Three Key Things: Everything sucks and the Oilers can’t do anything about it
By baggedmilk3 months ago
I don’t think I’m talking out of school when I suggest that the Oilers’ 2-6-1 record coming into today’s game against the Predators has been lingering over all of us like a fart in an elevator. It stinks, there’s no escaping it, and the longer it lasts, the angrier we all get. Unfortunately, the pain continues around here as the Oilers got stomped yet again and lost for the eighth time in their first 10 games. Final Score: 5-2 Predators.
BLEEDING GOALS AGAIN
I don’t care whether you want to blame the Oilers’ shoddy defensive coverage (a problem), or the goaltending (a bigger problem), or the unfortunate reality that no one can score (a massive problem), the fact is that the Oilers are bleeding goals and don’t seem to have any ideas of how to stop it. And even though I’m not really interested in singling anyone out — Gord knows no one on this team is playing overly well — but it is basically impossible to win in this league consistently when you’re giving up four or five goals every night. Say whatever you want about the odd-man rushes or whatever annoyance speaks to you, but the likelihood that the Oilers get a key save when they need it is almost the same as you spontaneously morphing into a rhinoceros while you’re reading this. I think back to the second period when the Oilers looked like they were going to climb back into a tie game only to have that fourth goal against take the wind out of their sails. This loss to the Predators marks the sixth time in 10 games where the Oilers have allowed 4+ goals, and I don’t think I have to explain to anyone reading this why that’s a problem.
I hate to be that guy, but is anyone else starting to feel 2018 vibes? If you remember, the Oilers made the playoffs for the first time in the spring of 2017, and that led some folks to give them the Cup contender label for the following season. As we know, the Oilers crumbled under the pressure and missed the playoffs, setting the team back a couple of years before they finally got back in. I’m not bringing this up to set off alarm bells or anything like that, but it’s hard to ignore the similarities, given that the Oilers currently look like they’ll never win again. As much as I want to say that there’s still a lot of time left in the season, Edmonton just wrapped up their 10th game and is already 16 points back of first place in the Pacific Division. Pretty soon, you’re going to need a cherry picker to pull this team out of the hole they’re digging for themselves.
RAPHAEL LAVOIE’S NHL DEBUT
Big shout out to Raphael Lavoie for making his NHL debut. It’s always a long journey to get to the NHL, and I wanted to give the kid a little bit of love for living out the first step of his dream. I know many of us have high hopes that Lavoie will be able to step into the Oilers’ lineup and contribute some offence, but for his first game, I hope the kid was able to take a moment to enjoy what was happening. It takes a tonne of work to make it to the National Hockey League, and to see him rocking the Oilers uniform for the first time is always fun. The bad news is that Jay Woodcroft didn’t feel the need to play him much, leaning heavily on the top nine rather than spreading things out a little more. In 9:02 of TOI, Lavoie finished with three hits and a -1 rating.
OTHER THINGS WORTH MENTIONING
- The only home win the Oilers have had so far happened at Commonwealth Stadium. Embarrassing. The only reason to go to an Oilers game right now is the small chance to win a life-changing 50/50. Wait, can’t you buy tickets for the 50/50 online? Nevermind then.
- Darnell Nurse opened the scoring on the power play after a rare moment when PP2 kicked things off after the big boys actually drew the penalty on a long shift in the offensive zone. Unfortunately, the celebration didn’t last long as Filip Forsberg was able to tie the game only 25 seconds later on a wraparound that, in my opinion, should have been stopped. To make matters worse, that half minute of joy was the only happiness we felt all game.
- I’m so tired of watching other teams get saves at key moments of the game when the Oilers get nothing of the sort. I’m not going to spend much time on the goaltending since I already complained above, but Campbell certainly didn’t do himself any favours in the court of public opinion after turning in yet another sub-.860 night in net. Campbell finished the afternoon with 29 saves and a .853 save%.
- It was nice to see the Oilers’ power play come back to life after getting shut out the past few games. As much as the rest of the game was generally awful, I’m choosing to appreciate the two goals the boys picked up on three opportunities with the man advantage.
- Can someone please explain to me how it’s possible that the Oilers have taken what feels like 100 Too-Many-Men penalties already? Are they so out of focus that they can’t count to five? I’m bad at math too, but this seems ridiculous.
- Tyson Barrie returned to Edmonton for the first time since being traded for Mattias Ekholm at last season’s trade deadline. Barrie played a total of 190 games with the Oilers, registering 25 goals and 107 assists for 132 points. He was a good Oiler for three years, and I’ll always cheer for him. Also, thanks for not scoring, Tyson.
- You’ve been very patient for waiting this long into the article before I told you that the Oilers won only 33.9% of the faceoffs.
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