Top 3 Oilers duds from disheartening 5-2 loss to Predators

Nov 4, 2023; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Sam Gagner (89) tries to screen Nashville Predators goaltender Kevin Lankinen (32) during the first period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 4, 2023; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Sam Gagner (89) tries to screen Nashville Predators goaltender Kevin Lankinen (32) during the first period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Edmonton Oilers Jack Campbell
Nov 4, 2023; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Nashville Predators forward Juuso Parssinen (75) looks for a deflection in front of Edmonton Oilers goaltender Jack Campbell (36) during the second period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports /

1) Jack Campbell

We’ve stated it before and we’ll state it again, that the Oilers goalies have been hung out to dry too many times this season by the players in front of them. At the same time however, this does not mean the guys between the pipes are blameless in the disastrous defensive showing thus far.

As of Monday morning, the Oilers duo of Jack Campbell and Stuart Skinner are dead last as a team in the NHL, with a .867 save percentage. Individually speaking, Campbell is 10th-worst at .873, while Skinner is fourth-worst at .861.

The Goals Against Average is understandably just as poor, with the Oilers third-worst in the NHL at 4.10. For some context, last season they gave up an average of 3.12 goals per game, and that was theoretically a poorer defensive team.

This alludes to the Oilers’ new defensive zone gameplan not working. At some point, when does it stop being about bedding in and getting used to a new scheme, and become a case of the players just not being capable of executing it?

As for Saturday’s game specifically, let’s get back to the goaltending situation. Campbell has to take his fair share of the blame, particularly for the part he played in allowing the first two Predators goals.

For the first one, the 31-year-old over-committed too much to one side and left his net exposed. No matter the skill Filip Forsberg displayed on his goal, it shouldn’t have come to fruition in the first place.

As for the second goal, we’ve already noted the part McDavid played in allowing it. However, it ultimately came down to Campbell not doing a better job of controlling the rebound which led to Ryan O’Reilly scoring the first of his hat-trick.

We’ll give Campbell a pass of sorts on the other three goals, which he really couldn’t do much about. However, as with the blue line, he really does need to cut down on the amount of unnecessary mistakes he’s making if the Oilers are to get on track.

dark. Next. 10 numbers that sum up first 10 games

Overall, while these three players might have stood out, there’s plenty of blame to go around for a team which just shouldn’t be this bad. Nothing is going right for the Oilers right now, as evidenced by Leon Draisaitl leading the way with 13 points, but having not scored a goal for seven games.