The Daily Faceoff Show: What’s going on with the Edmonton Oilers?

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Is it panic time in Edmonton?

The Oilers have won just two of their last 11 games and are now clinging to a playoff berth in the Western Conference.

Frank Seravalli and Mike McKenna have spoken about how worried the Oilers should be about this recent slippage and what they can do about it.

Seravalli: “The Edmonton Oilers are on a downward spiral and there are a lot of questions about where this team stands right now. You take a look at some of the numbers and they’ve been pretty ugly for quite a long time. Going back to December 1, 28 in the league in points percentage, only the worst teams in the league are under the Oilers.

They hold the second wild card spot in the West, they are a team that had a fantastic start at 9-1-0, rumors and speculation around head coach Dave Tippett have been lining up waiting, and now Mike Smith is on set with an upper body injury.

How concerned are you with the Oilers on a scale of 1 to 10 this season? « 

McKenna: “I would say a strong seven right now.

Everything you expected for the season is happening right now. They haven’t had a deep scoring, they basically have five forwards producing and beyond that they are non-existent up front.

Defensively, they’re not hard on the pucks and they’re not goaltenders. The goalie who has done the best for them is Stuart Skinner and he is currently in the AHL. Mike Smith is 39 years old. When he’s healthy he’s good. But he is no longer healthy very often. The last two games weren’t good for him, he looked completely out of sync and Koskinen just wasn’t there.

I think the confidence in the whole team is « hey man, we don’t get these saves anymore and we don’t score 50% on the power play. »

It all creates this vortex that the Oilers are now trying to find themselves in because they don’t score on the power play, they don’t score 5-5, but I think it all goes through Connor McDavid.

Maybe John Tortorella was more right than a lot of people thought when he said McDavid should change the way he plays. Not offensively, but man, he has to be harder defensively, he has to want the puck. He must be able to move his feet, fill in the gaps in the defensive zone. Because right now Edmonton is not defending the net, they are not making it into the net at the other end. They just don’t play hard enough.

The person you always watch is your captain. He’s going to have to carry this team, not only on the offensive end of the puck, but also on the defensive end.

You can watch the full episode here…



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