The Edmonton Oilers lost 3-2 to the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night, falling to 2-9-1 on the season. Here’s what you need to know:
- The Oilers are tied with the Sharks for 32nd in the NHL standings, with both franchises having five points. The Sharks suffered their worst home defeat in franchise history on Nov. 3, losing 10-1 to the Vancouver Canucks.
- Edmonton has a 1-5 record on the road in 2022-23. The Oilers have a minus-19 goal differential, ranked second last in the league.
- Oilers captain Connor McDavid was held pointless against the Sharks. McDavid, the reigning Hart Trophy winner, has two goals and eight assists in 2023-24.
What’s wrong with Edmonton
In a word: everything. The Oilers have the worst team save percentage in the NHL and have allowed the second most goals. When they allow chances defensively, they’re whoppers — and they’re going in at an alarming rate. The penalty killing is awful. And, unbelievably, the top offensive team in the league last season can’t score from McDavid and Leon Draisaitl on down. They’re tied for fourth from the bottom at 2.58 goals per game. Even their power play is amiss. Naturally, things should course correct themselves.
But with the Oilers tied for 32nd almost 15 percent of the way through the season, time is running out for general manager Ken Holland to stand pat. Demoting backup goalie Jack Campbell isn’t enough. It says here a trade — as hard as one would be to pull off — is the better move than firing coach Jay Woodcroft. Holland had better work the phones quickly if that’s the plan. — Daniel Nugent-Bowman, Oilers beat writer
What they’re saying
When asked after the game if he was worried about his job, Woodcroft said he’s worried about “taking care of my daily business and daily process and making sure that I give my players something to focus on and concentrate on.”
“No one is happy where we are at,” Woodcroft said. “We all own it. We can be better. That’s where my focus is.”
(Photo of Connor McDavid: Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images)