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The Edmonton Oilers Need A Win

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

The Edmonton Oilers lost this one fair and square, 4-1 with an empty net goal, to the Boston Bruins. And if you subscribe to old time hockey lore, they lost because they haven’t played well enough to deserve for those bad breaks to turn into good ones....

"They scored three goals in three minutes there and that’s all she wrote," said Connor McDavid, whose math was just a little off. It was three Bruins goals in 5:53 that erased the 1-0 lead McDavid had given Edmonton.

"I thought we did a good job of limiting the damage. In the third period we got our looks, a couple of bad bounces, a couple of bad bounces go in our net and that’s the way it goes," he said. "We’ve got two games left on this road trip and we’ve got to make the most of it. Not much more to say than that."

The reality is, the Oilers have played two games and lost both by three goals. That is some distance from good enough, especially for a team that has vowed not to repeat last year’s crippling start to the season.

And then there is this stat: through the two season opening losses, Edmonton has scored three goals in total, and their captain has been in on every one of them. 

read on

Catch the game highlights below.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink



What do the Oilers need to be successful? Barry Trotz/Mike Babcock? Or do they need grinders, better D? I mean, McDavid scored 108 pts last year…

Posted by Pasha1277 on 10/12/18 at 10:19 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

I watch quite a few Oilers games, because they are a young team with talent. But they are a real enigma, very hard to figure out.

It seems like coaching may be an issue. The McLellan I see behind the Oilers bench seems a far cry from the confident leader who was behind the Sharks bench for a long time. He seems jittery, not at all confident, and looks like he is just waiting for the next bad thing to happen. This has to have a negative effect on the players.

And heart, I’m not sure how much heart the Oilers teams of the last few years have had. They are young and talented, and should be able to play a fast 200-foot game and kill teams with a quick transition. But they seem, collectively, like they are playing at 3/4 throttle.

Very tough team to figure out.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 10/12/18 at 10:35 AM ET

Primis's avatar

What vet leadership does the team have?  Not much.

They have no compass.  McDavid still isn’t a real leader yet TBH.  Sekeras is hurt and out.  That leaves who?  Milan Lucic? (HAHAHAHAHA, no)  Kris Russell maybe I guess?

I don’t know that there’s anyone to lead the way.  McDavid can with the scoring I guess, but what about the rest?

Posted by Primis on 10/12/18 at 11:37 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

EDM having a great season a couple seasons ago was probably the worst thing that could have happened to that club.  They thought they were just a couple tweaks away from a Cup so they didn’t make many changes; then they handed out huge raises to McDavid and….that German kid. 

Not to mention the fans and media - they all got way more excited than they should have.

Posted by TreKronor on 10/12/18 at 12:10 PM ET


Seems like moving out Chiarelli and McLellan after so much front office and coaching
turmoil in years prior is something top management didn’t want to do too soon.

But it’s possible to be a good coach and not the right fit for a situation like this.

It’s well known that in trying to ease themselves of the big deals given
to Hall and Eberle, in order to give out bigger deals to McDavid and Draisatl (sp?
Chiarelli got fleeced. Look at what Hall immediately did in NJ. Not to say he’d
be perfect with McDavid, but that’s a dominant winger who plays fast. Who did they get back? Maybe a second-pairing D and Strome?

Then they paid a lot long-term for Lucic who was already slowing down and now looks
too slow for today’s game. They seem to have a mix of big physical players who can’t keep up and guys who have some skill but not enough for the top lines and who aren’t complete players.

The D just isn’t good enough yet. Maybe Bouchard will end up being a great pick where they got him. Is Nurse really a number one D? That’s apparently where he’s slotted.

No idea why Talbot performed so well but then floundered. Making an investment to lure Koskinen shows they have their doubts about him. It can’t be easy playing behind that weak a defense with too many slow forwards and one big scoring line.

Posted by Lefty30 on 10/12/18 at 01:15 PM ET


Roster. The Oilers lack talent and experience both. Defense is actually a strong suit at this point, with some younger talent that will be productive in a couple years.

Up front, you have the best player in the world centering Ty Rattie? You have Kailer Yamamoto on your second line? Not good enough to win in the NHL - this is one of the 3 worst teams in the league with Ottawa and Montreal.

Best player in the world and they are looking at no more than 35 wins.

Posted by mtta on 10/13/18 at 12:11 AM ET

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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.

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