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Willis: Unproductive Oilers forwards might lose their jobs

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There are aspects of life humankind has come to accept as inevitable: Death. Taxation. The inhumanity of man to man.

If there was the obvious game plan for Dave Tippett and the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday, it was to be ready for the start of the game.

The Oilers had been outscored by a combined 9-1 over the first two periods of their first three games, allowing goals in rapid succession in each of the games.

But they were fortunate to pull one out in a massive comeback but still got thoroughly dominated in the other two.

Willis: Unproductive Oilers forwards might lose their jobs
Willis: Unproductive Oilers forwards might lose their jobs

So this is what happened, The Detroit Red Wings, buried in an 8-game losing streak, got a wide-open 2-on-1 in the starting 15 seconds of the game and spent the entirety of the first two minutes buzzing around Edmonton territory, their opponents are a day late and a dollar short to one race or it would-be a puck battle after another.

A few minutes later the visitors fell behind, allowed a second just 52 seconds later.

This is the FOURTH STRAIGHT game that Edmonton had to give up their first two goals within 90 seconds of each other.

By the end of the first one, the shots on goal were 13-5 Detroit and the score could easily have been worse than 2-0.

The impotence of Edmonton’s bottom-six forwards lacks the permanence of those other conditions, but there are nights, such as Tuesday against the Detroit Red Wings.

When it feels eternal and unalterable, a constant passed down from Eric Belanger and Boyd Gordon to Ryan Strome and Riley Sheahan.

Against such a force no human will has availed. Not that of Dave Tippett, who shuffled his lines once again in an effort to generate something out of that group.

Not that of Ken Holland, despite a measured approach to the offseason in which the majority of his moves were directed at bringing life to the wastes.

After Tuesday’s loss, the Oilers have now outscored the opposition 21-13 with any combination of their big-three forwards on the ice.

They have been outscored 12-1 without them.

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