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Photo Credit: © Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Blues 7, Oilers 2: The towel has officially been thrown in

While it isn’t technically over, last night’s miserable showing against the St. Louis Blues was the unofficial end to the Oilers’ season. The Oilers got completely slammed over the course of 60 minutes by a good team driving in playoff mode. This team just isn’t good enough.

What happened?

After this goal was scored, you kinda knew how the game was going to unfold. Well, I mean, maybe it was actually the fact the Blues outshot the Oilers nine to two in the first half of the period, but you get the point. Mikko Koskinen, who takes up most of the net, somehow let this shot by Jaden Schwartz get past his glove.

The floodgates opened in the second period. Alex Pietrangelo scored just 27 seconds into the period when the Oilers just let him casually walk in on a breakaway and then Jaden Schwartz buried another from the slot. That would be the end of Mikko Koskinen’s night, but Anthony Stolarz wouldn’t be much better.

The bright spot for the Oilers came in the latter half of the second period. Zack Kassian dropped the gloves with former pal Patrick Maroon in what was one of the better bouts of the season. Soon after, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Kassian each scored goals to cut the lead in half.

But that’s as close as the Oilers would get. The Blues would put the pillow over the Oilers’ heads in the third period with three goals. Predictably, one of those goals came from Maroon. Man, do I miss this guy.

By the numbers

There wasn’t really a point in which the Blues let up last night. They had 53 shot attempts to Edmonton’s 25 and they had nine high danger chances to Edmonton’s three at even strength. I don’t think there was a point in which it seemed like the Oilers were in this game and the shot chart reflects that.

Thoughts…

  • What can you even say after a game like that? It’s hard to call it a death blow because, if we’re being totally honest rather than forcibly optimistic for the sake of having a talking point, this team was already dead. Last night’s pounding was like watching a boat that had been slowly sinking for months finally go completely under. We saw a good team — just good, not great — turn on the jets and get into playoff mode and completely dismantle the Oilers. The Blues are the sixth-placed team in the West right now. This isn’t like losing 7-2 to, like, Tampa Bay or San Jose. This is a middling team that might win a playoff round. Getting pounded so hard by a team like this really shows how bad this Oilers team really is.
  • At this point, the Oilers should probably not play Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl more than humanly possible. They’ve been playing more than 22 minutes a night for virtually the entire season and it’s time to dial it back. There’s no need for these two to be on the ice for 22 minutes in a 7-2 pounding. Just dig to the bottom of your bullpen and send the scrubs out there to munch the minutes.
  • Speaking of that, it would be nice to see some Anthony Stolarz down the stretch. Mikko Koskinen has had a rough go and, like with McDavid and Draisaitl, there’s no point in pushing him. Get Stolarz in there to give him a chance to show what he can do.
    • hagar

      This is the old boys favorite time of year. I bet they are all in their best moods. The can has been kicked another season down the road, they still have jobs… and its summer time baby!! We are talking months of holidays and golf without fans complaining about stupid things like results.
      Just need to keep making it through another year boys.

  • All of those make sense, so they will do none of that. Any other market the entire management team would be out the door already. Took down my memorabilia in December, you could tell then the roster was flawed and the lack of compete as usual would do us in. If The OBC remains, so shall the results. Absolute farce top to bottom. Not really expecting anything any different next year, except that may be when Connor wants out. This may very well come down to a decision by Katz as to whether he wants to keep his unqualified cronies or McDavid, and I would put money on which he would keep.

    • Schmidt Head

      Katz and his unqualified cronies must be made to suffer; in every way possible. As long as the sheep keep forking over their money and pledging their “L-Oil-ty”, nothing will change.

      When their business starts to collapse around them, maybe then they’ll start to smarten up!

      Any person who cares about this team; anyone who claims to be a fan, will withhold their money, turn off the TV and most of all, do everything they can to ensure the team plays in an empty rink….. and that a national TV audience see that!

      When Katz and his incompetent nimrods are embarrassed enough, and when they start getting hit in the wallet, and when they finally realize the fan base will no longer tolerate their con game, then things will turn around!

  • Dark Knight Returns

    #FreeMcDavid

    The organization had a great shot at building a winning team, pocketing A LOT of money and making fans happy.

    The shot at it has been squandered, this mess can’t be fixed but in 3 years (at least). Please Connor, get out of here.

    I used To be a good fan, even through the H.O.P.E times, now I want to find a team to cheer for that is conducted as a truly successful organization.

    Hopefully Connor goes to that team and my dilemma will be solved.

    In the meantime whoever stays a fan and furthermore whoever keeps going to games, is an idiot and you deserve what you got….

    #FreeMcDavid

  • BobbyCanuck

    Disagree, play McDavid and Leon like rented mules. Watch McDavey win the scoring title and Leon get over a 100 points

    At least it will give us something to cheer for

  • Odanada

    Think about where you work and what would be permissible before someone gets canned.
    The Oilers are a Mickey Mouse organization and Wayne is a Vice Chair of the whole shebang. Pretty ironic if you ask me.

