The Edmonton Oilers are on the receiving end of some serious criticism following their embarrassing loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.
The Oilers marched in to Los Angeles on Saturday for what should have been a chance at a bounce back game for a team that was in desperate need of a win to get back in the hunt for a playoff spot, but in spite facing one of the National Hockey League's weakest teams this season the Oilers completely crapped the bed. Over the course of 3 periods the Oilers managed to generate just 16 shots and according to the National Hockey League's official website just 1 of those shots were generated by the Oilers bottom 9 forwards, a damning condemnation of the team's seemingly complete lack of depth.
In fact the loss was so gross that it was too much for even the normally stoic Ken Hitchock to stomach. The Oilers head coach was available for his usual media scrum following the game but he last less than 2 minutes in front of the media before he was forced to simply walk away in disgust before getting himself in more trouble. Hitchock lambasted the entire team for their embarrassing performance after the game, the only notable exception to that was veteran defenseman Darnell Nurse who Hitchcock said was the best player out on the ice for Edmonton.
One angle that not many are talking about however was the lack of fire from the Oilers when it came to the treatment of the organization's top super, and their captain, forward Connor McDavid. Not only is McDavid effectively trying to singlehandedly carry the Oilers offense on a nightly basis but he is also questionable the organizations most valuable player. You would think that would earn you some loyalty from your teammates but it sure did not seem that way on Saturday.
McDavid was the victim of an open ice hit from Kings' forward Jeff Carter and although the hit appeared to be a clean shoulder to shoulder check, if perhaps a tad late, you would have expected some kind of fiery response from the Oilers. Instead the response to the hit was very tepid indeed.
Even worse however was an elbow in the first period that came courtesy of Kings' sueprstar Drew Doughty, another blow to McDavid that went seemingly ignored by the Oilers. That is no way to treat your star player.