Larry Martino

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It’s the worst-kept secret in the NHL. The Edmonton Oilers power play is good. It’s excellent. It’s exceptional. It’s setting records. That’s why the Vegas Golden Knights need to stay out of the penalty box during their second round series against McDavid, Draisaitl, and the rest of their crew.

According to an article written by Adam Vingan on, the Oilers power play set a record for the highest conversion rate since the NHL began keeping statistics in this category back in 1977-1978. They scored goals on 32.4% of their power play chances during the 2022-2023 NHL season.

Then, in the first round playoff series against the Los Angeles Kings, they looked even more invincible. According to an article written by NHL Hall of Fame defenseman Phil Housley on, Edmonton scored at the mind-boggling rate of 56.3%, going 9-for-16 in that series. If any team can score on one-third of their power play chances, that’s incredible. Scoring on more than half of your chances in a six-game series? Out of this world!

The Oilers have so many offensive weapons up front, featuring Leon Draisaitl, who led the league with 32 power play goals this season. They have the NHL’s regular season’s scoring leader, Connor McDavid, widely regarded as the best hockey player on the planet at this moment. Add in former first-round pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (one of the regular season’s top 10 scorers), Zach Hyman or Evander Kane blocking the goalie’s vision in front of the net, and the playoffs’ current points leader among defensemen, Evan Bouchard, and you can see why they are so successful..

If the Vegas Golden Knights give up lots of power play chances to Edmonton, it will be very tough to keep coming back from those deficits. They can win this series if they stay out of the penalty box. Per Housley’s article, if Vegas does take a penalty, they have to be very aggressive on all loose pucks and/or try to disrupt the Oilers coming up the ice heading for the offensive zone. If Edmonton sets up in the offensive zone, they can pick you apart.

Scroll down to see video footage from of six Edmonton Oilers scoring threats in their first round playoff series win against the Los Angeles Kings.

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Larry Martino is the long-time Afternoon Drive personality on 96.3 KKLZ. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of Larry Martino and not necessarily those of Beasley Media Group, LLC.

  • Draisaitl Scores On Beautiful Pass From McDavid

    Draisaitl one-times a PPG

    R1, Gm6: Leon Draisaitl gets a feed from Connor McDavid and unleashes a one-timer for a power-play goal, making it 3-1 in the 2nd period

    Notice how all five players on Edmonton’s power play keep moving? Many power plays in the NHL are pretty static. They may keep the puck moving, but the players do not move all that much until the team on the power play loses the puck. It is very difficult for opponents to defend against world class players when down a man. There is always someone open, and the Oilers are great at hitting the open man.

  • Ouch! Zach Hyman Deflects Bouchard's Shot Off Of His Noggin

    Hyman scores PPG off his face

    R1, Gm5: Zach Hyman takes Evan Bouchard's shot off his face for a deflection goal on a power play to make it 5-2 in the 2nd period

    All power plays in the NHL utilize a big body in front of the net to try and block the goalie’s vision. It also helps if that particular player has good hand-eye coordination so that they can deflect and tip-in shots from other players on the power play. And, if you get a lucky one to deflect off of your head and into the net, you’ll take it. Zach Hyman does a great job in front of the net for Edmonton.

  • Evander Kane Walks Right In To Score A PPG Off The Post

    Kane opens scoring with PPG

    R1, Gm5: Evander Kane rips a slick shot home for a goal in the waning seconds of a power play, making it 1-0 in the 1st period

    Evander Kane is strong, fast, and talented. You can see how the Kings defenseman backs in to his goalie and actually provides a screen to let Kane get that powerful shot off. The Golden Knights will have to take away his time and space on the power play, and when they are at even strength. If you remember Kane from previous playoff series against San Jose when he was with the Sharks, he has cooled down his temper and his antics from back then. However, Vegas still may be able to annoy him and get him off of his game.

  • Evan Bouchard Fires Home A PPG From The Blueline

    Bouchard hammers home PPG

    R1, Gm4: Evan Bouchard gets a pass at the point and fires a one-timer into the cage for a power-play goal, getting the Oilers on the board

    Evan Bouchard is pretty young, and he has improved every year since he arrived in the NHL. He now quarterbacks the league’s record-setting power play unit. That is pretty incredible. He can shoot, he can one-time it off of a good pass, and he does a great job keeping the puck moving throughout the power play. Keep the puck moving, and you keep the defense guessing. It also helps that he has an accurate shot.

  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Rips One In From The Slot On The Power Play

    Nugent-Hopkins buries a PPG

    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins gets the puck in the circle and rips a shot into the net for a power-play goal, giving the Oilers a 1-0 lead in the 2nd

    Nugent-Hopkins is often overlooked on this juggernaut of a power-play, but he is an integral part of it. He is very smart with the puck on his stick. He moves well, which helps the Oilers power play because he can fill in the positions while McDavid roams around the offensive zone. Nugent-Hopkins is also good at retrieving pucks that miss the net. He can keep the power play alive in the offensive zone so the players do not have to regroup in their own end or at center ice before attacking again.

  • McDavid Scores His Second PPG Of The Game With A Wicked Wrister

    McDavid's second PPG of 2nd

    R1, Gm3: Connor McDavid skates inside the circle and fires a shot upstairs on the power play, giving the Oilers a 2-1 lead in the 2nd

    Connor McDavid’s speed is world-class. The fact that he can do so many amazing things with the puck while he is at full speed is what makes him the best player on the planet at this time. NHL experts call it “Hockey IQ.” Knowing what to do with the puck when you have it. McDavid always seems to know what to do with the puck – rush it up the ice, pass it to an open man, shoot from a distance, or skate in on goal and slip it through the goalie’s pads. He does it all, and he very rarely makes a poor offensive decision. Absolutely lethal.