There are more questions than answers for the Edmonton Oilers

Mike Smith #41, Edmonton Oilers Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Smith #41, Edmonton Oilers Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports /

Going down 2-0 in the Stanley Cup playoffs is not the end of the line, but it does complicate things for the Edmonton Oilers.

The Edmonton Oilers haven’t struggled this season. They have flown throughout most of the year and only had one three-game losing streak earlier in the year all against Toronto. Winnipeg was never really a team the Oilers struggled against, but they learned pretty early that the playoffs are different.

After two games, the Oilers are going to have to battle to get back in this thing. While it is possible to come back from a 2-0 deficit, it is not going to be easy, especially when considering how the team is doing.

After two games, I wish there was some big answer to why the team isn’t scoring and why they are not winning games, but after two games there are very few answers. Only more questions. Let’s ask some questions today.

1. Are the Oilers not shooting the puck as much?

The short answer is no, they outshot the Jets in game one and two of the series, and while the team has struggled to score they are still registering shots on goal. I think the better question here would be are they registering high-quality scoring chances and are they rushing the net after each shot to try and get a lucky bounce.

2. Has goaltending been an issue?

Again, the short answer is no. Mike Smith has been pretty good in game one and in game two. Yes, in game one Smith gave up one bad goal which gave up the lead and eventually doomed the team, but one bad bounce shouldn’t be that big of a deal. In fact, in game two Smith was great. He stopped shot after shot and if it wasn’t for him the game wouldn’t have been 0-0 going into OT.

3. What is with the ice time distribution on defence?

I originally tried chalking this up to special teams minutes, but even that is not accurate. In game two a few nights ago here was the ice time distribution on defence during even-strength:

Barrie: 24:07

Bear: 15:51

Koekkoek: 13:41

Kulikov: 14:25

Larsson: 13:42

Nurse: 27:46

Personally, I think the jump from Barrie to Bear is just too drastic. Ethan Bear and Adam Larsson and a lot of the other defencemen should be getting more minutes than that. While yes you can add a minute or so to a lot of these players on the penalty kill, the fact that Nurse and Barrie are so drastically higher is maybe something that needs to change in game three.

4. Do the Oilers come back in this series tonight?

I guess this is a question we will have to wait and see. It has been done before, I can recount multiple series that started with one team going up 2-0, however, a loss tonight definitely makes things seem over.