The Edmonton Oilers can’t catch a break. They rank 31st in the NHL, only ahead of the still winless San Jose Sharks, and their record sank to 2-8-1 on Monday after another tough loss to the Vancouver Canucks.
This is one of the Oilers’ worst starts in franchise history and not at all what fans hoped for as they entered the season as Stanley Cup favorites.
The Oilers started Monday’s contest great and outshot the Canucks 19-2 through the first eleven minutes of play. They took the lead as well, but after three quick goals from the Canucks, the Oilers looked beaten. The Oilers lost their cool in the third period, and they couldn’t hide their frustration.
It’s not often Connor McDavid gets involved in scrums or rough plays, but in the span of just two shifts in the third, he exchanged shoves with J.T. Miller before getting sent to the penalty box for roughing as he shoved Pius Suter to the ice.
But it wasn’t just players that went into meltdown. Head coach Jay Woodcroft was given an unsportsmanlike penalty and game misconduct after an interaction with the referees with just over six minutes remaining of the third period.
Dylan Holloway was hit trying to score while trying to score on an Oilers’ powerplay, but the referee didn’t call a penalty on the play, which had Woodcroft angry.
Woodcroft talked with the referee briefly before getting ejected from the game. Postgame, he explained that he thought the incident was similar to one earlier in the game, as McDavid got a penalty for roughing Suter.
Woodcroft claimed he didn’t use profanity and simply asked the ref a question. However, he did confess it wasn’t necessary and put his team in a bad place.
”In the end, I’ve got the be better,” Woodcroft said. “I didn’t think it crossed the line at all but sometimes the way you send a message or ask a question, the way it’s received might be not in the manner you intended to.”
Oilers’ brutal start to the season is the talk of the NHL right now, and there weren’t few reactions to Woodcroft’s ejection on Monday. Fans were all saying the same thing after it happened: That it probably was the last thing we saw of him on the Oilers bench.
”And that was the last we saw of Jay Woodcroft,” one said on X, formerly Twitter.
”Bro isn’t even gonna wait to get fired, he is getting out of there NOW,” another said.
”At least this guy went out in style before being fired lol,” a third added.