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0-2 Edmonton Oilers begin is nothing to fret about. Not but, anyway

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Beginning the season 0-2 is nothing.

Sure, it’s by no means good when the season is 2 video games outdated and also you’ve already booted the age-old axiom about good groups not dropping two in a row.

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And, sure, it’s a type of a shocker after all the low season hype.

And, sure, among the points that sunk them in these two video games are the identical ones they’ve been wrestling for years.

And, sure, the season is 5 days outdated and the Edmonton Oilers are already six factors again of the Vegas Golden Knights.

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However it’s nothing. And it’s nothing new. The Oilers stumbled out of the gate in Vancouver final season, falling behind 3-0 earlier than a Connor McDavid hat-trick pulled opening night time from the hearth, and had been a wobbly 1-2 after three video games.

They had been 7-3-0 on Nov. 1 and completed with 109 factors.

So, whereas an 8-1 groin stomp in Vancouver and a 4-3 loss at house, regardless of spending 25 per cent of the sport on the facility play, are laborious capsules for a fan base anticipating energy and glory from a Stanley Cup contender, it’s nothing to fret about.

However, should you ARE going to fret, listed here are a number of locations to begin.

DEFENSIVE LAPSES

Cease me should you’ve heard this one earlier than. The Oilers must tighten up defensively and cease giving up the Grade A possibilities and simple targets in opposition to.

Permitting 12 targets in two video games in opposition to a staff that missed the playoffs final 12 months shouldn’t be supreme. The quick and simple (and correct) response is one thing alongside the traces of “Shut up, it’s two bloody video games.”

That’s truthful. It’s additionally truthful to marvel at the back of your thoughts if that is simply two video games of pricey lapses or a continuation of 4 years value of pricey lapses.

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“There have been some psychological errors that we now have to scrub up,” mentioned head coach Jay Woodcroft. “For us to take a step, that’s the step we now have to take.”

Generally it simply takes a short while for a staff to gel collectively. I wouldn’t fear about it proper now.

However, if these identical “little errors” the gamers described of their exit interviews final spring — taking pictures themselves within the foot and discovering methods to lose as a substitute of discovering methods to win — are nonetheless haunting them in a few weeks, be at liberty to get nervous.

GOALTENDING

Jack Campbell received the hook after 4 targets on 16 photographs within the season opener. Stuart Skinner got here in in reduction and gave up 4 targets on 16 photographs. He gave up one other 4 targets on 16 photographs within the rematch. They each have .750 save percentages. This isn’t the beginning both of them anticipated.

We’re coping with a rooster and egg factor at this level — are the goalies giving up all these targets due to the defensive lapses in entrance of them or are the defensive lapses made extra obvious as a result of the the goalies aren’t developing with the large stops?

A bit of of each to this point.

“He’s like our staff to this point, there are good moments to his sport and there are moments that he can clear up, as properly,” Woodcroft mentioned of Skinner’s work to this point. “He’s similar to everybody else, we will all be higher.”

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Neither of the goalies has a protracted and distinguished monitor file and each of them got here into the season with one thing to show, in order a lot as you wish to assume every thing goes to be all proper between the pipes, we gained’t know for certain till we see it.

TWO GUYS AND A POWER PLAY

The purpose scoring abstract from the primary two video games:
Leon Draisaitl (PP).
Draisaitl.
McDavid (PP).
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (PP).

It’s nice that Edmonton has famous person expertise and it’s nice that they’ve a deadly energy play, however on a variety of nights that’s not going to be sufficient. We simply watched two of these nights.

The Oilers wanted a couple of even-strength purpose in 120 minutes. And so they want extra gamers within the battle. Over the ultimate two intervals in opposition to Vancouver on Saturday, Derek Ryan performed 2:17 at even power, Adam Erne performed 3:00, Mattias Janmark performed 3:37 and Dylan Holloway performed 5:51.

It was one sport, small pattern dimension, a lot of particular groups, however letting the underside finish of the roster fade into the bench isn’t fostering the type of well-rounded depth Edmonton must win within the playoffs.

IT’S PROBABLY NOTHING

Ultimately, you must agree with the gamers and coaches that two video games into the season shouldn’t be the time or place for a state of the union.

As disconcerting as 0-2 is perhaps, you by no means actually find out about a hockey staff till the season is 10 video games outdated.

There are some warning indicators, to make sure, nevertheless it’s in all probability greatest to take a breath and see what Sport 3 has in retailer.

E-mail: [email protected]

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