Oilers showing early season resiliency

The Edmonton Oilers are 2-0 in thanks to two gutty wins.

They weren’t pretty, but they got them done.

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We’ll preface the rest of the article by reminding everyone that the season is still very young, but there are some good things abound in Edmonton.

First and foremost, the team has shown a lot of resiliency early on. Against Vancouver on Wednesday, the Oilers gave up 2-1 lead halfway through the third frame.

It was a bit of a fluke goal that took a deflection near the front of the net, and it was hard to not think it would be a backbreaker given season’s past. But instead of collapsing, the Zack Kassian strolled down the ice and found the back of the net 1:11 later.

Connor McDavid did Connor McDavid things and scored the game winner.

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Much like the first game, the Oilers had to overcome (a lot) more adversity last night against LA. First, it came in the form of two brutal giveaways from Mike Smith that ended up in the back of the net.

But throughout the night, the team was forced to constantly claw back from deficits. No matter what Edmonton tried to do, the Kings were able to respond with a goal of their own.

It was fun. It was sloppy. It was the kind of hockey fans love and coaches hate.

It all came down to the final minute with Neal scoring the game-winner.

“It shows we’re willing to do anything to win,” said Neal after the game. “We shot ourselves in the foot a few times, but we did the right things to get back in the game and give ourselves a chance to win.

“At the end of the day, we got two points and we’re moving forward with two wins.”

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What’s important to note, too, is that the Oilers didn’t have to just rely on the big guys. Gaetan Haas connected with Joakim Nygard to give the Swede his first NHL goal, while Tomas Jurco made a great play to find Darnell Nurse for the Oilers fifth goal.

It was some nice depth scoring with nine total oilers getting in on the point parade last night. And to be fair, it’s something the Oilers knew they needed this season.

The team seems faster than last year, and they seem to have a lot more fight — at least early on. Dave Tippett seems to be doing a really job on the bench by keeping guys fresh and allowing there to be a healthy rotation throughout the game.

Let’s see if they can keep this up. As I wrote Friday, the team has a great chance to capitalize early this season with some wins.

On Twitter: @zjlaing

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