More of the same as the Leafs inflict sixth straight loss to Edmonton Oilers

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The Oilers trailed 1-0 after 20, 2-0 after 40 and passed out on a cold December night to drop to 16-11 this season after a 9-1 start

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Bad night for the Oilers, big night for Edmonton hardware stores after a sixth straight loss, while guaranteeing a race through town with pitchforks and torches.

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Watching their team stand out 23-10 during their worst crunch in three years is bad enough, but the fact that the hated Toronto Maple Leafs put a rotten cherry on top with a 5-1 win in the Tuesday’s showdown at Rogers Place will surely be enough to send Edmonton’s red-eyed fans into a savage mix of panic and rage.

A situation that was bad at the start of the day only got worse at the end of the day.

“It’s obviously very frustrating,” said Colton Sceviour, the Oilers’ lone scorer in the humiliating loss. “At some point we’re going to be fine, and the only way is to work and play the right way.

“We have to get back to work and find a way to scratch and scratch and win.”

The Oilers had been trending upward in the last few games, deserving a better fate against Boston and Minnesota and being a rebound or two away from upsetting Carolina, so it only seemed a matter of time before they. do not pass.

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Instead, things turned the other way. The Oilers trailed 1-0 after 20, 3-0 after 40, and passed out on a cold December night to drop to 16-11 this season after a 9-1 start.

“As a group we have to be pros,” said Sceviour. “A lot of the guys in this hall have played hockey a lot. We have to understand that things come and go and that once we get out of this we will pick up the path later and laugh at this stretch. But we have to start this movement.

The day started badly long before the puck fell, with third-line center Ryan McLeod pulled from the roster and placed in COVID-19 protocol and head coach Dave Tippett joining him hours later.

Add Zach Hyman (shoulder), unable to face his former team, and Edmonton scored the lucky hat-trick at 5 p.m.

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“We’re not going to give up,” said winger Warren Foegele, whose hands, like everyone else on the squad, are a mess with fang marks. “We have to keep fighting every night and keep playing simple and hammering that rock.

“It didn’t happen tonight, but we have to keep going. There is no easy way out. The only way out is to believe in each other, support each other, and keep fighting. “

The first period was a microcosm of Edmonton’s recent slump, with the Oilers missing out on a few glorious first scoring opportunities. Leon Drasaitl had the best of looks, a wide open net with all the time in the world eight minutes into the game, and he missed the wide two feet.

Three weeks ago, he buried this in his sleep. Now? Nothing

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“It’s one of those stretches that I can’t remember being in professional hockey, being bitten by a snake,” said Sceviour. “We just don’t get there when we need to. Guys lack open nets that can pick a corner from anywhere. It sounds like one of those stretches.

It was downhill from there.

Auston Matthews scored late in the first period to make it 1-0 (the 15th time in 18 games, and the sixth in a row, that Edmonton have given up the first goal). Edmonton dominated Toronto 8-0 in the first eight minutes of the second period, but again, couldn’t finish.

And then, of course, on Toronto’s first shot in the second period at 8:47, Wayne Simmonds made it 2-0. Six minutes later, a TJ Brodie made it 3-0 for the Leafs. Morgan Reilly and Matthews, again, for their 13th goal in the last 10 games, finished the Oilers in third.

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And, just like that, a game that could have been a draw if the Oilers had capitalized on their chances had turned into a rout.

Things are leaking everywhere. Edmonton’s penalty kill, who had been one of their mainstays when they won, allowed seven goals against in the last five games. The power play, meanwhile, has been shut out in seven of the last 10 games.

“It’s pretty obvious that things have crept into our 5v5 game and the special teams are now absent,” said associate coach Jim Playfair, adding that they will not be reading the riot act. to hold sack skates.

“Now that things are not going our way, it’s probably not the time to start pulling a hammer out and hitting them. We’ve got to stick together and work our way through it. Shouting and shouting is probably not going to move the needle where we want to go.

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“It’s about getting out of it. It’s about digging and being difficult to tackle in all three areas. It’s about better handling the puck. It’s about dealing with adversity. These are better starts. This is all of the above. It’s the consistency of being ready to do it.

As for the sweater on the ice… It’s a trivial gesture that attracts attention on the cheap, but it doesn’t help.

“I didn’t see that,” Sceviour said. “It’s unfortunate. Obviously the fans are frustrated. It’s not like we’re in the room laughing and screaming. We’re frustrated too. We’re going to get by and maybe this fan will have to. buy a new jersey. ”

Email: [email protected]

On Twitter: @Rob_Tychkowski

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