Oilers 1, Panthers 4

Glass half full: given the viciousness of the opening 16 games of their 2018-19 season, Edmonton Oilers did well to come away with 8 wins and give themselves a fighting chance the rest of the way.

Glass half empty: after surging to an 8-4-1 start, the Oilers were decisively outplayed and outscored for the third straight game on the east coast to fritter away a hard-won early bump above the .500 mark.

Take your pick, I think there’s some truth in both statements. What can’t be denied is that savage early season sked that has seen the Oilers fly roughly the distance of an Apollo astronaut over the opening five weeks, playing an NHL high 10 road games already. It showed on Thursday as the Oilers played their fourth game since the last time their opponents even played one. Granted, the Panthers played that game in Finland on November 2, but it’s worth noting they got five days off afterwards, then a home game, and have now played 12 games on the season vs. Edmonton’s 16. With each team having travelled to Europe once.

The Oilers were in this game for 20 minutes in which only a couple of miraculous Roberto Luongo stops held them at bay, but lost the plot in a miserable middle frame in which they were outshot 19-4 and outscored 2-0. An early third period pushback was cancelled by yet another in a recent series of phantom penalties — in yet another in a recent series of poorly-officiated games — then in a quick powerplay goal, and it was uphill the rest of the way. The inevitable empty-netter sealed the deal at 4-1.

It was the third straight game that the Oilers:

▼ fell behind 2-0;

▼ never scored more than 1 consecutive goal;

▼ allowed a goal within 3 or so minutes of scoring one of their own;

▼ allowed a goal-against off a lost defensive zone faceoff followed by sloppy coverage;

▼ lost by 2+ goals in regulation.


Player grades

#4 Kris Russell, 4. The minutes are taking a toll on the veterans, none more so than Russell who is 5+ years older than the other six skaters (Klefbom, Larsson, Nurse, McDavid, RNH, Draisaitl) in the 20-minute-a-night club. For the second straight game Edmonton’s second pairing got absolutely crushed in possession, by roughly a 1:2 For:Against ratio across the board. They weren’t scored against but spent way too much time behind their …read more

Source:: Edmonton Journal – Sports


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Player grades: Edmonton Oilers’ tanks empty as rested Panthers pounce

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