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Oilers Have A Long Way To Go Before They Can Be Considered "Back"

November 17, 2023, 6:31 PM ET [19 Comments]
Sean Maloughney
Edmonton Oilers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
"The Oilers are back," proclaimed fans after a 4-3 victory against the Seattle Kraken, giving Edmonton their third straight win.

Make no mistake, winning is good, but the Oilers nearly lost a game against the Kraken, a team playing pretty pitiful hockey right now. Edmonton still has a long way to go before being considered even a potential playoff team. This road trip has the potential to be a legitimate spring board for this team for the remainder of the season or another cold reminder that they simply are not good enough.

Tampa, Florida, Carolina, and Washington are all really good hockey times. The Caps may have huge scoring issues but they have been a stingy team defensively, allowing the fewest goals against in the Metro Division. At bare minimum this needs to be a 2-2-0 road trip but with the hole Edmonton has placed themselves in I would say they need to go at least 2-1-1 or better.

There is some reason to be optimistic. Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid both seem to be finding their game again, with McDavid looking like he is finally starting to recover from the injuries he was dealing with. Stuart Skinner is looking like a legitimate goalie once again (amazing that Woodcroft wasn't telling him to stop the puck).

A couple quick thoughts.

- Adam Erne 100% should have been suspended for at minimum 3 games for his hit on Bellemare. It was predatory and there was clear intent to injure on that play.

- It looks like Connor Brown will play his 10th NHL game, earning him his bonus on Saturday against the Tampa Bay Lightning, likely on a line with McDavid and RNH. I have my misgivings with putting Brown right back in (they should use the opportunity to send him to the AHL) but the organization clearly needs wins and are willing to do whatever is needed to try and pull some more out.

- As we kind of assumed, it really does look like Ken Holland is a figurehead GM and Jeff Jackson is the one truly calling the show.

Enjoy an early game on Saturday!
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