The Edmonton Oilers are still searching for a light at the end of the tunnel. A couple weeks ago, it looked like the team was finally able to string together a few quality wins. However, as has been the theme of the season, the wheels fell off the wagon. They lost five straight, then won four of their next five. However, after hanging seven goals on the Columbus Blue Jackets, they were vastly outplayed just a week later by the same team. After new goalie acquisition Ilya Bryzgalov shut out the Nashville Predators, he gave up four goals to Columbus and was pulled from the game. Such is life in Edmonton right now.
Last night appeared to be a rock bottom situation for the Oilers. The team welcomed the Phoenix Coyotes onto their home ice, and then proceeded to let the visitors obliterate them to the tune of 6-2. Goalie Devan Dubnyk claimed before the game he felt he was still the team’s starter despite the signing of Bryzgalov, but didn’t exactly solidify his case when allowing six goals to the Coyotes.
Various players were venting their frustrations in the locker room after the brutal defeat. While winger Taylor Hall claimed the team just “unraveled,” fellow forward Jordan Eberle elaborated, stating it was a matter of losing battles all night.
“You look at every one of their goals and we lost a battle,” Eberle said. “That [blanks] you off. We have to find a way to win battles.”
Obviously these are unpleasant times for the Oilers. The team is loaded with young talent, but still can’t seem to put together a winning season. New coach Dallas Eakins was brought in with hopes that he could finally get the youthful roster moving in the right direction, yet the team currently sits in last place in the Western Conference. Now it just seems the team is dealing with their usual environment, filled with aggravation and trade rumors.
While Eberle claimed the most recent loss was a matter of lost battles, Eakins seemed to have a more frank approach, making sure his defensemen knew exactly how he felt about their performance.
“That’s about as bad as I’ve seen three or four of our defensemen play, and it cost us,” Eakins said.
Sounds like the players aren’t the only ones fed up with futility.