The NHL’s free agent market includes goalies such as Ilya Bryzgalov and Jose Theodore. That might seem like a random thing to mention, but after Monday’s game, Edmonton Oilers fans might want to note that fact.
The Oilers suffered another unsettling loss today, this time falling to the struggling Washington Capitals 4-2.
Four ugly minutes
Really, one could argue that the game was largely over in the second period, as the Capitals transformed a 1-1 tie to a 4-1 lead in less than four minutes.
The aggressors shouldn’t be surprising. Washington’s lethal power play supplied two of those goals. Alex Ovechkin scored a goal and an assist while Nicklas Backstrom collected a trio of helpers.
The troubling part is that the Oilers weren’t wildly out-shot. In fact, Edmonton’s 30-20 shot advantage wasn’t a mere result of coming from behind; the Oil carried a 19-11 shot advantage through 40 minutes.
Oilers management spoke of making some bold moves this summer, and while there were some nice tweaks, they rolled the dice with Devan Dubnyk in net.
The big goalie could still work out, but perhaps they made a mistake by adding a career backup in Jason LaBarbera instead of someone who could battle more realistically for the starting role. The Oilers came into Monday’s action with a league-worst 86.4 save percentage and that will only dip after “The Barber” allowed four goals on those 20 shots.
Regardless of your target of blame, the 2013-14 season is at least beginning the same way far too many Oilers campaigns kicked off before.