The Edmonton Oilers’ struggles go from bad to worst, as their pregame Hall of Fame ceremony was ruined by a poor effort in a 3-0 shutout by the Rangers.
The evening had begun so well for the Oilers and the fans in attendance at Rogers Place. The ceremony took place, to officially honour Charlie Huddy and Doug Weight going into the team’s Hall of Fame.
The atmosphere in the building was positive, but then the game started. It couldn’t have gone more differently than the ceremony which preceded it, and the team was deservedly booed off the ice at the end.
As a result of the 3-0 loss to the Rangers, the Oilers’ record dropped to 1-5-1 and they have the second-worse record in the NHL as of Friday morning. Here are three takeaways from a miserable night in downtown Edmonton:
1) Meagre offensive threat
Connor McDavid or not, the Oilers cannot be excused for being shutout for the first time this season. They’ve gone from the highest-scoring team in the NHL last season, to now ranking seventh-worst in average goals scored per game.
This team is lost, with far too many individuals not playing up to their offensive potential. Connor Brown is now pointless through seven games, and there just isn’t enough offensive production from the bottom-six in general.
Where is the sense of urgency, the desire, the creativity? Even when McDavid was playing, the lack of these three traits was evident for all to see.
Clearly the pre-game ceremony honouring Huddy and Weight, did little to galvanize the team. They were essentially second-best to the Rangers from the word go, mustering a paltry five shots on goal in the opening period.
The Oilers did generate more shots in the second period, but hardly any were quality chances. Meanwhile, the Rangers blew the game wide open with a three-goal blitz, which all but sealed the game with still 20 minutes to play.
Leon Draisaitl tried his best but still needs some help, as he was held pointless for the second time in seven games this season. Warren Foegele has been consistent so far, while Evander Kane is gradually improving, but overall, it’s just not nearly enough.
Zach Hyman made no excuses, fully acknowledging where the blame should be placed on the night. Speaking postgame to the media, he said:
"“There’s not one guy off to a poor start, it’s collectively as a group. We’re an offensive team, (but) we scored zero goals today. A lot of the blame’s on our D-zone, our defensive system, our defence, (but) we didn’t score anything today.”"