7 Stats & Facts That Tell the Story as Oilers’ Winless Streak Hits 7

The Edmonton Oilers’ spiraling 2021-22 NHL season reached a new low on Thursday (Jan. 20) at Rogers Place, where they were crushed 6-0 by the league-leading Florida Panthers. The loss extended Edmonton’s winless skid to seven games, as the Oilers have gone 0-5-2 since the Christmas break.

Over the last seven weeks, the Oilers are a dreadful 2-11-2, the worst record in the NHL over that span. After taking over the top spot in the Western Conference standings on Dec. 1, Edmonton has plummeted all the way to second from the bottom in the Pacific Division, ahead of only the expansion Seattle Kraken.

The loss to Florida was a microcosm of everything that’s gone wrong for the Oilers as a team and as individual players, from slow starts and subpar goaltending to a malfunctioning power play and superstars who can’t score.

As Edmonton continues to operate with 50% capacity limits, the game was witnessed by only 9,150 fans, most of who sat in stunned silence, while a handful of particularly upset fans showed their displeasure by throwing Oilers jerseys on the ice.

Though an official count on the number of sweaters tossed is not available, there are more than enough verified statistics that illustrate just how ugly things got on Thursday and the depth of despair the Oilers now find themselves at. Here are seven such figures:

Oilers Blanked For First Time

Thursday marked the first time the Oilers failed to score a goal in a game this season, as red-hot Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky blocked 40 Edmonton shots to earn his first shutout of the season.

Edmonton had scored at least once in its first 35 games, making this the Oilers’ longest stretch to start a season without being shutout since 2000-01, when they lasted all the way until Game No. 67 before being held off the scoreboard by the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 2-0 loss at home.

Oilers Allow Opening Goal Again

Edmonton’s propensity for giving up the first goal is now beyond comical and almost at a point of defying logic. Even on Thursday, when they outshot the Florida 17-7 in the first period and were far and away the better team through 20 minutes, the Oilers still couldn’t manage to take the initial lead.

Related Link: Oilers’ First Goal Problems Extend Beyond Koskinen

Instead, Florida’s Aleksander Barkov scored on the power-play 5:28 into the second period, making it 14 of the last 15 games that Edmonton has fallen behind 1-0. Overall, the Oilers have trailed first 26 times this season, tied for most in the league with the Kraken and Montreal Canadiens, who sit at the bottom of the Western Conference and Eastern Conference standings, respectively.

On the bright side, this was the first time in eight games the Oilers did not give up a first period goal, with goaltender Mikko Koskinen stopping all seven Panthers’ shots in the opening frame.

Draisaitl & McDavid Are MIA

They’re the first and arguably second greatest offensive talents in the hockey universe, but Hart and Art Ross Trophy-winning forwards Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are both in a slump verging on total funk.

Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl
Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson)

McDavid is without a point in his last three games and has just one assist to show for his last four games, while Draisaitl has two points and is minus-5 in his last four games. But it’s the duo’s drop-off over the last several weeks compared to the first quarter of Edmonton’s 82-game schedule that is particularly alarming.

In Edmonton’s first 22 games, Draisaitl racked up 21 goals (0.95 goals-per-game average) and 43 points (1.95 points-per-game average) while McDavid had 16 goals (0.73) and 42 points (1.91). Since then, Draisaitl has five goals (0.36) and 11 points (0.79) in the Oilers’ last 14 games, while McDavid has three goals (0.23) and 11 points (0.85) in 13 appearances. That’s a combined 2.22 points per game fewer between the pair since Dec. 4.

Oilers Shelled in Back-to-Back Games

With Thursday’s result coming on the heels of their 6-4 loss at home to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday (Jan. 15), the Oilers have surrendered at least six goals in consecutive games for the first time since Dec 2019, when Edmonton lost 6-3 to the Carolina Hurricanes and 6-5 to the Minnesota Wild.

Nine of the 12 goals scored on the Oilers these last two games have come in the third period; Florida pumped in four goals following the second intermission, turning a 2-0 advantage into a 6-0 drubbing, while the Senators rallied from a 3-1 deficit with five goals over the final 20 minutes to stun the Oilers.

Koskinen Kept Puck Out Longer Than Usual

Before everything went to heck in a handbasket in the third period, Koskinen had one of his stronger starts of the season. Florida didn’t beat Koskinen until its 10th shot of the game, which in Koskinen’s 20 starts this season is tied for the fifth-most saves the Finnish netminder has made before allowing a goal.

Edmonton Oilers Mikko Koskinen
Edmonton Oilers goalie Mikko Koskinen (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

With Koskinen and fellow netminders Stuart Skinner and Mike Smith cycling through the crease, there has only been 10 times in 36 games this season that the Oilers were not scored on within the opposition’s first 10 shots.

Oilers’ Special Teams Are in Shambles

On Thursday Edmonton went 0/3 with the man advantage, failing to score a power-play goal for the sixth in time in these last seven games, while the Panthers connected on 3/5 power-play opportunities, making it seven consecutive games that the Oilers have allowed at least one goal while short-handed.

This latest outing is just the latest in what has been a staggering downturn for Edmonton’s special team’s performance over its 2-11-2 skid. Through 21 games, when Edmonton went 16-5-0, the Oilers’ power play was clicking at 35.9 percent and their penalty kill had an 87.7 percent success rate. Over the 15 games since, the Oilers’ power play is 18.4 percent, and the penalty kill is a nightmarish 63.0 percent.

Edmonton’s net goals differential on special teams (including shorthanded goals for and against) was plus-18 over the first 21 games, but minus-10 over the last 15.

Tippett’s Streak Hits Unlucky No. 13

As miserable as this stretch has been for the Oilers as a team, it has been an even worse one for their bench boss, Dave Tippett.

The beleaguered coach, who is under fire from fed-up fans calling for his dismissal, is winless in the last 13 games he has been physically present, going 0-11-2. The Oilers have won twice during this 15-game slide, which came on Dec. 16 (5-2 over the Columbus Blue Jackets) and Dec. 18 (5-3 against the Kraken) when Tippett was in COVID protocol and assistant coaches Glen Gulutzan and Jim Playfair assumed responsibilities behind the bench. The last time the Oilers won with Tippett in the building was Dec. 1, 5-2 over the Pittsburgh Penguins at Rogers Place.

Tippett may be coaching for his job look when the Oilers return to action, hosting the Calgary Flames on Saturday (Jan. 22). Edmonton defeated Calgary 5-2 in the teams’ only meeting this season, at Rogers Place on Oct. 16, when the Oilers improved to 2-0 on their way to a 9-1 start. That seems like a lifetime ago now.

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