Oilers Disappointed by a positive, different team than 4 years ago

There were many common responses when players and coaches from the Edmonton Oilers asked questions on Wednesday afternoon. After the sixth loss in a row, it is easy for this team to lose strength. While there is a genuine sense of disappointment, there is clearly a different feeling in this team than in previous years and anger does not mean lack of faith.

Both Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Glen Gulutzan talked about how it feels to be in the Oilers dressing room right now. A strong start to the season turned into a series of losses and the jersey was pelted with stones during Tuesday’s game, an example of just how frustrated some fan bases have become. because this team can’t seem to maintain stability.

Gulutzan says this is not the same team from four years ago

The Oilers assistant coach currently works as offensive coach/co-coach in the absence of Dave Tippett and he was asked about adversity and how the team handled it. He gave the answer from the point of view of someone who has been in the dressing room over the years and under another coach.

Saying he was with the team during Todd McLellan’s final year as coach, and with Ken Hitchcock running the bench for a while, that group is prone to self-doubt. This group does not. For a man, everyone knows they need to get better and only they can get out of this losing period but have absolute faith that they can.

In our get-together with #Oilers Assistant Coach Glen Gulutzan today, I referenced a quote by British philosopher William Hazlitt about adversity. Gulutzan gave a very insightful answer about the players in the Edmonton dressing room. Listen: https://t.co/68kI8XuCmD

“I can say that it’s different and it’s different in a very positive way,” says Gulutzan. He added that four years ago there was a lack of hope. This season, he says he feels frustration, a little anger, but also a lot of faith. “There is a difference,” he repeated.

Related: Oil remains positive in the midst of a 6-match loss

Gulutzan noted that while he was a bit quiet early on, Duncan Keith has become more active in the dressing room. “He started barking a little bit, in a positive, upbeat way.” The coach also noted that “Connor and Leon aren’t like the people they were four years ago, they’ve got more faith in themselves and their team.”

Nugent-Hopkins Says Frustration Can Be A Positive Thing

Disappointment sometimes equates to doubt and uncertainty but Nugent-Hopkins says that’s not necessarily a bad thing but the team is a bit disappointed with the way things have been lately. Frustration cannot be turned into a negative, he notes, but it can be “almost used as a good thing”.

He said it made the whole team want to get out there and play harder and do a little bit more. He notes that they talk about it in the room a lot and that this group is in there together and wants to come out of it as a team.

It is important to understand the reality of the oil situation

The players do it. Striker Colton Sceviour talks about the shirt being thrown on the ice. “Unfortunately… people are frustrated. It’s not like we’re screaming in the room. But he also added, “That fan will have to buy a new jersey,” hinting that there will come a time when the team will turn things around and the fans will be ready to cheer again.

He’s not wrong. For bad recent losses like this, the Oilers are still very thick of things and have a 16-11 record with games at hand. They are in the knockout round and have no opponents. Are they the best team in the NHL as their win percentage showed a few weeks ago? Sure is not. Are they as bad as their record suggests in the past six games? Is not.

Edmonton Oilers celebrate
Edmonton Oilers’ Jesse Puljujarvi #13 celebrates a goal against the Vancouver Canucks with teammates Darnell Nurse #25, Connor McDavid #97, Leon Draisaitl #29 and Tyson Barrie #22 (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)

That this is not a bad team seems to be the feeling of consensus in the dressing room. There are certainly some loopholes that GM will need to address, and GM Ken Holland knows he has work to do. However, this is the same squad that went 9-1 with Mike Smith and continued to play well even as Smith fell. They can play well again.

Thursday against the Columbus Blue Jackets will be a real test. Can the Oilers turn the frustration into a positive and record the losing streak they desperately need to capture? From there, can they take that win and turn it into more wins? They seem to think so.

https://thehockeywriters.com/oilers-frustrated-but-not-down-after-losses/ Oilers Disappointed by a positive, different team than 4 years ago

Subhankar Mondal

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