Tough night for Oilers fans. In a big opportunity to get two points, against one of the league’s basement-dwellers, the Oilers didn’t bring their A game. In fact, it would probably be generous to call that their B or C game either.
The night started off pretty well for the home squad. They were dominating the Senators for the majority of the first period, despite only being up one goal. The Oilers out-shot the sens 10-4 in the first, and held them to only one shot until the dying minutes of the period. Jujhar Khaira’s 6th goal of the year had them up one, and it felt inevitable that the lead would grow.
But the Oilers’ dominance did not extend past the first period. The sens opened the second frame with three unanswered goals, the third of which would chase Oilers’ starting goaltender, Mikko Koskinen from the contest.
The Oilers would make it close again, late in the second, on Oscar Klefbom’s second tally of the season, a powerplay goal. But, the Oilers were unable to translate Klefbom’s late goal into third period momentum. The sens would score both of the game’s remaining goals against Mike Smith.
Possible Silver Linings
Here are a few positive-ish things that we can take from the Oilers’ home loss to Ottawa:
- Draisaitl got a point, is now tied for the league lead in scoring.
Truthfully, this would be a lot cooler if the guy he caught for the NHL scoring lead wasn’t teammate, Connor McDavid. Of course Oilers fans are rooting for both guys, but it’s a cool reminder that two of the most electrifying players in the league are on the Oilers... as if anyone needed a reminder.
- Local product Tyler Ennis was the game’s first star. Good for him.
I’m on silver lining # 2 and I’m already grasping at straws, but it’s nice to see a product of our local hockey associations have success in front of friends and family. Kind of. Three points for him in an Oilers win would have made nearly everyone at the arena tonight happy.
- Sam Gagner had a good night.
The Oilers’ veteran had two assists and three shots on goal in a losing effort. They need to get quite a few more performances like this from Gagner, and others, if they want to have any hope of holding on to top spot in the Pacific Divison. Draisaitl and McDavid will win the team some games by themselves, but the Oilers will need more depth scoring if they hope to compete throughout the season.