The moment of settlement of the Edmonton Oilers has arrived.
The time when they can continue to believe that they are the team that does not let the bad karma hang around. That they will find a way to reverse lost stripes before they get out of control.
Starting this morning, the Oilers are the last team in the NHL to lose three games in a row this season. Everyone else has collapsed, but they are sitting here after losing 6: 5 against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday after a sluggish defensive and even below-average knockout.
"We talked about this this morning," said Oilers' head coach Dave Tippett, opposite Edmonton Sun's postscript. "This is the first bit of misfortune that hits us, I talked to our leadership group there to make sure we stay together.
"This is the first real exam for her. It will be interesting to see how they make sure they can keep this group together. We will see how our leadership works. "
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The Big Takeaway
Will Edmonton dive into a long time of futility or stem the tide? Will the Oilers be able to look at the table and say, "Calgary lost six consecutive, Vancouver lost seven out of eight, Vegas lost five straight, San Jose started their season 0-4 and lost a few weeks later five times in a row … "
Or is Edmonton going after three consecutive defeats – and a 2: 5-1 win in the last eight?
"We have to go in here," Captain Connor McDavid told the Sun. "We are a bit restless, starting with the top guys to the lineup, I have to be better.
"We do not panic, it's three games and I think we're the last team to lose three straight." Every team has gone through it, we go through it. We will find it here. "
For the second game in a row, the Oilers allowed six goals. For the second game in a row, the goal was bad.
But for the second game in a row, they roared back to tie the game in the third period, then watched their opponent retreat again.
"We have to do better to shut it down," said Leon Draisaitl, who scored his 20th goal on the same night as McDavid. "We spend so much energy defending ourselves … First, we do it too often and too much. But if you fight so hard to return, you want to be rewarded. "
Not enough takeaways
Mike Smith. Discuss.
The Oilers goalkeeper had too many Class A chances on Thursday but may not have sustained any of them in another defeat, his sixth in his last eight starts. Smith's savings now start at eight (0.896), while his early exploits go into the 37-year-old's rear-view mirror.
"There were a few glitches in our zone. As a goalkeeper, you want to cover up these mistakes and do some parrying, "he said. "In the last two games, in which you get six as a group, you will not be all that well."
There were many reasons why the Oilers made another comeback by pairing the game with two third-period goals and then scoring twice in 1:08 to reestablish Minnesota's lead from two goals. It starts with the goal that Smith did not give his team a big chance the whole night through.
"Every team goes through a bump throughout the season," he said. "We have to find a way to play a full game, we have to recognize what we need to do better, stop talking about it and go out and do it."
Really, if you stop at Smith when it comes to defensive responsibilities, you're kidding. The goal is certainly not good enough. But this kind of defensive play is simply not over.
Draisaitl was a balanced player on Thursday, the first time he has played nine games in a row, he has not been in the red. McDavid has been a minus player in seven of his last 13 games. He had two points in Minny and was a minus 1.
These statistics will look better when the team gets some parries, a fact that Tippett is well aware of.
"You need a few bailouts," Tippett said. "These were good chances, really good chances. At the end, you want to see some bailouts there. "
The Good Ship Oilers lick more than one hole. Now we'll see if this roster can bury, turn things around, and stem the tides. Or was a good start, like so many Oilers teams from the past, just a mirage?
The Toronto Maple Leafs arrive at Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday at 5:00 pm. MT start.
Could be a fire hockey on tap.