Photo credit: Detroit Free Press

GM Ken Holland's biggest decision is paying off in spades for the Oilers

Published December 28, 2023 at 8:03 PM
BY RYAN
     
It was clear that the Oilers organization needed to make a major change as they continue to slip in the standings and appeared that they could never win a hockey game again.

General manager Ken Holland made the decision to relieve Jay Woodcroft and Dave Manson of their duties and bring in Kris Knoblauch and Oilers legendary defenseman Paul Coffey to right the ship.

After 18 games on the bench, Knoblauch and his staff have turned things completely around and have shown that the Oilers can win games and playing at a high level. One of the biggest changes for the Oilers is flipping the script back to offence and removing the defensive schemes that Woodcroft was trying to implement. The players have responded, and the numbers are trending in the right direction.

That style has also given the goaltending the goal support it needs in order to make it's game better and Stuart Skinner has improved as well.



It's incredible to think the team was dead last in their transition defence and now is second overall in the NHL. The team is clearly favoring Paul Coffey's way of defending the game along with the sense of calm that Knoblauch has put on the bench. During his initial press conference, he reiterated that the team needed to get back to their identity and feel good about themselves again.

The Oilers are built on speed and skill along with quick transition. The players look calm, better positioned and catching some breaks.

It's clear that trying to use someone else's schemes and style will not always work in your favor. It can sometimes cost you your job.
POLL
December 28   |   399 answers
GM Ken Holland's biggest decision is paying off in spades for the Oilers

Did hiring Kris Knoblauch and Paul Coffey save Holland's job?

Yes - Oilers are far better with Knoblauch16340.9 %
No - The team still needs a goalie13132.8 %
He will retire at the end of the season10526.3 %
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