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Amid all the speculation about what the Edmonton Oilers need in advance of the trade deadline — whether it’s a depth defenceman, scoring winger, depth forward or all of the above — we might be ignoring their biggest need.

An alarm clock.

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Trading a late round pick for something that can wake the Oilers up in time for the opening faceoff might be the best investment general manager Ken Holland could make.

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This business of showing up late for game after game after game is getting silly.

Wednesday night against the St. Louis Blues was more of the same. The Oilers were sluggish spectators for the most of the first period, managing just two shots on net in the first 10 minutes and falling behind 1-0 for the fifth-straight game of their five-game home stand.

The Oilers showed up eventually, coming back from 2-0 to post a 3-2 overtime victory on Connor McDavid’s first goal in 11 games to finish the home stand at 2-2-1. After 25 assists and no goals since Feb. 6, McDavid scored with 25 seconds left in OT to complete the comeback.

“I don’t know what it is,” said Oilers winger Zach Hyman, who got the Oilers going with his 39th and 40th goals of the season. “We have to start better, obviously. But we battled back and were able to find a way.”

The Oilers were down 1-0 at 2:05 Wednesday night. They were down 1-0 at 2:02 against Calgary. They were down 1-0 at 2:34 against Boston. They were down 1-0 at 6:45 against Los Angeles and their best start of the five-game set saw them down 1-0 after 19:37 against Minnesota.

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They fought back for an overtime point against the Bruins and a win over Los Angeles, but spotting the other guys an early lead all the time is no way to live.

In three of those games they needed a power-play goal to get themselves into the game and that was the case again against St. Louis. The Blues went up 2-0 at 4:49 and had Edmonton on the ropes, but Hyman scored eight seconds into a much-needed man advantage to bring the team to life.

Hymans’ career-high 40th stood up as the only goal of the second period to make it 2-2 at the second intermission. He’s been an absolute steal for the Oilers, producing 103 goals in 211 games since coming over from the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Hyman was good in Toronto, but he’s been great in Edmonton, where he is going to double the most productive season he ever had with the Maple Leafs (21 goals). He set a career-high 27 in his first year here, broke that standard in his second year (36) and will shatter it when all is said and done this year.

LATE HITS — While Edmonton’s starts haven’t been good, the Oilers are usually dynamite at the end. Having outscored their opponents 50-19 in the third periods of their previous 27 games … Curious call late in the game when Evander Kane took a stick in the mouth and was left bleeding. Instead of a double minor, the officials decided there wasn’t enough blood and left it as two minutes … Ryan Nugent-Hopkins made the defensive play of the game, racing back to break up a short-handed breakaway, but Rob Thomas will wish he had that one over again after coasting in alone like it was a shootout attempt … Ryan McLeod can’t seem to find his footing offensively. He has just one assist in his last 15 games.


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