Edmonton Oilers: Surviving the California Weekend Road Trip

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 24: Michael Cammalleri
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 24: Michael Cammalleri /

This past weekend the Edmonton Oilers defeated both the Anaheim Ducks and the LA Kings. What was the key to their success in winning those games?

The Edmonton Oilers made their second trip to the great state of California this month and made the most out of it. What was surprising was that in the manner of how they competed in those back-to-back games on the weekend.

Facing off against both the Anaheim Ducks and the LA Kings didn’t bode well the last time the Oilers visited them, but you need to give credit where it’s due. This team had absolutely no reason to put up any effort since we all have witnessed their track record all season long.

But it’s precisely why these last two wins are extremely impressive on so many levels. The Edmonton Oilers have had a hard time winning games consistently this year, but they might have found the key. It’s having them survive past regulation and taking their chances in either overtime or a shootout.

It’s the only common denominator to extract from when analyzing how the Edmonton Oilers have played this past weekend. It isn’t a sustainable option moving forward as they do face more skilled and talented teams that can beat them on any given night.


The main takeaway from these last two games would have to be the Edmonton Oilers being the first to score in the opening period. This entire year we have seen this team lose a game just by their effort in the first period when allowing teams to get on the scoreboard.

Putting pressure on the opposition right off the bat was critical for this team to be competitive for the rest of the game. Playing behind when the opposing team had scored a goal has been the Achilles Heel for the Oilers, and it’s good for them to break the trend finally.

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What was also fascinating in these two games was that Connor McDavid didn’t even score one goal in regulation or overtime. He has been the glue for this team’s success and has been the only guy who has shown up and delivered night in and out.

But five different players stepped up for the Edmonton Oilers and scored while the captain of the team was dishing out the assists. Guys like Anton Slepyshev scored two goals in those two games but only managed to score 3 in the 30 games he’s played this season.

Moving Forward

This team has a long way to go in a short amount of time to show the fan base that they are a team that can retool and is competitive again. The Edmonton Oilers aren’t in a situation like the Montreal Canadiens and the Ottawa Senators where they are willing to burn down their roster and make a trade for draft picks.

The key will be showcasing how this team can function in the last month of the season. It shouldn’t be a one-person show in Edmonton, and this game is proof that this team can eventually get the right pieces around their superstar captain.

They’ll be facing off against the San Jose Sharks tomorrow night so it’ll be interesting to see if they can ride the 3-game winning streak to end the month of February.