Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid celebrating a goal with his teammates
Photo credit: Sportsnet

Patrice Bergeron discusses how to defend against the Oilers powerplay

Published May 1, 2024 at 7:33 PM

The Edmonton Oilers have one of the best powerplay units in NHL history thanks to the likes of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Today, Patrice Bergeron, among other NHLers, discussed what it takes to shut that unit down in the playoffs.

The Spittin Chiclets podcast recently discussed the Oilers powerplay as it has been a huge factor in the series against the Los Angeles Kings. Ryan Whitney has high praise for the Oilers special teams, highlighting how special they have been in recent years but specifically in the playoffs against LA.

«One of the greatest powerplay's in the history of man kind.»

The Edmonton Oilers powerplay is a real life cheat code.

Patrice Bergeron, one of the best defensive centers in NHL history was asked how to stop the Oilers on the man advantage and he didn't offer a lot of advice. He broke down what makes the unit so strong, noting that teams can take away some options, but the Oilers top unit is so good, they're always going to find ways to get pucks through on net.

«I don't know if I have an answer for that, Holy moly. That's the issue. There's so many threats. Usually it's like pick your poison, right? Like what do you think is the most dangerous shot? Or usually it's seams. You don't want teams to seam you. Then if you take the seams away, they're going to use the low play or use the shot from the point, which — (Bouchard's) usually pretty accurate and usually gets it through.»

Henrik Lundqvist, one of the modern era's best goaltenders also broke down the Oilers powerplay on TNT during coverage of one of the Kings Oilers games. He gave a goalie's perspective, emphasizing the need to limit cross-ice passes.

.@HLundqvist shares the goalie POV of wanting more shots and less cross-ice passes against the Oilers powerplay 🥅

Ultimately though, the best solution for any team is simply to stay out of the box. That is easier said than done when Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid are putting the pressure on, but it is a necessary adjustment the Kings will need to make in order to stay in the series. Should the Oilers advance, their future opponents will likely look to stay out of the box as much as possible as well.

If you want a chance to beat the Edmonton Oilers in this years playoffs, you have to stay out of the box. They are too lethal on the PP.

Evan Bouchard opens the scoring on the powerplay. #LetsGoOilers #GoKingsGo

Source: TheAthletic
How to stop the Oilers power play? Here's what some of the NHL's all-time defensive minds say
May 1   |   933 answers
Patrice Bergeron discusses how to defend against the Oilers powerplay

How far do you think the Edmonton Oilers will go in the playoffs this year?

1st round exit101.1 %
2nd round exit17618.9 %
Conference finals appearance19921.3 %
Stanley Cup finals appearance54858.7 %
Latest 10 stories