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Hot Links: Friday, December 13

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Oilers donate points in Minnesota, Mike Smith’s struggles continue,

Edmonton Oilers v Minnesota Wild not pictured as Oscar Klefbom #77 and goaltender Mike Smith #41 of the Edmonton Oilers look on during the third period of the game at Xcel Energy Center on December 12, 2019 in St Paul, Minnesota. The Wild defeated the Oilers 6-5. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Morning, folks.

Welp. It’s happening. First off, apologize for the sporadic link coverage this week. I was under the weather for most of the week and did a fair bit of sleeping in as a result.

(It was glorious.)

The Oilers are coming off another brutal result last night in Minnesota. Losing their third in a row for the first time this season has left a sour taste in a lot of mouths this morning.

The general consensus now is Mike Smith is actually bad. Who could have seen this coming?!

We could have. We saw this coming.

The Edmonton Oilers now find themselves in fifth place in the Western Conference after being top of the pops as recently as US Thanksgiving. With games against the Maple Leafs, Stars, Blues, and Penguins on the horizon, they could conceivably be out of the playoffs entirely by Christmas. Imagine?!

This is how quickly things change in the NHL. This is why Ken Holland needed to have made his move already to bolster this group’s start. This is why losing a few more games will obsolete that plan pretty quickly, and dictate that parting out the roster come deadline day would probably be the more prudent plan forward. It’s a shame it has to be that way, but it is that way. Standing pat for the sake of was asking for this to happen, and if it keeps happening, the risk of trying to add to this group will increase.

It’s a shame that we’re only in December and they’ve already given back most of their best start in almost 20 years. It’s a real shame.

But, Ken wasn’t the right guy. He never was. He quite clearly doesn’t have the creativity required to do this job in the way in needs to be done during the remainder of McDavid’s deal.

And we saw that coming too.

From Us

GAME RECAP: Oilers 5, Wild 6. (Copper and Blue)

So you want Taylor Hall back? (Copper and Blue)

Examining a Hall of Fame Scoring Standard (Copper and Blue)

GAME RECAP: Oilers Frustrate In 6-3 Loss Against Hurricanes (Copper and Blue)

From Elsewhere

Blame The Keepers? (Oilersnation)

Player Grades: Oilers Pump Home Five Goals But Still Find A Way To Lose To Wild (Journal)

Oilers’ Moment Of Reckoning Has Arrived After Third Straight Loss (Sportsnet)

Oilers Starting To Realize There Is A Target On Their Back (Sun)

For Money

Q&A: 10 subscriber questions for Oilers rookie defenceman Ethan Bear (Athletic)

Lowetide: Five loud noises Ken Holland could make to help the Oilers immediately (Athletic)

Willis: As James Neal slumps, it is important to remember his true value to the Oilers (Athletic)