Edmonton Oilers: Analyzing the Two-Game California Road Trip

SAN JOSE, CA - FEBRUARY 10: Leon Draisaitl
SAN JOSE, CA - FEBRUARY 10: Leon Draisaitl /

In their latest two-game road trip to the Golden State, the Edmonton Oilers suffered two straight losses in their efforts. They’ll need to bounce back in order to keep their playoff hopes alive.

The Edmonton Oilers in their two-game road trip to the great state of California ended up with two straight losses. It’s hard to fathom how low this team has gone this season but they could potentially see the abyss of their failures staring at them in their faces.

They had a perfect opportunity to get two big wins over teams who were trying to secure a playoff spot, but they squandered those chances. Facing off against the Anaheim Ducks and the San Jose Sharks in back-to-back games is tough for any team, but it’s no excuse to at least manage to get a win out of those encounters.

Playoff shot?

It’s too early to say that the season is over for the Edmonton Oilers. To be frank, it’s also premature even to contemplate that type of thought process. The Oilers aren’t in a situation like the Ottawa Senators or Montreal Canadiens where their franchises don’t have any directions and are contemplating trading their core star players.

Trust me; you haven’t seen any talk or rumors of the Oilers trying to get rid of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or even god forbid the captain of the team Connor McDavid.

What we learned from these past two games is that the Edmonton Oilers are competing. You have to give them that, they aren’t rolling over and getting blown out like other bottom feeding teams in the NHL.

That’s why it’s very to silly to hear hockey experts say on television or print media saying that this team needs to be blown up with trades and roster cuts. Just remember that this same group almost made the Western Conference Finals last year, so it’s dumb to say that massive changes need to be made.

Addressing Mistakes

This team needs to address is their power play woes. The Edmonton Oilers had six combined power play opportunities in their last two games and didn’t even manage to score even one goal. If the Oilers are planning to make some moves at the trade deadline, they’ll need to find a forward who can help the floundering Oilers offense.

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This team can generate a lot of shots on net but fail to capitalize with scoring chances. The only time we see a glimmer of hope with Edmonton scoring a goal is when Connor McDavid has his stick on the puck.

What was also disturbing the past two games was that the Edmonton Oilers lost the face-off battle to both the Ducks and the Sharks. Usually, this has been one of the strengths of this team; the fact that they haven’t been winning in this category is very worrisome.

If this team can’t consistently win face-offs against their opponents moving forward, they won’t have a legitimate shot in being competitive and stringing together some wins.

The Oilers will be facing off against the Florida Panthers tomorrow night, and this is a game that they can win. What they need to do is address the issues that have plagued them the last two games. It doesn’t have to be against the Panthers on Monday night, but it would be an excellent place to start.