What a 7-4 Win Means Moving Forward | Oilersnetwork.com - Edmonton Oilers News and Rumours

What a 7-4 Win Means Moving Forward

I'm the kind of guy who only half believes that they don't look at how you win, just what the score is at the end of the game. If you follow that philosophy, a 7-4 win over the Calgary Flames in the season opener at Rogers Place looks pretty good.

The other half of me, while happy Edmonton scored seven goals in their first game of the season, sees just how many glaring issues there were with the method to which that victory came about.

Connor McDavid

Ok, McDavid was amazing. Of all the issues in last night's game, there wasn't one negative in his game I can mention, other than the fact that when he left the bench after losing an edge, he gave me that "oh sh$@, here we go" moment. I don't like that feeling.

McDavid was tenacious, fast, determined, skilled and put the team on his shoulders like a good leader should do when it appeared Calgary was inching back into the game. And... that move on the penalty shot was sick. It always worried me that McDavid was kind of a one-trick pony on breakaways, which he clearly is not.

Kris Russell

I hope he has a ton of games like he had on Wednesday. To me, he and Larsson were the Oilers' two best defensemen and he earned the second star of the game he was awarded. Smart plays, crisp passes and few mistakes. That's how he needs to play. I would like to see him more on that dismal power play though.

Tyler Pitlick and Jesse Puljujarvi

Those two will keep employment on the NHL squad if they reproduce the efforts we saw against Calgary. Pitlick, in particular, made the most of every minute he was given. It's amazing that he was once considered a near write-off prospect.

Zack Kassian

Got promoted this morning at practice and is skating on that second line with Pouliot and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Anton Slepyshev was ok, but Kassian was clearly better and earned the promotion.


Edmonton needs to figure out this power play. They scored seven goals and went one-for-six on the man-advantage. That they let in two short-handed goals in one game is inexcusable. They could have at least scored to cancel those out, but they didn't. The power play needs a major facelift.

Edmonton got badly outshot in this game and got lucky to run into a poor goaltending performance by Brian Elliott. Part of that has to do with only two shots on four power plays. If Edmonton expects to beat better teams, they can't rely on seven goals to do so.

Turnovers were an issue as well. Leon Draisaitl made a doozie that led to the Brouwer goal. Blue line turnovers like that are death to a hockey team and even an improve defense can't handle the onslaught that comes if the forwards are constantly giving away the puck in scoring positions.

Overall it was a fun and entertaining game with lots of learning lessons I'm sure the Oilers coaching staff will take a look at. How they come out against Calgary on Friday — specifically against a player like Matthew Tkachuk — will be interesting to watch.

But, who cares what I think right? For now, I'll just keep my mouth shut until I feel like spilling my guts again.

Jim Parsons is a business owner, husband, father and sports fan. For more information about Oilersnetwork.com founder and Oil Spill articles author Jim Parsons, click here.

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