Coming into the new season, many people expected the Edmonton Oilers to be a real threat in the Western Conference. They weren’t seen as a real Stanley Cup contender, but with plenty of young talent in place, they could make some noise this season. That hasn’t been the case.
Somehow, the Oilers have managed to become one of the worst offensive teams in hockey. They currently rank 27th in the league in goals per game, with barely over two. They’re coming off of two consecutive shutouts, in which they were outscored by a count of 9-0. Not good.
This is a team that boasts the likes of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall, Sam Gagner, Jordan Eberle, and Nail Yakupov. Each of those players have the upside of an elite offensive player. But we haven’t seen much of anything from this team, especially of late.
So what’s the problem? Why is this team so bad? They’re bad at scoring, they’re bad on the blue line, and they’re inconsistent in goal. Injuries have taken their toll, as their depth in the middle and in goal has been tested throughout the year, and the results have not been good.
Is it a matter of there not being a solid enough group of secondary players to support the supremely talented offensive players that the Oilers have? That is certainly one explanation. It could also be a matter of coaching and the staff not utilizing players in the correct fashion.
This season is looking like another lost cause for the Oilers. Which means that they could be headed towards another top pick, or at least something in the top five. Which means that they’ll have another opportunity to add an impact player. Which means that these types of failures will not be tolerated much longer.
The Oilers have the talent to be so much better. Whether it’s a matter of a poor supporting cast, injuries taking their toll, or poor coaching, they need to be better.