Oilers Fall in Shootout to Wild; Why This Team Could Be Fun to Watch in the Future
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is on fire for the Edmonton Oilers, but that didn't translate to a win last night against the Minnesota Wild.
Despite a goal and an assist from the #1 pick, which puts him 4th in the scoring leader list with 27, the Oilers fell to the Wild last night 3-2 in a shootout. The Oilers climbed to a 2-0 lead, but couldn't hold on as the Wild stormed back like the Western Conference powerhouse it looks to be so far this season.
Nikolai Khabibulin reminds us Flyer fans of Brian Boucher, as he's just absolutely terrible in the shootout. It wasted a great effort by the Oilers to take down the top team in the conference.
After a solid start to the season, Khabibulin has struggled. I still think he's their best option in net right now, but if he can't turn it around by the new year, Edmonton should look elsewhere for their next goalie.
The physicality the Oilers put on the Wild was unmatched - three Wild players fell to injury as opposed to zero for the Oilers. But when playing a physical game, they need to make sure to come out on the winning side of it. The Oilers look to be a good team, and they're definitely a better team than they were last year. If things continue to progress for the team, don't be surprised to see Ryan Nugent-Hopkins don the C before too long.
With Taylor Hall out for the next month, other players must step up in order to keep Edmonton afloat in the Western Conference. If they can find a way to remain relevant, it would do wonders for team chemistry and only make the team that much better once Hall returns to the lineup.
The Oilers play Friday against the Columbus Blue Jackets, who may or may not have a new coach by that point. With the Ducks firing Randy Carlyle and hiring Bruce Boudreau, it wouldn't surprise me to see Carlyle land with Columbus within the next few days.