1. The Oilers are 0-4 to start the season... again. What's the mood like around the team and fanbase? Were expectations higher to start the season, or is there a feeling of inevitability? How long is everyone willing to wait for things to come together?
Despite the fact that the Oilers have been in most of the first four games, there is definitely a sense of frustration around the team. I think most of it stems from the lack of goals scored early on in the season. The team is missing Jordan Eberle who is down with a shoulder injury and he has certainly been missed.
One thing people have to realize about Edmonton is that this truly is a different team than seen in the past and that there is a process this team has to undergo… yet again… It certainly is frustrating as I would love to see this team succeed right now, but we are missing pieces defensively and there are still a few question marks up front.
There is no denying the sense of excitement about the future of this team, so I think fans are willing to hold tight.
2. A lot was made out of Connor McDavid failing to score in his first couple of games. How has he been so far? Are the Oilers putting him in a position to succeed?
He may not have scored in his first two games, but he did pot one against Dallas for his first NHL goal. Connor McDavid is even better than I ever expected at this point. His two-way play thus far has been stellar, and he has an IQ level that is advanced even by NHL standards.
He has played the last two games with Benoit Pouliot, who like McDavid, is a high IQ player. Pouliot has found McDavid a few times and that has generated scoring chances. Like Taylor Hall, Connor McDavid likes to have the puck on his stick especially when entering the zone and he is able to use his elite speed to blow past guys.
McDavid has seven individual scoring chances and 18 minutes per game of time on ice, so he has had his chances. He is a natural talent and will score plenty of points in his career and shouldn’t feel like the pressure is all on him to come in and succeed.
3. The Oilers are hoping Cam Talbot, Henrik Lundqvist's former backup, will be their future in net. Is he meeting expectations so far as a starter?
Cam Talbot has come in and done really well so far. His statistics don’t yet support that, but he done his fair share of work to keep us in games early on in the season. Anders Nilsson has come in and seriously impressed as well. In his one start, he posted a .941 sv% and stopped 48 of 51 shots faced against the Stars.
I don’t know if it’s even fair to say that Talbot is our "designated #1" at this point.