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GAME RECAP: Oilers 1, Flames 5.

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Oilers concede early in all three periods in embarrassing loss to Flames on home ice.

Calgary Flames v Edmonton Oilers Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

Last night marked this season’s first installment of the Alberta Battle, with the struggling Edmonton Oilers (20-16-4) playing host to the terrible, conceptually, Calgary Flames (19-15-5).

First Period

11 seconds. It took 11 seconds. That was the game.

Second Period

68 seconds. 68 seconds to kill the game a second time after the Oilers made it interesting through a Connor McDavid redirect late in the first period.

Third Period

57 seconds. Calgary needed 57 of Edmonton power play time — yep, you read that right — to score their fifth of the night. They weren’t even trying at this point. And Edmonton was so bad on this night that you could almost make the case they weren’t either. But, of course that’s not it. It’s not about trying. It’s always about the roster.

Final Thoughts

The Oilers are not good. I really hate to be feeling these feelings five years into Connor McDavid’s illustrious career, but what can be done? Do you just stop paying attention? Stop going? Stop paying? Stop watching?

Probably not, right? But at some point we’re the problem, aren’t we? We’re the enablers and the Oilers are hooked on their own bullshit. How else can you explain it?

How else can you explain that the Edmonton Oilers, in 2019, don’t have a functioning analytics department? You can’t without arriving at the conclusion that these assholes believe they’re smarter than everyone. That they know better.

And that is truly inexplicable.

Virtually every single thing that’s happening with the Oilers today is something people who merely follow the team — and spend their free time analyzing have seen coming since the summer. Since Ken Holland — whose former club is on pace for less than 50 points last I checked — chose to act upon the margins rather than the middle of this roster. Since Mike Smith and the Sack Punch Bunch were considered viable solutions rather than demonstrations of a complete and total misunderstanding of where this team was at and what was required to move it forward.

How can that be? How can I be so sure that the Edmonton Oilers would be in a significantly better place today if a couple of people I follow on Twitter were given the keys instead? I am unshakably confident in that assertion, by the way. You can’t convince me otherwise.

So instead of being a club that looks forward on the cusp of 2020, the Oilers find themselves looking inward after yet another embarrassing loss at home to a club they can’t lose like that to. Ever. The local hacks are sharpening the blades, too, with Spector having the gall to rip even Connor McDavid in his latest masterpiece. Like it’s McDavid’s fault that Leon Draisaitl looks like a man with nothing left after playing what amounts to a series’ worth of games more than most every forward in the league already this year. Like it’s McDavid’s fault that Ken Holland thought Markus Granlund would be a solution to anything when even his PK reputation was proven to be a product of run-good mere moments after the news of his signing broke.

What a joke. Former president indeed. Ask a question to someone who actually bears some responsibility for this shit for a change. The players are trying. Whenever we say ‘Kris Russell’s bad’ or something like that, it’s not really to take a shot at Russell himself, but to illustrate why his bosses fucked up. Blame the guys setting the pins, not the pins themselves. I’m not sure if that analogy holds but we can at least agree that most nights the Oilers appear to be getting clubbed by a bowling ball.

None of these guys have the spine to look upward, to ask Ken Holland even one question about what the hell he was really thinking by coveting Dmitri Samorukov and a couple of draft picks over Taylor Hall. Or how he plans to build a forward group next year after they give Zack Kassian and Darnell Nurse $11MM between them.

And fine, the season isn’t over by any stretch, but it sure feels like its about to be. That was an atrocious result, and if the Oilers don’t find another five-game heater (or two) soon, they’ll be playing out the string before Spring.