Oilers in a competitive setting. Edmonton is forced to rely on their top players a lot more than every other team. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are playing close to 26 minutes a game, as they are the few players able to produce. As a result, the top players in Edmonton are going to have nothing in the gas tank if they make it to Round 3. Additionally, there is more risk of injury because they are stretched too thin to make up for the invisible bottom six. The disappointing performances of the bottom six have left Edmonton as a two-line team. 

Throughout history, the most dominant teams have been able to roll four lines and have all of them be productive. It’s a vital component of a deadly team, suffocating the opposition at all times. Unfortunately, that’s something that’s missing for the Oilers in the playoffs. For the Oilers to keep their cup dreams alive, the bottom six must start making an impact on the scoresheet. 

Next: Stuart Skinner Among Roster Changes for Oilers in Game 6

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