There are Four Big Questions facing the Edmonton Oilers in 2020-21.
We are cracking on with our 2020-21 NHL Season Previews and today we hone in on the Edmonton Oilers.
The Oilers made it back to the postseason in 2019-20 but they were humiliated by the Chicago Blackhawks in the Best-of-Five Play-In series, making it yet another year of Playoff disappointment for Connor McDavid.
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As such, the pressure will be on the Edmonton Oilers heading into the 2020-21 season to ensure that they give their franchise cornerstone every possible chance and every weapon needed to quickly get back to the postseason.
It does appear to be heading in the right direction under General Manager Ken Holland and Head Coach Dave Tippett, although there is still a hell of a lot of work to be done before the Oilers can be considered legit contenders.
Therefore, let’s stop wasting time and delve straight into the 4 Big Questions the Edmonton Oilers will need to answer in the 2020-21 NHL Season…
4. How will they fare in an All-Canadian Division?
One of the big consequences to come from the devastation the COVID-19 Pandemic has wreaked on the NHL has been Division Realignment, with the league bringing in four new Divisions for the 2020-21 season.
One of the most intriguing Divisions will be the North Division, which will house all the Canadian teams together.
It is a dream outcome for a lot of hockey fans north of the border, but it will be interesting to see how the Edmonton Oilers navigate what will be a tricky Division.
For starters, each team will play each other 10 times and that means the Oilers will have to try and take down a Toronto Maple Leafs team that added some serious substance to their skilled lineup, not to mention also having to deal with 10 Battle of Alberta’s with loathed rivals the Calgary Flames.
Speaking of substance, the Montreal Canadiens should also be one of the top teams in the North Division given that they loaded up on size, speed, grit, snarl and tenacity during the offseason and they could be a real dark horse for a deep postseason run.
The Calgary Flames also improved after adding a legit franchise goaltender in Jacob Markstrom during the offseason, although there are legit question marks over the likes of the Winnipeg Jets, the Vancouver Canucks and the rebuilding Ottawa Senators.
However, 10 times is a lot to play each opponent and it ensures that the element of surprise will be taken out of gameplans, so the Edmonton Oilers will need to ensure that they feast off the likes of the Senators and the Jets while being at least .500 against some of the other top teams in the North Division if they are to secure a return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2020-21.