Contrary to what you may be hearing on radio call in shows, reading on the internet, and hearing other people say, the Edmonton Oilers have not defended into a free fall and the season is not over…..
Sure, the Oilers are on a 3 game losing streak, where they didn't look particularly good in parts of those three games. But those three games were the last 3 games of a 6 game, 11 day road trip, and those were 3 games in 4 nights. The games were also against 3 of the last 4 stanley cup champions in Detroit, Boston, and Chicago. I can name many teams in the NHL that could play those three teams in a row and lose all 3 games.
Can we also remember to sit back and realize that even with those 3 losses, the Oilers are still holding a record of 9-6-1. I think that almost anyone who knows and follows the team will agree that if we could be 9-6-1 after 16 games, we would be very happy.
Does the team have problems? Absolutely. The early success we had was through exceptional goaltending and a defence that was playing a bit above their level. The defence has started to become what we thought it would be, and for the goaltending, well Khabibulin had a save percentage and goals against average that were, frankly, too high to sustain. The team desperately needs an upgrade on defence, especially since it has become clear that Ryan Whitney is not someone we can count on to be healthy for the majority of a hockey season, regardless of how good he is. The offence was exposed pretty badly on the road trip when Renny couldn't protect Nugent-Hopkins and Hall from the opposition's checking lines, and our lack of secondary scoring, or any scoring from players not named Ryan, is starting to become an issue.
But before everyone calls for Tambillini to trade the whole team, remember that this is a team that is in a significantly better place than it was last year, and the arrows are (mostly) pointing in the right direction. The kids will be alright, we can't panic at every hiccup.