So, that just happened.
I was ranting on twitter through basically 55 minutes of tonight’s game about how badly the Oilers sucked (and they did), and then suddenly the team decides to show up and score 3 goals in 3 minutes and 40 some seconds. Rob Klinkhammer tied it up with a shorty. ROB KLINKHAMMER. The Oilers then turn around and win it in OT off a wicked shot from Anton Slepyshev.
I’m still not sure how to feel. This game was easily the worst the oilers have played so far in the preseason, yet they somehow managed to make it enjoyable. Taylor Hall sucked. Leon Draisaitl sucked. Nikitin sucked badly (despite notching a nice assist on one of the comeback goals). Hell, the reffing sucked, even though Edmonton was the beneficiary of said suckage. The oilers struggled in their own end, struggled in the neutral zone, and struggled in the offensive zone. They were flat out awful for 90% of the game, and were atrocious on the powerplay (an area of the game which I believe will improve steadily under the guidance of Todd McLellan).
I’ve seen a lot of people on social media ripping Ben Scrivens tonight for the 3 goal deficit, but those people are either stupid, blind, or weren’t watching the game. Scrivens was the only player who seemed to show up until late in the 3rd, when the Oilers somehow turned a monumental failure into a ridiculously awesome comeback. I’d love to have been a fly on the wall in the locker room after the win, however. Something tells me this squad got an ear full from their coach, despite the comeback.
Bad turnovers. Bad “puck management”. Bad boardplay. Bad penalties (Who the hell is Phil Mcrae, anyway?). The Oilers were Oilering all over the place.
Yet somehow they won.
I know it’s only preseason, but I can’t help but feel like the comebacks are good news for the Oilers regular season hopes after watching them check out of so many games last year due to falling behind early, or showing up in the last 10 minutes of the game and falling apart. I’m also alarmed, because I’m seeing a lot of the same bad habits that have kept them in the basement for so long.
I have faith that Todd Mclellan can coach the crap out of this team. I even have faith that Peter Chiarelli can speed up the process of repairing the severe damage done by the previous managements asinine decisions. However, after watching tonight’s game, I have several doubts about how swift that process will be. I want to believe the late 3rd comeback is indicative of a new found desire by the players to find resiliency as a team, but at the same time they were still terrible for 50+ minutes.
I AM SO CONFUSED. For now, I will keep telling myself that it’s only preseason. Once we see the roster the Oilers are icing closer to the start of the regular season, maybe some of the kinks will be worked out.
Memo to Phil Mcrae: You’re cut.