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Edmonton Oilers

Oilers Defensemen Proving to Be Key Offensive Weapon

The Edmonton Oilers are the only team in the NHL this season to have three separate defensemen with double digit goals.

The Edmonton Oilers are adding another feat to their list of accomplishments this season. During Friday’s Arizona Coyotes matchup, Darnell Nurse scored his 10th of the season. With that, the Oilers have become the only team in the NHL with three defensemen with double-digit goals. Undoubtedly, the defensemen are a huge contributor to the Oilers’ offensive juggernaut status.

Seldom is there a defenseman with the offensive prowess that is seen within the Oilers’ defense. Evan Bouchard and Mattias Ekholm are both having career seasons; it’s only right they find themselves with double-digit goals. Remarkably, Bouchard has scored a whopping 17 goals this season. Equally important, his defense partner, Ekholm, has an impressive 11 goals. Naturally, this defense pairing has been named one of the best in the entire league this season.

Evan Bouchard Mattias Ekholm Oilers
Evan Bouchard Mattias Ekholm Oilers

In total, 46 of the Oilers’ goals this season were scored by a defenseman. As a result, the Edmonton Oilers find themselves 5th in the NHL for goals by a defenseman

As the playoffs loom closer and closer, the demand for offensive defensemen is at an all-time high. Since Cale Makar‘s dominant Conn Smythe playoff performance, NHL teams know they need an offensive blueliner who can contribute offensively in a big way. As a result, the accomplishment of three separate defensemen with double-digit goals is all that much more important. The Oilers have three offensive defensemen this season. It’s a huge advantage.

Oilers Aren’t Just an Offensive Powerhouse

Luckily for Oilers fans, the offensive output is just a by-product of incredible defensive work. The drastic improvement in the Oilers’ defense should be credited to the hiring of Oilers legend Paul Coffey. Named one of the greatest defensemen to ever lace up the skates, ironically, it’s not because of his defensive contributions. Still, Coffey has done wonders for the Oilers in all aspects of the game.

Namely, before Coffey, the Oilers were outscored by their opponents 51–30. Under Coffey, the Oilers are 5th best in the league for goals against per game. Furthermore, they have the best goal differential in the league with a +71; leaps and bounds from what they were at the start of the season. It’s clear that the “Coffey effect” is in action and working wonders. 

After an incredibly rocky start to the season, the Edmonton Oilers have managed to elevate the play of every single player on the roster. Quickly becoming one of the most dominant teams in the league. With one week left until the playoffs, the elevated offensive output from the defenseman continues to label the Oilers as one of the cup favorites this season.

Next: McDavid Sits vs Canucks, Wants to Feel Right Before Return to Oilers

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