Photo Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Where do we go from here?

As I sat watching the Oilers game, I ran through possible story ideas and they seemed to get more and more negative as time ticked away in the game. It felt like déjà vu, in a sense. There was a lack of desperation by the Oilers until the final moments of the game, but how could this be?

We were supposed to run 32-year-old Jeff Glass out of the net and parade home with two points. At least, that’s the way my mind laid it out for me on Twitter after Mark Spector sent out the tweet about the starting goalie.

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Needless to say, things didn’t exactly go as I had planned.

It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad

Don’t get me wrong the game was still okay, it wasn’t anything like some of those games during the decade of darkness, and it had a great finish. Strome easily should’ve had a couple goals, the puck luck wasn’t in his favour or he passed up open nets, but he’s really starting to find his game. Big marks go to Nuge* and Puljujarvi who were both exciting to watch nearly all night long. And there were others that made some plays and tried to get things done. However, when you’re blessed with a team down on their luck as the Blackhawks were, you need to find a way to capitalize and that’s not what happened.

*Nuge has a big asterisk for a few bad giveaways, including on the power play.

Putting up shots, but they’re not going in

How is it that the Oilers can put up 45 shots and only manage three goals?! Don’t forget, two of those came in the final few moments while Talbot was pulled and the adrenaline was pumping. One thing I’ve noticed is that there’s no real “Ryan Smyth” kind of guy on the team that will do whatever it takes to score a goal. Someone needs to step up and stand in front of the opposing team’s goalie and put in those garbage goals. As a result, the goalie had a clear view of the shot more often than not.

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1 0-17 1-2 1-19
2 0-9 0-3 0-12
3 2-14 2-14
TOT 2-40 1-5 3-45

Where do we go from here?

I figured I could write something here about how I’m still sipping the Oilers Kool-Aid and have hopes for the postseason. Then I decided to make it fun, fire out this tweet, and poll the Nation:

It’s Oilersnation after all, so I’m going to let the fans fill in this one. There was a common theme:

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There were some logical ones:

Lastly, there was a few bang on ones:

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I agree with Shelby, we should all get some ice cream and go up from here. Where do you think we’re going to go from here? Let me know in the comments below.

  • Ted

    Give aways killed us. Looked like a team of Taylor Hall’s. Should have been the flying Oilers but timing issues always turning themselves back into there own and playing in there like the old days! Still have concern about Talbot why is he laying on his face as Kane scores in overtime!! C- effort not gonna get you to the playoffs!

    • Heschultzhescores

      Taylor Hall and the Devils are having a great year. It’s the Oilers systems which are making them look bad. Why do so many perform better when they leave? We have dummies running the show…dummies who think they are geniuses

      • OilersDynasty

        Man’s over here blaming one guy for all the losing that occured during his time in Edmonton and his first season in Jersey. You can’t put it all on one guy.

        • OilersGM

          I agree, one guy that never had a #1 goalie #1 Defence-men or two or three or any decent veterans. McDavid is the best player in the world with so much more surrounding him but where are we now it’s a team game. Hall should’ve gotten the C instead this dummies decided to hire another dummy in Eakins and he decided to give the C to yet another dummie and on in it goes to a point where it reaches some dummies on here saying it was Hall. Get your head outta of your ass.

      • oilerjed

        Considering that there have been multiple systems in place by different coaches I doubt this is the case. Is more likely that last year Hall was too busy pouting about getting traded to really figure out NJ systems and this year he has realized that he has to be a better team player and is seeing the success that comes from that. Not every Oiler coach can be dumber then you? At some point the players just need to execute on a regular basis.

  • Harry2

    People need to really calm down a bit here. Edm is not going to go 43-0 to end the season.

    The fact that they came back and stole a point is encouraging.

    However if Edm misses the playoffs its 100% on the special teams. That penalty kill is horrific

  • Heschultzhescores

    Is it Sabotage when a coach refuses to change things like the guys/guy on the first unit PP? Tell me another coach that would continue to put a 4th line guy out there for an entire year of not performing? Tell me a team that would not fire Woodcroft and his pathetic PK system…system is the wrong word. Auto goal giving system is the correct description. TMac needs tp go…Woodcroft needs to go. It’s time to stop making excuses for them

    • TruthHurts98

      True all 3 coaches need to go. But it’s Jim Johnson running the PK and Woodcroft running the PP isn’t it? Either way this team has ZERO chance of the playoffs with these buffoons behind the bench. Maybe this is back to the DOD. Draft high to get the depth or let PC keep making horrible trades with high picks. Tippett is still available and is a good coach. Look how bad Arizona is without him.

