Despite shedding their final sport to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Edmonton Oilers nonetheless seemed to be heading in the right direction after a brutal begin to the season. After one other loss tonight, nonetheless, this one coming in opposition to the Florida Panthers, it seems they’re proper again at all-time low as soon as once more.
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As thrilling as this sport was, it featured a number of main defensive breakdowns from the Oilers. That has been the case as a rule up to now this season, and ends in them sitting at 5-11-1 on the season. With that stated, listed here are the three primary takeaways from tonight’s 5-3 loss in opposition to the Panthers.
Lead Blown for the Second Straight Game
Against the Lightning on Saturday afternoon, the Oilers discovered themselves with a 2-0 lead, solely to lose the sport 6-4. This one was eerily comparable, as they have been capable of beat Sergei Bobrovsky twice lower than 10 minutes into the opening body. However, when the horn sounded for the primary intermission, the 2 sides have been locked at two apiece.
This Oilers workforce has struggled to place collectively a full 60 minutes, and tonight was no completely different. They appeared to get complacent on this one after their strong begin, and took their foot off the fuel pedal quickly after. It is inexcusable and is one thing that can not be pinned on the teaching employees provided that they’ve already made a change in that space this season.
Oilers Continue the Undisciplined Play
There is a severe argument to be made that Evander Kane has been the Oilers’ finest participant this season. The 32-year-old has been bodily concerned each evening, and has put up some excellent offensive numbers as nicely. That stated, he takes a whole lot of penalties, and one particularly value him and his workforce on this sport.
Shortly after scoring within the first interval to increase the Oilers result in 2-0, Kane took a run at Matthew Tkachuk, and threw a punch Panthers ahead instantly afterward. The referees noticed precisely what occurred, and gave Kane a two-minute minor in consequence. The Panthers would rating on that energy play, which gave them loads of momentum they didn’t have prior.
Evan Bouchard is Struggling
From an offensive standpoint, Evan Bouchard is giving the Oilers all they might have hoped for this season. The extremely gifted 24-year-old has 4 objectives and 17 factors on the 12 months, and would probably have much more if gamers like Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have been producing as anticipated. That stated, whereas his offensive play has been good, his play in his personal finish is worthy of spending a sport or two within the press field.
It appears as if Bouchard has had one or two obvious defensive errors each sport this season, and tonight was no completely different. With the sport tied 3-3 within the third, he selected to pinch on a play and was then sluggish on the backcheck. Once he lastly did get better, he didn’t take anyone in entrance, and was doing nothing however puck watching as Kevin Stenlund gave the Panthers the lead. The lackadaisical strategy is changing into inexcusable at this level and is making Bouchard extra of a legal responsibility than an asset.
Oilers Playing Their Way Out of the Playoffs
As identified by The Athletic’s Thomas Drance as soon as this sport had ended, the Oilers might want to play at a 106-point tempo for the rest of the 12 months to succeed in the anticipated playoff cut-off of 95 factors. While that isn’t an unattainable activity for a gaggle this gifted, it’s arduous to examine based mostly on what they’ve proven up to now. Their subsequent probability to attempt to flip issues round will are available in a sport on Wednesday evening versus the Carolina Hurricanes.
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