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It’s going to be a lot closer to Christmas before anybody declares the 2017 18 Oilers to be tracking like they were supposed to be trackingThe idea was two fold.
a) Despite your expansion team position in the National Hockey League standings, prove you could at least beat the expansion team.
The sputtering Edmonton Oilers looked like the 103 point team they were last year and the surprising Vegas Golden Knights looked like the expansion team they were expected to be.
Like so many games against first year expansion teams, it was a game to pad your statistics, get out of the doghouse and make a game fun again in a not so much fun start to a season.
The Oilers ran up the score to 8 2, their highest number of goals this season and largest margin of victory.
Oilers trounce Golden Knights for rare home winOilers acquire Cammalleri from Kings for JokinenGolden Knights take pride in shocking NHLThe Oilers opponents had scored first in 10 of the first 16 games of the season and trailed in seven of them. When the Oilers went to the dressing room with a 3 0 lead, it was an occasion the way this season has started. And Connor McDavid didn have a point on any of them.
McDavid ended up with two goals and an assist to give him nine goals and 22 points for the season and move him into the top 10 in league scoring.
While Ryan Nugent Hopkins scored his seventh and eighth goals of the season, snipes by Oscar Klefbom, Pat Maroon, Matt Benning and Mark Letestu got them at least one paw out of the doghouse.
Yohann Auvitu registered his first point as an Oiler with Maroon, Klefbom, Mark Letestu, Jujhar Khaira (2), Ryan Strome, Milan Lucic, Kris Russell, Zack Kassian, Leon Draisaitl (2) and McDavid adding assists.
The only stats that didn get particularly padded belonged to goaltender Cam Talbot, who returned home to Rogers Place with an .894 save percentage this season,
a complete contrast to his excellent .944 save percentage on road.
Giving up two goals on 24 shots didn change his much.
Vegas Golden Knights defenceman Deryk Engelland chases Edmonton Oilers centre Connor McDavid during NHL action in Edmonton on Nov. 14, 2017.
There been nothing seriously wrong with the Oilers on the road, where they gone 3 3 2 and 2 1 1 on their most recent road trip.
The problem has been at home, where Edmonton won two of their previous eight home games after that impressive but obviously not tone settling season opening 3 0 win over the Calgary Flames.
Generally, the idea is to play no worse than .500 on the road and over .667 at home. The Oilers went into the game playing .333 at home.
Last year, Edmonton achieved the 103 point season going 22 14 5 on the road and 25 12 4 at home. By Nov. 5, with that rancid 4 0 loss to the Red Wings, the Oilers had already recorded their sixth home defeat of the season.
That where the fans at Rogers Place had left the team, going from the madhouse scene the team and the town had created during the season and especially in the playoffs last year to essentially giving them the silent treatment for most of the third period.
Only one game prior to reeking against the Red Wings, it looked like the Oilers had decided to get back to being that team that combined will plus skill by winning the little battles and races and using their size as exemplified by Adam Larsson with his 13 hits in that 6 3 win over New Jersey.
Be back Thursday to see if they learned anything from their last one sided win in this rink.
The shock of the stink the joint out get away day game against Detroit was that there was zero follow through traction from the example they gave themselves against the Devils.
So what to make of this one?
There will be those who will point out that the Oilers, who with the win over the Golden Knights sports a record of 7 9 2, have produced points in the standings in four of their last five games. But it going to be a lot closer to Christmas before anybody declares the 2017 18 Oilers to be tracking like they were supposed to be tracking.
On the road trip, the Oilers decided to be a checking team. Much of what happened in the first period last night may have resulted from starting there. But the rest was pretty much river hockey.
In some ways, you could view this and Thursday night game against the 13 5 1 St. Louis Blues as visits to Edmonton for Games 5 and 6 of an 11 game road trip as the Oilers head out after that one for five more on the road with stops in Dallas, St. Louis, Detroit, Buffalo and Boston.
While the Oilers registered their first back to back wins of the season on the last road trip, they have yet to win two in a row at home. And you all remember what happened the last time they gave Edmonton fans a bunch of goals and a win at home. They totally soiled the sheets two nights later against Detroit.