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 Sportsnet.ca, 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 NHL.com, 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 NHL.com of six Edmonton Oilers scoring threats in their first round playoff series win against the Los Angeles Kings.