The 2020-2021 National Hockey League (NHL) season kicks off Wednesday night and some observers don’t believe the Edmonton Oilers will be able to squeeze to the top of the Canadian section or even make the playoffs.
The Alberta squad disappointed many fans by falling to the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2020 qualifying round despite being fifth seeded in the Western Conference. Now the presence of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisatil should still allow the Oilers to reap the victories, but will it be enough? Some wonder about the rest of the team led by Dave Tippett.
Now, Draisaitl has a message for skeptics.
“I think people sometimes forget that we were the best club in Canada last year. Obviously, we want this to be the case again this time. Our division is tough, there are many good teams, he told NHL.com. I believe everyone can hope to make the playoffs so it will be a battle. We are well prepared and make a great group. ”
“I think we have better training than last year. We are focusing on more depth and have made some good additions, ”he continued.
Among these is Dominik Kahun, a former trio partner of Draisaitl in the German national team. The 25-year-old skater signed a contract with the Oilers on Nov. 2 and will be on the same line of attack as his compatriot to start the campaign.
“We must have known each other quite quickly. Since then, we have remained very good friends. It’s nice to see how life works and that you meet certain people, he philosophized. He is obviously a very talented player and has a good sense of hockey. He sees everything on the ice. He always had that quality and we certainly expect it to continue here. ”
However, it will take more to make your way into the top 4. The defense will have to be solid. In 2019-20, she conceded the sixth-highest five-on-five goal total in the NHL at 154.
“I think we took a step back last year. No, it didn’t really appear in the playoffs, but we want to start again in the right way this year and it’s a priority for our club, our group of leaders. That’s what will help us win games. I think we all agree with that, ”he summed up.