    • Dan 1919

      Haha although I don’t think the sky has fallen like many do, we just had a horrific start… I do agree to some extent that coaching needs to change their approach now, it obvious. Draisaitl is a great player but has put up to many give-aways on the PP. Puljujarvi took way too long to be put on the second unit, and never mind the second unit, he and Hopkins should be put on the first in place of Draisaitl and Letestu. It doesn’t even have to be a demotion rather than trying to fix something that isn’t working. Why Todd is so stubborn and sticking with the exact same group half way through the entire season, is mind boggling to me. And hate to say it, they look too constricted offensively. There’s teams with far less talent than the Oilers that have an easier time generating scoring chances and cashing in. I don’t know who’s in charge of offence, but I’d say they too need a complete re-evaluation.

      • Heschultzhescores

        Well said. Stubborn is written on his angry looking scowl every game. It’s like, I’m gonna show the world I’m right even when it’s obvious to everyone, and myself, I’m wrong.” There are people like this, and it prevents them from winning. People who win are able to adapt and admit mistakes and carry on.

  • Dan 1919

    They’ve put themselves in another must win against a very tough Jets team. 2 wins and they are still right in the dog fight. That being said, if they lose against the Jets, then they’ll need another 4 game winning streak just to get into the conversation again, and they’re running out of season. The Oilers are actually playing fine lately and are probably even good enough to make the playoffs if they had a full season left. Unfortunately with the hole they’ve dug, fine isn’t good enough to make it this year. As Oiler fans we will likely be overreacting to losses because we know what every loss means to the playoff hopes at this point. The silver lining is that at least they’re playing like a solid team again and it’s not like we know we’re destined for the basement again next year, like in the dark days… I think

  • Abagofpucks

    Bottom line talbum got out dueled by an ahl goalie and blew it, mcdavid didnt get any points on a ahl goalie and also blew it i think that about sums this up those 2 are the reason we lost . I hang this mainly on mcd .

    • Memyself&i

      You’re joking, right? McDavid was the best player on the ice last night regardless what happened. He could have had at least 5 points from assists alone. He was flying and setting up scoring chances throughout the game. He can’t hold everybody’s hands and finish his set ups for them. I get real angry when I read any disparaging remarks regarding McDavid. We’re so freaking lucky to have him.

  • TruthHurts98

    How do we still have these less than average coaches running this team into the ground?!? The special are beyond pathetic, players still are rewarded ice time for uninspired play. No accountability in Edmonton after all these years… still. Shaking my head. That was a pathetic showing last night. Why is Cammalleri still in the lineup?????? He’s useless most games. Slepyshev is better even if playing at 50% of his potential. It really does feel like this organization is gunning for a top 5 or 10 draft pick. We all know they can compete and beat any team. This is more frustrating being a fan now than the Decade of Darkness. Those teams were bad, this team is not but plays like it a lot of nights. Reality is with these coaches/management running the show, playoffs are a pipe dream.

  • Abagofpucks

    Also im getting sick of watching conner making plays like a (quote by the late Pat Quinn) fancy dan and getting nothing done . 12.5 million a yr mister you better pick it up the rest of the team is picking it up get with kid your sucking big time insert (BIG KICK IN THE PANTS ) here. uuuugh.

    • Dan 1919

      He single handily generated like 5 scoring chances last night and easily could have had 2-3pts. I know 90% of these comments are from fans of other teams trolling and don’t even dignify a response… but go troll somewhere else.

      If you get to a point where Connor McDavid is one of the notable issues on your team, you’re pretty much guaranteed a Stanley Cup yearly. Is that us? No and no. Move on.

