Defensive woes continue for struggling Oilers

3 Comments

If only the 2014-15 Edmonton Oilers could score goals like those championship teams from the 1980s.

Those were apparently the days.

This team is sure struggling to defend right now. Yes, that’s an understatement.

The latest piece of evidence was a 7-4 loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday. That’s now 13 goals in the last two games, and naturally the team is off to a horrid start to this season. It had hoped to rebound from an overall horrid 2013-14 campaign, with then rookie NHL head coach Dallas Eakins.

Ben Scrivens has struggled in his appearances, and the importance for him to step up and give Edmonton quality goaltending only increased with the injury to Viktor Fasth.

Scrivens hasn’t received much help from the players in front of him, even though this group apparently thought it had improved on the defensive side of things heading into the season.

As discussed prior to the start of the season, this was actually a risk for the Oilers, and it was highlighted, particularly after a massive defensive lapse caught perfectly on television cameras and screen grabs in the preseason.

“We came out of camp believing we were tidying up one of the most glaring negatives of our game last year, the defensive play as a five man unit,” Andrew Ference told the Edmonton Sun following Wednesday’s defeat.

“It’s not only the goals against, but the glaring chances where guys are getting A chances in the slot, where they’re wide open. There’s just been too many of those. You can’t win too many games if you have to score six or seven goals a night.”