Edmonton Oilers: Analyzing the Florida Panthers Loss

EDMONTON, AB - FEBRUARY 12: Zack Kassian
EDMONTON, AB - FEBRUARY 12: Zack Kassian /

The Edmonton Oilers suffered their fourth straight defeat, losing to the Florida Panthers 7-5. At this point in time, it’s safe to say that the Oilers playoff hopes are officially dead.

It looks like after last night that the Edmonton Oilers have probably crossed the season-ending rubicon with their loss to the Florida Panthers. They needed a big win and collected some points to keep their playoff hopes alive, but that went up in flames.

With the Oilers sporting a 23-28 record, it’s hard to see what type of path they have to capture a wild-card playoff spot. Losing to a team like the Panthers who also have been struggling this year hasn’t helped matters at all. It has made the local media and fanbase vent their anger all over the place.


The talk surrounding blowing up this team with massive trade at the end of the month sure looks to be happening after this loss. What these past few games have shown us is that this team needs two-way players. This team as constructed is built on mundane offensive schemes on 5-on-5 play.

They can’t muster up any offense and can’t capitalize on scoring chances—even if they have the advantage. The Edmonton Oilers are only somewhat competitive because they have Connor McDavid and a handful of decent talent.

The power play is what killed the Edmonton Oilers last night against the Panthers. Giving up three goals on four opportunities wasn’t just pathetic but also disappointing. It falls squarely on the coaching staff at this point in the season.

We haven’t seen consistent improvement in the penalty killing the past month or so. You would think that Todd McLellan and his staff would figure out some formation to limit shots or dividing ways to ice the puck. Some of the blame could also be shouldered to the players since they look like they couldn’t muster up any effort while being shorthanded.


The other theme of this game would have to be the no-calls against the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers didn’t even get one opportunity on the power play, and that seemed extremely fishy. There were multiple occurrences throughout the game where Connor McDavid was getting slashed and illegally checked by the opposition—but no whistle? Why is that exactly?

These are legitimate questions to ask, and it’s up to the hockey media to ask that to the NHL. If any star player were subjected to the same abuses each game the way McDavid has gone through, their respective team would have a lot of power-play opportunities.

But that was the crux of this game—and why this team is where they are at this point of the season. They are a top-heavy team that is overly aggressive with officiating going against them. It has shown all year-long, and it’s something that needs to be changed during the trade deadline and in the offseason.

They need to be more balanced and be more committed on the defensive side of the puck. Upgrading their goalie would also be nice since both Cam Talbot and Al Montoya aren’t the long-term solutions between the pipes.

Moving forward in their Thursday night showdown against the Las Vegas Golden Knights, the Edmonton Oilers will need to build some momentum and show their fanbase they are trending in the right direction, even if they aren’t making the playoffs.