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Category: Edmonton-Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers Have No Answers

from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Journal,

Thankfully, 2017 is over.

And one or two more games like that and so are the Edmonton Oilers.

With their season hanging by a thread and zero room left for error, against a Winnipeg Jets team without Mark Scheifele and Dustin Byfuglien, the Oilers put all of their hunger and determination on display Sunday night at Rogers Place.

It wasn’t much.

Their fast-fading playoff hopes suffered another serious blow, this time a 5-0 loss that had the home town crowd booing Edmonton off the ice.

With good reason. The Oilers were a lukewarm mess in losing their 16th straight New Year’s Eve game (0-12-4 dating back to 1985). After four-straight wins before the Christmas break, they’ve now lost three in a row since....

“How come in a game this important, at home, they couldn’t muster the determination to put up a fight?

“I can’t really answer that,” said McDavid. “We understand the position we are in and that every point matters is no secret to anyone in here. It was obviously not our best effort, but we’ll regroup with a couple of games coming up against divisional teams.”

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Game highlights are below...

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Despite Their Last 10 Games, The Edmonton Oilers Are Finding It Difficult To Climb The Standings

from Robert Tychkowski at the Edmonton Sun,

They were only six points out of a playoff spot in late November and since that time have been playing their best hockey of the season. It shows in the results — 4-1-1 in their last six, 6-3-1 in their last 10. They are definitely gaining momentum.

But when they woke up Saturday morning, there they were, six points out of a playoff spot.

Despite all of their efforts and all of their progress in the last few weeks they are no closer to a wildcard spot. That eighth spot is starting to feel like a mirage.

It’s disheartening that after all the hard work and all those wins the Oilers haven’t made up any ground, so they’re trying to focus instead on the long game.

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The Edmonton Oilers Drop Below .500 With A Loss To The Winnipeg Jets

from Jim Matheson at the Edmonton Sun,

Their heart was willing, also their legs, but their heads were in the clouds, the ones they couldn’t see because they took off in the dark at 6:30 am Wednesday to get here for a morning skate. After the morning skate, McLellan hoped his team would respond from the Christmas break with all the requisite body parts firing, but the “hockey sense” as he called it, was missing....

They’re under .500, again, at 17-18-2, seeing the Hawks Thursday and the Jets, again, New Year’s Eve. They’re 7-4 in December, but they badly needed this win to get the ball rolling.

“The work ethic and the commitment to wanting to work hard was there,” said McLellan, “but our hockey smarts didn’t exist. A lot of the time we were stepping up in the neutral zone and had poor support, our faceoff execution … we had one where we gave up a breakaway (Armia goal), a number of turnovers. They had their share of two-on-ones and three-on-twos, things that were certainly preventable.”

“They had a goal or two off lazy line changes too. Like I said, mentally we weren’t in it.We weren’t sharp early and it led to a lot of their momentum and their zone time,” said Letestu.

more on the Oilers 4-3 loss to the Jets...

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The Edmonton Oilers Hit The .500 Mark

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

A .500 record in today’s loser point NHL and $1.90 will get you a cup of Tim Hortons. It won’t get you a playoff spot.

But for the Edmonton Oilers, who were 7-12-2 on Nov. 21, improving to 17-17-2 on Dec. 23 will buy you the belief that, despite the declarations of hundreds of so-called experts, they’ve dug themselves out of their huge hole.

And it buys them belief they can now come back from the Christmas break and salvage what was expected to be a special season when it all started back on Oct. 4.

The believing it and the doing it, of course, are two different things.

And the doing it still involves a major mountain to climb. If it takes 95 points to make the playoffs this season the Oilers, who are five games from hitting the halfway point of the season, would need to go 28-15-3.

continued

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The Edmonton Oilers Getting Healthy And Winning Again

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

With defenceman Andrej Sekera back from a seven-month injury layoff, Thursday marked the third straight game where an Edmonton Oilers regular returned from injury.

So the scenery is becoming familiar again. The right guys are back in the right dressing room stalls, and suddenly the Oilers have three wins in a row — for the first time all season.

Also arriving on the scene of late? A resiliency shown in a 3-2 win over St. Louis that showed up like a long lost family member coming home for Christmas.

“The resiliency on this team right now is at a level that we saw last year,” said goalie Cam Talbot, spectacular in logging his sixth straight win. “It is good to see it coming back. When we are playing with that kind of confidence, it is great to see from our group.”

continued

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41 Shots, No Goals In Edmonton’s 4-0 Loss To Nashville

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

They outshot the Predators 46-23, but couldn’t beat backup Juuse Saros even once. Kind of like the other night in Toronto, where they walked the Maple Leafs all night long and watched backup Curtis McElhinney stop all 41 shots they fired in a 1-0 loss.

