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McDavid Might Be Sick, But Something’s Broken for Oilers

Connor McDavid was announced as out of action for the Edmonton Oilers on Monday, but that’s only the start of the Oilers bigger problems.

Connor McDavid was announced as out of action for the Edmonton Oilers on Monday, just minutes before the game versus the Vegas Golden Knights. It was a game the Oilers lost in overtime and while they salvaged a point, it wasn’t pretty.

One of the most important games for the team, they came out flat without McDavid who was under the weather over the past few days. By the time the game was done, Edmonton had been out-shot by a 2-1 margin and this was just the latest in a string of games where the team was badly outplayed. Just over the past two contests alone, goaltender Mikko Koskinen has had to stand on his head as the Oilers allowed 94 shots against.

Fortunately, McDavid’s absence isn’t expected to be long-term. Still, the struggles of the team are much worse than just one player. Coming down the stretch, the team isn’t getting hyped up for games as they should be and head coach Dave Tippett knows, if this is the team that shows up in the playoffs, the Oilers have a good chance of getting swept in the first round.

At the very least, the Oilers need to find a way to show up in the first 20 minutes of any given game. He knows there’s a problem and a number of players on the team have pointed out their insufficient play as well.

Tippett said of their performance on Monday:

“This is as disconnected as we’ve been in a long time. And it’s not just tonight’s game I’m talking about, it’s a number of games. We can’t continue to play like that and feel like we’re a good team.”

Getting McDavid back will help, but the team hasn’t really found chemistry for his line since the trade deadline. They’ve tested a number of wingers and nothing’s clicked. Tippett is going to need to get that line going.

Beyond that, there needs to be an emphasis on shots. Alex Chiasson scored early on Monday on a shot the goaltender probably could have stopped, proving you don’t score if you don’t shoot. Yet, the Oilers stopped shooting.

The coached talked the team finally having a practice to work on whatever is bugging the group and that he’s prepared to find a solution to what’s ailing this organization. As he said in a media scum not long ago, “If it ain’t broke, you’re not looking hard enough.” Something is clearly broken.

Before anyone suggests we’re hinting the sky is falling, understand, we’re not. Whatever is up with this team can and will likely get fixed. And, while things aren’t smooth sailing, the Oilers are finding a way to get points. That’s a good thing.

The bad news is, something isn’t connecting and the Oilers have to look hard enough to figure out what it is.

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