3 Takeaways from Oilers’ disheartening overtime loss to Jets

Oct 21, 2023; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) and Winnipeg Jets defensemen Nate Schmidt (88) try to find a loose piece during the third period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 21, 2023; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) and Winnipeg Jets defensemen Nate Schmidt (88) try to find a loose piece during the third period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Edmonton Oilers Evander Kane
Oct 21, 2023; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Evander Kane (91) tries to knock Winnipeg jets defensemen Declan Chisholm (45) off the puck during the first period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports /

3) No production again by Kane or Brown

We appreciate we’ve written almost ad nauseam about the production — or lack thereof — from Evander Kane and Connor Brown so far in 2023-24. However, this doesn’t make it any less important, as evidenced by their respective performances on Saturday night.

During preseason, we predicted both Kane and Brown would step up this season and help the Oilers in their quest to finally return to Stanley Cup glory. Instead, they have both been poster boys for everything that has gone wrong in Edmonton thus far.

Kane has been providing lots of physicality in games, always getting stuck in and looking for the big hit (in every respect). However, he’s had minimal influence on the scoreboard, with just a solitary assist through five games.

This is nothing like the player the Oilers saw prior to the winger’s wrist injury early last season. There is some concern he still hasn’t fully recovered from the surgery, but whatever the issue, he’s not even providing average support up to this point.

If nothing else, unlike Brown, at least Kane can say he has a point this season. His fellow winger has had even less impact on the team so far, with similar concerns he is not over an injury which limited him to just four games last season.

Helping sum up the lack of positive influence, Kane has a team-worst -6 plus/minus rating through five games, while Brown is third-worst with a -4. Bouchard is in between them with a -5 rating, but at least he has five points as opposed to their combined total of just one.

If McDavid is indeed out for any period of time, the Oilers really need the likes of Kane and Brown to prove their worth. However, if Saturday night is any indication, the fans are in for a huge disappointment.

We know the duo are both capable of so much more, but it doesn’t matter if they don’t actually play up to their respective talent levels. Many more repeat performances like the one versus the Jets, and you can expect Woodcroft to consider other options to help the forward lines.

Quote of the night

The Jets’ first goalscorer Jim Morrissey, discussing McDavid’s absence during overtime. As per Derek Van Diest of NHL.com, the defenceman said:

"“I think we noticed, that’s probably the understatement of the century. I don’t know what’s going on there, but 3-on-3 overtime you’re looking for him, so we did notice, yeah.”"

Next. Are the Oilers an option for Kessel?. dark

Overall, we’re still loathe to press the panic button, despite the underwhelming start to the 2023-24 season. However, this could change dramatically, pending the result of McDavid’s injury evaluation.