The verbal coming from the Oilers the last few days was that the club needed to get back to work. The Oilers needed to compete, work hard, battle and get back to doing the things that winning teams do. Todd McLellan said it, teams forget how hard it is to win in this league. His goal was to remind the Oilers of that these last three days in practice.
The Oilers failed miserably to learn any lessons from their previous two games and three days of practice. From the get-go, Ottawa came into Rogers Place and dismantled the Oil, controlling the pace of play and never once having the result in doubt.
Cam Talbot was weak in the goal, the Oilers got absolutely nothing out of their bottom nine, and Ottawa cruised to an easy 6-1 victory. A trendy pick to compete for the Stanley Cup is now 1-3-0 and looks like a team that really doesn’t know what is going on. It’s concerning.
Ottawa put this game away early when Mike Hoffman scored just 6:09 into the contest, tipping a shot past Talbot in front of the net. Ottawa would add another just over three minutes later when Derick Brassard rifled a shot past Talbot on the powerplay. That goal would be your game winner.
The Sens scored early in the second compliments Hoffman again, then got insurance markers from Zack Smith, Chris Wideman and Kyle Turris in the third period. The Oilers would get an Adam Larsson goal late, but all that achieved was the breakup of Mike Condon’s shutout bid.
Cam Talbot was yanked after four goals allowed, leaving the game in the third period. It was the second time this season, on the second consecutive Saturday, that Talbot was yanked from a game. Laurent Brossoit gave up two goals in relief, while Mike Condon was terrific in net for Ottawa, making all the saves needed when called on.
Really, there isn’t much here for the Oilers. I thought Kailer Yamamoto, who registered his first NHL point on the Larsson goal, played his best NHL game thus far and was the best Oiler. McDavid had spurts of excellent play in this game, but that was really it.
Cam Talbot was poor yet again. He’s been playing out of position and has no confidence right now. It’s a problem and it has to get fixed or this Oiler season will be over before it begins. Talbot is such a big part of this team, but he’s been bad early on. I think he’d admit that too.
Adam Larsson and Oscar Klefbom were okay at best tonight, but they were far and away the best defensive pairing for the Oilers. That’s a pretty big problem. Kris Russell was bad again tonight, and he desperately misses Andrej Sekera. I thought Darnell Nurse was poor as well.
Eric Gryba played, without a doubt, his worst game as an Oiler tonight. He was slow, caught out of position numerous times, and took a lot of really bad penalties in this game. Yohann Auvitu was underwhelming at best in his Oiler debut too, a disappointment no doubt.
Up front, Ryan Strome has become a complete non-factor. He was barely noticeable tonight and centered what was Edmonton’s worst line of the night, yet again. He and Jussi Jokinen have been complete non-factors this season and that is a huge issue for the club.
The forward group as a whole was terrible tonight. Outside of the top-line, not a single Oiler line could generate any kind of offense. It’s extremely alarming, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise when the team entered the season with no proven scoring depth on the roster.
The Oilers had a big test tonight, and they could not have failed worse. Ottawa, on the second half of a back-to-back and without Erik Karlsson, came to Edmonton and completely dominated the Oilers. That’s now three straight poor performances and quite frankly it is alarming. There is cause for concern with this club right now.
The secondary scoring is non-existent and the defense is a complete mess. Without Cam Talbot bailing them out, the Oilers are sinking right now.
The most alarming thing? There is simply no response from this hockey team. They came out flat tonight and they got exactly what they deserved, an embarrassing loss. The urgency just isn’t there for this team, the give-a-damn meter appears empty. It’s alarming that this club has completely folded in the face of early season adversity.
With Carolina in town on Tuesday, the road does not get any easier for this club. The reality of the situation is the Oilers are in trouble right now. Four games in the club looks completely lost and lacking any kind of depth offensively or defensively.
You can say it’s too early, that’s your opinion and I respect it, but I’m now officially concerned about this club. If the roster holes aren’t enough, one needs to look no further than the ‘response’ offered up by this club tonight. This team has real problems.