Always Look on the Bright Side

I spent quite a bit of time this morning whipping around the internetz to try to get a sense of how Oiler fans are reacting to the team’s 9th straight loss.

It seems some observers watched a different game than I did suggesting the Oilers did well to steal a point in St. Louis despite being outshot 41-16 and being out chanced by an even wider margin.

Let’s put this in perspective…the Oilers had 16 shots on goal….Alex Pietrangelo had 10.

And, had the Blues not hit too many posts to count, things would have been even worse.

Yes, Ben Scrivens played very well but he was also very lucky. The Blues could have easily scored 10.

And then you get this kind of “analysis” from Lowetide poster GMoney:

Go into the barn of the top team in the brutally tough Central division, play a solid game, get a point and probably deserved better? Can you ask for more other than the actual other point? I guess maybe scoring a goal!

Then walk into St Louis on a scheduled loss (b2b and third in four) and play at least one good period, have your much maligned goalie steal a point anyway? As much as you could ask of this team.

If what I witnessed the last two nights is “a solid game” (you can’t win if you can’t score) and “as much as you could ask of this team”, the Oilers are even more trouble that their rank in the standings would indicate.

And, speaking of their rank in the standings…let’s do a bit of a review.

As of this morning, the Oilers are 29th in the NHL with a .333 win percentage…just a tick above the .318 posted by the injury ravaged Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Oilers’ record against the Western Conference is 0-11-3.

In December, the Oilers play 14 games. All but ONE of them is against the WC and that one that  is against a pretty decent team, the New York Rangers.

The Oilers have a goal differential of -28…they’re on pace for -96.

The Oilers leading scorer is Taylor Hall with 15 points tied with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle. None of them ranks in the top 60 in the league.

Considering the Oilers get precious little secondary scoring and their highest scoring D is Justin Schultz (ranked 39th with only 10 points), having a 1st line that scores less than many teams’ 2nd lines, is not a recipe for success.

If the Oilers were a tight defensive team with above average goaltending they might be competitive but I don’t think anyone…even the apologists…would try and make that case.

Now, I can understand that fans of a team want to believe the best and “look on the bright side of life” but, let’s be honest, there isn’t a bright side here.

As I said a couple of weeks ago, the perception that the Oilers are “turning north” based on their improved Corsi and Fenwick numbers was just a mirage and as soon as the rubber hit the road in the Western Conference, that mirage would evaporate like fog under the mid day sun.

And here we are.

It appears Craig McTavish is not going to do anything to help his team out in the short-term and I would imagine that his continuing inaction and silence, along with Bob Nicholson emerging from behind the curtain, means Daryl Katz is starting to pay attention to the disaster his NHL team has become.

“We have to get better and we have to get a lot more consistent with our current team,” Nicholson said. “It’s still about how we want the organization to move forward. We want to be able to show the fan base that we are (going) in a direction to be better, long-term.”

Nicholson stressed “we’re not tearing this whole thing down,” even as he acknowledged the need to “retool and realign.”

More from Nicholson here.

I wonder how long until the fan base just gives up.




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