For Eakins’ Oilers, progress means losing one-goal games, as opposed to getting blown out

7 Comments

It may not show in the standings, where his team sits last in the Western Conference with a record of 6-11-2, but Oilers coach Dallas Eakins insists his club is making progress.

“You go from a team that suffers greatly, that gets out-chanced and out-shot by a ton,” said Eakins after last night’s 5-4 loss to Vancouver, per Sportsnet. “Then, you’re in the games, and you start winning some of those games, and you acquire the taste (of winning). We’re trying to get there.

“We were the team before last year, getting constantly out-shot, constantly out-chanced. It wasn’t closing a one-goal game, it was trying to get back in a game where you were down three and four (goals). We’re to that point, but it’s got to come now.”

The Oilers’ possession numbers support Eakins’ claim. Edmonton’s scored-adjust Corsi ranked 28th last season; it ranks 21st this season.

At the same time, the mental mistakes keep occurring. Like here:

And here:

And here:

Eakins is not reportedly in danger of losing his job, but things won’t get any easier the rest of the month. After hosting New Jersey Friday, the Oilers host the Blackhawks Saturday, then hit the road for games in Dallas, Nashville, and St. Louis.