The Edmonton Oilers are once again sitting near the bottom of the league, securing a messily 8 regulation wins this season. The team ranks 28th in Goals For% at even-strength with a score-adjusted Corsi For% of 47.4% (Source: War on Ice). Definitely not good enough to compete for the playoffs, but it’s been hard to really judge this team because of all the injuries. Losing Connor McDavid has been significant, but the Oilers have also played a number of games without top six players likeNail Yakupov and Benoit Pouliot and Jordan Eberle for stretches. Injuries are always a part of the game, but it’s hard to dismiss when you’re without some key forwards.
Having said that, it’s been the injury to young Oscar Klefbom that has had the biggest impact on the club. Before going down on December 11th, Klefbom was emerging as the Oilers most effective defenceman, surprisingly, to me at least, at both ends of the ice. My C&B colleague Corey Travers had an excellent post on Klefbom soon after his injurydetailing his performance and confirming his ability to play top pairing minutes.