Call it a long time coming, but the Edmonton Oilers finally gave their fans something to cheer about on home ice and surrounding the team in general last night. It came at the hands of the Columbus Blue Jackets who were on the wrong end of a 7-0 thrashing by the Oilers but for Edmonton, it could be a coming out party for the hockey club.
It’s been said over and over again throughout this team’s poor start; a new coach will implement new strategies, breakouts and overall change the style of play that many players may have gotten accustomed to. Maybe last night was the tipping point that these players finally have bought in to what Eakins is selling and a complete sixty minute effort was the result.
That complete effort came with drive, determination and passion, three other key attributes that the Oilers haven’t displayed nearly enough this season.
Then there were the seven goals that the Oilers put up. It’s the most they’ve scored in a game all season and not to mention the struggles they’ve been having on home ice to give the fans something to cheer about. One or two goals had been the norm when Rexall was filled yet again but last night it was a whopping seven times the goal horn was blasted and the red light flashing.
How about the big old goose egg that Devan Dubnyk put up for the first time this season. It came from a team that has given up the most goals around the league but last night they held the lifeless Blue Jackets to just 14 shots and Dubnyk stopped them all (as he should).
The critics will criticize and point to the fact that the Blue Jackets didn’t appear to have a pulse let alone a desire to compete in the game last night. A lackluster effort that Oilers’ fans are all to used to seeing from their team. Sure, the Jackets were awful but how many times this year have we seen the Oilers sink to their opponents level for a period when the timing was right to strike often and jump on the opposition for their slow start.
Edmonton didn’t do that on Tuesday night. Rather be lulled to sleep by the Jackets lame attempt to play hockey, the boys in copper and blue came out firing and didn’t stop for a full 60-minutes. That is what good hockey teams do night in and night out.
The Oilers have a long way to go before anyone will start considering them a good hockey team this year but last night was a step in the right direction. Tack on the third period of the Flames game on Saturday night and it’s safe to say that this team has put together a strong four periods. Baby steps everyone. It may not sound like much right now, but for a team that has struggled to find their identity through the first quarter of the season, last night was a promising sight.
Or is this Oilers’ fan just relieved to see his beloved hockey team on the right side of a shellacking? You be the judge.