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McDavid frustrated by Oilers' struggles to begin se

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2023 9:32 am Post subject: McDavid frustrated by Oilers' struggles to begin se Reply with quote

EDMONTON Connor McDavid was understandably frustrated following the Edmonton Oilers' latest setback,  a 5 2 loss to the Nashville Predators at Rogers Place on Saturday.This is not the way McDavid and the Oilers expected to start the 2023 24 season. Projected to be a Stanley Cup contender,  the Oilers  2 7 1  have lost two straight games and six of their past seven  1 5 1. They are seventh in the Pacific Division,  already 18 points behind the first place Vegas Golden Knights.'It is just death by a thousand cuts,  that is what it feels like, ' McDavid said. 'One mistake and it costs us,  and another little mistake and it just snowballs. It is tough to chase games.'The Oilers will try to figure out how to turn things around when they begin a three game road trip at the Vancouver Canucks on Monday  10 p.m. ET; TVAS,  SN.'I hate to always talk about years previous,  but last year we get off to a 7 3 start and then we go 3 7 and end up at 10 10, ' McDavid said. 'We obviously started with the latter there and these next 10 games are big for our group.'The Oilers have yet to win a game at Rogers Place this season  0 4 1. Their only home victory was in the 2023 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic played outdoors at Commonwealth Stadium on Oct. 29  5 2 against the Calgary Flames.'Our struggles are all over the rink, ' McDavid said. 'That is what you get when you are 2 7 1. There seem to be struggles all over the ice.'On Saturday,  Edmonton took a 1 0 lead against Nashville at 9:57 of the first period on a power play goal by defenseman Darnell Nurse. However,  it conceded the tying goal to Filip Forsberg just 25 seconds later.The Oilers then allowed a goal 23 seconds into the second period the first of three from Predators forward Ryan OReilly and fell behind 3 1 when O'Reilly scored a power play goal at 3:24. From there,  the chase was on
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,  and Edmonton was unable to make up the difference.'It was really similar to the other night  4 3 loss to the Dallas Stars on Thursday , ' McDavid said. 'I thought we had a good start and then the mental mistakes that keeps costing us over and over again,  made us chase the game,  and it is hard to chase games in this league.' Recap: Nashville PredatorsEdmonton Oilers 11.04.23  The Oilers returned the majority of their roster after finishing second in the Pacific last season  50 23 9. That includes McDavid  153 points; 64 goals,  89 assists  and Leon Draisaitl  128 points; 52 goals,  76 assists ,  the top two scorers in the NHL last season. They lost in the Western Conference Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs to the eventual Cup champion Golden Knights.Things have not gone as smoothly thus far this season. The Oilers are struggling defensively,  giving up an average of 4.10 goals per game  third most in the NHL ,  but they are also only averaging 2.70 goals per game  tied for 23rd. Last season,  Edmonton was the highest scoring team in the NHL with 325 goals,  an average of 3.96 per game.McDavid had an assist in the loss to Nashville but has not scored a goal in his past five games. He missed two games with an upper body injury sustained in a 3 2 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Oct. 21. The following day
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,  the Oilers said McDavid would be out 1 2 weeks,  but he returned in time to play in the Heritage Classic. He has 10 points  two goals,  eight assists  in eight games this season and when asked if he was 100 percent healthy,  simply responded,  'Yepp.'McDavid was also asked how he felt about his game.'It certainly could be better,  not at the level I expect myself to be at, ' he said.McDavid is not the only player struggling offensively. Draisaitl has 13 points  four goals,  nine assists  in 10 games but has not scored a goal in his past seven.Forward Mattias Janmark has missed the past three games with an upper body injury but did not have a point in his first seven games. Forward Connor Brown did not have a point in his first nine games before sustaining a lower body injury in the loss to Dallas,  which kept him out against Nashville.Forward Ryan McLeod had his first point in 10 games Saturday,  an assist on Nurse's power play goal,  and forward Dylan Holloway does not have a point in 10 games.'We go into every game thinking we are going to win,  so when it doesn't happen,  obviously you are not happy, ' Oilers forward Zach Hyman said. 'It seems like it is continuing to happen. It is not fun,  we know how good we can be,  and we know what is causing us to be in this spot. There is no magic pill
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,  we just have to go out there and fix it. That is the frustrating part is that we have yet to fix those errors that continue to come up in our game. We have the recipe,  we know what to do we just have to go out there and do it.'

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