Mattias Ekholm shocks fans with advice for Oilers

Will this work with one of the most talented offensive teams in hockey?



The Edmonton Oilers are fortunate to be able to boast two of the best players in the National Hockey League on their roster in phenom forwards Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, who continue to absolutely terrorize opposition defenses and goaltenders. 

But it's not going to be terribly much longer until they both can become unrestricted free agents. Draisaitl's current contract expires in 2025, with McDavid's following in 2026. Needless to say, Oilers general manager Ken Holland is going to have his work cut out for him in order to be able to keep them both in Edmonton for the long term.

One surefire way to ensure that both players would want to stay in Edmonton beyond their current contracts would be to have sustained postseason success that results in a championship win. They defeated the Los Angeles Kings in Round 1 of the postseason for the second straight year this past spring, but would be taken down by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights in Round 2. 

And in the mind of defenseman Mattias Ekholm, who was acquired from the Nashville Predators at last season's Trade Deadline, it's a simple strategy of how Edmonton can advance further this time around - get "boring". 

“It was two even teams. I thought it was an even series up until a certain point,” Ekholm said on the Got Yer Back Podcast, referring to the Oilers series versus the Vegas Golden Knights earlier this year. “Then, that came into play a little bit. We thought we were gonna win 5-1, not just sit down and wait, maybe grind a 1-1 game out until the second OT. That just has to come into our game at times. We need to be more patient with it.

“There’s no other team I’d like if you’re going to go with the team that’s going to score a lot of goals. I think this is the team. We just need to learn the lesson of, sometimes it’s about defending, sometimes it’s about keeping pucks deep, the clichés of the game where you just kind of kill the clock, kill the time. Just non-exciting hockey. Boring hockey, if you will.”

Most hockey fans today would shudder at the thought of an offensive juggernaut like the Oilers being relegated to playing the kind of hockey that earned the New Jersey Devils teams of the 1990's a reputation for being painfully boring thanks to their employment of the notorious neutral zone trap strategy. 

But is that what it would take to finally put the Oilers over the top?

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Source: Daily Hive