3) Neither Oilers goaltender steps up
The Jack Campbell revenge tour didn’t exactly get off to the best of starts. Despite appearing to be back to somewhere near his best during preseason, he was poor in the season opener.
In fact Campbell didn’t even last half the game in the end, as he allowed four goals on 16 shot attempts. Interestingly — or should that be depressingly — this was more than he gave he throughout the whole of preseason.
At least the 2010 11th overall draft pick can share in his misery with his fellow goaltender. Because Stuart Skinner was no better in replacement between the pipes.
In fact, Skinner also allowed four goals on 16 shot attempts. The main difference was that only one of Campbell’s goals were conceded on the penalty kill, compared to two by his teammate.
Let’s be clear though, as much a the goalie duo struggled, they didn’t exactly get much help from the players in front of them. The blue line looked disorganized and unfocused on the night, best exemplified by the play of Evan Bouchard.
As much as you shouldn’t place too much importance on one player, the defence was undoubtedly missing Mattias Ekholm. The Oilers have to hope his hip flexor issue doesn’t linger for much longer, because they desperately need his experience and leadership to shore up the blue line.
Quote of the day
Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft talking about his team’s performance. As per the Associated Press, he said:
"“We laid an egg tonight. We all own it. We’re all in this one together and the bottom line is we were at a preseason level of work ethic and a preseason level of execution, all of us, and we got a lesson in regular-season work ethic and regular-season battle level.”"
Overall, we appreciate this is just one game, but to come out with such a seemingly lack of interest and energy was alarming. Saturday can’t come soon enough, as the Oilers will get the chance for revenge in the friendly confines of Rogers Place.