3) It’s still early
The Oilers have been renowned for their slow starts in recent years. Just last season alone, they were only 10-10-0 through the first 20 games.
The difference this time however, is that the Oilers have started the campaign with two losses, including the embarrassing season opener. As a result, they are propping up the Western Conference standings on Sunday morning, with no points and a -8 goal difference.
However, it’s all about perspective, as Zack Hyman explained to the media postgame on Saturday night. As per Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun, he said:
"“If you lose two games in the middle of the season it’s not the end of the world. You lose two games here and you get all these questions about your defensive game.”"
In fact, Hyman sees no reason for any particular concern. He said:
"“It’s not ideal, obviously, to lose the first two games, but there is no panic. We are a pretty confident group. We are not going to overthink this. We are very confident in this group and what we are capable of.”"
Skinner backed this up and even (almost) managed to make the 0-2 start sound like a positive. He said:
"“There’s a little bit of frustration. Obviously, you want to start 2-0, not 0-2, but in my opinion adversity never kills you. I think it makes you a lot stronger. And for us to face it early on might be a really good thing for the long term.”"
The Oilers duo are right in terms of stressing that it’s still early in the season. However, this doesn’t make it any easier for the fans, who have witnessed a humiliating road loss followed by a tough defeat on home ice.
Quote of the day
Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft discussing how his players reacted after the 8-1 loss in Vancouver. As per Gerry Moddejonge of NHL.com, he said:
"“The big thing for our team that I wanted to see was a response. There were a lot of good things in our game. We’re not on the moral victory business, I know that, but I saw a response. I saw us way more competitive.”"
Overall, there’s no denying the Oilers played considerably better on Saturday night compared to the season opener. (How could they not?!?!) However, they really need to get off the mark on Tuesday night, when they visit Nashville to play the Predators.