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Sports Edmonton Oilers secret weapon going into 2020 playoffs? The Third Wave

11:28  26 may  2020
11:28  26 may  2020 Source:   edmontonjournal.com

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Who knows if there’s going to be an NHL playoffs? If there is, who knows how the Edmonton Oilers will do?

Will Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl finally crank it up and go deep into the Stanley Cup playoffs?

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The Edmonton Oilers were by the far the favorite against the Los Angeles Kings in the 1982 Stanley Cup playoffs . But in game 1 when the Kings won 10-8, everyone was put on notice. The Oilers tied up the series before heading to L.A., and then went into the 3rd period up five-to-nothing.

That’s my bet, and I’m not just bullish on the Oilers because they finally have their two aces on their own lines that should be able to compete with any top two lines on any team in the NHL.

My optimism also flows out of Edmonton’s secret weapon, its third line, its Third Wave, the rarely used but highly effective checking line of Riley Sheahan, Josh Archibald and Joakim Nygard.

Why rarely used? Because for most of the year Edmonton Oilers coach Dave Tippett used Jujhar Khaira on the team’s checking line with Sheahan and Archibald. It was only after Kailer Yamamoto joined the team in late December that Tippett moved fast-skating Swede Nygard onto a line with Archibald and Sheahan.

There was instant chemistry for the trio, with big, steady, defensively responsible Sheahan anchoring the line, covering off the defensive slot, while smaller and and lightning quick wingers Nygard and Archibald buzzed up and down the ice. With Khaira, the checking line had been too slow. Khaira and Sheahan played too similar a game.

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'O Canada' as sung by the Rexall crowd before the Oilers ' Stanley Cup playoff game vs. The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, 05/23/06.

Suddenly the new line, this third wave of the OIl’s attack, was aggressive and dynamic when Nygard was put into Khaira’s spot.

We see this in the numbers. The Third Wave of Sheahan, Nygard and Archibald played 69 even strength minutes together, almost all of them in January, and had a High Danger Chances For percentage of 58 per cent. Sheahan and Nygard together, without Archibald, were at 57 per cent.

That’s a pretty good number for players starting most of their faceoffs in the defensive zone.

As for the line of Khaira, Archibald and Sheahan, their High Danger Chances For percentage was just 40 per cent.

a screenshot of a cell phone © Provided by Edmonton Journal

Just as the Third Wave got rolling, however, Nygard got hurt. He would likely have been back for the playoffs if they had started in April. That means he should definitely be good to go if the playoffs start in July.

I don’t know about you but it gives me a lot of confidence to think about Tippett starting the game with McDavid and his linemates — either Zack Kassian, Tyler Ennis, Andreas Athanasiou or James Neal — then sending out the Leon Draisaitl and the Dynamite Line, then sending out this third wave of solid and aggressive checkers.

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If there Oilers are going to clear some serious cap space, it’ll probably come in the form of a trade. 2020 – If a lockout occurs and a compliance buyout is available great, by by Lucic. If there is no lockout and the expansion Seattle team comes in you ay be able to this as an opportunity to convince them to

2003 nhl oilers playoffs highlights/player interviews.not sure what else,but take a look!!!!

If Sheahan, Nygard and Archibald can regularly match up and contain one of the top two lines of an opposing team, that should give either the McDavid or Draisaitl line some easy minutes, which will be a major advantage for the Oilers.

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