If you’re not familiar with what American Thanksgiving means. Roughly 80% of teams that are in the Playoffs on American Thanksgiving end up making the playoffs. It’s a very crucial date to be in the playoff picture. We’re not just in the picture we’re on top of the picture! First in West. 2nd in NHL by points percentage. Just won a very important 2 points against Vegas.
Traditionally, the Oiler’s are usually out of the playoff picture by Canadian Thanksgiving so this is tremendous news.
So what got us here? Thanksgiving award winners!
Vezina - Koskinen (ironic as he won this award in 2019 for this article too). His save percentage is late 30’s in the NHL. His W/L is number 1! 11 and 2. He was huge in the win last night (2 metres huge).
Hart - McDavid. Drai has been unreal but Connor is the best player on the planet.
Selke - Drai - I really think he should get a LOT of consideration for this award this year. Along with ‘best backhand passer’ in the NHL.
Norris - Bouchard. May sound crazy but Nurse has been hurt and Bouch has played every game. After those 2, I think it should be said that Ceci has been very good for us. Broberg is looking legit (keep him on 3rd pair when everyone healthy!) and congrats to Russel for his shots block record!
Calder - Bouchard isn’t eligible. McLeod has done well and is improving. If Bro sticks around he might legit win the thing (note: No Oiler will ever win this trophy). I’ll give it to McLeod for now.
Other factors - RNH is on a killer .ppg pace. JP is still well above his career paces. Hyman has been a great add. We score a lot. Our PP is amazing. Our PK is very good. We outscore our problems and, so far, it is working.
Concerns - Bottom 6 scoring. 5 on 5 play. I don’t think Koski/Smith/Skinner have a 16 game Stanley Cup run in them. Our old guys are not doing well. Smith is out, Keith is out, Ryan is struggling badly. Turris is doing ‘ok’.
Needs - We are going to the playoffs most likely. Only major injuries could derail us at this point. We should be a cup contender. Our record shows we are. Our 5 on 5, GA and shots against show that we are not. We need a starting goalie and our current trifecta should fight for backup. We need another LD (or to keep Bro). We need a 3C. McLeod has been great but it’s a big ask. Tipp is likely to get an extension but is he the guy for the playoffs?
Food for thought - Imagine if all our answers are internal? McLeod does emerge as a legit 3C? Holloway returns, gets going and helps bottom 6 out? Skinner is legit? It’d be nice. I’ll call it wishful thinking. Hoping for a trade or 2 personally.