Breaking Down Edmonton Oilers Self-Inflicted Wounds

Nov 4, 2023; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Nashville Predators forward Gustav Nyquist (14) and Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) look for a loose puck during the third period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 4, 2023; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Nashville Predators forward Gustav Nyquist (14) and Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) look for a loose puck during the third period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports /

The Edmonton Oilers lost yesterday afternoon to the team that used to be an automatic win, the Nashville Predators. In this game, as in the past, the Edmonton Oilers played about 45 minutes of good hockey. Unfortunately, the 15 minutes they played badly in, outdid the majority of good play.

The problem with the Edmonton Oilers is obvious. They seem to have massive breakdowns which cause the opposing team to have extremely high-quality chances against them. That was no difference yesterday. I have broken down where the issues lie on each goal against in the Oilers 5-2 loss to the Predators.

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Goal # 1 Against

After the Edmonton Oilers score to make it 1-0, they have a breakdown that shows the team’s lack of urgency. They just let Filip Forsberg do a wrap-around untouched, There is a bit of shared guilt on this one.

I would have expected Cody Ceci to read that play a bit better and get his stick in the way and stop the attempt. Also, would like to see Jack Campbell not overcommit to the one side, leaving that side of the net wide open. It was a skilled play by Forsberg, but it is an opportunity that never should have had a chance in the first place.

After opening up the scoring the Oilers had the potential to build some momentum, but they allowed a goal before they even finished announcing the the goal they scored.

Goal Against #2

I give the Edmonton Oilers a bit of a break on this one, as the Predators do have an extra skater. That doesn’t mean that there are areas to improve. One improvement is Connor McDavid could have read the play better and could have been on the point man faster.

If he had been closer a shot on goal would have been less likely, therefore the rebound wouldn’t have been available. That brings me to the second chance to eliminate this goal, Jack Campbell’s rebound control. If this shot gets kicked out then there is no chance of the Ryan O’Reilly tap-in.

Last, but not least Darnell Nurse needs to lock up O’Reilly better on that play. O’Reilly is one of the better players in that spot, but Nurse is supposed to be one of the better defencemen. If Nurse takes care of his stick this goal never happens.

Goal Against #3

The third goal is another powerplay goal against. In this goal, the Edmonton Oilers need to start prioritising where the dangerous area of the ice is. I think Mattias Ekholm is the most to blame for this goal. He starts to float up for no real reason.

This leaves Forsberg open down low and causes a 2 on 1 right in front of the net. Vincent Desharnais is left on an island where he tries his best to break up the pass, but he also needs to prevent Forsberg from cutting in front.

This leaves an easy tap-in for O’Reilly as he is left wide open cause the Oilers have all shifted to the other side of the ice.

Goal Against #4

This is another breakdown by the Edmonton Oilers. Desharnais floats down in the offensive zone looking for offence, but the puck gets turned over and then he is caught out of position and is unable to catch up.

The Oilers did have possession in the offensive end, but they gave it away. If the puck goes back behind the net instead of a forced pass to the front this chance never happens. This has also been an issue for the Oilers at times this season. They try and force things even though the smart play would be to just take a shot on the net or cycle the puck back around.

This is also a chance that you would like to see a save from Campbell, but it is hard to blame the goalie on a partial breakaway.

Goal Against #5

This is another lack of effort goal by the Edmonton Oilers, and mostly Nurse. Just like the first goal Nurse is out powered by O’Reilly. If Nurse ties up his stick the puck rolls right into Campbell and the play dies.

This was such a bad sequence by the Edmonton Oilers defensively not only did the Predators score once, but they scored twice. The “second” goal made the team look worse than the first one, cause the whole team looked lost, as O’Reilly was wide open in the slot.

The Edmonton Oilers Need To Be Better Defensively If They Hope To Win

The Edmonton Oilers now have a record of 2-7-1 after 10 games. If the Oilers want to turn this season around they need to start caring more about the game in their end. They are averaging more than 4 goals per game against.

You can’t expect to win games when you give up more than 4 goals and the Oilers record proves that as they have only won 2 games this season. In the games they won, they allowed 2 or fewer games. That is no coincidence, if you prevent goals you win the game.

With the Oilers’ goal-scoring struggles, they need to buckle down and let in fewer goals if they want to win.