Game Day 69: Oilers at Flames

Four weeks and fourteen games remain in the Edmonton Oilers’ 2017-18 season, but it’s not too early to start writing its epitaph. How about this one?


Granted that’s just one more alternative in a season that goaltending, defence, special teams, coaching and management have all come under fire, and with cause. A strong case can be made to weave an ineffectual group of wingers into the mix, indeed to interweave them into some of the other issues, notably the management that constructed this roster.

Consider the group that took to the ice Saturday night as the Oilers wrapped up a five-game home stand against Minnesota Wild. Edmonton’s Top Six in that game featured three natural wingers who have combined to score ONE goal since Christmas, and a converted centre playing his first-ever game on the flanks. Welcome to the Connor and Leon Show, ladies and gentlemen. Hope you fellows are prepared to score some goals!

Connor McDavid (2) and Leon Draisaitl (1) did just that one Saturday, while the converted centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins chipped in with an empty netter and an earlier assist as the Oilers did indeed roll to a 4-1 win over the Wild. But those other top six wingers — Milan Lucic, Mike Cammalleri, Pontus Aberg — added as much spark to the offence as a Zippo lighter. A combined 0-0-0 from those three, even on a night when their cumulative linemates lit the lamp four times. Fortunately, enough of the other parts came together — the goaltending, defensive play, special teams, and offensive production from the centres — for the Oilers to roll to a solid win. This time.

But that black hole on the wings has been an ongoing problem, one that …read more

Source:: Edmonton Journal – Sports


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