The Edmonton Oilers lost their season opener against the Winnipeg Jets 5-4.
The loss leaves many fans frustrated, but hopeful for better things to come.
I believe that this is the year for the Oilers to 'leave it all on the ice'. With many of their core players signed to long-term deals, many fans are hoping their team will now start to build up some much needed consistency.
However, last night’s loss still presents many questions for Craig MacTavish and the organisation to try and answer.
The major one for me lies within the area of goaltending. Devon Dubnyk got the start last night, and certainly didn’t look comfortable at all between the pipes. Many of the goals were weak and questionable.
However, the Oilers do have some positives to take away from the game. Ales Hemsky scored a beautiful goal and Taylor Hall and Jordon Eberle had some great chances as well.
But in the end, it wasn’t a very good first game for Head Coach Dallas Eakins. Eakins voiced his frustrations about losing a two-goal lead shortly after the game. Even though the Oilers lost last night, I believe they will make the playoffs this year.
They’ve got a solid group of world class players including Hall, Eberle and Schultz. They proved in last night’s game that they have the ability to score goals. I believe if this team can improve in the defensive end, they’ll have a decent shot at making the playoffs.
For the Winnipeg Jets, this was a huge victory. Not only did they come from behind to get the win, but they also did it on the road.
The Jets top draft pick Jacob Trouba, Mark Scheifele, and Dustin Byfuglien were among the goalscorers for Winnipeg. However, the season plan for the Jets is very similar to that of the Oilers.
The Jets also need to find a way to win games consistently. I believe with the additions of Scheifele and Trouba the Jets have a good chance of finding that much needed consistency this season.
Also, if Dustin Byfuglien can continue scoring, that’ll certainly help as well. But I still believe the Winnipeg Jets success will depend on whether or not Ondrej Pavelec will have another great year. Pavelec made 34 saves last night and looked pretty solid in goal.
So it’s the Jets that come away with the points on opening night. If nothing else, this was a very entertaining game to watch and I can’t wait to see which of these team’s young players will score more goals this season.
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