NHL teams are going to lose games during the course of the season. They are also going to go through losing streaks. There is no need to panic when one happens, it is natural and should be expected. The key is limiting those losing streaks and ensuring that the winning streaks are longer and more frequent.
Tonight, the Edmonton Oilers will host the Calgary Flames with a chance to stop the bleeding and take down a divisional opponent picking up steam. For the Oilers, the time is now to get back to their winning ways after a difficult three game series with Toronto.
That’s all they are focused on right now with the ‘Battle of Alberta’ awaiting them.
“It’s just about how fast can we get out of this slump,” Forward Jujhar Khaira said when asked what the team’s focus was at Friday’s practice. “These are moments during seasons that can define you as a team. You can either sit in a slump or work as a team to get back to how we were playing and slowly climb up the standings again. We’re going to have another chance playing them (Toronto). Right now, it’s on to Calgary tomorrow and we’re just getting ready for that.”
Toronto completely dismantled Edmonton in, quite honestly, an alarming way. The Oilers lost all three games, never led at any point, and were outscored by a 13-1 margin. The powerplay was putrid, the penalty kill couldn’t stop anything, the goaltending awful, the offense ineffective and the defense lost. It was, to put it nicely, a total team meltdown.
That said, there are lessons to be learned that can help the Oilers become a better team. After all, they are still in playoff position and do control their own destiny. It’s all about what they learn and how they respond.
“I think every team goes through something like this at some point during the season,” Khaira added. “The teams that are really successful are the ones that are able to get out of these slumps as fast as you can. For us, we’re getting back to the game plan for tomorrow night. We’re going to play a strong game. We’re going to trust everybody in the dressing room and go forward and play a good game.”