We’ve finally reached the day of reckoning for the Edmonton Oilers… Wait! What?! The Oilers haven’t even played 5% of the season and the fate of the team’s 2016/17 season is on its knees at the feet of game no.4 versus the Carolina Hurricanes… Does it sound a bit ridiculous? If not, perhaps consider taking up knitting or becoming a professional at watching paint dry.
Does it sound a bit ridiculous? If not, perhaps consider taking up knitting or becoming a professional at watching paint dry because you’re simply taking things a bit. Too. Seriously.
Carolina (0-0-2) is limping into Edmonton (2-1-0) after giving up 3 goal leads twice in the last two games. First, in a 9-goal thriller vs. the Jets and then most recently losing to the Canucks in OT. Well that sounds fine and dandy I do not believe this is a positive for the Oilers because generally speaking, one would prefer to not have any goals scored against them than relying on the fact that a young team cannot hold a lead early into their season.
Edmonton didn’t have an amazing time playing Carolina in 2015/16, winning one (in OT) and losing one (4-1). But that was sans Connor McDavid…
I think the Hurricanes are developing into a very dangerous team with the likes or Jordan Staal and Jeff Skinner running the offense. Elias Lindholm and Victor Rask are emerging as big players for the Canes though and we can’t forget about an Oilers trade target in Justin Faulk either. Noah Hanifin is one of the loveliest skaters in the league, you’d be remiss if you didn’t pay attention to how he plays the game.
If the Oilers can take advantage of the Hurricanes mental instability and hop on them early instead of doing what they have been doing (letting the opposition boss them early in the game), then I believe Edmonton can end this one early. BUT, if they do revert to previous efforts, it will take someone like McDavid or Talbot or maybe even Leon Draisaitl to have a Herculean performance to pull the team from the claws of fan revolt.
WHAT I WANT TO SEE
- I want to see Pouliot stay out of the bloody box because McLellan might just send him straight to the dressing room if he goes a third game taking PIMs like he has been.
- I want to see a MAJOR bounce back from Oscar Klefbom. I know at least two blatant giveaways versus Buffalo resulted in goals or clear scoring chances. Not good…
- I’d like to see Puljujarvi pot another. He’s slowly catching on and he’s playing the game right. It’ll take time for him to get his shooting confidence but we’re only at game no.4. He’s using his body and positioning in the right manner and that’s more than what Yakupov and Hall could be said of in their first seasons.
- I think Pat Maroon could put an end to this disappearing/reappearing act any time soon. He needs to get into the games in one way or another. Be it physically or by scoring. Do something man!
- Jordan Eberle’s great play is something I want to see continue.
- I want to see another great game from Kris Russell so that we can get closer to ending the hockey buzzword, “small sample size”, with regards to judging his play.
- Lastly, I’d like to see the Oilers win the possession game AND the game on the scoreboard. Going 3-1 to start the season would be wonderous and especially with the Nail Yakupov and the St.Louis Blues coming to town on Thursday.
It’s pretty early as I write this, so the lineups haven’t been announced yet but I predict the Oilers might go back to what they were originally lined up like before Benoit Pouliot decided the benches in Roger’s Place needed warming up. Please, Benoit, I’m begging you, don’t make the coach take out his McBlender and throw the lines inside…