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Revenge recreation blows up in Edmonton Oilers faces

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A lot for redemption, a lot for revenge, a lot for the adrenaline of a house opener and a lot for the influence of getting defenceman Mattias Ekholm again within the lineup.

And a lot for the Edmonton Oilers returning to kind after an opening-night anomaly they by no means noticed coming and nonetheless can’t absolutely clarify.

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Followers hoping to see the Oilers stand up, flex their muscle and show their mettle after being destroyed 8-1 Wednesday in Vancouver left Rogers Place with extra questions than solutions.

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Saturday in Edmonton was higher than Wednesday in Vancouver, however nonetheless not ok to win a recreation.

Regardless of seven energy performs on house ice and all the motivation they may ever ask for, the Oilers got here out on the flawed finish of a 4-3 choice and now sit 0-2.

Edmonton outshot Vancouver by a whopping margin (40-16, thanks partially to 12 photographs on the ability play), however Stuart Skinner, overwhelmed by two net-front deflections and a two-on-none, misplaced the goaltending battle to Casey DeSmith.

Skinners numbers aren’t nice to this point this 12 months (.750 save share), however he’s being victimized to some extent by the staff in entrance of him.

Edmonton didn’t make a ton of defensive errors, however the ones they made value them dearly.

“In the event you lose two video games in the course of the season it’s not the top of the world,” mentioned winger Zach Hyman. “You lose two video games right here and also you get all these questions on your defensive recreation.

“It’s not perfect, clearly, to lose the primary two video games, however there is no such thing as a panic. We’re a fairly assured group. We aren’t going to overthink this. We’re very assured on this group and what we’re able to.”

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If there’s such a factor as the proper state of affairs after an 8-1 beatdown, this was it. The Oilers had a day to wipe the egg off their faces and examine what went flawed, one other day to hammer house the teachings in observe after which that they had a rematch on house ice with the staff that simply shellacked them.

It was good. And everybody simply assumed they’d be again in kind and Wednesday’s 8-1 defeat would develop into a distant reminiscence.

However though the followers have been absolutely anticipating it, they nonetheless wanted to see it.

They didn’t.

They noticed spurts of the staff the Oilers are hoping to be, simply not sufficient of them to win.

“The massive factor for our staff that I needed to see was a response,” mentioned head coach Jay Woodcroft, including he noticed numerous good in Edmonton’s recreation. “We’re not on the ethical victory enterprise, I do know that, however I noticed a response. I noticed us far more aggressive.

“We’re not there simply but, however any recreation you may have 88 photographs makes an attempt, 40 on web, and earn seven energy performs hand over 16 photographs on web you count on to win these video games.

“It didn’t occur for us tonight, however I feel you win that recreation extra typically than you lose it.”

EDMONTON, CANADA – OCTOBER 14: Leon Draisaitl #29 of the Edmonton Oilers celebrates a purpose in opposition to the Vancouver Canucks of the Vancouver Canucks in the course of the second interval at Rogers Place on October 14, 2023 in Edmonton, Canada. Picture by Codie McLachlan /Getty Photos

The night time began out precisely as everybody had predicted, or at the least hoped, with Edmonton storming out of the gate and looking out like they have been going to attain two or three targets on the primary shift. They have been all around the Canucks, and it was solely a matter of time, 42 seconds to be precise, earlier than Leon Draisaitl made it 1-0.

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The rout was on. Till it wasn’t.

After that, it began to appear like opening night time another time. Edmonton settled into one other lengthy lag — after their preliminary onslaught, the Oilers had only one shot over the ultimate 13:30 of the primary interval — and Vancouver was up 2-1 on the first intermission.

The Oilers didn’t have a solution. Certain, the standard suspects (Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins) scored on the ability play scored a pair on the ability play, nevertheless it wasn’t sufficient.

So that they’re 0-2.

“There’s a bit little bit of frustration,” mentioned Skinner. “Clearly, you wish to begin 2-0, not 0-2, however in my view adversity by no means kills you. I feel it makes you numerous stronger. 

“And for us to face it early on is perhaps a extremely good factor for the long run. It actually relies on how we bounce again from this.”

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