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Mattias Janmark’s speech: the turning point of the Oilers’ season
Credit: Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
As everyone knows, several months ago, when the 2023-2024 National Hockey League season had been underway for some time, everything was going wrong for the Edmonton Oilers.

Indeed, in November 2023, the Oilers were VERY far from a Stanley Cup Final, as they were positioned 30th overall in the NHL standings with a 5-12-1 record.

Nothing was going right for the Alberta outfit, and it didn’t look like it was going to get any better, as the playoffs became an increasingly elusive goal.

Yet the Oilers were able to turn their season around, stringing together two incredible winning streaks (8 wins and then 16 wins in a row) to finally finish the season in second place in the Pacific Division.

But what could have turned things around for the Oilers?

The arrival of a new head coach at the helm in Kris Knoblauch clearly helped, but it wasn’t the main thing Oilers players named last night in the locker room after their crushing victory in Game #4 of the Stanley Cup Final.

In fact, it was the speech by support forward Mattias Janmark that awakened the troops after a 6-3 loss in Carolina on November 22.

The speech of a simple 31-year-old depth forward woke up Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl’s group?

Well, yes, it certainly did.

As Chris Johnston explains in his excellent article for The Athletic, Janmark reportedly spoke out after the loss in Carolina to address the fact that the team needed to start thinking more about the defensive aspect of their game in order to start winning games.

Janmark compared the Oilers’ situation with the horrible start to the season (1-7-1) he experienced in 2019-2020 with the Dallas Stars, who eventually made it to the Stanley Cup Final.

He explained that a simple change in playing style, with a greater emphasis on defensive play, had changed everything in Dallas.

Well, after Janmark’s speech, that’s what the Oilers did, as they stopped forcing offensive plays and instead waited for the opponent’s mistake and took advantage of it.

Edmonton focused on their defensive game, and now they’re in the Stanley Cup Final.

Janmark has quickly become a very important player in the dressing room, and his style of play has come to be known as the janitor’s style.

In short, it just goes to show that it’s not always the first-rate players who are important to a team and can wake up the troops.

Simple support players like Janmark can play a decisive role in a team.


The Oilers are undefeated after three consecutive losses this season under Kris Knoblauch.

– He’s amazing.

– What will Alexis Lafrenière’s next contract look like?

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