It’s been almost one full month since the National Hockey League regular season began. And the supposedly upstart Edmonton Oilers continue to stumble along.
Their latest disappointment came Tuesday, when they were shut out 4-0 on home ice by the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Phil Kessel led the Leafs with two goals and four points. He also had a plus-four rating, while his Edmonton counterpart Sam Gagner, returning to the lineup for the first time after missing the start of the season with a broken jaw, was a minus four.
As was Nail Yakupov, Edmonton’s first overall pick in 2012 who has one goal and three points in 12 games this year.
The Oilers remain at the bottom of the Pacific Division, with just three wins.
All this after the Oilers went out and hired up-and-coming coach Dallas Eakins, and with what many pundits consider a highly skilled group of young forwards.
The Oilers badly outshot their opponents from Toronto by a 43-26 margin. A good chunk of those shots came in the third period. By then it hardly mattered. The Leafs had a four-goal cushion.
“It’s getting frustrating,” said Oilers’ defenseman Ladislav Smid, as per the Edmonton Sun.
“We’re not consistent enough. We can’t sustain the same game for 60 minutes. It seems to be every game is the same story so obviously we have to change something.
“There are several things that are wrong right now. We talk about the right things every day, but we have to go out and do it on the ice. Nobody is going to do it for us. We have to wake up in here.”