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Oilers Head Coach Makes NHL History In Playoff Debut

Published May 2, 2022 at 5:55 PM

Jay Woodcroft was abruptly thrown into the fire near the end of the NHL regular season, as Edmonton decided to move on from Dave Tippett who had a 3-year tenure in the organization. Woodcroft had been around the league as an assistant coach under Todd McLellan, with the San Jose Sharks in 2008.

He was brought into Edmonton in 2015, again under Todd McLellan with fellow assistant coach, Jim Johnson. His status changed in 2018, as he was sent down to coach the Bakersfield Condors.

Under his guidance, the Condors had a 105–71–21 record during the regular season and captured the Pacific Division playoff championship during the 2020–21 campaign. Bakersfield also captured the Pacific Division regular-season title in 2019.

On February 10, 2022, it was announced that Jay Woodcroft would be the head coach of the Edmonton Oilers, and given his success in the AHL, it is not surprising Ken Holland would promote him.

The Oilers have been in free fall since Dec. 1, when they were 16-5-0 and atop the Pacific Division. Since then, they have won just seven out of their last 23 games.

The Oilers (23-18-3) are five points adrift of the Calgary Flames, who own the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

What is great about this year's playoff run for the Oilers, is that Woodcroft is the first Video Coach to make a run to do so in NHL history. Time will tell how he does against the depth of the Los Angeles Kings, but he has turned the organization around.
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