GDB 2.0 Wrap Up: Oilers drop home opener 4-3 to Canucks, fall to 0-2 on season

Ryley Delaney
5 months ago
Well, that’s not a good start to the season.
On Saturday night, the Edmonton Oilers took on the Vancouver Canucks for the second straight game, losing 4-3 in regulation. This brings their season record to 0-2-0, with a goal differential of -8.
While it was an improvement over the 8-1 loss on Wednesday, a loss is still a loss no matter the score. Let’s look at some positives, some negatives, and things worth mentioning.


Oilersnation’s Player of the Game: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
One of the lone bright spots in the game, the longest-serving Oiler potted his first goal of the season and added two assists for his first three-point night of the season.
Last season, the 2011 first-overall pick had 100 points for the first time in his career (104), along with a career-high in goals, as he scored 37 en route to a playoff berth.
Although Edmonton has had a rough two games, RNH has had a solid start.
Things worth mentioning:
Connor McDavid scored his first goal of the season on the power play. It wasn’t even close to the prettiest goal of his career, as there was a mad scramble in front of the goal before the puck popped out to the reigning Rocket Richard Trophy winner. He also assisted on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ goal, giving him three points on the season.
Leon Draisaitl gave the Oilers an early lead, scoring his second goal of the season. However, he also leads the team in penalty minutes as he has three minors in the two games Edmonton has played, and his interference call ended one of Edmonton’s power play opportunities.
Special teams will be big for the Oilers this season, as they had a historic year with the power play in 2022-23, but a mediocre one with the penalty kill. So far this season, Three of the four Oilers’ goals have come on special teams, which isn’t great for five-on-five scoring. Furthermore, the Oilers only took three penalties on Saturday, three less than what they took on Wednesday.
Goaltending seems to be Edmonton’s weakest position. Jack Campbell got the start on Wednesday, allowing four goals on 16 shots before being relieved by Stuart Skinner, who allowed as many goals on as many shots. The latter started Saturday’s game and had the exact same line – four goals allowed on 16 shots – that he and Campbell had on Wednesday. The goaltending needs to be better, plain and simple.
A lack of depth scoring hasn’t helped the Oilers either. There are only five players on the team with points: Draisaitl, Nugent-Hopkins, McDavid, Evan Bouchard, and Zach Hyman. Like goaltending and five-on-five play, this is something that needs to improve… and fast.
Everything that could go wrong for the Oilers has. It’s way too early to look at standings, but the Oilers find themselves at the bottom of the basement, which is not something you’d expect to hear in McDavid’s ninth year, even if they’re only two games in. Over the past few seasons, Edmonton has tended to start hot, cool down in November and December before getting white hot in the new year.
If trends continue and they don’t start the season hot, they can be in a world of hurt like they were in the 2017-18 season.
The Oilers will head to Nashville to face the Predators on Tuesday, October 17th, at 6:00 PM MDT. They need to get back on track quickly.
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