Another loss for the Edmonton Oilers last night and suddenly this team is sinking deeper and deeper below the .500 mark that accounts for respectability and provides reasoning that a foundation is in place to win. Not to mention that the club is two games in to their six-game road trip and on tap tonight is only the Pittsburgh Penguins. Barring an upset for the ages, this Oilers club could sit with a 1-5-1 record and still have three games left on their east coast swing. It’s worth asking the question if it’s time for the Oilers to panic?
Yes, they are only half a dozen games into a long and grinding 82-game schedule but the holes that remain on the roster aren’t exactly ones that can be patched with a needle and thread. Rather these are glaring holes that require major surgery per say and at the moment, the number of qualified surgeons are busy with other patients. In other words, the market to improve the Oilers isn’t exactly flowing with opportunities for Craig MacTavish to pull the trigger on such a deal.
When the NHL released this year’s schedule, first glance at who the Oilers would face in the first month brought a similar reaction if you looked at it repeatedly. It’s not an easy one and many fans stated that if they could get through the month at .500 they would be in good shape and set up well to make some progress as the year rolls on.
But again, that elusive mark of equal wins and losses that would put the Oilers in a promising position is slowly slipping beyond the grasp of reality and now this club faces a mountain of a challenge to finish the second half of the month on a winning note.
All is not lost however. There are players who are performing above expectations and eventually it will become contagious…..right? Boyd Gordon is exactly as advertised and more, leading the team in goals and bringing a gritty edge and a will to win on every shift. Ales Hemsky has been able to put all the trade chatter aside and get back to contributing a point per game for the only team he’s ever known. The offense has scored it’s fair share of goals through six games which is encouraging even though Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle only have two goals combined.
Do the positives out weigh the negatives surrounding this club? It depends on who you ask and to avoid from being labeled too much of a pessimist, we won’t dive into all that is wrong with the club and try and keep this post from dropping into the despair of depressing. As mentioned, the holes are glaring and everyone knows exactly what they are.
Is it time for the Oilers to panic and make that bold move that Mac-T loves to talk about but never executes on? Or is it merely a bump in the road and this team is getting their oil change out of the way early this year in the form of a rough, skiddish start? A new coach and new systems do take time to adapt and implement within a hockey club and perhaps that’s taking longer than anticipated.
Take part in our poll and let us know if you think it’s time for the Oilers to panic.