3 Takeaways as Oilers hit rock bottom with 3-2 loss to Sharks

Nov 9, 2023; San Jose, California, USA; San Jose Sharks and their fans celebrate after the win against the Edmonton Oilers at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 9, 2023; San Jose, California, USA; San Jose Sharks and their fans celebrate after the win against the Edmonton Oilers at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports /
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Edmonton Oilers
Nov 9, 2023; San Jose, California, USA; Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) cannot control the pass in front of the net against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports /

2) Powerless on the power play

As most hockey fans know, the Oilers had the best power play in the NHL last season. In fact, the unit was so good, it set a single-season league record with a staggering 32.4 percent success rate.

This season by contrast, the Oilers are ranked 10th at the time of posting, with a 23.3 percent success rate. Clearly still pretty decent, but also representing a significant drop from the efficiency level of 2022-23.

Regardless, Thursday night was one of those games which highlighted the Oilers’ newfound issues on the power play. They went 0-for-4 versus the Sharks, which is not acceptable given the hosts have allowed the most goals in the league up to this point, including 10 in two of their three previous games.

The first two power play opportunities came in the opening 20 minutes. However, faced with the chance to take a lead themselves, the Oilers failed on both occasions before Zetterlund made them pay.

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The most critical power play came in the final period, with 2:12 left. However, with the chance to tie up the game versus a poor defensive team and a man advantage, the Oilers again failed miserably.

It seems unfathomable that the Oilers didn’t even score on one power play, with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl facing the worst defence in the NHL. Instead, McDavid has now gone seven games without scoring, while Draisaitl has just one in his previous nine.

Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft was asked about the power play postgame. Speaking to the media, he said:

"“Our power play is usually indicative of our entire offensive game and right now we have some shooters that aren’t shooting at their typical rate. It hasn’t been anywhere near what we’re capable of. I mean it hasn’t been awful; it’s created looks and had chances but, just like our five-on-five, it hasn’t converted when we needed it. I was confident in it heading into that last power play at the end of the game, but we couldn’t find it tonight.”"