      • Freddie the fog

        No. But Connor please shoot the puck more !!! Gretzky decided to have a shoot first mentality one year and racked 92 goals. Times have changed …no doubt..but their are a LOT MORE GOALS on #97 stick. Just to b clear he is not part of the problem. But i like a positive solution much more with #97 shooting from everywhere

  • OilersBro

    Here’s the thing with the powerplay. The Oilers are gaining the zone and getting the opportunity to run their offence. I think the players need some more read/react plays in place on the PP. I recall Letestu talking about how Woodcroft gives them autonomy once the puck is in the zone. I think autonomous athletes are great at that level but they need just a bit more structure and consistency.

    • GK1980

      Their zone entries are awesome, it’s the rest of it. I think they will start to get it clicking and when they do they will be winning more games than they lose.

    • Dean S

      Edmonton is the 14th place team in the Western conference. They were down 3-1 with 2:40 left and stole a point from a team ahead of them in the standings. With the 34th best SV % in the NHL, that’s not the end of the world.
      Till we get a goaltender.

      • jultz=2cups!??

        Really? You’re blaming talbot for last nights loss? Wow. You need to watch the games man. The pk was the downfall last night as it has been all year long. The staff needs to fix it and fast.

        • madjam

          Oilers lack of execution in entire games is what is costing them , not just PP and PK . If you watch all the games I am sure you would see that . After 10 years backing of excuses backing them up , and last season they finally produced , I am not going to give them the old benefit of the doubt this miserable season . They simply do not deserve/earned it .

  • oilerjed

    Its time to stop the “Fire the Coaches” argument and put this where it belongs. Straight on the players backs. TMac is a very good coach and I’m not sure who you think that he can be replaced by but tell me this, during the DoD the Oilers went through what 4-5 coaches and saw no change? The players simple weren’t performing. Other then the PK (which obviously isn’t working, but again, is that the coaching or the personnel?) I think a lot of our offense problems are a lot of bad luck. Most games we hit anywhere from 2-5 posts and somehow none of them are going in. Neither are they getting the goals that usually bounce in off of players butts, legs heads……….. How long can that last?
    Finally it has to be said, How is it possible that the Oilers, whose possession numbers are through the roof, NOT DRAWING ANY PENALTIES?? For the love of god, can the NHL please give me an answer to why only 1/4 penalties are being called against the opposing team? Not an excuse but a fact. Whether they can make good on the PP is another story.
    In short, there is lots of things going wrong but TMac is not one of them.

    • Fire Woodcroft!

      You’re defending assistant coaches whose special teams systems are ranked in the bottom ten percent of NHL teams going all the way back to 1980. Those numbers don’t lie.

      McLellan may be a good coach but the loyalty to his ‘guys’ is sinking this team. Woody and JJ have to go. Either they’re incompetent because of what they’re telling the players to do – or they’ve lost the room and aren’t being listened to by the team. Whichever way – they stink.

      Somebody needs to cut that dead weight. Barring a miracle it’s already cost us the season.

    • Old school

      As in business as in sports its about accountability.. the head coach is accountable for all aspects of the teams performance.. if the special teams aren’t performing it’s Todds responsibly to affect change .. he hired the special team coaches . But it’s deeper than that …Todd just doesn’t manage the dynamic of the game. Slow to react and slow to adjust in the fastest game in the world. He is consistently out coached by opposing coaches .Look how easily Maurice adjusted his team defence to completely eliminate Mcdavid from the Jet game after the first period the other night . With the talent on this team You simply can’t give the coach a “pass” with the performance this year . It isn’t acceptable.

  • Big Jacks Meat

    So, I cannot put a finger on any one or 2 players for this , but I can however pin point a couple of coaches who should be gone , and one is NOT Todd. Yet.
    Figure it out Jay and Johnson or look elsewhere, come up with something because what you have now , I taught in Bantams , seriously.
    or you ON THE LIST !!

  • GK1980

    Darryl J @DJordatron

    “To FIRE Todd’s buddies running the special teams. This s^&t is costing the Oilers their season.” – BANG ON. This guy is bang on. Something has to change. It will/ has already cost them the season. Last nights game was easily winnable.

  • HockeyRulz

    The one thing that drives me nuts (and I know this sounds bad) is the no calls for Connor. Seems like he has to go through a handful or more of no calls before getting one. Is this just me? Or is it that bad.
    Example is the call on Nurse… Didn’t Mcdavid get the same thing twice just before that call and nothing?