Oilers’ incapacity to place 60 minutes collectively results in one other loss at dwelling


EDMONTON — Three video games into a brand new, supposed-to-be-promising younger season, the Edmonton Oilers have held a lead for 4 minutes and 59 seconds. That’s it, that’s all.

And whereas the sky is falling one province to the west, with the Vancouver Canucks at 0-3-1 and blowing leads on a nightly foundation, right here in Northern Alberta the Oilers can’t get the lead, have two factors in three video games, and welcome the Carolina Hurricanes to Rogers Place on Thursday night time.

It’s not time to panic but, proper?

“There isn’t any panic,” assured Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, after a 4-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres during which Edmonton outshot Buffalo 48-24 on Tuesday. “It’s three video games in and now we have had our possibilities to win all three. We haven’t obtained the job completed in two of them.”

“We don’t wish to be sitting at 1-2, however that being mentioned I don’t assume there’s any must panic,” agreed Connor McDavid. “This group is aware of how essential begins are — not solely to video games, however to the season — and we haven’t had our greatest for the primary three. However I might anticipate our greatest is coming right here.”

Positives?

Sure, there have been a number of.

An Oilers crew that had fallen behind by three objectives early in each earlier video games cleaned up its first interval, outshooting Buffalo 15-7. Nevertheless it was a foreshadowing of what was to return, as in the long run Edmonton would get goalied by a child who grew up an enormous fan of the crew his brothers Mike and Paul each performed for — Eric Comrie.

They didn’t understand it from the beginning, however this is able to be a sport that the Oilers must attempt to win 2-1, because of the Edmonton-born Comrie. Their second interval, a sloppy session during which Edmonton gave up means an excessive amount of, buried them.

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Tage Thompson walked via Darnell Nurse on a magnificence solo effort to make it 2-1, then Leon Draisaitl’s cross on a four-man break eluded everybody — apart from the 2 Sabres lingering behind. JJ Peterka beat Stuart Skinner on a breakaway for that third objective that Edmonton merely couldn’t purchase.

The Oilers peppered Comrie with 23 third-period photographs however scored simply as soon as earlier than the Sabres copped an empty-netter.

Typically you don’t know you’re in a 2-1 sport till it’s too late. On Tuesday, Comrie merely wouldn’t enable the Oilers to get to 3.

Edmonton has principally wasted the opening half of its season-opening six-game homestand, going 1-2. Now, the Oilers should salvage their begin to the season towards Carolina, St. Louis, then Pittsburgh earlier than hitting the street for a three-game swing.

It’s plain that Tuesday’s sport was the very best effort of the 12 months, however this can be a program that’s far past studying classes. They’ve been down that street, and this 12 months is meant to be totally different.

“Any time you lose, there isn’t any satisfaction on this room. There aren’t any ethical victories,” mentioned Nurse. “We’re not completely satisfied being 1-2 to start out the 12 months. We will say all we would like, however now we have obtained to return out and present it on the ice.”

In a 1-1 sport, the Oilers’ prime defenceman bent after which broke, walked by Thompson for a key 2-1 objective.

“I do know I wish to take again that objective,” Nurse mentioned.

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This was a sport we’ve seen Nurse play earlier than, his willingness to hold his membership is one thing you’ll be able to see from maybe probably the most distant press field within the NHL. You admire the very fact he desires to make a distinction, however we additionally know this can be a type that seldom accomplishes the specified end result.

In the long run, Nurse was as harmful within the offensive finish, the place he scored the Oilers’ first objective, as he was in his personal zone. The Oilers assistant captain was all around the ice, however as typically as he was chasing a objective in Buffalo’s zone he was chasing down a Sabre from behind on a breakaway.

I’ve mentioned it earlier than: the very best Darnell Nurse doesn’t should be a relentless offensive risk. His best worth is as a defender, and if he retains the sheet clear in his personal finish, there are many teammates who can rating objectives. In the long run, if Nurse has a 25-point season and turns into a premier defender, the Oilers will go additional than they are going to if he roams the way in which he did on Tuesday night time.

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“I might return to the beginning of this second interval — errors that had been made, errors that had been on our tape which are uncharacteristic of us,” Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft mentioned. “It proved we couldn’t outscore these errors, regardless of what number of photographs we poured on their goaltender.

“We really feel we’re going to attain sufficient. It’s eliminating a few of these errors that led to these objectives towards,” he continued, ““The place I’m placing our focus is eliminating a few of these freebies that I believe value us this sport. These had been most likely 40 of our greatest minutes however I don’t assume we’ve performed a full 60 but.”

The season is every week previous. That might come any time now.

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