The Edmonton Oilers celebrate a power play goal.
Photo credit: The Globe and Mail

Guy Carbonneau explains why the Oilers' power play is the best ever

Published May 2, 2024 at 6:58 PM

Guy Carbonneau believes the Edmonton Oilers' power play is the most lethal ever. According to the Hockey Hall of Famer, who knows a thing or two about defending against top talent, it all comes down to one thing: options.

Carbonneau acknowledged the challenge of defending against the Oilers' power play. With stars like Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl leading the charge, along with Evan Bouchard's Bouch Bomb cannon from the point and Zach Hyman's net-front presence, there's no shortage of scoring threats. Yet what sets this power play apart, according to Carbonneau, is the sheer number of options available.

When you have one player in particular that you're trying to read his tendencies, that's a lot easier than when you've got five players to worry about. And with McDavid and company constantly moving and interchanging positions, it's a nightmare for defenders to keep track of who's doing what.

Carbonneau also highlights McDavid's ability to carry the puck with speed through the neutral zone as a major factor in the power play's success.
He's by far the best player on the planet. He's got all the tools.

And when you combine McDavid's speed and agility with Draisaitl's smarts and the rest of the team's skill, it's a recipe for disaster for opposing penalty killers.

Yet it's not just about the individual talent on the ice; it's also about how well-coached the power play unit is. Carbonneau gives credit to Glen Gulutzan, the architect behind the Oilers' power play, for his brilliance in designing a system that plays to the team's strengths.

He's a brilliant coach, just brilliant. He has a really good working relationship with those star players, so he's able to adapt quickly and they're able to adapt with him.

There's no one size fits all approach to them.
There's no real easy way to defend this.

As teams continue to search for ways to stop it, one thing's for sure: it won't be easy.
May 2   |   393 answers
Guy Carbonneau explains why the Oilers' power play is the best ever

What do you think makes the Edmonton Oilers' power play so effective?

Their speed and skill26066.2 %
The strategic coaching297.4 %
The Options10426.5 %
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