Happy New Year, Nation Citizens! I hope 2022 brings you everything you want and more and yes, that can includes a bunch of Oilers wins! Please tell me what your favourite Oilers moment from 2021 was and what you’re looking forward to the most in the next year in the comments.
Okay, moving on because there’s a lot to talk about! The Oilers won two very important games against Columbus and Seattle snapping their seven game losing streak before their break in schedule due to Covid-19. I mentioned in my last article that I was super impressed with this Oilers team and how they battled through a lot of adversity during this time. I honestly thought the boys were back on track. However, now I’m sitting at my kitchen table wondering how the hell the Oilers lost back-to-back games to the two worst teams in the Metropolitan division.
Let’s go over some of the good and the bad from this past week, shall we?
We’ll start with the my top three positives moments:
3 – Duncan Keith
We saw Duncan Keith have a big bounce back in his game against the Devils after having a poor performance against the Blues. He finished the night with two assists and team leading five shots on goals.
He also launched this 75 foot pass to put Connor McDavid on the breakaway to help the Oilers tie the game. Just in case you missed this magic, here you go:
Keith’s performance against the Devils was without a doubt his best game as an Edmonton Oiler and that’s something that we need to see way more often from the blueliner. He’s a player with a wealth of experience in the league and he needs to consistently bring his work ethic and talent game in and game out. What are your thoughts on Keith at this point in the season?
2 – Draisaitl
In this week of Oilers hockey, Leon Draisaitl became the first player in the NHL to reach a certain milestone.
Is anyone really surprised though?! Draisaitl has been an offensive force to be reckoned with all season long. He had a point in each game this week totaling 52 points on the season so far. The German powerhouse also leads the league in goals with 25 and I am sure there’s more to come!
1 – Yamamoto
A big shout out to Kailer Yamamoto this week for his performance against the New Jersey Devils. In my opinion, that was Yamo’s best game all season long and a performance that he desperately needed. He finished the night with two goals, one assist and as a result, many happy Oilers fans!
Here’s what he had to say after the game:
Although the Oilers have seen better days, Yamamoto did his best to carry that performance into the New York Islanders game. I spoke to this a lot in our Giant Pre-Game Show Presented by Sherwood Ford, we need to have higher expectations on our core group of players who aren’t McDavid and Draisaitl. I’m talking about Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Foegele, Hyman, Yamamoto, etc. I’m not saying these players haven’t been playing well, but we need more consistent Grade A performances from them. I think Kailer Yamamoto has been finding his stride in his last few games and has really stepped it up.
What are your thoughts on Yamamoto this week? Gotta give it up for the guy, hey?
Okay, now to the things that really need to be addressed this week.
Okay, how many times can we possibly talk about the Oilers having slow starts this season?! I mean it’s deja vu every single game and it’s starting to become a very big concern for this Oilers team.
I’m not going to lie, those stats are SCARY! What needs to happen with this Oilers team to eliminate these slow starts? Talk to me in the comments, please!
In my opinion, once again as I’ve already mentioned here, this Oilers team lacks all around consistency. We need to place more expectations on this team as a whole and yes, that includes the coaching staff, as well. This Oilers team is far from a well-oiled machine (no pun intended) and until each player comes out on the ice with heart, grit and toughness, we won’t see the results that we saw at the beginning of the season. We need consistency from top to bottom!
Also, poor Ryan Whitney:
Ahhhh, it’s time for the hottest topic of the season so far!
After the Oilers awful loss to the Islanders, fans were not happy and did not hold back (myself included).
But there was one individual in particular who was trending for all the wrong reasons: Dave Tippett.
While many fans are frustrated with our goaltending situation, the lack of toughness from our players and these horrible slow stars, others have some choice words about our coaching.
My thoughts on the Dave Tippett situation? I put a lot of responsibility on the players. However, at this point, I’m putting more responsibility on Tippett. It is his job to create change, motivate, develop and get creative. We have not seen that at all from Tippett in this horrible stretch of the season. There have been many times this season where a player will get elevated in the lineup and we’re left wondering what the rationale behind that decision was. It seems like the younger players aren’t ever rewarded with more ice time if they’re playing well (Example: Ryan McLeod vs. Devils), which is very odd to me. The veterans are always given the benefit of the doubt (Example: Duncan Keith vs. Blues) and Tippets in-game adjustments always seem to be the same thing which includes throwing Draisaitl and McDavid out on the ice hoping for a goal. We have so much talent and potential on this Oilers team and for some reason, things are not clicking. This is where good coaching has to come in. Bruce Boudreau is a perfect example of that and what he’s done with the Vancouver Canucks (who aren’t expected to be as good as the Oilers). At some point, something’s gotta give.
It’s a hot topic right now amongst Oilers fans! Either you’re on the Tippett train or not and I’m curious where you stand in the argument. Could a coaching change save the Oilers or are the problems deeper than that? Send off in the comments!
Also, thoughts on Mike Babcock being the solution? As a former Leafs fan, I am so intrigued to hear your thoughts on this one!