The Edmonton Oilers had a CBA-mandated off-day on Wednesday. On Tuesday, the Oilers built a 3-1 lead in Winnipeg against the Jets, and looked on their way to sweeping their two-game miniseries and moving to .500. Then, it happened. The Oilers were again blitzed in the third period by the Jets, turning a one-goal lead at the second intermission into a deficit. This time, they didn’t claw back.
The Oilers ended up down 5-3 before Connor McDavid scored with the extra attacker. It got Edmonton within one, but the Jets added an empty-net goal and took the game 6-4. Edmonton is now 3-5-0 on the season, and finished their four-game road trip 2-2-0. The club has not won consecutive games since March, 2020.
“Yeah, not sure what it was. Same type of story as the other night,” McDavid said postgame on Tuesday. “I thought we did a good job most of the forty minutes, and then the third period we just let it get away.”
The Oilers led the Jets 2-1 on Sunday night, then found themselves trailing 3-2 before Kailer Yamamoto and Leon Draisaitl scored goals to pull off an improbable victory. There was no such magic on Tuesday, when the Oilers led 3-2 and then in the blink of an eye trailed 5-3.
“We were able to battle back the other night, but not tonight,” McDavid, visbally frustrated, continued. “It’s frustrating.”
That last sentence is a scary one for fans of the Oilers. After the club missed the playoffs for the second consecutive season in 2018-19, McDavid was visable in his frustration with the sitaution. The club cannot allow it’s top players to get frustrated to the point where a trade request is even considered. Like it or not, that’s going to be a rationale fear in Northern Alberta until this team consistently finds the postseason.
The good news? McDavid isn’t as down on the team’s game as many in the public.
“No, I like where we have been at,” McDavid said when he was asked if he is concerned. “I think that we are in these games, if its not for a couple of second period misses in both nights, we’re up by a couple heading into the third. Obviously, third period we’ve got to be better, got to be able to play with the lead, be comfortable protecting the lead. That’s something we’ve obviously struggled with the last two nights.
“We obviously need to find a way to rebound after a chance or even a goal against.”