The Edmonton Oilers still have 72 games remaining on their schedule, which would give the impression that they have plenty of time to turn around what’s been a disappointing month of October and climb the Western Conference standings.

But after another loss, this time to the Washington Capitals on Saturday, head coach Todd McLellan expressed an urgency to his team, noting that their struggles, particularly on offense, can no longer be dismissed as a short-term issue that will simply correct itself with time.

“There’s nothing early about this. Let’s not kid ourselves,” McLellan told reporters after a 5-2 defeat to Washington, in which the Oilers built up an early two-goal lead and then faltered in the second and third periods.

“There’s a lot of points that have gone by and you never get them back. They have the same value now as they do at the end of the year. It’s tough falling behind in a game. It’s also tough falling behind in the season. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us and we’re going to have to play better than we have. We don’t have enough players playing at their capabilities — or at least what we believe their capabilities are — to consistently win.”

The biggest issue right now is scoring. Edmonton is 30th in the NHL averaging only 2.20 goals-for per game, and has been plagued by a lack of secondary scoring. Connor McDavid has 11 points and has contributed to 50 per cent of the Oilers goal totals so far.