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 goaltender Stuart Skinner (74) cannot stop the shot on goal during the second period against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports /

3) The Oilers are officially broken

Yes we’re stating the obvious, but this team is lost and searching for answers. Nothing is going right at the moment.

We’ve already mentioned the goaltending, which hasn’t been helped by far too many errors by the players in front of them. The new defensive zone scheme clearly isn’t working, and has already been partly altered. (Not that this is helping either.)

As Woodcroft said, the power play is indicative of the offence as a whole. In this respect, a team which led the NHL in scoring last season, is somehow tied-27th so far in 2023-24.

Not that the Oilers haven’t had the opportunities, they’re just not being clinical enough with them. They had 41 shots on goal versus the Sharks, and 43 against the Canucks in their previous game.

The penalty kill has also been terrible, ranking third-worst as of Friday morning. So when we say nothing is working right now, we almost literally do mean it.

Pretty much every player is performing below the level they are capable of. When the game’s best player is looking decidedly average — whether he’s still feeling the effects of his recent injury or not — you know the team is in trouble.

Of course, it’s one thing to criticise and point out all the things the Oilers are doing wrong. However, it’s another matter altogether, when it comes to actually fixing them.

You have to wonder where general manager Ken Holland fits into all this. Certainly he deserves his fair share of the blame, in constructing a team around the best player in the world, which can’t even have a full roster and has just $21,308 in salary cap space at the time of posting. (Information courtesy of CapFriendly.)

We appreciate why there are calls for Woodcroft to be fired, but he’s not a bad coach and the players don’t dislike him. However, as is often said, you can’t fire a whole team; plus, something needs to be done to shake things up.

Quote of the day

Leon Draisaitl summed up the current mood in the locker room. Speaking to the media postgame, he said:

"“It’s a tough league. The guys played hard. Obviously, not too many guys in this room that have confidence right now.”"

dark. Next. 4 trade targets to solve Oilers goaltender woes

Overall, it’s tough to know where the Oilers go from here, but even challenging for the playoffs seems unrealistic at this point. Next up they travel to Seattle to complete their three-game road trip, versus a Kraken team which is returning to form after their own tough start to the season.