The first episode in Season 4 of Oil Change: All In opens in the spring of 2013. The Edmonton Oilers new general manager Craig MacTavish assesses what went wrong last season. On April 3, 2013, a dominating 8-2 win over Calgary propelled the Oilers into the final playoff spot in the NHL’s Western Conference. But 12 days and five straight losses later, they had dropped right out of contention and never got close again.
It was a swoon that cost MacTavish’s predecessor Steve Tambellini his job, but he was not the only casualty. In early June, MacT told Oilers head coach Ralph Krueger he was making a change behind the bench. Two days later, the GM announced the hiring of highly-touted Toronto Marlies coach Dallas Eakins as the new man in Edmonton.
After tracking the team’s busy summer, Oil Change follows the Oilers into a much-anticipated September training camp and a pitched battle for jobs on the blueline and third and fourth lines of a much-transformed Edmonton roster. Highlights of camp include the sparking play of rookie d-man Nurse and several other young prospects, a move by star winger Taylor Hall to centre to cover the absence of the team’s No. 1 pivot Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, still rehabbing from shoulder surgery last spring, and the emerging on and off-ice leadership of former Bruins defenceman Andrew Ference.
The first episode culminates with the close of camp and the exhibition season, Coach Eakins’ difficult final roster decisions, and the team’s sold-out regular season opening night game at Rexall Place against the Winnipeg Jets. With this game and the 81 others that will follow, the Oilers and their fans are ‘all in’ … their goal nothing less than making the playoffs.