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Apples vs Orange - Apples Win

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After a strong start from the Oilers, St. Louis bounces back and wins it 4-2 in the final 25 minutes

Final Home Opener at Rexall Place
Final Home Opener at Rexall Place
Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Another game another loss. The problem is, the game was practically stolen from them. They had the momentum and kept it going for the entire first period and most of the second period. Then just like that the St. Louis Blues took it all away from them. *Poof* up in a cloud of smoke, erased 35 minutes of decent hockey and the Oilers allowed them to do it.

Highlights

The Good

Like I mentioned above, the first 1 and 3/4 periods. The Oilers were doing the right things, driving the net, making right zone entry and exit decisions and like the past few games goaltending looked great.

The Bad

The power play is horrible. They can’t set up, they lose the puck and the shots that do make it through to the net are weak.

Point 1

The position of Connor McDavid on the first unit power play is odd. I get that the Oilers want to win face offs and he’s not the guy to do that right now but his placement of pseudo wing/defense is just strange. This isn’t how he played in the OHL and it isn’t helping the Oilers score, that’s for sure.

Point 2

McLellan has adjusted the lines around McDavid, he’s played with Taylor Hall, Anton Slepyshev, Teddy Purcell, Benoit Pouliot and Nail Yakupov, but the power play units are essentially the same as day one. It is ineffective and needs to addressed soon.

Point 3

Nobody seems to be ready for what the other is going to do. Every time a pass comes to someone, it almost feels like they weren’t expecting it. They make bad moves, release the puck too early or pass to an empty area of the ice. There is no cohesiveness in the power play at all.

The Exception

The second power play of the night was played well for about 45 - 50 seconds when the Oilers cycled the puck and maintained control. They even got a few good scoring chances on it.

The Ugly

So I know I’m gonna sound like a broken record here (a poorly encoded MP3 for you youngsters) but this Oilers defense is probably the worst I’ve seen in years. The biggest issue has to be their inability to exit their own zone. It’s like they have plastic blades on their sticks so when they make a pass it only really goes half the speed it was intended to.

But Wait There’s More

Everything was going well until the Blues got the lead late in the 2nd period. The Oilers were playing well, making less mistakes than they had been in the past couple games and once again goaltending was fantastic. After the Blues gained the lead the wheels fell off. See if you can pin point where the second goal is scored:

Blues at Oilers - Game Chart

Thoughts

I am so happy that the Oilers have decided not to make us wait until November to be completely out of the playoff race. Disappointing us this early in the season, makes it that much easier for us to focus on the more important things in life.

If you agree with the above statement give your head a shake. Things will get better. They may not get great but they will get better. Whether it in the form of a trade for a defenseman or someone gets a call up from Bakersfield, things will improve. The Oilers know that their window with McDavid is very small and will make the appropriate adjustments to start winning.

Up Next

All I can say FFS! The Oilers take on the Flames in Calgary on Saturday. For most of you a loss to the Flames is just another loss. To me it’s a week of calling in sick or working from home because I have to put up with the unbearable Flames fans at work. All I can say is that the Oilers need to win this one so I can at least go to work on Monday.