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Find Your Way Back

October stunk. Can the Oilers turn it around in November?

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Edmonton Oilers
Is Kailer Yamamoto finding his way back into the lineup?
Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Three wins in October? Yeesh.

That’s a hell of an October we just had. The Oilers dropped another game, this one was to the Capitals on Saturday night. The loss ensures the Oilers will escape October with a total of just three wins, which is at least a few less than everyone was hoping for just weeks ago.

The temperature was turned up a bit this past weekend. What’s going on out there?

Nobody saw this coming. Well, some didn’t see it coming.

We’ve had a limited engagement with Ryan Strome so far, and this set of eyes sees him as advertised. I had him pencilled in for about 30 points this year, and with four points in ten games, he’s on pace for about 32 or 33 total points over the course of the season. He’s benefitted from some power play time, and he’s gotten some top six time with Kailer Yamamoto getting a couple of recent scratches. If what Nick Kypreos says is true, I’m a little surprised that he’s fallen out of favour just ten games into the regular season. If the Oilers “aren’t married to the idea of keeping Ryan Strome”, does he get moved? What does a slightly used Ryan Strome get you these days?

That’s some third pair you got going there. Kudos to Darnell Nurse for getting on top, his play has taken big steps forward so far this season. I’d like to tell you that I’m surprised that Kris Russell is on the third pair today at practice, but it’s probably best for the team that he finds himself there. Take away three years and about 2.5 million per year away from that deal, and we’re doin’ alright. You’ll notice the replacement for Andrej Sekera is playing well (just kidding, there’s no replacement for Andrej Sekera.)

Kailer Yamamoto is back in the top six today, which suggests to me that he’ll be here after his nine game tryout. He’s got to be in the top six because Zack Kassian, Iiro Pakarinen, Anton Slepyshev, Ryan Strome and Drake Caggiula aren’t better options right now.

That’s something coming from Spector.

It’s not as bad as it looks right now. YES, the club is going to get Andrej Sekera back in a month or so, and YES, the club’s shooting percentage should improve, and YES, the team’s PK will likely get better from 30th overall and I MEAN REALLY is the power play (29th overall) really as terrible as it looks? They’re scoring 2.2 goals a game and allowing 3.3. That can’t last, right? It’s got to start turning around for the Oilers, and it’s got to turn around fast.

Three wins in ten games doesn’t derail your season. Six in twenty will have us talking about the NHL Draft by December. I don’t even want to go there. Missing the playoffs after last season’s performance is not an acceptable result.

The Oilers play Pittsburgh in Edmonton on Wednesday night.