I don’t even know where to start with tonight. The Oilers came out like banshees the first 5 minutes and looked like this was going to be a good solid game for them. They were winning puck battles, putting pucks on net, putting the St. Louis defence on their heels and doing exactly what was needed for them to stand a chance tonight. The boys in orange had two good quality scoring chances with Lauri Korpikoski capitalizing on one that seemed to be just a harmless dump in.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) October 16, 2015
Fast forward 2 minutes after the Oilers scored and everyone is caught staring at the puck like its a pair of Katy Perry’s rack and St Louis nets one to tie it up. To the Oilers credit they did keep a good strong 2 or 3 minutes after that and once again looked like they were going to be sustain some sort of momentum for the rest of the period. But the Blues did what they do best and enforced their will upon the Oilers to take over for the rest of the period, killing all Oilers momentum.
Tarasenko goal pic.twitter.com/3M5H6ILBdZ
— Stephanie (@myregularface) October 16, 2015
The second period was fantastic up until the Tarasenko rocket going top cheddar on Talbot, but in his defence that would’ve went in on 99.9% of all NHL goalies. That just seems to be the way its going though. In typical Oilers fashion all the momentum they had built up in the second killed by a lazy face-off draw. So instead of getting in the lane of the shooter and causing him to second guess the shot, they just became pylons screening Talbot. It’s these bad habits the Oilers have to break and they have to break them quick because elite teams like the Blues are just going to pounce on it every single time. All the air was out of the building by that time until… Hall scored that magnificent goal!
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) October 16, 2015
There were actual boo’s at some points of the third, not something McDavid was used to hearing in Erie I imagine. It’s just bad habit after bad habit costing this team games, every time the puck is ending up in the net but on the positive side, less times than before because there is some actual goaltending in the net for once. Not only that but with some sort of actual defensive system set up by Jay Woodcroft.
I’m not sure what the mentality of this team is going forward, but something has to give, something has to change or get better. It’s like they think since their defence is improved and the goaltending is improved they can sort of lean back on it and not be as aggressive on the offensive side. Right now it seems anyone not named hall, who leads the team with 20 shots in 4 games, is willing to put the puck on the net enough. Hall hasn’t played the greatest but he’s at least trying to keep things moving and trying to create something out of nothing. But tonight, once again, there just wasn’t enough of that urgency. And like the old hockey saying goes, Keep. It. Simple. Stupid.
To establish some sort of confidence especially against teams like the Blues they are going to need simplify everything, and once you start to gain that confidence, then throw in that curveball to your game and see how the opposing team reacts. Tonight’s game just reeked of everything the Oilers can do to sabotage themselves, it’s going to take some time for them to get out of the funk and get the bad habits out of their system, but how much time can we as fans allow? How much time do the young stars of this team have?
Tonight’s three Beer League Heroes are:
1.Vladimir Tarasenko – What more do you need to say about this kid? Has an unbelievable release, break away speed and is strong on his feet, he played excellent tonight and was all over the ice.
2.Brian Elliott – This guy has been an Oiler killer the last 6 games against them, he’s just a solid goalie who keeps his team in it every night, and tonight when the Oilers applied the pressure, he made sure not to fold and he kept things calm.
3.Taylor Hall – Appears to be the only Oiler trying to establish some offence by throwing everything he can at the net. He started off slow this game, but really picked it up and start gaining some traction and you could see his wheels started going.
Now for the Golden Plunger award….
EVERYONE, not named Taylor Hall or Cam Talbot. I admit Talbot had not his best game, but he was making saves and doing what he needed to keep them in it and was there for his team when the shite hit the fan. Yes, he had a crazy giveaway, but he wasn’t the issue tonight and hasn’t been since he’s arrived.
Taylor Hall tends to drive this bus most of the time and it would be nice if others would just hop on along for the ride sometimes and build off his momentum.The rest of the team, doesn’t matter if you’re Connor Mcdavid or Mark Letestu, someone has to step up along side and create some sort of force to reckon with. Tonight was just awful, do we need to play Where’s Waldo? No! Instead let’s play Where’s Pouliot? Where’s Yakupov? Where’s Eberle…just kidding. Point made, there are too many invisibles right now and players need to start making an impact if they aren’t scoring. No one could handle the puck tonight, could make a solid tape to tape pass Now it’s not time to hit the panic button but it might be time to wake up.
Overall, tonight playing in front of your home crowd for the first time of the young season and the last time in that arena, they come out with a stinker. It seems once the game gets close, the Oilers can’t hold on and weather the storm. Its going to take time for everyone to gel again with the new system, new faces behind the bench, growing pains are the worst with this team it seems. The first 5-7 minutes of the game and the 15 minutes in the second is how they need to play every night. Wear down opponents, be relentless, show that you are there to play. Here’s to hoping the Oilers are just one game of away of showing the world who they are.
Now of course there are positive things to the start of this season, we have the #1 PK in the league, we have confident goaltenders who are keeping us in games and we have an improved defense and system in place.
The next game is Sunday against the Vancouver Canucks, a game the Oilers should be able to win. Its not a very good Vancouver team and should be a game the Oilers can build momentum off of and come away with a win. They have to be aggressive, relentless and play a simple game come Sunday and shove the puck down the Canucks throat. The Oilers can’t let them breathe and the must force the turnovers, use the speed they have and send some stretch passes on Vancouver’s d-core to cause some havoc.
Thanks for reading everyone, if you’d like let me know what you think @madi39 or in the comments below!