Apologies for the lateness of the post game. Internet and TV service was down in my area so I caught the last 10 minutes of the 3rd live, then fell asleep watching the rest, woke up this morning and finished watching this and wrote this on the train.
The Oilers six game winning streak was a product of some excellent goaltending and some timely scoring. Over the last 2 losses the offense has dried up and the goaltending has merely been good.
The loss versus the Rangers was one of those scheduling losses. Road trip + second game of a back to back against a quality team is an acceptable loss. The Oilers hung in there and came up short.
Last night? Bleh.
When the report came out that Oscar Klefbom would miss the game, the fanbase collectively groaned, and for good reason. The Schultz-Nikitin pairing was torched for a pair of goals on some sloppy defensive reads and neutral zone play. Nurse, basically playing as part of the top pairing, notched a horrible give away for another goal.
The forwards couldn’t really get going. The Hall line had a couple of chances and cycles, but a lot of what would have been their more potentially dangerous shots were well off the mark. Relying on callus such as Khaira and Pakarinen seemed to work at times in the top 6, but hasn’t lately.
The lone bright spot was Cam Talbot, who did what he could early to keep the team in the game. That’s 2 very solid games in a row for him after a bit of a disastrous start to his career as an Oiler. The 4 goals against are an ugly number, but he kept it close until the last 5 minutes, where the Oilers basically looked like a men’s league team trying to keep up with the Hawks. The Eberle giveaway on the 3rd goal and the completely lethargic shift just prior to the 4th goal gave Oiler fans flashbacks to previous years and end.
Hopefully this is the kind of loss that maybe gets something going in terms of management getting this team some help. It’s fun to win 6 in a row and get back in the hunt, but if your only plan from there is hope guys like McDavid, Yakupov and Pouliot get healthy, you could end up burning some valuable games.