In the midst of a 15-game winning streak after a horrible start to the season, it was confidence that helped the Edmonton Oilers turn things around.
Trust in one’s own means, but, above all, trust in others.
“We have found what works as a team, that is, having confidence in our teammates,” Quebec defender Vincent Desharnais summarized during an interview broadcast by Hockey 360. Trust each player to do their job. Have confidence in your goalkeeper. This is something we didn’t have at the beginning of the season. It is something we have built and continue to build every day.
“If we can continue like this the rest of the season, I think we will see a different team in the playoffs. »
Authors of notable 153- and 128-point seasons last year, Oilers tenors Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are not producing at the same frenetic pace as in 2022-2023. McDavid and Draisaitl continue to impress with 63 points in 42 games and 54 points in 44 games, respectively.
His slight decline in attack is far from worrying Desharnais, who notices better collective play and greater production from certain support players.
“We want these guys to break records, be the best players in the world and be as successful as possible, but on the other hand, when you look at it from a team perspective, I think it’s really good that maybe they’re a little less dominant or they’re just They produce a little less than last year, Desharnais notes. First, it makes them work even harder by giving them a little adversity, but it also leaves room for others to tell themselves that they have to pick themselves up because it won’t always be them. those that will be able to produce.
“It’s a lot of fun to see our fourth line up and running. Watching guys like Warren Foegele and Ryan McLeod is more important. They are guys who have a lot of talent and who seem to have finally found their game. With the atmosphere and the confidence we have in the team now, it is very nice to go to the stadium every day. »
With 15 consecutive wins, this winning streak is among the 5 longest in NHL history. The Oilers are just two wins shy of the record of 17 set by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1993. Although the media talks about it a lot, it is not a topic that is on the agenda during Oilers team meetings.
“Honestly, we don’t talk much about the streak or the record. We focus on the next team we face. Like today (in the team meetings), there was a video in Nashville and there is not a single guy or coach who mentioned (the sequence). No, tomorrow at 2 p.m. we have a game to play and we have two points at stake.
“Obviously it’s fun and there’s excitement around it, but when we were 2-9, we were less than nothing. I think the best thing is to go game by game and do everything possible to get two points. »