The Edmonton Oilers are a great team and, according to many, the favorite to win the Stanley Cup this season. But their start to the season hasn’t been great. They lost their season-opener against the Vancouver Canucks, and even more so. They were absolutely destroyed.
The 8-1 beating was brutal for them, and it didn’t get better when they lost their second game against the Canucks again. An 0-2 start was not what anyone saw coming for the Oilers. Ahead of their third game of the season against the Nashville Predators, head coach Jay Woodcroft was desperate to get his team winning.
For practice on Monday, he shuffled the lines, and just three games into the season, he paired the best player in the NHL with the arguably second-best player in the league. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl can dominate and decide any game, and in the perfect world, it’s amazing when they can center their own line. But with the Oilers’ slow start of the season in mind, Woodcroft decided to duo together.
“I think when they play together, it’s a dangerous combination,” Woodcroft said.
”The results speak for themselves. Not only (do) they create numerous chances when they’re together, they (draw) a lot of penalties as well. You know what you’re getting when those two guys are together.”
Woodcroft’s desperate move paid out in game three against the Predators. It paid out big time. Draisaitl scored just eight minutes in on a powerplay and had an assist to Zach Hyman’s 2-0 goal five minutes later. When the horn sounded for the first period’s end, the Oilers were up 4-0, and Leon Draisaitl had one goal and three points.
Draisaitl also had a goal in the second period, capping off his four-goal night. His superstar partner, Connor McDavid, had one goal and one assist.
It’s something special when the two of them play together, and they always produce some kind of magic. They have a special connection on the ice and, apparently, off it as well. During the game, cameras panned to the Oilers bench, where McDavid sat beside Adam Erne.
Leon Draisaitl took a seat next to Erne, but it was obvious that he wanted to sit next to McDavid, and if you’re a superstar of his caliber, you get what you want. Draisaitl kicked Erne out of the way and took a seat next to McDavid, and fans found it absolutely hilarious.
”They have a team to run,” one said.
”I kept your seat warm for you, Mr Draisaitl,” another said.
”This is so funny. Leon is hilarious without even trying to be,” a third added.