The top two lines have been playing extremely well for the Edmonton Oilers. The top line has taken on the top line of opposing teams while the second line led by Connor McDavid, has been producing at an elite rate. Unfortunately, the rest of the forwards have struggled to produce, often getting outshot by opponents and barely generating anything in the offensive zone. Anton Lander has been singled out a number of times now this season by fans and the coaching staff, and for good reason. Following a successful career in the AHL, and showing well in a full-time role last season, the Oilers signed him to a two year, one way contract to solidify the center position. Personally, I was thrilled for the player as well as for the Oilers who have long struggled to have four reliable pivots at any given time.
Thirteen games into the season, it’s a good time to ask what the issue is and really if there are any remedies. By eye, Lander has struggled gaining the zone and often losing puck battles. Expectations of his actual point production should remain modest, since he notched 20 points in 38 games last season, with just over half of those points (11) coming at even-strength.
Full article is at The Copper & Blue.