  • Danger Pay

    I’ve been a die hard “Tier -watch at home fan” since I was a kid and I have not been able to watch a full game since the new year. Even when they’d go on a small run my reaction was meh. Watching the Oilers has even been bad for my beer league play. I only watch playoff teams now. I’ve also found other things to do besides the Oilers, ie: I binged watch Breaking Bad, now that was entertaining! I think next game I’m going to try Turbo Tax for the 1st time and file my return. I would rather learn how to file my taxes than watch the Oilers. Thank you OBC for making me realize there’s more to life than watching a pathetic hockey franchise.

  • Flint

    I understand fan disappointment but realistically, rationally (not emotionally) the Oilers haven’t been in it for months. They haven’t been higher than a 1 in 3 chance to make the playoffs since well before the All Star break and they have never been close enough to the wildcard that there were not at least two teams between them and 8th.

    I get that emotionally you never want to give up hope, even now… they could go 9-0 and the wheels could fall off four other teams… yes, 1 in a million kinda could, but by reasonable probability…. hope was gone months ago. And for fans, ok, it’s fun. For the coach and players you need to cling to hope.

    But for upper management they need to be realistic, cut throat and not miss a single opportunity to make the team better. Not over spend a dime or miss a trade.

    The Oilers may not be good… like really good until 2022/23. Maybe 21/22. That will have burned half or more McDavid and Draisaitl’s contracts until they are UFA’s and all three years of RFA. That’s getting scary.

  • Foxconn

    If the Oilers want to go 9-0 to finish the season, they need to start Anthony Stolarz every game. The club needs a feel good story right now.

    If not, he books out of Edmonton as a UFA making the Talbot trade a total waste.

      • Foxconn

        True, but they’re not even giving Stolarz a chance. This is the guy who started for the London Knights in the Memorial Cup in 2013 and 2014. If he leaves Edmonton, he’ll flourish with another club.

  • Arfguy

    While I will wholeheartedly agree that this team is lacking talent by an embarrassing margin, I will also say that this team also isn’t that much different from the teams from a last couple of years ago.

    While I don’t think he’s entirely to blame for all the faults, I do place a large amount of blame on the style of hockey Ken Hitchcock employs. I do not believe it works for any of the players and I also don’t think he has a clue how to get this team to play.

    He was supposed to come in and find issues to fix. I don’t think he’s done that. He’s basically used all the things MacLellan already found was working (Draisaitl+McDavid and eventually…Lucic + Top 2 lines = failure), yet the last few games, I noticed that he keeps putting Lucic on the top 2 lines.

    I go back to highlights from before and I have seen a number of times, defencemen being able to pass to the forward for a breakout. Defencemen like Klefbom, Larsson and Nurse. Am I to believe that these players have basically forgotten how to play all of a sudden?

    No. I know that the Oilers need serious help at every position. Goaltending position is a mess and the other sections are not better off. However, I have not seen any improvements to any aspect of the games under Hitchcock. The only person I can say has been better under Hitchcock is Draisaitl, but I always believed that if he had a decent set of wingers (I hope younger and faster next year) would help him never having to be paired with McDavid and I stand by it.

    MacLellan did not adapt quick enough and Hitchcock has made this team worse. I sincerely hope that the team finds a head coach that can work with these players to make them better and not subscribe to old-school hockey mentality, which I feel Hitchcock brings in droves to an already thin line-up.

  • Heschultzhescores

    We need to have hockey IQ guys drafting and draft players with skill, but also hockey IQ. It appears we have niether. See Yak and Jessie as examples. The easy, no risk picks were Tkachuk and Rielly. Then we trade assets for nothing. Hall and Eberle. Who can even screw up that much. They turned our team into a bunch of no names, with two Superstars and nothing else. Its shocking really. Pedegree, draft pedegree, its low risk high return. Not fringe pedigree like Lowe’s son Keegan. I’m talking the ones that made it into the top 20 prospects, not the bottom 20.

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    There is too many passengers on the good bus Oilers this year and some guys shouldnt be back, as for the coaching staff, I dont see Hitch coming back, the OBC doesnt like the idea that Hitch is hard on the guys, and I think Hitch’s defence first system has the players worried more about getting back then providing any constancy in the forward attack , as far as I am concerned the assitants can go, I see no change with the assitants from last year to this year, defensive system still horrid, PK and PP still brutal and I saw no real changes no fixing of any of the above, yes the players bare some responsibility but its up to the coaching staff to find a system that works and much like last year I saw no will to make the changes to even go to the basics and get the systems functioning because it was a tire fire all year long. Schwartz needs to go, he is infecting the goalie with bad habits and the team and its goalie are getting picked apart and this has been going on since last year with Talbot and this year wiuth Talbot and Koskinen, look at Koskinens play when he was rolling he wasnt going down so early and staying down so long and his crouch was higher, once h3e started working with Schwartz, total change in how he played and it was like watching a repeat of the issues plaguing Talbots play. I’d be lying if I said I wasnt worried about the changes that will come after the season, because its clear the people calling the shots dont give a rats you know what about the team, and yet those people will be in charge again next year with more deterimental decisions to come down

  • Serious Gord

    What are the odds that next season will be worse?

    They are on track to get 79-80 points- 1 or 2 more than last season. How many predicted they would be this miserable?

    Next year goalie situation likely worse
    Russell, Kassian, sekera and larsson another year older. Lucic even worse.

    A rash of injuries again and its Groundhog Day.