Rick Tocchet and Connor McDavid
Photo credit: BVM Sports

Canucks go above and beyond trying to prepare for Oilers powerplay

Published May 8, 2024 at 11:34

The Edmonton Oilers look primed to go on a long playoff run this year, and one of the primary reasons will be their historically good powerplay. In practice, the Canucks are pulling out everything to stop the Oilers.

The Canucks have been placing an emphasis on penalty killing in recent practices, with some elite former players helping out. Daniel Sedin and Sergei Gonchar joined Canucks coach Rick Tocchet to run a mock powerplay, and they reportedly made good on their attempts.

Special teams has become a critical factor to success in the playoffs, and under coach Knoblauch, the Oilers have been near the best in the league. In their first round series against Los Angeles, the Oilers special teams clicked at an insane rate of 153%. Their powerplay has always been elite with the talent of McDavid, Draisaitl and the others, but under Knoblauch, the Oilers penalty kill has become much more effective - which makes their powerplay even more deadly. Especially without Thatcher Demko early on in the series, the Oilers powerplay could overwhelm the Canucks very quickly.

Interestingly enough, the NHL reportedly held a meeting with the Oilers and Canucks prior to this series to warn about embellishment. The Canucks have drawn the 6th most penalties in the NHL this year, and knowing how referees like to even up penalties, it's possible this series could be a penalty-fest. Thankfully, the Oilers have a much tougher team approach this year, and will be able to handle any physical play and make good on the special teams opportunities.

Tonight in Vancouver, the all-Canadian rivalry series we've all been waiting for will finally kick off. Get ready Oilers fans!
May 8   |   84 answers
Canucks go above and beyond trying to prepare for Oilers powerplay

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