Milan Lucic netted two goals in the team's 7-2 win over the Sabres on Monday. After the game, Oilers head coach Ken Hitchcock said that his recent success was a byproduct of the way he's been playing as of late.
This is five games in a row where he's been like this. He's really playing well," Hitchcock began. "He looks like the player for me that was around two or three years ago. He's got speed, he's got tempo in his game at both ends of the rink, and he's able to pressure and control the boards making quick decisions... It's good that he's scoring, but it's just the end product for how well he's playing."
Lucic said that Hitchcock has helped him immensely as he's tried to work his way through the slump.
"He's always pumped me up and said a lot of positive things to me," Lucic noted. "Even in our one-on-one meetings, it's been critical at times but it's been good criticism. It's been positive criticism. That's something that I think I've always thrived on. Just got to find a way to keep that going."
On Tuesday after practice prior to departing for Vancouver, Leon Draisaitl added that teammates are pumped to see how well he's been playing.
"It's exciting. We can all agree it hasn't gone his way, especially 2018. He's never gotten down on himself. He always comes to the rink with a smile. It's nice to see him get rewarded for being patient and sticking with it."
Draisaitl added that the stretch his teammate went through was a difficult one and that's understood by everyone in that room.
"I don't think people understand how hard that is sometimes, when you're supposed to score and you're not. It's not easy but he was really good with it. I think it was nice to see. He had those same chances pretty much the whole year of 2018, they just wouldn't go in for him. Last night was huge for him and huge for us.
"It's the mindset, too. He set his mind on 2019 to have a different year and produce more. So far, he's been really really good for us. He's playing some really good hockey for us."