The Edmonton Oilers have been off to a good start this year, winning their first two games of the season as they look to turn the page on nearly a decade of awfulness. There are plenty of reasons to be excited about Edmonton this year. However, as we saw against the Buffalo Sabres Sunday night, some old habits die hard.
After climbing back from a 2-0 deficit with two goals of their own to end the first period, things went south in a hurry during the second period when goalie Cam Talbot had a pretty awful miscue.
Just short of the four-minute mark of the second period, Sabres center Ryan O'Reilly sent the puck seemingly harmlessly into the zone with a routine chip in. The puck bounced a bit, but stayed low. Talbot got into position to scoop the puck with his glove and then...
It looks like Talbot shifted just enough right before that puck reached him. It then glanced off his body and into the net. Bad bounces happen all the time and miscues like these will happen over the course of a long season, but that's an ugly one. It killed the rally the Oilers had started as they appeared to be starting to take control of the game and they really never recovered.
The Sabres added a goal off of a Brian Gionta deflection midway through the second period to make it 4-2 and the hole just got deeper. Talbot was pulled for backup Jonas Gustavsson, who lasted 10 minutes before a collision with a teammate forced him out of the game.
That meant Talbot had to get back in there after being pulled. Things didn't get any better in the third period as the Sabres added a pair of goals early in the final frame to put the game out of reach.
Things will get better in Edmonton this season, but that goal was a sobering reminder of just how quickly things can go bad for this team sometimes.