Top 3 Oilers duds from disappointment in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 19: Marc Staal #18 of the Philadelphia Flyers collides with Leon Draisaitl #29 of the Edmonton Oilers during the first period at the Wells Fargo Center on October 19, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 19: Marc Staal #18 of the Philadelphia Flyers collides with Leon Draisaitl #29 of the Edmonton Oilers during the first period at the Wells Fargo Center on October 19, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – OCTOBER 19: Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers looks on during the third period against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center on October 19, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

2) Connor McDavid

We appreciate that for a lot of Oilers fans, to call Connor McDavid a dud is both blasphemous and asinine. However, as the captain of the team, you must take the rough with the smooth; the criticism with the praise.

This aside, McDavid did simply just have a bad game in Philadelphia on Thursday night. He might have recorded an assist on the Oilers’ only goal, but he still represents a team which inexplicably lacked urgency for the second time this season.

While it was of course in no way on purpose, the six-time All-Star collided with Evander Kane early in the second period and the Oilers lost the puck. As a result, the Flyers went down the other end of the ice and scored their aforementioned second goal, to make it 2-0 to the hosts.

Even worse, McDavid had an unfortunate hand in a key moment of the game, with time winding down in the second period. He gave away the puck during a power play for the visitors, which resulted in the Flyers scoring a short-handed goal and making it 3-1.

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If this wasn’t bad enough, the three-time Hart Memorial Trophy winner struggled to find any openings on offence. He failed to record a single shot on target, for just the fifth time in four seasons.

The end result was McDavid and his first line of Kane and Leon Draisaitl combining for a -4 plus/minus rating on the night. (By comparison, the Flyers’ first line finished with a +7.) For the superstar centre specifically, he is now has the second-worst plus/minus rating on the team, at -4.

About the only ‘positive’, is that (we predict) it will go down as the 26-year-old’s worst performance of the season. Speaking to the media postgame, he said:

"“Lucky for us it’s only four games, but with that being said, it’s been four games, so it’s time to put our best foot forward here and starting playing better games. … It’s hard to win in this league, really hard. It takes everybody and it takes everything you’ve got, so we have to get back to that.”"