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NHL

Oilers fall 5-1 to Toronto, drop sixth-straight game

Things are not looking good for the Edmonton Oilers right now.

The star-studded group has now lost six-consecutive games, all in regulation, failing to pick up a single point in the standings since December 1st. The Oilers have been outscored 24-9 over the stretch.

Leaders of the Western Conference and Pacific Division just two weeks ago, the Oilers have fallen all the way to eighth in the conference and fourth in the division with the slide. They now find themselves in jeopardy of dropping out of playoff position after jumping out to one of the best starts in the NHL.

Oilers fall 5-1 to Leafs at home

The Oilers welcomed the Toronto Maple Leafs to Edmonton on Tuesday night for an all-Canadian matchup. The Leafs have come back down to Earth after a magnificent 15-2-0 stretch last month, but remain one of the premier teams in the NHL, atop of the league standings.

The Leafs had no trouble handling the Oilers in this one. Auston Matthews netted a pair of goals while Edmonton superstars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl were both held pointless for a second-straight game. The Oilers did get more pucks to the net than Toronto, outshooting their opponent 36-25. However, Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell stopped all but one of the Oilers’ 36 shots as the Leafs came away with a never-in-doubt 5-1 victory.

Oilers search for answers following loss

Oilers forward Colton Sceviour expressed his frustrations following the loss

“I think the most frustrating part of the whole thing is that if you look at the last three or four games, we played in stretches better than the teams we were playing against,” he said. “Then when we gave up opportunities, we gave up Grade A-pluses and I think that’s probably the thing we need to get over the most.”

The Oilers were without head coach Dave Tippett due to COVID-19 protocol. Associate coach Jim Playfair filled in for Tippett and spoke about his team’s effort following the game.

“I think we started really well.” he said. “We had a game plan to be aggressive and go straight ahead, and I thought we did that for the most part in the first period and it led to some really good chances for us.”

“I thought we continued that mindset in the second but coming out of the first with a goal being scored against us… that puts you behind the eight ball and now you’re chasing a little bit and we’ve done that, as we all know, too often lately.”

McDavid, Draisaitl continue to struggle

Over the course of the Oilers’ six-game losing streak, McDavid has picked up a total of five points while Draisaitl has recorded just four. For anyone else, these would be no numbers to be concerned about. However for these two offensive juggernauts, they might be.

McDavid and Draisaitl have provided a combined nearly four points per game for the Oilers this season, ahead of the six-game slump. McDavid was averaging 1.90 points per contest while Draisaitl was just ahead of him at 1.95 through the team’s first 21 games. Since December 1st, however, they are averaging a total of 1.5 points per contest; a 39.0% drop in production.

Amazingly, they still lead the NHL in points, tied for first at 45 apiece. Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin is lurking, however, with 44 points, while the rest of the field is eight points behind.

Odds

Once among the teams most considered to be Stanley Cup contenders, the Oilers have dropped all the way down to the 11th-best odds to win it all this season. They are listed at 22.00, which suggests they have a 4.5% chance to pull it off.

Getting into the postseason is no lock for the Oilers either, according the odds. They still give Edmonton a favorable shot, but the team is now listed at 4.00 to miss (a 25%; chance); a number that was much higher two weeks ago. They sit at 1.25 to make the playoffs.

The Oilers will have another chance to end their skid when the Columbus Blue Jackets visit Edmonton on Thursday. Puck drop is set to take place at 9:00 pm ET.