“I’ve been around the game for a long time now, and it’s a weird, weird game,” began Maroon, in a post-game address that had a scent of Phil Esposito back in ‘72. “You’re going to go through times where you shouldn’t win, but you do. And you’re going to go through times when you should have won by a lot and don’t win.

“Let’s put it this way: They had eight shots on net,” and a 3-0 lead late in the second period, Maroon said. “They didn’t have a chance, five-on-five. I couldn’t even tell you to a time where they spent time in our zone, till right at the end of the game.”

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Game highlights of Nashville's 4-0 win over Edmonton can be watched below.

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The Columbus Blue Jackets Suffered An Embarrassing Home Loss

from Steve Gorten of the Columbus Dispatch,

Tortorella walked into his postgame news conference and up to the podium after the 7-2 loss to the Oilers, spoke roughly four sentences and walked out.

“There’s no sense in me even trying to answer questions about this game,” Tortorella said. “Sorry about that. Have a good night.”

“We just weren’t ready to go,” Foligno said. “They fed it to us. It was a disappointing game, sloppy. No execution, no nothing. It wasn’t us.”

Inside the Jackets’ dressing room, players tried to make sense of a game in which they surrendered a season high in goals. Four came in the second period, and the most painful was Mark Letestu’s short-handed breakaway score less than a second before intermission and just nine seconds after the Jackets got a power play.

The home fans responded by booing their team, which had won six of its past seven at Nationwide Arena and 10 of 13 overall, off the ice.

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The Problems With The Ottawa Senators And Edmonton Oilers

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

Less than a year ago they were Canada’s darlings.

A 98-point team in Ottawa that would push the Pittsburgh Penguins to double-overtime in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final, and a 103-point Oilers team whose journey ended just a period away from the Western Final. They were this country’s top National Hockey League entries back then, and destined in 2017-18 to break the 24-year run of American Stanley Cup winners.

Today, if you were to combine their percentage chances of making the playoffs in 2018, that number equals 10.8 per cent (according to the Sports Club Stats web site). The Oilers are at 3.9 per cent, the Sens at 6.9 per cent — both just this side of irrelevant, well before the kids are off for Christmas break.

Ottawa is on pace for 73 points, Edmonton just 71. Off of last season’s standings, that would place Ottawa 15th in the East, and Edmonton 12th out West.

Injuries, under-performing leaders, bad goaltending, and as a result, heavy questioning of the front office have afflicted both organizations.

continued

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Another Bad Game From The Edmonton Oilers

from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Journal,

Head coach Todd McLellan warned his team the morning of the game about taking the Philadelphia Flyers lightly.

They didn’t listen.

At least, we hope they didn’t listen because if they did, and they really were trying their hardest, the Edmonton Oilers are done.

The team that got snuffed out by the Flyers Wednesday night at Rogers Place isn’t going anywhere but down.

Not only did they lose, at home, in a must-win game, to a team with one victory in it’s previous 11 starts, they looked especially bad doing it.

Lifeless, disorganized, all the usual maladies that have plagued them all year.

It was bad. In a game between two organizations trying to right their sinking ships, the Oilers spent the evening taking on more water.

continued

from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,

Just when you thought they were out of the funk, the team that spanked New Jersey 6-3 and returned to stink the joint out against Detroit, clobbered Vegas 8-2 and returned to soil the sheets against St. Louis returned. The team that put together an impressive performance winning 6-2 in Detroit then went to 30th overall Buffalo and delivered another dud, was back.

The club that won 4-2 in Boston and returned to soil the sheets against Phoenix re-entered the arena.

If Brossoit wasn’t now 1-5-1 and not improving his goals against average (3.80) or his save percentage (.872), you’d say it just wasn’t fair.

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The Edmonton Oilers Know They Need A Win Tonight Against The Calgary Flames

from Jim Matheson at the Edmonton Sun,

Connor McDavid calls it “a massive game,” which may be a bit of hyperbole because it’s not exactly Game 7 of a playoff series, but McDavid can read the NHL standings.

If the Edmonton Oilers, seven points south of a wildcard playoff spot, beat the Calgary Flames on Saturday, they at least stay close to Anaheim, Colorado, Minnesota, Vancouver and Chicago just ahead of them in the standings. And they can stay in sight of Dallas and Calgary, who hold the wildcard spots right now.

If they lose, it may be time to think towards next year.

When a Calgary reporter asked McDavid if he knew why the club had been so inconsistent this season, he laughingly said “next question.”

“Believe me, if we knew we would fix it,” he told the reporter following the optional morning skate Saturday. 

continued

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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