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Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

The Day After: 404 Error Oilers not found

Sometimes you go on winning streaks where bounces seem to go your way, sometimes you score one goal in three games and get flat out embarrassed.

Nobody is perfect, no team is perfect, and these last three games may have shown the Oilers are still a far ways away from where they want to be. They got shutout twice in a row against Toronto’s backup goalie and Freddie Andersen had no issues shutting the doors on all but one shot he faced.

Look, teams will be hot and teams will be cold and we have to remember one thing: these three games are only five percent of the entire regular season slate. It’s a small blip, hopefully, on a radar that has been a relatively strong season for the Oilers thus far.

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“Our whole group was not at the level we need them to be to compete with that team,” head coach Dave Tippett said after the game. “It’s not on one, or two, or three guys — it’s on the whole group.

“You have to recognize what you’re doing, recognize how you play. If you don’t recognize it, it’s pretty hard to fix it. We have a lot of recognition to do the next couple days.”

But recognizing it is only half the battle. Edmonton should’ve recognized after the first game that they weren’t where they needed to be. They should’ve recognized after the second game that they needed to be better.

“They gave us a bit of a lesson there. They’re probably the team in our division that’s the gold standard right now,” said Tyson Barrie. “We thought we were playing pretty good, but they showed us otherwise.

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“We have to take a look in the mirror here and figure out what went wrong. We got to regroup and get something cooking again. we’ll see them again and we certainly want to be playing a lot better the next time we do and show we’re a better team than we showed this week.”

Edmonton squandered their opportunity to make up ground and get within striking distance of the top spot in the North. Now? They’re even further away from getting there. Nonetheless life will go on for these Oilers, as will it for the rest of the division.

The Oilers do, however, have a chance to “get right” sooner rather than later. Their next seven games are against Calgary, Ottawa three times, Vancouver, and then Calgary twice. All three of those teams have had their fair share of struggles as of late, so Edmonton needs to find themselves and correct what went wrong against Toronto.

Backhanders…

  • That’s the third time in his career that Connor McDavid was held scoreless in three consecutive games. The previous two times came between Dec. 29, 2017 – Jan. 2, 2018 and Oct. 18, 2019 – Oct. 22, 2019. The first time around he broke the pointless streak with an assist in a 2-1 win over Anaheim. The second time he broke the streak with a three-point (1g, 2a) performance in a 4-3 win over Washington. I’d be worried if I were the Flames Saturday.
  • Leon Draisaitl was visibly upset in the first period slamming his stick on the ice and looking skyward. As I said on Twitter, I really don’t know what kind of a reaction he should’ve had to a squandered scoring chance when his team is struggling to score. He was equally as frustrated in the post-game returning some snark when asked about going pointless. Nothing wrong with either response.
  • The Bakersfield Condors are on mini-tear right now. They have wins in their last three straight outscoring opponents 14-1. Stuart Skinner has shutouts in back-to-back games. The Condors are 3-5 on the year, while Skinner has a 3-2 record with a .932 save percentage, a 1.61 GAA and two shutouts. Cooper Marody, Joe Gambardella and Brad Malone each have six points in eight games, while Tyler Benson has five points in six games.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at [email protected]