The hits keep on coming, as we take a look into the latest debilitating loss in Carolina for an Edmonton Oilers team which is its own worst enemy.
This whole situation is getting out of hand now for the Edmonton Oilers, and we’re not even a quarter of the way through their regular season yet. A 6-3 loss in Carolina on Wednesday night now has this team sitting at 5-12-1 and having little to be thankful for at a time when Americans are celebrating thanksgiving.
It’s confounding just how bad this team truly is. This is essentially the same roster which last season led the league in scoring and recording 50 regular season wins for the first time since 1986-87.
In some respects, the tone was set for the latest defeat before the action had even started. A helmetless Darnell Nurse was hit in the face by an errant puck off the crossbar during warmups, and he missed the start of the game as he had his bloodied cut tended to.
These are dark days in Edmonton, and not just because winter is nearly here. Let’s get to our three takeaways from yet another demoralising loss:
1) First period buries the Oilers
The Hurricanes have been dominant at home so far this season, but there’s still no excuse for what transpired in the first period. The Oilers made the hosts look like the NHL team of the decade, during a depressing opening 20 minutes.
Even for a team as pathetic as the Oilers are defensively, they outdid themselves on Wednesday night. They were down 4-0 before some people had even finished their first pint. (Or should that be pitcher, given how much the Oilers must be making their fans feel like drinking these days.)
The Hurricanes blitzed their opponent for four goals in a span of just 5:31 in the first, taking advantage of a team with little confidence. Right now, the Oilers are struggling to successfully complete even the most basic of defensive tasks.
The fourth Hurricanes goal ended Stuart Skinner’s night at the 14:48 mark of the first period. However, while four scores allowed on just 12 shots does sound horrible, he can only really be blamed for the last goal he let in.
As is often the case with losing teams, the Oilers are getting a significant amount of bad luck at the moment. Skinner was helpless on the first two goals, with both coming as a result of fortuitous deflections.
The third goal was the result of a mad scramble behind the net, with Skinner again having no chance to stop the resulting goal. And while the Oilers did get one back courtesy of Zach Hyman after falling behind 4-0, the game was effectively over by the end of the first period.
Postgame, Evander Kane was asked what contributed to the slow start by the Oilers. Speaking to the media, he said:
"“No energy. They were faster. They kept it simple. … We didn’t handle the pressure well at all, and they capitalised on their opportunities.”"