Edmonton Oilers Hidden Gems on the Fourth | Oilersnetwork.com - Edmonton Oilers News and Rumours

Edmonton Oilers Hidden Gems on the Fourth

When you have potentially the best player in hockey on your team, it's easy to let the little things go unnoticed. Connor McDavid is so fun to watch that almost all eyes are drawn to him. Last night's game against the Arizona Coyotes reminded fans that this version of the Edmonton Oilers isn't just one person.

Zack Kassian

It's tricky to describe in one word what the resurgence of Kassian means to the Edmonton Oilers. Perhaps the folks from Twitter can do a better job than I.

Kassian's play has been everything any fan could have hoped for as an Oilers fan. After years of watching their beloved Oilers get pushed around and manhandled by bigger teams, Kassian has found a home on this Oilers team and his timing is impeccable. He's engaged every game, he's physical, has skill and stands up for his teammates. The game against Arizona was the Zack Kassian show and it was fun to watch.

On Wednesday, he had an assist, should have had a goal and dropped his gloves ready for any comers after he blasted Ekman-Larsson for rubbing out Matt Hendricks. The look on his face was one of pure determination — as if to say with is eyes, "If you are going to try and play physical with my guys, I'm going to make you pay for it." He has only two goals on the season, but he should have five.

That the Oilers picked him up in a trade that sent goaltender Ben Scrivens to Montreal makes adding him even sweeter. Scrivens is long out of the NHL, but Kassian is starting to show that perhaps his career is just on its second wind.

Mark Letestu

Letestu has been something of a blessing. Last season there were folks who'd suggested that he wasn't necessarily a great hire by Oilers-GM Peter Chiarelli. Those folks aren't saying much anymore.

With seven goals and 17 points in 32 games, Letestu would be on pace for over 40 points in an 82-game season. That's amazing considering he was never signed to be anything more than a fourth-line energy player who could win a couple faceoffs.

He's playing short-handed, he's now turned the Oilers power play into a weapon and he's reliable at key moments in the game. He's the epitome of the depth forward in the NHL and he's providing nothing but value for the Oilers.

Matt Hendricks

Hendricks is a bit unique to this group as his career is on the back nine and this could likely be his last year as an Oiler. If he stays, it will be due to his leadership skills and never quit attitude which is clearly rubbing off on this Oilers team. If he stays, it will also be at a significant discount over this current salary.

Last night it was fun to see Hendricks score. He's had a rough season having missed the first chunk due to injury and with so much depth on this team, Hendricks may be in tough to find a regular role here going forward. That said, if this fourth line continues to have the success it's been having over the last couple games, there's absolutely no reason to make a change.

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