The Edmonton Oilers put in a strong effort and had 39 shots on goal, but fell 5-2 to the Winnipeg Jets Monday.
Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored the lone goals for Edmonton, and despite strong showings from Connor McDavid and company, it wasn’t enough to handle the Jets. Nikolaj Ehlers also shined brightly for Winnipeg, helping them to a solid victory with a natural hat trick.
Looking at the loss, there are a lot of areas where the Oilers need to improve as they look to get back on track to start the 2017-18 campaign.
Room for Improvement
First off, the defence struggled greatly and didn’t do a great job covering the Jets. Kris Russell and Matthew Benning weren’t sharp, nor were Oscar Klefbom and Adam Larsson. They gave Winnipeg’s forwards too much time and space with the puck, and didn’t do much to break up their opportunities. Plus, they allowed the Jets to get 43 shots on net, and ultimately left Cam Talbot out to dry.
Also Talbot, despite coming up big at key moments and facing plenty of shots, did struggle at times with rebounds and handling fast shots. However, he managed to do fairly well given the workload he took on. Still, considering his rocky start to the year, he may want to take some time to rest and get back into the swing of the regular season.
Additionally, Edmonton should work to be more disciplined and stay out of the box. They took too many penalties, which ultimately landed them in trouble. It took away key times where the Oilers could have been on the offensive, and in the end, it led to the Jets scoring yet another goal.
Still, the offence looked sharp, and there were many opportunities, but Connor Hellebuyck was sharp between the pipes.
Overall, there are many different areas for the Oilers to improve in. They need to be smarter defensively, be more disciplined and get more from all of their lines.