Edmonton Oilers: Fans need to have patience as the season unfolds

Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /
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The Edmonton Oilers get off to a slow start and patience starts running thin as naysayers come out of the woodwork hardcore. Comments sections across the internet on Oilers are negative as the season has literally just started.

I saw 1 person suggest that we should trade Darnell Nurse.  Yeah, ’cause trading one of our top 2 d-men right now would help the team so much.  We’d be guaranteed to get an upgrade on the position because every GM is itching to trade one of their top 2 d-men for Darnell Nurse, right?  /sarcasm.

And then there was the person who suggested we put Evan Bouchard in the active lineup.  If you look up Evan Bouchard’s stats you’ll see that he’s only played barely 1 full season of North American pro hockey.  The 21-year-old did well offensively in Bakersfield last year but finished with a -10…..in the AHL.

That means that, like most 21-year-old d-men, he needs to work on his defensive play.  There’s no shame in that, most 21-year-olds aren’t refined enough to play in the NHL just yet, and defence is the hardest position to master  – and the defensive part of defence is the hardest part to learn.

But maybe, just maybe, that means he needs more seasoning in the minors and is not ready for the NHL yet. But hey, let’s just panic right now and rush our best prospect to the NHL, right?  I mean, that’s a strategy that’s worked so well in the past, right?  /sarcasm.

It wasn’t that long ago that people far and wide were accusing the Oilers of rushing their prospects to the NHL, now they’re advocating to do that very thing.  Oh, the irony. I saw 1 guy declare the Oilers weren’t going to make the playoffs this year….just because they started the season 2-4.  Someone doesn’t understand the concept of sample size.

For all of you who suggest these things, it makes zero sense.  This is exactly why fans don’t run the team.  If every person with an internet connection could actually make real trades for the team, the Oilers would be ruined in short order.

Come on people, let’s look at the REAL reasons behind the slow start.

Shoddy defensive play by the Edmonton Oilers

In the early going, the Oilers were terrible defensively, particularly in both games against Montreal.  If the win against the Leafs taught us anything, it’s that it’s not that the players don’t know how to defend, it’s bad decision making at the moment that caused them to lose 2 out of their 1st 3 games.

Caleb Jones and Ethan Bear, in particular, got reprimanded by being healthy scratched by Dave Tippett and his staff after both guys arguably made terrible reads in previous games.  At this point, it might be 2-3 more games before they draw back in again.  It was well deserved.

Slater Koekkoek has been a rock in his own end in the early going, and if it weren’t for him those losses likely would’ve been worse. Can’t blame Mikko Koskinen for the losses either as even the best goaltenders in the league can only stop a firing squad for so long before one or 2 of them goes in.