After another frustrating loss to a backup goalie Oiler fans are left once again scratching their heads wondering how their team that had supposedly “turned the corner” could lose to a guy who used to play hockey somewhere near Siberia…….
I think the most frustrating thing for fans is THEY KNEW the Oilers were going to struggle against a backup goalie because THEY ALWAYS DO. I had predicted earlier in the day before Glass was announced the starter that the Oilers would impose their will against a vulnerable Hawks team who was reeling from 3 straight losses – but that never really happened. Instead, yet another backup goalie ends up looking like Patrick Roy against the punchless Oilers who weren’t able to execute effectively enough to pull out a very winnable game. So far this season these are some of the goalies they’ve lost to:
(CHI) Jeff Glass .933 SV%
(NSH) Jussi Saros .1000%
(TOR) Curtis McIlhenny .1000%
Robin Lehner has shut them down, Scott Wedgewood gave them fits till they pulled it out late in OT and Petr Mrazek has also shut them out. How does that happen?
What the hell is wrong with these guys?
He didn’t even look at the net pic.twitter.com/M3GZykuO5G
— Pete Bauer (@OhYesICanada) December 30, 2017
Don’t get me wrong Edmonton did their best to try and run them out of the building early. I think at one point with still about 14 minutes to go in the 2nd period they already had 28 shots! The problem, was like too often this year that many of those shots were either “weak” attempts from long range with no one in front or the shots were right at him with no second chance opportunities. Glass was certainly playing well and stopped 2 breakaways along with a point blank chance from Lucic. However, once it got to about the mid point of the second frame you could see the Oilers were starting to get frustrated so decided to try getting cute aiming top corner on him which subsequently led to a lot of missed net opportunities.
The Oilers had an opportunity to climb the Wildcard standings and almost completely blew it if it weren’t for a miraculous comeback to at least salvage a point. We should be sitting here today saying they are only 1 point behind Chicago now but instead they are still 4 back. Chicago completely got them off their game as the Oilers couldn’t cycle the puck effectively or maintain a decent forecheck. They couldn’t beat a backup goalie so instead of staying with it going hard to the net for 2nd and 3rd chances (like Puljujarvi did on the only goal in first 58 mins) they settled for weak, long range shots or tried to ONCE AGAIN overpass the puck into the net.
It was an extremely frustrating game but a predictable one considering the Oilers history of clunkers versus backups. All of that is absolutely unacceptable for a team supposedly desperate for wins right now. Something needs to change and in a hurry I’m just not sure if there is enough time to fix it all (which is mostly internal IMO). The PP still sucks, the home PK is atrocious and this team can’t figure out how to show up against wounded teams. Winnipeg up next on Sunday missing their #1C and best player. Piece of cake right?
To comment please do so via Twitter @TheOilKnight.