Today the Oilers defense displayed just how bad they really are. Not only did they lose by 3 goals but they did it on a night that they scored 4 goals of their own. On top of that the Washington Capitals played the night before in Vancouver and were playing their backup goalie Philipp Grubauer. It was a night to forget.
No matter how bad this game was there was still some good. Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins played very well while Benoit Pouliot, Nail Yakupov and Connor McDavid each had decent games as well. Three of the four goals were scored by someone in that list and the fourth was set-up by Taylor Hall. There is no doubt that the top two lines played well.
This was the Oilers’ worst showing for goaltending so far this season and most of it rests on Anders Nilsson. Nilsson has played decently in his past two games but with the massive breakdown in defense he just didn’t respond. I get that it’s tough to be a goalie for the Oilers but some nights are going to be like this because of the Oilers defense and Nilsson needs to learn how to respond. If he can’t then everything is going to have to rest on Cam Talbot and that changes the season a lot.
The defense. That is all I should have to say. They took a step back tonight but that was expected especially with the Oilers facing one of the best teams in the league. I’m not giving them a pass but this wasn’t one of the games I had marked down as winnable so I get it.
Last game I complimented Justin Schutlz. I promise I will never do that again. Tonight Schultz was Jultzing so bad today that my 6 year old even pointed it out on the Capitals’ 4th goal when he asked "Why did that guy do that?" Schultz was a hot mess. The biggest issue with Schultz though is that the Oilers keep playing him like a top pairing guy. Hopefully it gets addressed soon but we all know it won’t.
Not much to say on game like this but I’ll try. I’m glad that both McDavid and Yakupov got points today. I’m glad that Nugent-Hopkins’ ear is still attached after taking skate to the head. How long until Jordan Eberle is back? That second line needs him so badly.
The Oilers have a day of rest before they take on the LA Kings on Sunday. At least its still a 7:30PM game and not one of those stupid Sunday matinee games. Other than that, if the Oilers defense plays like this on Sunday expect a similar outcome.