The Day After 60.0: Slow start, sloppy finish result in the Oilers taking another loss to a basement team

Photo credit:© Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
1 year ago
There’s no such thing as a sure win in the NHL.
The Oilers learned that in late January when the lowly Blue Jackets rolled into town and snapped their six-game winning streak. Exactly one month later, the Oilers were reminded in Columbus that even the team with the league’s worst record won’t just roll over and hand out two points.
Following a 7-2 win over the Penguins in Pittsburgh on Thursday that was perhaps Edmonton’s most dominant effort of the season, the Oilers came up flat against the Blue Jackets on Saturday afternoon.
Columbus opened the scoring just over one minute into the game and the Oilers showed little push the rest of the frame. In the second, the Blue Jackets popped off with three quick goals, ending Jack Campbell’s afternoon at 10 goals on 14 shots.
It was when the team was down 4-0 that they started to show some life. Warren Foegele put the Oilers on the board and then Leon Draisaitl scored on the power play to cut Columbus’ lead in half. Connor McDavid, trying to will the team to victory, scored shorthanded and then scored again a couple of minutes later to tie things at 4-4.
Unfortunately, the comeback came up short, as some sloppy defence and poor breakouts in the defensive zone led to the Blue Jackets regaining their lead in the third period.
“I thought Connor played very hard and tried to do things to spur the team on, but again, it’s a National Hockey League. You need all 20 people in the lineup to find ways to contribute to the win,” head coach Jay Woodcroft said. “It doesn’t mean you have to have your A or A-plus game every day, but we have a certain standard in terms of our detail and adherence to structure that I didn’t see a lot of tonight.”
“We have a certain standard in terms of our detail, and an adherence to structure that I didn’t see a lot of tonight,” Woodcroft said. “In the last two regulation wins, we gave up two goals against. Anytime we’re flirting with four, five and six, I don’t think it’s to our advantage.”
“Sometimes as the leader of the group, you got to do some stuff and I thought we might have been a little bit flat and I just tried to play with a little bit of an edge and I thought our group did a good job of kind of responding and got ourselves back in the game,” Connor McDavid said.
“The other team is doing the same thing, right? So I don’t think that’s a fair excuse. We got to show up and on time, and tonight we didn’t,” Warren Foegele said of the team’s poor start playing in the early afternoon.


Parting notes… 

  • This was just Edmonton’s second loss over their last 18 games dating back to mid-January but it’s frustrating to see how many points the team has left on the table against opponents that they should beat. As mentioned earlier, this was the Oilers’ second loss to the Blue Jackets, and they’ve also dropped games to the Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers, and Detroit Red Wings recently. That’s bad news given how tight the Pacific Division standings are right now.
  • The Oilers are now heading into a difficult stretch in their schedule. They’ll host the Boston Bruins, the league’s best team, on Monday, and then they’ll host two other playoff teams, the Toronto Maple Leafs, and Winnipeg Jets, on Wednesday and Friday. The next time they’ll face a non-playoff team is more than two weeks from now when they host the Ottawa Senators.

Check out these posts...