With their season slipping away from them, the Edmonton Oilers declined to show up tonight in St. Louis against the Blues. After Milan Lucic proclaimed that “It starts tonight” on the NBC pregame show, his Oilers played one of their worst games of the year, embarrassing themselves and the once proud franchise in an 8-3 loss.
As if the score wasn’t bad enough, the effort from this Oiler team was completely non-existent from the get-go. After getting the game’s first three shots, the Oilers were completely dominated by a Blues team that, quite frankly, is worlds ahead of Edmonton. It was men against boys tonight, the Oilers didn’t belong on the same sheet of ice as the Blues.
In fact, 8-3 is an extremely flattering score for the Oilers, who got two late goals in total garbage time. It easily could have been 10-1 in this one.
The Goal Scoring:
This game was over 3:13 into the contest. After the Oilers registered the first three shots of the night, the Blues scored off of a turnover in the Edmonton zone. Oscar Klefbom was beaten along the boards by Brayden Schenn, who fed a wide open Vladimir Tarasenko. Tarasenko’s shot was deflected into the net by Adam Larsson, getting the party started early for the Blues.
Just over four minutes later, the Blues would make it 2-0 when Dmitrij Jaskin beat Ryan Strome along the boards and put a bad angle shot over the shoulder of Cam Talbot. That weak goal would be the end of Talbot’s night, giving way to Laurent Brossoit. Poor LB never stood a chance behind this listless team tonight.
Jaden Schwartz would make it 3-0 at 3:52 of the second period before Schenn potted his first of the night in the final moment off of another horrible defensive play by Larsson deep in his own zone, a trend this season for the Oilers.
Milan Lucic made it 4-1 on a feed from Connor McDavid at 6:09 of the third period, but the Blues responded just 90 seconds later with a Scottie Upshall goal off of one of the most pathetic and laziest displays of ‘defense’ you’ll see in the NHL this season.
Tarasenko and Schenn would each add their second of the night to make it 7-1 Blues before Leon Draisaitl got Edmonton within five at 15:11. Paul Stastny and Darnell Nurse would trade tallies in the final minutes, cementing the Blues’ easy 8-3 victory.
Hahaha you didn’t expect to see something here, did you? Not a single Oiler had a good night.
Cam Talbot was bad again tonight, getting pulled after two goals in the first ten minutes of the hockey game. While the second goal was completely on him, the first goal of the game was tipped three times before getting past him. You simply can’t blame the goalie for giving that one up.
McDavid had a bad night too, but set up Lucic on the 4-1 goal and had a couple of real nice offensive looks that he simply couldn’t polish off in this game. He was, to my eye, Edmonton’s best skater by a country mile. Milan Lucic, outside of some real stupid penalties, also was okay in this hockey game. Real nice shot on his goal.
Basically every single Oiler falls into this category tonight. All six defenders on the ice committed a number of poor turnovers that led to scoring chances and goals against. There was no transition game from the defenders, and their play within their own zone looked more like the 2009-10 Oilers than the 2016-17 edition.
Goaltending was poor all around. LB didn’t have a chance tonight, but he didn’t exactly inspire much confidence in this one. Giving up eight goals simply isn’t acceptable, regardless of situation in front of you. Brossoit and Talbot have to be better, no way around that. Tonight wouldn’t even get it done in the WHL.
The offense? Leon Draisaitl failed to show up yet again until garbage time. Leon is a very skilled player, but he’s been absent and far too careless the last five games. He needs a kick in the ass or something to get going.
Ryan Strome, Mark Letestu, Zack Kassian, Patrick Maroon, Drake Caggiula…..Did these guys even show up to the rink tonight? I question that because I didn’t hear their names once on the NBCSN broadcast. Five forwards that were totally irrelevant, almost half your group. That’s laughable.
Todd McLellan and his staff fall in this category too. Numerous times during the broadcast, NBCSN’s Pierre McGuire mentioned how the Oilers looked lost in the defensive zone and how they didn’t know what to do. That’s been a common issue all year long and that is completely on the coach and his staff.
Another huge issue? The Oilers aren’t ready to play on a nightly basis. If a coaching staff can’t get a team ready, then they need to be fired, it’s that simple. Edmonton not being ready to go is a huge issue and it’s costing the team games. To take the coach’s words right out of his mouth, it is indefensible.
That was about as bad as any game witnessed during the decade of darkness in Edmonton. The Oilers brought no effort to the table, weren’t ready to go, and were absolutely embarrassed on National Television in the United States. The Oilers are being openly mocked and they deserve every single bit of it.
Fact is, this team isn’t a Stanley Cup contender. They aren’t a playoff team. They are a basement dweller and they are playing like they know it, not even giving the common courtesy to show up to the rink on a nightly basis. It’s a slap in the face to the fanbase and to the sport of hockey. This organization, starting with their general manager, should be absolutely ashamed of themselves.
The Road Ahead:
The Oilers are in Detroit tomorrow night to battle the Red Wings. Maybe they’ll lose to them 4-0 again.