The Edmonton Oilers are currently 2–3 through their first five games of the season. They were able to mount a third period comeback win over the Vancouver Canucks in their first game, then losing two in a row to the Calgary Flames and Buffalo Sabres. Their second win of the season was a close 6–4 battle against the Carolina Hurricanes, and a shorthanded goal by Ryan McLeod ended up being the difference that won the Oilers the game. Unfortunately the Oilers couldn’t produce another win and fell to the St. Louis Blues during yesterday’s matinee.
Looking back at the Oiler’s first five games, how are Edmonton Oilers fans feeling about the team? We asked, you answered.
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Some fans have absolutely no worries
Even though the Oilers have started the season relatively slow, 18% of pollers have zero concerns about how the season has started. Looking at last year’s Stanley Cup Champions, the Colorado Avalanche also had a slow start to last year’s season; having a slow start does not mean this season is ruined because there are still plenty of regular season games left.
It’s evident that with elite players like Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl on the roster, the Oilers have a decent chance to beat any team on any given night. With Ken Holland re-signing talented support players like Evander Kane, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Zach Hyman, the Oiler’s core forward group has been solidified and will be suitable for a long time.
It seems these fans have total confidence in not only the management and how the roster has been constructed, but also all the players on the team to perform night in and night out.
Most fans are cautiously optimistic
At 40% of poll voting and the most popular option, fans are cautiously optimistic about the team after watching the first five games. There have been both optimistic and concerning trends when looking back at the first games of the season, specifically how the club has started games; giving up the first goal in the first three games and being down three goals by the end of the first period against both Vancouver and Calgary.
However, the game against the Hurricanes felt different and the way the team battled to beat an excellent undefeated Carolina team was encouraging. Hopefully, this signals the end of the bad starts they have had in games before.
Are some fans seriously concerned?
Although most fans feel pretty good about the team, 15% of fans are seriously concerned with the start that the Oilers have had to the season. With the Oilers so tight up against the salary cap this season, they were forced to start with a 21 man roster. The club has already begun to see the negative impact of this decision which has forced Jay Woodcroft to ice an eleven and seven lineup due to the injuries of Warren Foegele, Kailer Yamamoto, and Dylan Holloway. Another concern for Oilers fans is the defensive struggles in the first three games and the lack of defensive depth on the third pair.
A portion of fans think that it’s too early to tell
This is the safest option of the bunch with the team having only played five games so far and still starting to get back into the swing of things. 28% of poll voters picked this option and believe that a larger sample size is needed to generate an opinion.
There is still a lot of hockey to be played
Even with the many ups and downs throughout the first five games, there is still plenty of hockey left in the season and now up to the players and Woodcroft to ensure they perform. That said, Oilers should be a lock to make the playoffs as long as they stay clear of significant injuries and tighten up defensively.
What are your early feelings about the team? Do you think fans should be concerned about the slow start? Let us know in the comments!
Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire