The Oilers‘ once-dominant power play, which had an impressive 32.4% success rate last season, is now only converting a quarter of the time. This decline in special teams performance has significantly impacted their ability to score goals and win games.
In addition, the goaltending duo of Stuart Skinner and Jack Campbell has been struggling. Both goalies have allowed an average of almost four goals per game, ranking poorly among all goaltenders in the league. This lack of solid goaltending has further contributed to the Oilers’ poor performance.
Furthermore, Connor McDavid, the team’s superstar, has been underperforming. He has gone without a goal in six games and has only scored two goals and eight assists so far this season. McDavid’s lack of production, combined with his recent injury, has hindered the Oilers’ offensive capabilities.
Without McDavid’s usual dominance, the Oilers have relied on Leon Draisaitl to make up for the scoring deficit. However, Draisaitl has also struggled, scoring only five goals. The team’s overall performance has been disappointing, and there is little evidence to suggest an immediate turnaround.
Interestingly, the Oilers are not the only team facing difficulties. The Calgary Flames, who were expected to have a rebound season, have also struggled with a 2-6-1 record in October. Both teams are currently facing challenges and are far from meeting expectations.
Looking at the league as a whole, the Vegas Golden Knights have started the season strongly with an 11-1-1 record. Their goaltender, Adin Hill, has been exceptional, posting a .938 save percentage. The Boston Bruins are also performing well, going 10-1-1, thanks to their solid goaltending duo of Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman.
Surprisingly, the Vancouver Canucks and the Detroit Red Wings are emerging as unexpected contenders. Both teams have been competitive and are challenging the top teams in their respective divisions. Thatcher Demko‘s outstanding performance in goal has been crucial for the Canucks, while Alex Debrincat’s resurgence has propelled the Red Wings.
On the other end of the spectrum, the San Jose Sharks are enduring a disastrous season. With a 0-10-1 record and a goal differential of -43, they are currently the worst team in the league. Their struggles have been evident in their recent blowout losses.
In other news, the NHL faced criticism in Ottawa for penalizing the Senators over a trade involving Evgenii Dadonov. The league invalidated the trade and penalized the Senators by stripping them of a first-round draft pick. The Senators’ owner expressed frustration with the NHL’s handling of the situation.
Additionally, some NHL players have started wearing neck guards after the tragic on-ice death of Adam Johnson. The issue of player safety has been raised, with suggestions to ban bodychecking in certain leagues.