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New Oilers ahead brings a few of Chris Pronger’s swagger to Edmonton

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We have no idea how far Evander Kane may assist drive the Edmonton Oilers within the playoffs.

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Certainly, Saturday night time’s recreation is perhaps Edmonton’s final of the 2022 playoff season if the Oilers lose to the Los Angeles Kings in Recreation Seven.

However make no mistake, with out Kane the Oilers wouldn’t have made it this far in opposition to Los Angeles, and may even have didn’t make the playoffs in any respect.

Kane supplies the Oilers with the aim scoring, confidence and toughness that Edmonton has for years lacked on the wing. Not solely that, in that is essential within the playoffs, Kane brings among the swagger that the Oilers final had when Chris Pronger was on the crew.

Kane comes throughout as a ferocious competitor, and whereas I am unable to learn anybody’s thoughts, he seems to place some concern into the opposition. He is received a nasty streak on the ice, a lot in order that few opposing gamers mess with him, and those that do virtually all the time get the worst of it. As for his teammates, they appear to skate two inches taller and add 20 kilos of muscle heavier after they line up with Kane.

Earlier than Kane arrived, Edmonton was out of a playoff spot, nineteenth general within the NHL standings, behind such groups as Anaheim, San Jose, Los Angeles and Vegas.

With Kane, Edmonton shot previous every a type of rivals within the standings.

Within the playoffs, Kane hasn’t been the one stellar Oiler.

Connor McDavid has raised his recreation to a brand new stage.

Mike Smith has continued along with his robust play of the ultimate month of the season.

Zack Kassian and Josh Archibald have supplied robust bodily participant, whereas Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Derek Ryan have performed their finest hockey of the season.

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Brett Kulak, Cody Ceci, Evan Bouchard and Tyson Barrie have all stepped up on protection, with Darnell Nurse, coming off an damage, additionally having his moments.

However exterior of McDavid, who simply now appears to be prepared the Oilers to win video games, it has been Kane who has most stood out.

He is in the midst of numerous scrums. He tracks opponents down and hits them onerous. He is chipping in on Grade A pictures at a price second solely to McDavid on the Oilers. He assaults the web with ferocity and makes use of his deft palms to attain aim after aim. He is received seven now, as many as some other participant within the NHL playoffs this yr.

As for Kane’s future in Edmonton, who is aware of? It is as up within the air as the results of Saturday night time’s recreation. However as a lot doubt as there was in Edmonton and across the NHL about Ken Holland bringing in Kane — a few of that doubt round his varied off-ice authorized controversies, however a lot of it round a perceived adverse influence on his teammates — Kane has carried out at a stage past anybody’s expectations, save maybe his personal.

He is raised up the Oilers, not been any type of downer.

He is giving the Oilers what they desperately wanted, a ferocious and extremely expert winger to play with McDavid.

And in relation to the 2 Oilers I count on to come back up massive in Recreation Seven, it’s these two.

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