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Dare to dream? That problem is being taken up massive time with Edmonton Oilers

Author of the article:

David Staples  •  Edmonton Journal

Oilers captain Connor McDavid talks to reporters after practice on Tuesday in Edmonton.
Oilers captain Connor McDavid talks to reporters after apply on Tuesday in Edmonton. Photo by Greg Southam /Postmedia Network

Dare to dream? That problem is being taken up massive time with the Edmonton Oilers.

Their followers are among the many most bullish in your entire NHL.

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Will the Edmonton Oilers win the Stanley Cup this season?

— David Staples (@dstaples) October 7, 2021

In a Twitter ballot, 41.6 per cent of respondents mentioned that the Oilers will win the Stanley Cup this yr.

That’s proper, 41.6 per cent, and never simply make it out of convention however win the NHL’s greatest trophy.

At the Athletic, the place they surveyed followers on hope and optimism for the season, Edmonton followers ranked because the seventh most optimistic fanbase in your entire NHL. In comparability, Calgary followers have been the thirty first most optimistic fanbase, so it’s not simply one thing within the water in Alberta.

Of course, there’s been rampant Oilers optimism earlier than.

After Connor McDavid was drafted in 2015, Ron MacLean of Hockey Night in Canada predicted playoffs and extra, rather more, for the younger Oilers.  “I feel for certain playoffs. I let you know who’s going to be lights-out this yr is Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall…  You watch Eberle take off. He’s already been nice in worldwide hockey, however I feel that is going to be his yr, Taylor Hall’s yr… And Connor McDavid and Darnell Nurse will slot in. Gimme a glass of wine or a beer, and I feel in two years they win the Cup. That could also be just a little keen, however I don’t assume greater than 4.”

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Hall was traded after that season, Eberle after the next season. McDavid is getting into his seventh yr and has led the workforce to only one playoff sequence win so far.

In September of 2017, after Edmonton’s nice 2017 playoff run, quite a few consultants believed the Oilers have been for actual and lots of predicted Stanley Cup playoff success.

At USA Today, two of their six consultants made that sweetest of predictions for the Oilers. Over at Sportsnet, two of the community’s sixteen NHL insiders picked the  Oilers to win the Cup, whereas seven extra of the sixteen predicted the Oilers could be within the Cup finals.

Most bullish of all again then was TSN  reporter Frank Seravalli, who referred to as Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Patrick Maroon the No. 1 line in your entire NH and  picked the Oilers to win the Cup.

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“Lord Stanley is coming dwelling,” he mentioned. “The Oilers will finish Canada’s Stanley Cup drought after 25 lengthy years. Connor McDavid matched Sidney Crosby by profitable the Hart and Art Ross in his sophomore season. Along with Leon Draisaitl, his model of Evgeni Malkin, McDavid will one-up Crosby by capturing the Cup in his third season – after Crosby fell brief in Game 6 in opposition to the Red Wings.”

The TSN panel at the moment — made up of 25 hockey insiders — picked Edmonton and Tampa within the last, with Tampa profitable.

Of course, what the consultants didn’t notice was how massive a loss have been the playoffs accidents to No. 1 d-man Andrej Sekera, who would by no means once more be the identical splendidly environment friendly two-way participant, and to Oscar Klefbom, whose banged up shoulder would first weaken his wonderful sport, then shut down his profession totally. Edmonton basically misplaced its two finest d-men and was not in a position to get better till Darnell Nurse and Adam Larsson stepped up these previous two seasons.

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Now Larsson is gone, a probably extreme blow to the Oilers.

But do I nonetheless share within the optimism in regards to the workforce? Yes, in fact. Why wouldn’t I? It’s a part of the enjoyable of being a fan of the Oilers.

To summarize why I’ve nice hopes for the 2021-22 Oilers, listed here are my Top 10 explanation why the Oilers can win the Cup:

  1. Connor McDavid is the sport’s finest participant and is trying like he’s able to personal the NHL, to dominate two-way play.
  2. Leon Draisaitl is the sport’s second or third finest participant and could be a two-way monster within the playoffs.
  3. Mike Smith had a fantastic yr in 2020-21. Mikko Koskinen had yr in 2019-20. Between them, one among them is more likely to step up and supply stable goaltending.
  4. Darnell Nurse has stepped up as a real No. 1 d-man within the NHL, taking up the place Sekera and Klefbom left off.
  5. Edmonton will miss Larsson’s shut-down defence, however they’ve one of the best group of puck movers on the squad since 2005-06, with Tyson Barrie, Evan Bouchard and Duncan Keith all sturdy passers, Nurse a powerful transporter of the puck, and Cody Ceci and Slater Koekkoek in a position to rip a good move.
  6. The workforce has some skilled veteran leaders in Keith, Smith, Kris Russell, Derek Ryan, plus a big group of able-to-excellent vets within the prime of their careers, McDavid, Draisaitl, Nurse, Zach Hyman, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jesse Puljujarvi, Warren Foegele, Kailer Yamamoto, Ceci, Koekkoek.
  7. The workforce ought to have sturdy secondary scoring from gamers like Hyman, Nugent-Hopkins, Barrie, Bouchard, Puljujarvi, Foegele and Yamamoto.
  8. Edmonton’s finest gamers aren’t simply wonderful, they’re massive, quick and difficult, beginning with McDavid, Draisaitl and Nurse.
  9. If Edmonton wants reinforcement this yr, there are a number of prospects who may step up and supply a lift by the top of the yr, together with Dylan Holloway, Raphael Lavoie, Philip Broberg, Stuart Skinner, Ilya Konovalov, and Filip Berglund.
  10. Edmonton’s teaching employees of Dave Tippett, Jim Playfair and Glen Gulutzan is sharp and skilled. They don’t get all the things proper, however they get lots proper.

Staples on politics

Alberta’s unusual referendum on whether or not we’re extra indignant at Kenney or anti-oil Quebec politicians

Bloc Québecois leader Yves-François Blanchet in Montreal the day after the 2021 federal election.
Bloc Québecois chief Yves-François Blanchet in Montreal the day after the 2021 federal election. Photo by Postmedia file

At the Cult

LEAVINS: Player grades as Oilers beat Canucks

STAPLES: The Edmonton Oilers 2021-22 Stanley Cup Champions, insider predicts

COOPER: 3-0 the worst lead in hockey

LEAVINS: The story behind Koskinen’s 2021

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