Oilers just trying to ‘slowly move the needle’

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The Edmonton Oilers started the season by hanging tough on the road with both the Blues and Predators. Though they lost both games and had trouble generating much in the way of offense, they managed to keep things close against two very good teams.

Then Tuesday in Dallas happened. The Oilers were outshot, 52-28, by the Stars. If not for goalie Anders Nilsson, it could’ve been a lot worse than a 4-2 defeat.

That was a setback.

Actually, in the words of Edmonton coach Todd McLellan, it was a “humbling” performance in which “our attention to just about every facet of the game was at a very low level.”

So yeah, he wasn’t impressed.

On the bright side, “tonight’s another night.” The Oilers will host the Blues this evening, with Connor McDavid making his first-ever, regular-season appearance on home ice. 

“Our goal right now is to slowly move the needle,” said McLellan, who’s insisted all along that turning the Oilers into contenders won’t happen right away.

The schedule doesn’t ease up anytime soon for McLellan’s crew. The Blues should be tough tonight; they usually are. Then it’s back on the road for back-to-back games against Calgary and Vancouver, before Detroit, Washington, and Los Angeles come to town.