Five games into this new season, and the Edmonton Oilers have yet to win.
The losses continue to pile up. On Friday, while the Oilers may have played a better overall defensive game minus one costly lapse, they still came away defeated, dropping a 2-0 decision to the Vancouver Canucks.
The last time the Oilers got off to such a horrid start was in 1992-93, when they had an 0-4-1 record, according to Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal. That’s back when games finished in a tie if overtime didn’t settle the score; there was no shootout.
Five straight defeats for the 2014-15 group. One of those did come in a shootout to the Canucks last weekend.
And the pressure continues to mount on Dallas Eakins, who is in just his second year as Edmonton’s head coach. He did get a vote of confidence from management this spring, but this start has only increased frustrations with the fan base.
The Oilers recently returned from a three-game road trip. They allowed a combined 13 goals in two games against L.A. and Arizona.
Ben Scrivens, who had endured his share of criticism of late, got the start in goal for Edmonton. Earlier in the day, Eakins shared a story that Scrivens, in a determined state of mind, told the coach he was “going to win that game.”
It didn’t work out that way, although Scrivens was hardly to blame. He made 28 saves on 29 shots faced.
Meanwhile, the Canucks, after their massive overhaul in the summer and with their franchise sellout streak about to end Saturday against the Tampa Bay Lightning, are off to their best start since the 1999-2000 season.
Three straight wins for Vancouver. All of those have come against teams from Alberta, and neither the Oilers or the Calgary Flames are thought to be in contention in the Western Conference this season.
The Sedin twins, Daniel and Henrik, did their thing. That top line of the Sedin twins and Radim Vrbata combined for six points on the night. Vrbata got the winner, finishing off a sweet passing play from the twins, and Daniel Sedin secured the win with an empty-net goal.
Ryan Miller recorded his first shutout as a member of the Canucks, and is now 9-0-0 against the Oilers for his career.
Vancouver’s defenseman Dan Hamhuis, who took a high stick to the face in the second period and needed several stitches, left the game briefly but did return, sporting a full face shield.