Each season, penalties seem to be called a bit more aggressively at the start. Maybe that's because the playoffs are so heavily criticized, especially last year. It almost always results in power-play numbers skyrocketing to start a season. The crackdown so far has helped one of the most potent forward units in the Western Conference.
Over the past three seasons, the Edmonton Oilers' power play has been inside the top 10 when it comes to percentage, with the highest mark of this run being 2019-20 when they had a league-leading 29.5%.
Edmonton's power-play prowess the past two seasons also marked the first time in over five years that a team lead the league in regular-season power-play percentage in back-to-back seasons.
The percentage marks will drop off for all teams, not just the Oilers. But early on, it's proving to be a challenging task to slow Edmonton down on special teams.
Edmonton's top power-play unit is one that, from the jump, is next-level dangerous with the likes of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl on it. Good luck breaking these two up, as Anaheim found out on Tuesday. Seventy of Draisaitl's 200 career goals have come when playing a man or two up. McDavid also has 42 goals of his own on the man advantage and over 170 points in his career. You don't need to give him extra room – he's Connor flippen' McDavid.
The chemistry between No. 97 and No. 29 make up the main story on the power play, but they have also been able to get man-advantage goals from secondary options such as Zack Kassian. Zach Hyman has also already been able to get to the front of the net, showing how effective he can be. The man-advantage points have also been spread out as eight Oiler skaters have found their way onto the scoresheet.
The level of point distribution has been effective along with the net-front presence. Jesse Puljujarvi has made himself a constant force by the front of the net on the powerplay which is a welcome sight as his game continues to improve in North America.
How do you neutralize the Oilers on the penalty kill? Right now, there doesn't seem to be a clear answer when it's as dynamic as it is.