Quinn Hughes
Photo credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers drill Quinn Hughes with multiple massive hits

Published May 9, 2024 at 3:46 PM

Despite a tough start to their playoff series against the Vancouver Canucks, the Edmonton Oilers remain the favorites to advance.

Following a heavy defeat in game one, the Oilers seem to have adopted a strategic focus on physical play, particularly targeting star Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes.

From the first period, it was clear the Oilers had a specific game plan: to unsettle Hughes with a barrage of forceful checks.

Forwards Evander Kane and Zach Hyman led this assertive approach, delivering notable hits that set the tone for the remainder of the game. This relentless physical strategy was evident throughout the night, as each Oiler forechecking against Hughes made sure their presence was felt with significant impact.

Media Advice Transforms into Game Strategy

A recent episode of the OilersNow radio show stirred controversy when a host commented that targeting Hughes physically could be an effective strategy for the Oilers.

The host humorously suggested that Hughes might appear overwhelmed to the point of tears if subjected to continuous physical play. Although meant as a lighthearted jab, the notion seemed to resonate with the Oilers' gameplay.

Quinn Hughes, to me, has always struck me as the kind of player who if you really start pulverizing him, he looks like he's gonna cry all the time. He has taken 17 hits in the five games leading into this one, so they're making a concerted effort, and it maybe looks like it's paying some dividends.

However, the Oilers' physical strategy came with its downsides. The Canucks adapted quickly, drawing penalties by exploiting the aggressive play. Notably, Hughes himself skillfully drew a holding penalty against Connor Brown by falling to his knees—a tactic that won Vancouver some crucial power plays.

As the series progresses, the Oilers are likely to continue this aggressive approach, aiming to neutralize Vancouver's key player through sustained physical pressure. This strategy is a double-edged sword, requiring careful execution to avoid excessive penalties while trying to maintain the psychological upper hand.

With the stakes high and the series still open, the Oilers' willingness to embrace such a confrontational style of play could very well dictate their success or failure against the Canucks. The next games are crucial, and all eyes will be on how both teams adapt to the unfolding dynamics of this intense playoff battle.
May 9   |   77 answers
Edmonton Oilers drill Quinn Hughes with multiple massive hits

Do you think the Oilers had a strategy to hit Quinn Hughes with hits early on?

Yes, need to wear him down5368.8 %
No, nothing unusual2026 %
See Results45.2 %
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