Things are about as ugly for the Edmonton Oilers right now as this stomp by Dallas Stars pest Antoine Roussel.
Maybe, as Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli insists, the Oilers really aren’t in panic mode right now. But are we certain that they aren’t experiencing something just as bad, like, say, paralysis?
Saturday presented another disconcerting loss in the form of a 6-3 defeat to the Dallas Stars, dropping the Oilers to 7-11-2. Performances like these can’t do much for Cam Talbot‘s confidence, as he allowed six goals on just 21 shots.
Connor McDavid finished the game with a -2 rating, yet the beleaguered, poorly supported captain of the Oilers doesn’t deserve the blame. Not when he’s giving his team a chance to win by being involved in all three of their goals (one goal, two assists).
There’s the creeping feeling that the Oilers are finding ways to lose, as they tend to grab the shots advantage, yet they drop games with many and few games alike. You can’t even really pin everything on the likes of Milan Lucic, who grabbed an assist and at least seemed to show a pulse. Even if his efforts increasingly seem futile.
It’s never a good sign when people give McDavid & Co. the Simon & Garfunkel treatment, yet what else can you do when you’ve lost four of five games and seem to be digging the hole deeper and deeper?
And, to little surprise, there’s at least some grumbling about the play of number 97, too. That’s the nature of the beast when it comes to losing, especially when you’ve done as much of it as the contemporary Oilers have.
“General disappointment, that’s your headline” is what Chiarelli recently said of his team’s play, according to TSN’s Frank Seravalli.
On Saturday, it felt a bit more like “general disillusionment,” even if the Oilers haven’t suffered a total defeat. With four games remaining on this current road trip and only three home tilts in their next 11 games, something needs to give.
The Oilers are running out of both time and patience.
Here’s that ugly stomp by Roussel, by the way:
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.